Instant Pot Frozen Tamales

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Did you know you can use your Instant Pot to steam frozen tamales? Well you can! This is a quick and easy way to perfectly cook a frozen tamale for lunch or dinner!

frozen tamales in the instant pot

You can keep frozen tamales on hand in your freezer so whenever you are in the mood for one or need something quick, just pull them out. They cook in 20 minutes so you can be eating perfectly steamed tamales in no time. The Instant Pot makes cooking tamales a breeze! Requires no prep and virtually no clean up either.

Great for kids looking for a big snack or just when you need something simple in a hurry!

These are great on their own or you can serve with some additional sides. I have recommendations below!

two tamales in instant pot on top of trivet

How to Cook Frozen Tamales in the Instant Pot

I used the Trader Joes Beef Tamales in this recipe, but you can use any brand you like. You can even cook more than 2 at a time if you like.

First open the Instant Pot and place the metal trivet inside with handles facing up.

tamales being removed with a tong from the instant pot

Next add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Place the frozen tamales on top of the trivet.

Then close the lid and seal the pressure valve in the closed position.

two tamales on a plate

Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook on High for 20 minutes.

That’s it! Now sit back and relax while the Instant Pot does all the cooking.

tamales on plate being unwrapped from husk

When the Instant Pot is finished cooking, use the quick release function to open the valve and let out the steam.

Use tongs to remove the tamales as they will be hot.

Unwrap the tamale and enjoy!

fork stabbing piece of cut open tamale on plate

Cooking Tips

  • Make sure to cut open and let cool slightly before serving to children as they will be very hot.
  • No need to defrost these. They can be cooked right from the freezer!
  • If you don’t have an Instant Pot, consider steaming them in a sauté pan.

tamale cut open on a plate

What to Serve with Instant Pot Frozen Tamales

These tamales make a filling bite on their own if you just need something quick and easy. But you can add on some sides to make it a more filling meal! You can also add on some hot sauce for a spicy kick!

Here are some of my recommendations for sides:

These sides are all optional but add something extra to make a more complete meal!

fork stabbing piece of tamale above a plate with tamales

More Instant Pot Recipes

If you enjoyed these Instant Pot Frozen Tamales, check out some of my other recipes:

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Instant Pot Frozen Tamales

Cooking frozen tamales in the Instant Pot is so easy and delicious! They will be perfectly steamed and ready to eat in no time.
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: tamale
Cooking Method: Instant Pot
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 240kcal

Recipe Video


  • 1 Package Frozen Tamales
  • 1 Cup Water

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


  • First open the instant pot and place the metal trivet inside.
  • Add 1 cup of water to the instant pot.
  • Place the tamales on the trivet. You can use more than 2 if you want.
  • Close the lid and seal the valve.
  • Set to Pressure Cook on High for 20 minutes.
  • When done cooking, use the quick release to release the pressure.
  • Remove with tongs. Unwrap and enjoy!
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Serving: 1piece | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 13.5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 670mg | Fiber: 4g
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