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Cheese Potato Poblano Tamales

December 12, 2017

This cheese potato and poblano tamales recipe post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market.  Thank you for supporting the brands I love that make this website possible.

Today is December 12:  día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. A day that honors the patron saint of Mexico and her apparition at el Cerro de Tepeyac.  Every year thousands of Catholics travel to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico city to pray, ask for miracles and gift her red roses.

Tradition says that the Virgen de Guadalupe visited el Cerro de Tepeyac and appeared in front of Juan Diego, a native in which she told to build a large church in the area she appeared.  This is where the Basilica de Guadalupe is located.

The Virgen de Guadalupe, also known by many as the queen of Mexico, played an important faithful part in the Mexican Revolution.   Her iconic image in Mexican history books appears on flags of the Mexican Wars of Independence.

The tilma, or cloak, that Juan Diego wore the day of the apparition is displayed at the entrance of the basilica.  I was fortunate enough to visit this past summer and snap the photo above.  The feeling is overwhelming and very emotional.  Thousands of churchgoers attended that Sunday morning, I can only imagine how busy the basilica is today.

Just like any other December holiday, we celebrate this beautiful day with tamales, champurrado and buñuelos.  This year, I decided to create vegetarian tamales stuffed with poblano strips, potatoes and cheese.  The masa is flavored with vegetable buillon and made with vegetable shortening.  I used my stand mixer to make them extra fluffy. The masa harina I used is by Bob’s Redmill.  Cheese, produce, vegetable shortening and no aluminum baking powder I purchased at Sprouts Farmers Market.  

If making tamales is intimidating, don’t be!  Follow this no-fuss recipe, gather your family and get to work.  Half the fun is getting together, sharing stories and assembling tamales with loved ones.  The other half is enjoying this traditional dish with a cup of coffee, Mexican chocolate or champurrado.

Cheese Potato Poblano Tamales

Yield: Makes 28-30


  • 40 corn husks, soaked in water for at least an hour
  • 4 cups masa harina (corn flour)
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable buillon
  • 3 cups russet potatoes, cut in 1/2x 1 ½ inch strips
  • 2 cups Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, cut in 1-inch strips
  • 2 cups Poblano pepper strips
  • Salsa for topping


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine masa harina flour, water, shortening, baking powder, and bouillon.  Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. Masa should be smooth and not stick to hands. Drop a 1-inch ball of masa in a cup of water. If the masa floats, it’s ready to be spread.
  2. Drain corn husks.  Hold corn husk with pointy side towards you.  Scoop 1/4 cup of masa mixture on corn husk and spread with a spoon; Leaving a 1-inch border on the sides. Place 2-3 pieces of potato, cheese and 3-4 Poblano pepper strips. Fold one side of the corn husk over filling then fold the other side, overlapping. Fold the pointed side up and turn over to keep it from unfolding.  Repeat with remaining husks and masa.
  3. Arrange tamales upright in a steamer.    Fill with hot water right below the rack and heat over medium-high heat.  Cover top of tamales with a layer of remaining husks and a damp towel; cover with lid, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium, adding water as needed.  Steam for 90 minutes or until when tested, corn husks unwraps and masa separates easily form dough.
  4. Remove tamales from steamer. Let cool before serving. Top with your favorite salsa and enjoy.