Red Pepper Tamales


“Tamales are a great way to get families together,” says Judy Harradine of Sacramento, Calif. “Assembling the tamales ends up being as much fun as eating them.” Recently retired after 45 years of nursing, Harradine now devotes more time to her favorite hobbies: cooking, knitting, and swimming.

  • 18Servings


  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 6 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 1/2 cups white or yellow corn kernels
  • 1 cup grated low-fat sharp
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large tomato, diced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 4-oz. can roasted green chiles, partially drained
  • 1 cup white or yellow corn kernels
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 6 oz. crumbled low-fat feta cheese
  • 32 dried corn husks


1. To make Dough: Blend masa harina, butter, sugar, and 1 tsp. salt in food processor until coarse meal forms. Add broth, and blend until dough forms. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Place 21/2 cups corn kernels, cheese, yeast, pepper, and remaining 11/4 tsp. salt in food processor, and pulse until coarse purée forms. Stir purée and remaining 1 cup corn kernels into masa mixture.

2. To make Filling: Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, tomato, and bell pepper; sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion and bell pepper are soft. Stir in chiles, corn, garlic, and paprika, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more, then cool. Once mixture is room temperature, stir in sour cream and feta. (If mixture seems too runny, add masa.)

3. Meanwhile, soak corn husks 1 hour in large pot of cold water. (Weigh husks down with plate to keep submerged.) Drain husks, and pat dry. Overlap 2 husks with short sides near you on work surface. Spread 2 Tbs. Dough on husks, leaving 1/2-inch border on left side. Add 2 Tbs. Filling in center. Fold up bottom, then right side over Filling; fold up left side to enclose. Tie with twine. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

4. Stack tamales in large steamer. Steam 1 to 11/2 hours. Remove from heat, and let cool in steamer before serving to allow masa to set.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 194
  • Carbohydrate Content: 25 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 18 mg
  • Fat Content: 9 g
  • Fiber Content: 3 g
  • Protein Content: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 4 g
  • Sodium Content: 495 mg
  • Sugar Content: 6 g