Make Ahead

The Incredible Bacon Tamale

January  1, 2013
3 Ratings
  • Makes 3 dozen
Author Notes

If everything's better with bacon, if everything's better with cheese, and if you're like me and think everything's better with green chiles, then these tamales are for you. Generally pretty mild, but the heat will depend on the heat of your green chiles. To ensure mildness, use canned green chiles. For heat, roast fresh green chiles or poblanos or add some roasted jalapenos.

The backstory. How did these come about? One day at work, a co-worker mentioned that she was going to be "making tamales". The guy working nearby mis-heard and said, "Bacon tamales? You make bacon tamales?" Well, that got us thinking that bacon goes really good with corn and cheese and cheese goes really good with chiles and corn (green corn tamales are corn and chiles and cheese). We talked about the bacon tamales each time tamale season came around, but never quite got around to making them. This year after making the traditional red chile tamales for Christmas, I had five pounds of masa leftover. I decided to play with my food and the bacon tamale was born. The first time, I went for ease of preparation since I was making them after work and used the canned green chiles. —weshook

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 pounds bacon, or up to 2 pounds if you really like bacon
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 16 ounces cottage cheese
  • 5 pounds masa
  • 1 1/2 cups pureed roasted green chiles
  • salt
  • 1 27-ounce can of green chiles, or the equivalent of fresh roasted green chiles, cut or torn into strips
  • 1 1/2 pounds cheese, cut into 1/2" sticks
  • husks
  1. Cut the bacon into ½” pieces and cook until crispy.
  2. Drain the fat into a very large bowl and set the bacon aside.
  3. Soak the husks in hot or boiling water.
  4. To the bowl, add the butter, cottage cheese, masa and green chiles. Mix until well-combined, seasoning with salt as you go to taste. Add a little water if it seems too dry—I ended up adding about ¼ cup.
  5. Assemble the tamales. Spread masa on a husk. Place a stick of cheese, some green chile strips, and some bacon pieces on the masa, roll it up and fold the end over. Repeat until you run out of something. I ran out of bacon, so I ended up with a few green chile and cheese tamales.
  6. Steam for about 45-60 minutes, or until the masa is firm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Vicki Sloane
    Vicki Sloane
  • weshook

2 Reviews

Vicki S. May 25, 2018
Yummy, I
Was wondering if anyone ever made tamales with bacon? What about sausage you know you've heard of breakfast burrito! what about a breakfast tamale with egg, sausage and cheese in it? I haven't seen any of those recipes online and I don't know if they would be good or not what do you think?
weshook May 25, 2018
I think they would be delicious. Red chile beef tamales with a soft cooked egg make a delicious breakfast. You could also cook the masa with just the sausage and serve with the egg freshly cooked. Interesting idea, I'll have to experiment now!