Tamales Made Easy

I love being in the kitchen... so much so that I enjoy being in the kitchen on my spare time. Now as a single parent, the 'spare time' I have is pretty limited. Thankfully I am able to find a work/life balance with my busy schedule so that I can have some kitchen therapy on a regular basis. On the weekends Joel is spending time with his dad, I use that time in the kitchen teaching culinary classes in the city. I've been having so much fun with teaching that it's now become a more serious steady job I do on those specific weekends. One of the popular classes I teach is a tamales class.

Making tamales is a great kitchen activity to do in a group because there are quite a few components to making them and everyone can be involved. To help with a recent tamales class I taught, the folks of 
Del Monte® reached out to me with a culinary challenge. They asked me to creatively incorporate canned fruits or vegetables into tasty dishes with pantry staples. Challenge? Oh, I think I can come up with something!

For this challenge, they sent me a few cans of 
Del Monte® canned fruit and vegetables including:
(2) cans Del Monte® Cut Green Beans
(2) cans Del Monte® Diced Tomatoes
(2) cans Del Monte® Whole Kernel Corn
(2) cans Del Monte® Pear Halves
(2) cans Del Monte® Sliced Peaches
1 Del Monte apron and some can strainers

So with these ingredients, I made some delicious fillings for our tamales! Here are some recipes I prepared for my tamales class using Del Monte vegetables:

Corn, Black Bean & Cheese Filling

3 (15 oz) cans of black beans, rinsed & drained
2 cans Del Monte® Whole Kernel Corn, drained
1/2 cup diced bell pepper (red, green, yellow or mix)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon adobo seasoning
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups shredded hot pepper jack cheese

Place half of the black beans in a large bowl. Place the remaining black beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mashed. Add the mashed black beans to the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. 

Pico de Gallo Salsa

2 cans Del Monte® Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 diced medium sized white or yellow onion
1/4 bunch of cilantro (use more or less depending on your taste),minced
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 jalapenos (or more if you prefer it hotter), seeded and minced

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Mexican Rice
recipe adapted from AllRecipes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 can Del Monte® Cut Green Beans, drained
1/2 cup Del Monte® Whole Kernel Corn
1 1/3 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2/3 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup frozen peas

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté onions, garlic and bell peppers until softened.
Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted and golden. Add the garlic powder, salt, cumin, and tomato sauce. Stir until all the rice is coated. 
Add the chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Uncover and add corn and peas. Fold in and cover for 3 minutes until warmed through. Fluff with a fork before serving.


  1. More often than not, if I am using canned veggies for a dish, I am making -

    Dixie Stampede Cream of Vegetable Soup recipe
    * 3 tablespoons margarine (Some use salted butter)
    * 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    * 1 teaspoon corn syrup
    * 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    * 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1/2 cup chicken broth
    * 1 1/2 cups water
    * 3/4 cup finely chopped cooked vegetable (Some people use diced canned potatoes and canned carrot slices diced very small, corn [Veg-All will work])
    * 1 pint half-and-half cream (Some people use a heavy cream for a richer taste)
    * chopped fresh parsley
    1. In a 3-quart sauce pot, melt margarine. Add onion, garlic, and corn syrup. Simmer 1 minute. Do NOT brown.
    2. Add flour, white pepper, salt, chicken broth, water, and vegetables. Simmer 3 minutes.
    3. Add half-and-half. Simmer until desired consistency. Stir constantly – do NOT bring to boil.
    4. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

  2. I use a lot of canned tomatoes in the winter - would that be a canned fruit or a canned vegetable? ;-)

  3. Love tamales, thanks for sharing the recipes. We also love DelMonte brand :)

  4. Never ever tried tamales - I shall definitely be giving them a try sometime soon now though :) Thank you x

  5. I've never had tamales. Those look like some good recipes. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I am absolutely in LOVE with Tamales! I am going to be enjoying this post this summer making some super delicious dinners!

  7. I have never eaten tamales! I always wondered if the shell was just for looks or if you eat it. These look easy to make though

  8. I made a black bean and corn salsa with canned veggies. But I think what my mom makes takes the cake(dessert). She uses canned kidney beans, black beans and sometimes hominy to make che (Vietnamese dessert). I don't like it but she loves it.