Monday, December 12, 2022

Cheesy Hatch Chile Baked Tamale Cups

These are delicious baked tamale cups stuffed with cheese and Hatch chile, and served with cilantro Hatch chile sauce make a great and comforting meal.

Tamales are steamed corn dumplings. This is a baked version that is easy to make too. There is no wrapping them in corn husks and steaming them. Roll the cornmeal into balls and then shape them into cups in a muffin pan, like how you'll make this cookie cup. Except that this is a savory version. Traditional tamales uses Masa Harina. I have used Masarepa which is used to make arepas, but the baked cups were just amazing. Fill with delicious cheese filling and bake until the crust in golden. Simple and tasty! Since these are made as cups, it has the advantage that any type of filling can be used. This is a Spicy Hatch chile and cheese stuffed version. These versatile tamale cups can be filled with any kind of filling like bean and cheese, paneer tikka, spinach-cheese, to name a few. 

Now, Hatch chile is the spicy chile from Hatch and hence the name. They are available in mild, hot, and extra hot varieties according to the Scoville units. I have used the hot variety of Hatch chili. When I roast during summer, I freeze some to use later when I crave for its flavor. Roasted chili is also available in stores. These roasted chile can be used in baked goods, appetizers, to any main meal. Here are a few recipes using Hatch chili from the blog.

Let’s talk about the cheese in these cheesy tamale cups. I have used shredded Mexican cheese and paneer in the recipe. Queso fresco cheese is used and I ran out of it. Since paneer is also a soft cheese, I shredded it and used it. It perfectly pairs with chile and balances the flavor in these tamale cups.

Drizzle these tamale cups with delicious cilantro Hatch chile sauce (recipe included in this post). Cilantro adds a fresh flavor boost and aroma to any food. I love adding cilantro to any recipe, in fact, it is one of my favorite herbs. Try these Cilantro Millet Kozhukattai, Kothamalli Thogayal For flavor variation, any salsa can be served along with these tamale cups. Even mint chutney pairs well with these. 

This is my fifth recipe for this year's Bakeathon. We share three recipes each week that involves baking. Check these links for Bakeathon 2022 recipes from the blog and stay tuned for more delicious baked goods.

I am also linking this to Wonderful Wednesday, Thursday Favorite Things, What's For Dinner, and Full Plate Thursday.

Makes 12

For Tamale Cups

Masarepa - 1.5 cups (Masa Harina can be used too)
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Water- 1 and 1/4 cup
Oil - 1/4 cups plus a tbsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp

Cheese Mixture

Paneer - 1 cup, shredded
Mexican cheese - 1 cup, shredded
Cumin - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Vegannaise - 2 tbsp
Hatch chile - 4, roasted /1 cup, chopped

Cilantro Hatch Chile Sauce

Cilantro - 1/2 cup
Hatch chile - 1, roasted, peeld
Red wine vinegar - 1 tbsp
Oil - 13-4 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp


Add the cumin, salt, baking powder to masarepa and make into a crumbly mixture.

Add water in steps and knead to a smooth sough. Wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the Hatch chile cheese stuffing by mixing  together the ingredients listed under "Cheese Mixture".

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a regular muffin tin with oil. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Place each ball into the muffin tin. With a mini tamper or a spice jar, push the dough into the cavity making a cup shape.

Repeat with the rest.

Fill each cup with equal amount of the Hatch chile cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 33-34 minutes until the edges turn golden and firm.

In the meantime, puree the ingredients listed under "For Cilantro Hatch Chile Sauce" in the food processor. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Remove from the oven, and cool a little.

Serve the baked tamale cups warm with extra shredded cheese and a drizzle of cilantro Hatch chile sauce.


  1. Wow radha, i m loving your bakes, these baked tamale cups look gorgeous and such a unique bake! Oh i would love to pick a cup from the pic!!! Lovely bake!

  2. What an amazing and different recipe. I do have stock of masa harina and maybe I must do some research on Tamales. Just thinking, I think I have heard this dish in one of the series I watched on Netflix sometime ago too... Hehe... Love the idea of shaping like muffins and baking it with the filling...

  3. This is a brilliant way to make tamales. So much easier to make and serve. I will definitely be baking these soon.