Air Fryer Frozen Tamales

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You will absolutely love making these frozen tamales in the air fryer! All you need to do is to put some frozen tamales in your air fryer and they will be perfectly cooked!

package of beef tamales held in front of air fryer

Air Fryer Frozen Tamales

You can use any variety of frozen tamales – beef, chicken, vegetable etc.! The ones I use happen to be from Trader Joe’s and come two to a package.

I like to keep a package or two in my freezer so I have them on hand in case I get a craving for tamales or run out of ideas for what to cook for dinner. These are also great for hungry kids as they cook quickly and are very filling on their own!

Imagine biting into these mouthwatering tamales, they are so yummy! The air fryer is ideal for cooking frozen tamales!

hand holding air fryer basket with two beef tamales inside

History of Tamales

Have you ever wondered where the tamale originated?

Tamales are a traditional dish from Central America and southern North America, including countries such as Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. The dough of the tamale is made from what’s known as “nixtamalized” corn. This means that the corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution first, usually limewater. The tamales can be filled with a variety of options, such as meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, herbs, and chilies. The tamale is traditionally steamed in a corn husk wrapping which is removed before eating or can even be used as a plate if you like!

two beef tamales in the air fryer

How to Prepare Air Fryer Frozen Tamales

This recipe is quite easy! All you will need is your air fryer and some frozen tamales!

No need to defrost, these can be cooked right from the freezer.

hand holding air fryer basket with tamales inside

First spray the basket with some non-stick cooking spray or lightly brush with vegetable or olive oil to prevent the tamales from sticking.

Then place the tamales in the basket in a single layer. If your basket holds more than 2, feel free to cook more if you need to. Otherwise, do them in batches.

two beef tamales cooking in the air fryer

Set the temperature of the air fryer to 375F for 16 minutes.

When done, transfer to a serving plate. Remove the husk and enjoy warm!

If serving to children, I recommend cutting them in half and letting them cool down a bit first.

close up of beef tamales in the air fryer basket

What to Serve with Air Fryer Frozen Tamales

These tamales are filling on their own and make a great lunch or quick dinner, but if you are looking for a heartier meal, you can pair with some easy sides, such as vegetables or beans! Or just serve with some hot sauce and guacamole on the side.

Take a look at these yummy suggestions below!

fork breaking apart cooked beef tamale on a white plate next to another tamale

More Air Fryer Recipes

If you like this recipe for easy air fryer tamales, you should check out some of my other air fryer recipes! Here are some of my other go-to’s below! You can cook almost everything in the air fryer!

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Air Fryer Frozen Tamales

You will absolutely love making these frozen tamales in the air fryer! All you need to do is to put some frozen tamales in your air fryer and they will be perfectly cooked!
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time16 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: tamale
Cooking Method: Air Fryer
Servings: 2
Calories: 240kcal

Recipe Video

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Frozen Tamales

Recommended Kitchen Tools (click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe)

Instructions

  • First you will need to spray the basket of the air fryer with the non-stick cooking spray or brush with oil.
  • Then open the package of tamales and place them in the basket in a single layer. Leave on the husk.
  • Set the temperature to 375F for 16 minutes.
  • When done, remove the husk before eating and enjoy warm!
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Nutrition

Serving: 1tamale | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 670mg | Fiber: 4g
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