This version of tamales, made into a casserole rather than little cornhusk-wrapped bundles, can be whipped up in minutes and has the same great taste and texture of traditional tamales. It's filled with shrimp here, but this is a forgiving recipe that works well stuffed with whatever you like. Quick-cooking seafood, such as scallops, cheese or even some of the mole also make great fillings. Serve the casserole topped with Three Sisters Black Mole or your favorite salsa. Adapted from Chef Jesús González, Chef of La Cocina Que Canta at Rancho La Puerta. Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2009

Jesús González


Ingredient Checklist

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Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put a kettle of water on to heat for the water bath. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.

  • Whisk masa, oregano, baking powder, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add 2 cups water and beat with an electric mixer until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is the consistency of thick pancake batter. Add oil and butter. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and continue beating, scraping down the sides, for 4 minutes more.

  • Spread half the batter in the prepared baking dish. Evenly scatter shrimp on top, then cover with the remaining batter, smoothing it evenly to the sides. Place the baking dish in a larger pan, transfer to the oven and pour boiling water into the larger pan to about halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Cover both pans with a piece of foil. Bake until set, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve each portion with 2 tablespoons Three Sisters Black Mole, or to taste.


Tips: Masa is ground dried corn treated with lime, sometimes called masa harina or instant masa mix; it is used for making tamales and tortillas. Look for it near flour or in the international section of supermarkets or at Mexican grocers.

Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized. In recipes calling for a specific count, order by the count (or number) per pound to be sure you're getting the size you want.

To peel shrimp, grasp the legs and hold onto the tail while you twist off the shell. Save the shells to make a tasty stock: Simmer, in enough water to cover, for 10 minutes, then strain. The “vein” running along a shrimp's back (technically the dorsal surface, opposite the legs) under a thin layer of flesh is really its digestive tract.

To devein shrimp, use a paring knife to make a slit along the length of the shrimp. Under running water, remove the tract with the knife tip.

Nutrition Facts

254 calories; 12.9 g total fat; 3.2 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 703 mg sodium. 201 mg potassium; 25.9 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 10.4 g protein; 708 IU vitamin a iu; 1 mg vitamin c; 13 mcg folate; 120 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 47 mg magnesium;

Reviews (7)

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7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 3 stars
Good but great with changes Double the salt add pepper garlic powder chopped jalapenos to the masa; SEASON and marinate the shrimp - I used salt pepper cumin and lime. I als added cooked chorizo before the layer of shrimp. Cook time for me was 45 minutes covered - 10 uncovered and a quick broiler to brown the top. I als had guacamole and a lime cilantro sour cream sauce on the side - was great with the shrimp. Pros: easy Cons: Doesn't serve 9??? very under seasoned Read More
Rating: 3 stars
much better the second time around I made this recipe again and made some modifications. It makes a big difference to include fresh herbs in with the masa instead of only dried (although I also added some dried). I completely changed the filling so be brave and do what you want because almost anything would work as long as you like it. The biggest difference though was that I forgot to put the aluminum foil on top and it baked the entire time without being covered the texture came out so much better. It was dry on the top so probably it might be good to go half and half with cover/uncover but it was far more palatable. And it is a very filling meal. I would definitely make this again now but just really adjust the seasoning to my own preferences and stick with fresh herbs. Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Shrimp was good tamale part not so much I didn't have fresh oregano but otherwise I made the recipe exactly. Also I didn't make the sauce. I don't quite know what it was--the shrimp on the inside were very good and I picked those out and ate those. But the tamale part came out poorly. At first I thought I could eat it but the more I ate the less able I was to keep eating it. I would give the recipe another try perhaps cut it in half so it wouldn't be so wasteful. But the tamale part didn't really quite turn out like tamales I've had in the past. Pros: Versatile filling Masa is inexpensive makes a lot Cons: gummy texture Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I love this recipe. To be honest I do not follow the recipe exactly - I experiment with the fillings & use red chili sauce - I don't have enough excuses to make red chili sauce which I absolutely love. But the oven-steamed tamale pie is genius. Thanks for putting this recipe on line. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Ooops! Forgot to mention that I added two cloves of minced garlic as well. Yummy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was very yummy! I did not make the salsa but made the recipe exactly as is except I used fresh thyme and added two jalapenos with the seeds chopped up. I then topped with fresh chipotle salsa from my farmers market. Soooo yummy! I will make this many times over. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
A little bland This was okay but nothing exciting. Needs way more salt and maybe some cheese. Might have been because I didn't use shrimp - I used roasted home-grown red peppers instead - but I don't think that would have saved it. It still seemed gummy after 55 minutes in the water bath so I removed the foil took it out and baked it another 10 minutes which seemed to do the trick. Read More