Keto friendly Tamales

Hey all! It’s been awhile – life seems to stay busy, ok crazy busy! I’m away on a racing trip with my husband and daughter this weekend but taking time for myself away from the track this morning 🙂 SO…I thought I’d get this recipe posted.

I made these tamales last week and they were a hit – even with my non-keto hubby!

I actually took the time to make more to bring on this trip and that’s my plan for lunch today!!

I love Mexican food! Tamales are a favorite but of course living a strict keto lifestyle, corn masa is out of the question!! So, thinking of the keto-friendly flours that I use in other recipes, and taking inspiration from a few Pinterest ideas, these came together really well! Here we go!

I make the carnita filling ahead of time – I keep quart sized bags of the carnita meat in the freezer so I can use it for other meals on nights we have busy schedules.

Carnita filling – I take a 10lb pork butt, cut into large pieces and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle taco seasoning (my taco seasoning recipe is at home so I’ll add it here soon) over the pork and massage into the meat. Add 1 cup water to Instant Pot and place trivet inside. Place meat on trivet. Cover IP and set to manual 25. When time is up, let natural release then remove meat and shred. Set aside to cool then place in Freezer bags to save for later meals or use right away.

Ok on to Keto Friendly Tamales!!

  • 1 pkg dried corn husks (I used about 14 husks which was about 1/2 the pkg)

  • 3-4 cups cooked, shredded Carnita pork meat

  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  • 2 1/2 cups unblanched almond flour

  • 1/2 cup finely ground flax meal

  • 1 cup bacon fat or Pork fat (strained of any bits or pieces)

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated colby-jack cheese

  • 1/4 cup freshly crumbled Queso Fresco cheese
  • Herdez Salsa Verde and fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. In a large pot (I use a pressure cooker pot), add the corn husks and pour enough hot water over the top to keep the husks completely covered. I set a heavy lid on top to keep the corn husks submerged. Soak for about 20 minutes then take husks out, squeeze water out. Cover with a towel to keep from drying out too quickly. Take 2 husks and tear into thin strips to use for tying. I had about 18 strips set aside – sometimes they break while tying.

  2. Boil 1/2 cup water. Add bacon fat or pork fat to a mixing bowl. Pour the boiling water over the fat to melt it. Add the almond flour and flaxseed. Mix well until a “masa” dough forms.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the two cheeses together and set aside.
  4. Set up a workstation to be prepare for assembly.  Lay out 3 corn husks at a time. You want the widest end facing you.

  5. Start about 2 inches from the narrow end and spread a thin layer of the masa into a rectangle shape. (pics below)

  6. Add a small amount of pork to the middle of the masa rectangle, top with a small amount of the mixed cheeses.

  7. Fold the sides of the corn husk up together and then wrap the edges of the husk around the tamale to make sure the masa covers the filling.

  8. Fold up the smaller end of the tamale and use the long strip to tie the tamale.

  9. Repeat steps until all tamales are assembled.
  10. Add a trivet to your Instant Pot and place about 1-1/2 cups water in the bottom. I do not own a steam rack but knew these needed to steam so i improvised. I poked holes into foil and placed it on the trivet.

  11. Place all the tamales (standing open end-up) in the pot.

  12. Lock the lid, set to manual/40 minutes. Let natural release.

  13. Remove from Instant Pot and serve with Herdez Salsa Verde and fresh chopped cilantro.

Tamales can be stored in the fridge or freezer. To reheat – I choose to wrap in saran wrap and microwave for 1-2 minutes.


Pics below – if you need more detailed pictures, let me know 🙂






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