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Low FODMAP tamales, piled on plate; jar of lard in background

Low FODMAP Tamales

Our Low FODMAP Tamales take advantage of prepared green enchilada sauce and rotisserie chicken to make the process easier.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 20 tamales; 10 servings; 2 tamales per serving

Course: Dinner & Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Soaking Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Makes: 10 Servings
Calories: 599 kcal
Author: Dédé Wilson


Cornhusks & Chicken Filling:

  • 20 dried cornhusks, plus about 6 extra
  • 12- ounces (340 g) cooked and shredded, well-flavored chicken (rotisserie is fine)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Fody Green Enchilada Sauce, plus extra
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Tamale Corn Filling:


  1. Preparing the Cornhusks: About 2 hours before assembling your tamales, place the cornhusks in a large bowl or stockpot, cover with very hot tap water and weigh down with another bowl, pot or plate to keep them submerged. They should be pliable. Choose 20 of the largest husks that are preferably free of tears or holes. Pat dry. Reserve the rest.

  2. For the Chicken Filling: Place shredded chicken in a bowl and add ½ cup (120 ml) of the enchilada sauce to moisten. Stir in fresh cilantro; set aside.

  3. For the Masa Harina Filling: Stir the masa harina and hot water together in a large bowl until very well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and allow to sit for 15 minutes or until cooled. You should be able to pick up a piece with your fingers without it sticking to them.

  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed beat the lard with salt and baking powder until light and fluffy. Add the masa mixture, a little bit at a time, continuing to beat with the mixer for about 1 minute. Beat in the low FODMAP Chicken Stock a little at a time or until the batter is thick, yet spreadable, and not overly sticky. You may not use all the stock.
  5. Take a raisin sized bit of dough and drop it into a glass of cold water; it should float. If it doesn’t float, continue to beat and test again. This is a great way to test the ultimate lightness of your masa harina filling.
  6. Forming the Tamales: Have your 20 cornhusks at the ready. From some of the other husks, cut long, narrow strips, which you will use to tie up the tamales (see images). You can also use Butcher’s twine (which I find easier) to tie up your tamales.

  7. Take one of your reserved cornhusks and lay it on your work surface, tapered end pointing towards you and smooth side up (use your fingers to feel both sides to tell). Dollop about ¼ cup (60 ml) of the batter in the center of the corn husk.
  8. Use a butter knife or a small offset spatula to spread masa filling into approximately a 3 to 4-inch (7.5 cm to 10 cm) square. Make sure to leave a border all the way around.
  9. Spoon about a heaping tablespoon of chicken filling right on top of the masa filling, centered.
  10. Leaving the tamale on the table, pick up the two long sides of the cornhusk and bring them together to help bring the edges of the masa filling to touch, encasing the chicken. Now you should have basically a soft cylinder of masa filling, encasing your chicken filling. Tuck one side of the corn husk around the cylinder and then wrap the other side of the cornhusk around everything. Arrange seam side up.
  11. Now bring the bottom, narrow end up and tie the tamale closed, using a strip of cornhusk or a piece of string; don’t tie too tightly.
  12. Steaming the Tamales: Place a steamer insert in the bottom of a tall stockpot and add enough hot water to come right up to the bottom of the steamer. Place the tamales in the steamer, open side up, taking care not to pack them too closely in the steamer. They need room to expand. Tear up the last remaining extra corn husks and lightly drape them on top of the tamales. These will add flavor and help keep the steam a bit concentrated. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, adjust heat to low and simmer for about 1 ¼ hours, refilling pot with boiling water as needed.

  13. Tamales are done when the husk peels away from the filling easily. Just check one of them to assess after letting it cool for a few minutes. Let tamales stand in the steamer off the heat for a several minutes to firm up before serving. Serve with extra enchilada sauce.



  • Do-Ahead Steps: Both the chicken filling and the masa harina batter can be made a couple of days ahead. You can even freeze the cooked, cooled tamales. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and re-steam to heat through – or, some folks even microwave them!
Nutrition Facts
Low FODMAP Tamales
Amount Per Serving
Calories 599 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 406mg17%
Potassium 218mg6%
Carbohydrates 64g21%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 177IU4%
Calcium 113mg11%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.