Keto Tamale

by hungryelephant

I am super excited to share this keto tamale recipe!! It’s been a highly requested item for sure and I am proud to have figured out a decent alternate to masa dough.

Ok so 1st things first – this is not your standard tamale recipe. Since it’s keto, there is NO corn flour, but I still kept a part of the traditional dough – lard. You can use any sort of animal fat really, but a normal tamal uses pork fat (lard).

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Secondly – the steaming. I highly recommend to steam your tamale wrapped inside a dried corn husk. Not only does it look prettier but it’s easier to steam. Sadly, I could NOT find any dried corn husks here in Ireland so I had to use parchment paper. You will NOT be eating the corn husk, so it’s still 100% keto to use the corn husk for steaming.

Now I also didn’t include a recipe for the filling because there are so many different things you could put in there and honestly, it’s up to you! I used a Mexican spicy cheese and it was delightful!

Any pro tamale makers – I 100% apologize if mine don’t look correct.. I tried but I know they could be better! ??

If you like this recipe, make sure to check out my keto chocoflan!





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Yield: 5

Keto Tamale

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

My first batch of tamales. Hoping to make a different dough that will make MORE than just 5.


  • 3/4 cup (75g) almond flour
  • 1 cup (120g) shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons lard (preferably room temp)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Your choice of filling


  1. Melt your shredded mozzarella, either in the microwave or on low on the stove.
  2. While that’s heating up, whisk together your almond flour and baking powder..
  3. When the cheese has melted, use a spoon to fold it into the almond flour. Add in your two tbsp of lard or fat and mix until you have a dough. It may be crumbly or a bit greasy but thats ok!
  4. Take a chunk of the dough and spread it in a decent sized rectangle or circular shape near the top of the corn husk or parchment paper.
  5. Top with your filling, leaving about an inch of dough untouched near the edges,
  6. Take your husk or paper and fold one side of the dough into the other so that the dough is sealed around the filling.
  7. Take the unused bottom portion and fold it upwards towards the tamal. Roll the tamal two more times so that the upwards part of the paper is covered.
  8. Cut any excess paper off. Use a piece of the parchment or a piece of the corn husk to make a tie around the middle of the tamal. This will help it keep its shape and the wrap tight so it won’t unfold.
  9. Once you’ve completed all your tamale, place them standing upright in a steamer and steam for approx 1 hour to 1:15 minutes.
  10. You will know the tamales are done when you are able to easily remove it from the parchment paper or corn husk.


You can also cook these in an instant pot – just pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of your pot, insert your strainer and place the tamales into the strainer. Cook on high for about 20-30 minutes.

1.8 net carbs per tamale

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 22.4gCarbohydrates: 4.7gFiber: 2.9gProtein: 11g

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Karien November 24, 2018 - 4:24 am

I’m sorry, but you’re doing this all wrong! 😀 You should never be apologetic about doing something a different method from the traditional method. The net goes into a feeding frenzy and will crucify you. EVERYBODY gets up in arms when a person other than a native does their traditional recipes. There is a YouTube video where a women does tamales and she does it exactly right – she is 100% unapologetic, and finishes her video with (it was around Christmas) “Feliz Navidad, mother fuckers!”. I was in stitches! Everybody loved her. 😀

David Fox December 18, 2018 - 12:03 am

Excellent. I like the Instant Pot method, too! Going to make some with my family.

Leslie December 29, 2018 - 11:22 pm

These were great! We have a family tradition of tamale making every year. Since I am Keto, traditional tamales weren’t something I wanted to do. Whipped up a batch of these tamales and LOVED them! In fact, the other family members really liked them as well. Thank you for the delish low carb version! I was able to eat mine alongside the rest of the family without feeling like I was missing out

Amanda January 23, 2019 - 6:01 am

What could be subbed for the lard? (Vegetarian) thanks!

hungryelephant January 23, 2019 - 11:21 am

you could use butter – if you eat it – or vegan butter.. or even shortening made from oils instead of meat.

Laura October 23, 2019 - 6:52 am

Love love this version. Don’t worry about the hardcore natives haha me…I’m 51 , I remember being 5 and the whole family getting together to do tamales.. being 5 they sat me on a chair with a spoon and corn husk.. boy oh boy memories:D
Now my children and grandchildren enjoy this tradition and stories.. sadly the originals.. grandparents are no longer with us :/ being newly keto , I’m Treading the Holidays , I’m down 30lbs and I don’t want to mess it up! This is perfect for me. The rest of the family can still in.ejoy tradition! .Thank you

Athena Hedges December 13, 2019 - 8:29 pm

Did anyone use butter vs. lard?

Cindi December 18, 2019 - 11:44 am

I used butter and they came out great!

Jessica M. Clark June 9, 2020 - 10:47 pm

Made this tonight with (keto) Buffalo Chicken Dip as a filling… and oh, my! My husband and I are in LOVE! I did not want to spend extra money to get Lard, so I substituted with some all-vegetable shortening we had. I also added a touch of Onion powder to the mozzarella as it was melting. I also got some corn husks! I doubled up on the recipe to make 10 tamales (love me some leftovers around here!). Thank you so much for posting this!

Rose Nguyen August 21, 2020 - 2:47 am

Can these be frozen?

hungryelephant August 26, 2020 - 10:47 am


Sulema C December 1, 2020 - 4:43 pm

Made these last Christmas and they were Awesome!!! Have you found a way to where this will make more than 5?? I’m going to make these again this Christmas and I’m going to try to double or triple the recipe see if it works.


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