Instant Pot Pork Keto Tamales - Delicious Christmas keto food!

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These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!

These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!

Keto tamales take me back to childhood Christmases, when I would often come home to find my mom and her friends gathered at a table making tamales. Now that I have my own kids, this recipe is the perfect way to keep the family tradition alive without having to avoid my all-time favorite holiday food.

These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!

As a kid, I enjoyed eating tamales more than making them… but these keto tamales take relatively little time and effort, thanks to our Instant Pot. My wife, a Polish Italian, will never have to know the hours of labor it takes to make a high-quality tamale.

To be fair, these keto tamales still take time. However, they are so worth the wait because they eliminate all the problematic ingredients of conventional recipes:

These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!

First, the corn. So many Latin recipes include corn, so I needed a low-carb base that could resemble masa. Other recipes for keto tamales have solved this problem with ingredients like almond flour and flax meal -- but I knew we could do even better.

These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!

The fat source presented another issue. The tamales of my youth included a lot of Crisco, which I now consider a one-way ticket to inflammation and that “I want to take a nap” feeling after a good Mexican feast. I set out to make the porkiest pork keto tamales, which meant I needed to swap in delicious, delicious bacon fat.

These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!

We always have a bowl of rendered bacon fat sitting on our counter, so we had an easy source of fat for our keto tamales. Plus, bacon fat added a delicious salty, smoky flavor to the masa and covered up some of the odd bitterness that almond flour can give off when you cook it in certain ways. Bacon fat gave these tamales a delicious texture that mimicked the originals pretty darn well.

These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!

Finally, the meat. While the meat in my mom’s tamales could take hours to cook, the Instant Pot shaved it down to under an hour and created the most tender and flavorful shreds of pork. Full credit goes to my wife for that idea -- she knocked the meat out of the park! Bonus: The Instant Pot also works in this recipe to steam your tamales to perfection.

These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!

Like regular tamales, keto tamales reheat beautifully in your microwave or toaster oven. We haven’t tried freezing them ourselves, but they would likely hold up well. Enjoy them all year round!

Approximate nutrition facts per serving (1 tamale):

  • Calories: 469

  • Fat: 39g

  • Saturated fat: 11g

  • Sodium: 564mg

  • Total carbs: 6g

  • Fiber: 3.5g

  • Net carbs: 2.5g

  • Protein: 25g

tamales, keto tamales, keto holiday food
Main dishes
Mexican
Yield: About 12Pin it

Instant Pot Pork Keto Tamales - Delicious Christmas keto food!

prep time: 10 minscook time: 2 hourtotal time: 2 hours and 10 mins

These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!

ingredients:

  • 8-12 dried corn husks (find them here), plus 2 more for tying

  • 2.5 pounds boneless pork shoulder steaks

  • 2 1/2 cups water, divided

  • 1 large onion, chopped into large chunks

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 1/2 cups fine almond flour (here’s the brand we used)

  • 1/2 cup ground flax meal (here’s a good brand)

  • 1 cup bacon fat

  • 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

instructions:

  1. In a large heat-safe container, add corn husks and pour hot water over the top until they are completely covered. Weigh them down with a bowl or plate to keep them submerged. Soak for 30 minutes.

  2. In your Instant Pot, add 2 cups of the water and all spices (use only 1 teaspoon of salt). Stir to combine, then add pork. Lock the lid in place, set the valve to sealing, and set your pot to pressure cook at high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally (about 15 more minutes).

  3. Boil remaining water. While water reaches a boil, add bacon fat to a mixing bowl. Pour boiling water over the top to soften and melt the fat, stirring so it melts completely. Add almond flour, flax, and remaining salt to the mix and stir well until a paste forms. Set aside.

  4. Remove meat from the Instant Pot and shred, discarding any large portions of fat, onion, and garlic. In a skillet on medium heat, dry fry the meat to eliminate excess moisture.  Set aside.

  5. Remove corn husks and dry them just enough so that they are not dripping wet. Tear two of the corn husks into long, thin strips for tying tamales together.

  6. Lay out a corn husk with the widest end facing you (see photo in the post above).

  7. Starting a few inches down from the narrow end, spread a thin layer of masa downward and create a rectangle shape. Be gentle and work slowly so you get a smooth, even layer. Leave about an inch of room from the edge closest to you.

  8. Add a small amount of shredded pork down the center of your rectangle. Top with a small amount of shredded cheese. Avoid overstuffing!

  9. Fold the left and right sides of the corn husk up like a taco and ensure that the meat and cheese are fully surrounded.

  10. Wrap the edges of the cornhusk around the tamale. Then, fold up the “tail” where you left extra space.

  11. Tie the folded tamale with one of the corn husk strips so it stays bundled together.

  12. Repeat steps 6-11 until all keto tamales are assembled.

  13. Drain liquid from the Instant Pot and wipe clean. Add a trivet and enough water to reach just below the bottom of the trivet. Add a steam rack on top of the trivet, then place tamales open end-up in the pot.

  14. Lock the lid in place, set the valve to sealing, and set the pot to cook with the “steam” button. Steam keto tamales for 40 minutes.

  15. Remove and serve warm, or allow to cool fully and store in your refrigerator or freezer.

calories

469

fat (grams)

39

sat. fat (grams)

11

carbs (grams)

6

net carbs

2.5

protein (grams)

25

Fiber (in grams)

3.5
Created using The Recipes Generator
These keto tamales taste as authentic and flavorful as the originals, with tender shreds of meat, gooey cheese, and a mouthwatering masa!