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Cactus Cheese Tamale

Serves: 14-16 tamale


  • 15-20 corn husks
  • 2 cups nopales (cactus pads), rinsed and diced
  • 10 tomatillos, diced
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and stemmed, diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and stemmed, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2½ cups masa for tamales, prepared
  • 4 cups oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, cut into 2" strips


  1. Ingredients pre-prep: Soak corn husks in hot water for at least 1 hour.
  2. For the masa: We recommend you use prepared vegetarian masa to cut down prep time. You can also prepare your own vegetarian masa following our recipe.
  3. To make the filling: Dice cactus, tomatillos, onion, poblano and jalapeño peppers, garlic, corn, and cilantro with Chopper using the smaller dicer blade.
  4. Preheat Dutch Oven on medium heat (PL5 on Induction Burner). Sprinkle water droplets into Dutch Oven and when droplets bead and dance across the surface, add contents of Chopper, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Cover with lid, turn valve to Steam-Seal® position, and cook 7 minutes. Once ready, remove and set aside. Wash Dutch Oven when it cools.
  5. To assemble tamale: Place masa in large mixing bowl. If the masa is too dry to spread, slowly add water in tablespoon increments as you mix with hands. Masa should be smooth and spreadable.
  6. Carefully drain and separate the cornhusks. Place on a towel to soak up extra water.
  7. Add 2-3 tablespoons of masa on the center of the wide end of each cornhusk. Use the Spreader to spread masa smooth side up, leaving a 1-inch border.
  8. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable filling on top of masa, down the middle, leaving ½″ border of masa around filling. Place a cheese strip on top.
  9. Fold right side of cornhusk over filling, then fold the left side over. Finally, fold the cornhusk's pointed end up over towards the center of the tamale. Repeat to fill the rest of the tamale.
  10. To steam: In the Dutch Oven, add enough water to almost reach bottom of Steaming Rack. Place tamales upright and side-by-side on Steaming Rack and cover with layer of cornhusks. Cover with lid, turn valve to Steam-Seal® position, and cook on low heat (PL2 on Induction Burner) 40 minutes or until tamale is firm and easily rolls off corn husk.
  11. Check if tamale are ready by removing one tamale and letting it cool slightly. If husk pulls away easily from masa, they are done. If not, steam for another 10 minutes. Let tamales cool slightly before eating. Top with black beans and green salsa.
Cactus Cheese Tamale

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