Leftover Tamal Casserole

Leftover Tamales Casserole
Marian Blazes
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
785 Calories
51g Fat
52g Carbs
30g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 785
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 51g 66%
Saturated Fat 21g 103%
Cholesterol 123mg 41%
Sodium 1821mg 79%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 54mg 272%
Calcium 477mg 37%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 612mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tamales are really fun to make but somewhat labor intensive, so most people tend to make them in large batches. Which means you inevitably end up with leftovers. You can freeze any extras, of course, but this casserole is another delicious option for using up leftover tamales (especially ones that have been reheated more than once and are a bit dry).

Roast your own poblano peppers (it's easy to do) and add them to this casserole for extra flavor.

When making tamales, we often end up softening more dried corn husks than we actually need. We have to go to a special grocery store to buy the corn husks, so we like to save the ones we haven't used. Spread any leftover wet corn husks on a cookie sheet and heat them in the oven at 200 F for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the corn husk in the oven until they are completely dry and cool. Store them in a plastic bag until ready to use again. 



  • 16 medium tamales

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion

  • 3 poblano peppers, roasted

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 6 ounces cream cheese

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup salsa, red or green

  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

  • 2 cups grated cheese, cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a mix, divided

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Remove the tamales from their husks and cut them into bite-sized pieces. 

  3. Place the olive oil in a heavy skillet. Coarsely chop the onion. Remove the charred skin and seeds from the roasted poblanos and dice them.

  4. Saute the onions in the olive oil over medium-low heat until onion is soft and fragrant. Add the garlic and peppers and cook for several minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in the cream cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.​

  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, salsa, and chicken broth.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  7. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish. Place 1/3 of the chopped tamales over the bottom. Cover with 1/2 of the onion-pepper mixture. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the grated cheese over the onions.

  8. Layer another third of the tamal pieces over the cheese, and top with the remaining onions and peppers. Top with 3/4 cup of cheese.

  9. Finally, place the remaining chopped tamales on top of the casserole. Pour the sour cream mixture over the entire casserole. Top with the last 1/2 cup of cheese.

  10. Loosely cover casserole with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes more, or until casserole is bubbly and hot, and cheese is melted.