instant pot, low carb tamales


“Sure, why not?!” followed by “woah, is this actually possible?” ~ conversations I had in my head after saying yes to developing a recipe for the folks over at Bacon’s Heir for a low carb tamale using their newest darling, Pork Panko. It certainly took an “out of the box” thought process and a few attempts at getting just the right texture, but it HAPPENED!

Coming in at just under 3 net carbs per tamale, Mexican food is back on your plate if you’re working on keeping your carbs in check, or maybe you want to enjoy some grain free amazing Mexican food again since you’ve had to change your diet for health purposes. For whatever reason(s) you may have, betting these will make your taste buds dance! Pair them with your favorite salsa, guacamole, sauce or even melted cheese (if you’re enjoy the #ketolife) and dig in!

instant pot, low carb tamales

  • Servings: 7-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

authentic low carb & paleo tamales




  1. If using corn husks, separate them and begin soaking in a sink with a few inches of water to soften up. Weight them down with a baking sheet to keep them submerged for at least 30 minutes. Banana leaves just need to be completely thawed out, as they usually come frozen.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, pork panko, arrowroot, baking powder, salt and cumin. Whisk with a fork or small whisk until well combined.
  3. Pour in melted lard and using a small spatula or spoon, press into the dry ingredients until it’s completely incorporated. You can even use your fingers if it’s easier.
  4. Pour bone broth into bowl and stir to combine. Use your hands to mix all ingredients together until you have a nice ball of tamale dough.
  5. Take one of the corn husks or banana leaves and tear into strips so you can use them to tie the tamale once it’s rolled.
  6. One at a time, select a husk that is 6-7″ at the widest (if you need to overlap two smaller husks that is totally fine), shake off excess water, lay smooth side up with the narrow end closest to you. If corn husk is still wet, wipe with a paper towel.
  7. Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of dough onto the center of the corn husks near the top edge and flatten out with your fingers and palm into a rectangle about 3½x4″ with the narrow side being horizontal to the top, nearly to the edge. You want the dough to be just under ¼” thick.
  8. Lay filling down the center perpendicular to the long side of the dough, leaving approximately 1½” of dough on either side of the protein.
  9. Lift one side of the husk up and carefully use it to wrap one side of the dough over the filling until it makes contact with the dough on the other side. Roll the husk up, folding up the small end that was closest to you and tie a strip of corn husks. Repeat with remaining dough and husks. You should get about 7-8 tamales.
  10. Place wire rack that comes with the IP in the bottom of the pot and pour in 1 cup of water. Line rack and sides with corn husks, place tamales on top of the husks, standing straight up. Layer more corn husks on top and place lid on and lock in place. Push the “steam” button on the IP and set time for 10 minutes. Once done, use the quick pressure release and check tamales. You’ll want a soft, yet firm texture. If they need more time, check water level in the bottom of the IP and set for another 1-2 minutes of steaming, quick release pressure and check again.
  11. Remove from pot and let them cool slightly. Let them set up a few minutes before enjoying with your favorite salsa.
  12. *for a standard stove top steamer, line bottom with corn husks, stand tamales straight up, cover with more husks and steam according to manufactures directions. Please note they will most likely take 45-55 minutes to steam this way, so keep your water levels in mind and check accordingly. I didn’t test that method, so can’t say for certain what your results will be, but I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be successful as well.

    *Approx. 19 total carbs in the whole recipe. 8 tamales = 2.83 tnc per tamale (depending on filling)

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  1. Is there an alternative to the pork plank? These look good!

  2. Pingback: Keto Tamales * 33 Best "keto tamales" Bookmarks

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