How To Eat Tamales

The tamales you’ll find in many Mexican restaurants are full of processed ingredients not found in traditional tamales.

This quick and easy recipe makes a delicious and simple tamale that’s actually a lot better for you than the store-bought variety.

how to eat tamales

Even though this is a traditional Mexican dish, it has become increasingly more popular around the world in restaurants and people just making them at home.

People enjoy making them at home because you are able to customize them to make them fit your taste to a T!

You are able to add a variety of different fillings and toppings to your tamales to make it super enjoyable for everyone.

This guide will explain the proper way to eat tamales and also cover exactly what they are and what they have inside of them!

Keep reading to find out more on this subject.

What Actually Are They?

Tamales are traditionally mexican dishes which is a main meal usually served on banana leaves.

However, when people tend to make this at home, they tae a less traditional route to create it.

The usual fillings tend to include meats or cheese and the main base tastes. There is also chili and veg added too depending on what types of tastes you like.

To be able to make tamales, you also need to prepare some dough for the outside layer to hold all of the fillings in. This tends to be corn dough usually!

It’s very common to have the main filling as a meat such as beef or pork for the main flavor in the dish accompanied by some slow cooked vegetables for the texture

This is the type of food that you can even use as a quick snack if you’re hungry or as little dishes on special occasions.

How To Eat Tamales

  • If you or especially children are going to be eating tamales, you need to be careful that no one is eating the wrapper because it is not meant for consumption. You would be risking a choking incident if this isn’t made clear for children and could pose a real risk.
  • It is very popular to cover the tamales in a type of sauce such as salsa and cheese to really finish off the dish with heaps of flavor that all mixes really well. Mexican food is all about filling your belly and it just tastes really good, focusing on what works well. If you are making this dish at home, you need to make sure you are seasoning them really well too, to make the flavors pop.
  • There is also the option of having little dipping pots of sauce for people who prefer not to smother their food in sauce. This is also a good idea for people who have not tried them before, so you are able to pick out what you enjoy and what you do not like. Then you are able to dip your tamales in all of the different dips you choose to determine which one is your favorite accompaniment.
  • Are you a lover of spice? If you are, it is a great idea to add the option of hot sauce which tends to be quite popular with this dish to give it a punch. Even though hot tamales tend to be the more popular option, you can also have sweet versions for people who don’t tend to take the heat well.
  • The sweet options sound more like desserts because they can include chocolate or banana with species depending on your palette (Check out this article about Macarons Here).

How Can You Reheat Them?

The best way to save them from being wasted is to pop them in a pot of boiling water to steam or you could even just pop them in the oven with oil slashed over them to make them sizzle while heating up.

how to eat tamales

The easiest way is to use the microwave but it is known for making them slightly soggy using this option.

The best way to eat tamales is with sides because that can either include your favorite sauces or some meat sides depending on how full you might get.

They are traditionally served with beans and rice as a full meal but can also be used as a quick snack too!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Tamales Traditionally Served?

Traditionally, tamales are typically served with beans and rice, or sometimes nothing at all because they are eaten on-the-go street food style.

However, for this tamale platter, I thought it would be fun to add in some non-traditional sides to serve with the tamales.

Do You Eat Tamales With Sauce?

Tamales can be served with any number of condiments — ranchero sauce, guacamole, and sour cream — just to name a few.

But, the most popular of them all is the traditional red chili sauce, not to be confused with the aforementioned ranchero sauce.


Overall, if you are looking to start making some tamales at home or go out to eat them, they are a great choice if you are a bit of a picky eater.

The reason for this is because you can basically fill them with whatever you want. They are great as a main meal or a snack and have a variety of options to give it some spice too.

The flavor in this specific dish is very important because it was traditionally made to be quite mouth watering and delicious and usually hot.

However, you do not need to make it extremely hot if you do not do well with heat because there is the sweet savory option too.

Hopefully this guide has given you some good insight about how to eat tamales, what to put in them and what makes them a great main meal.

They are popular across the world now and are not usually eaten the traditional way because people love to make them on their own.

Jeff Pratt
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