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Leftover Turkey Tamales

Leftover Turkey Tamales


"These tamales take some time, but are well worth the effort. They are a great way to use up leftover holiday turkey. These are also healthier than many traditional tamale recipes which are made with lard. These freeze well and can later be either microwaved or re-steamed. Serve with lime wedges as garnish."
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2 h 50 m servings 442 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 10 servings


  • Calories:
  • 442 kcal
  • 22%
  • Fat:
  • 27.6 g
  • 42%
  • Carbs:
  • 30.8g
  • 10%
  • Protein:
  • 19.3 g
  • 39%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 37 mg
  • 12%
  • Sodium:
  • 656 mg
  • 26%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  1. Soak corn husks in a bowl of warm water until softened, about 1 hour; drain.
  2. Mix masa, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon chili powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt together in a bowl. Stir corn oil into masa mixture. Measure 1/2 cup turkey broth and set aside. Add remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, to masa mixture until dough is smooth and the consistency of thick peanut butter.
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; saute onion and garlic until softened and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add turkey, 1 teaspoon paprika, oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir reserved 1/2 cup turkey broth into filling until moistened.
  4. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon dough in the center of each corn husk. Top filling with 1 heaping tablespoon filling. Roll husk around dough and filling, tucking bottom of husk into tamale. Tie a corn husk strip or string around each tamale to secure.
  5. Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Stand tamales upright in steamer, cover, and steam until cooked through, about 1 hour. Add more water as needed.


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

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Read all reviews 8
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Delicious way to use leftover thanksgiving turkey. I used chicken broth instead of turkey broth and the taste was still great. One of the best tamal recipes I have tried.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! The masa is wonderfully flavored and it was such a great way to use up leftover turkey. We had smoked our Thanksgiving turkey so it was extra flavorful. I think I'...

I had a ton of turkey left over so I thought I would give this a try, to my surprise it was great. My finicky family even loved it they all agreed it was the best use of leftover turkey. The dou...

These were delicious! I didn't have corn oil so I used vegetable oil, and they were moist and the flavor was great! Definitely a great way to use up all that leftover turkey.

I wanted to try this recipe because of all the seasoning in the masa. I made the masa with the spices but used coconut oil instead of corn oil. Very good! My son asked me to make them more often...

our first attempt at tamales and this recipe was yummy and easy

I used pork, i couldn't use all 1 quart chicken broth, i used 3 cup for dough, 1/2 cup for pork. It was so good. Thank you so much

We've made tamales filled with a variety of Thanksgiving leftovers--green bean and sweet potato are delicious, too. The masa dough works well with all kinds of fillings.

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