Easy “cheater” tamales that are perfect for sharing. This zesty Tamale Bites Recipe is a sure-hit for all your game-day gatherings and holiday parties!
Time, my ultimate love-language.
Some women want gifts or sweet talk. Those things are nice, but all I really crave is ample time with the people I love.
Time is what I consider my greatest asset. I give it freely to loved ones, yet become stingy with my time when it’s under attack. If someone isn’t valuing my time, wasting my time even, it makes me crabby. Just being honest.
Faith, Family, Friends, Workouts, Travel, Cooking/Blogging… These things envelop my time. If a task doesn’t fit under these parameters, it usually falls to the wayside. If it fits under these parameters, but is “busy work” (meaning I think it’s a waste of time) it still usually falls to the wayside.
To only spend time on valuable people and efforts is my constant goal. Sometimes I feel like the bad guy when I have to say no to a person or opportunity, but you have to protect your assets.
I like to consider myself charmingly efficient rather than difficult. *wink*
Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely. ~Kay Lyons
Today’s Tamale Bites Recipe is a time saver on two levels. Do you know how excited that makes a person like me?
1) Compared to traditional tamales, this recipe cuts the time in half! The prep work is much quicker and so is the cooking time.
2) This recipe starts with cooked shredded meat. That generally mean leftovers from another meal, such as a beef roast, pulled pork, grilled chicken, or even take-out! So when you prepare one meal during the week, you are actually getting a head-start on the Tamale Bites Recipe as an appetizers for your weekend gathering. Isn’t that EXCITING!?!
For further appeal, these cute little tamale bites are slightly spicy, hearty, and perfect for cool weather. Every time I take my Tamale Bites Recipe to an event and they disappeared in no time.
Make sure to add this Tamale Bites Recipe to your Halloween party or game-day menu this year. They will save you time so you can spend it on the people you love.
Tamale Bites Recipe
Yield: 40-48 bites
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes
Tamale Bites Recipe – An easy “cheater” tamales recipe making perfect little party size tamale appetizers.
For the Filling:
- 1 pound cooked shredded beef (or pork or chicken)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons masa (corn flour)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, + extra for garnish
- 1-2 canned chipotle pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper
For the Masa Shell:
- 2 cups masa (corn flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/3 cups beef stock
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening, melted
- Crumbled Queso Fresco to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon butter for 2-4 minutes. Add the shredded meat, masa, tomato paste, cumin, thyme, and chopped chipotle peppers. Stir well and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer. Simmer until all the liquid in rendered out–approximately 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, Mix 2 cups of masa with the baking powder, salt, and cumin. Add the beef stock and mix to a crumbly consistency. Pour in the melted shortening and mix by hand until smooth.
- Spray mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop the masa mixture into small 2 teaspoon balls using a small cookie scoop and place in the muffin tins. Use a round teaspoon (or pestel) to press a deep indention in the center of the masa balls. Once the beef mixture has rendered out the liquid, stir in the sour cream and lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill each masa shell with the meat mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow the tamale bites to cool 5-10 minutes before extracting them from the muffin tins. Use a small sharp knife to loosen the tamale bites from the muffin tin. Then lift one side with the tip of the knife and gently lift each tamale bite out with your fingers. Garnish with crumbled queso fresco and thyme leaves. Serve warm.
NOTES: Tamale Bites can be served warm or at room temperature. They can also be rewarmed once they are out of the muffin pans.
Yield: 40-48 bites, Serving Size: 1
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 67 Calories
- Total Fat: 4.1g
- Saturated Fat: 1.4g
- Cholesterol: 10mg
- Sodium: 55mg
- Carbohydrates: 4.1g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Sugar: 0.2g
- Protein: 3.5g
Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!