Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales

I absolutely love Mexican food!  Honestly, I was sheltered in my youth because we had no good Mexican where I lived.  It wasn’t until I moved to California that I had “Real” authentic Mexican.  My mind was blown, what had I been missing my entire life up until now!

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales

All the chains I grew up on were mere imposters that stamped out Mexican flavored food, and why does everything taste like cumin? There is so much more beyond that!  My city has slowly caught up and I can now go out and get “Decent” Mexican food at a restaurant.  What’s a girl to do?  Thankfully I can cook and I take great visual notes, so when I was in Cali I watched EVERYTHING!

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales

Being on a low carb/keto lifestyle has its challenges, like a good tamale!  That’s when the creativity comes in, how can I get the texture and similarity of a tamale with out traditional masa?  Well, it took a few trials but I really liked the texture and taste of coconut flour.  Coconut flour varies depending on brand they are not created equal.  For this recipe I used raw and unbleached coconut flour.  It does have a coconut flavor, there’s no way around that.  Although, the combination of the pepper jack cheese, chicken and coconut creates a beautiful harmony of flavors.  I loved it, its a spin on the traditional flavor profile.


Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales

I really wanted to get as much “Corn” flavor as possible, I thought about using baby corn because it is very low in carbs but I wanted to see if I could make one solely with the coconut flour.  I clarified butter to get that rich taste of corn on the cob and I added cream for a nice smooth texture to mimic the masa dough.  I needed to simplify the process, so I used a rotisserie chicken because well, there delicious and easy!  If you want to cook your own chicken, great!

Oh, and guess what?  I steamed them in my CROCK POT!  Yes, your day just got a little better.  I like the controlled heat of the crock pot and I didn’t have to worry about anything on the stove.

I can see why entire groups of women make these, it is a labor of love!  It’s so worth it though, I plan on freezing a bunch and eating them when I have a craving for Mexican.  Just individually wrap them and freeze after cooking.  You can experiment with fillings, a good beef barbacoa would be tasty or even carnitas!  Either way you can’t go wrong and 2 net carbs per tamale, that’s unreal!  Serve them with some salsa verde or a rich tomato salsa and a dollop of sour cream and your in business!

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales


Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Yield: 40 tamales

Serving Size: 2 tamales

Spicy Coconut Chicken Tamales


    For the tamale paste
  • 1 package of corn husks
  • 2 Cups/ 8 oz raw unbleached coconut flour I used (Coconut Secret)
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup clarified salted butter (render down to remove the milk solid) here is a video if you have never done this
  • For the filling
  • 2 chicken breasts and thighs from a rotisserie chicken
  • 4 oz crumbled queso blanco
  • 8 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde ( I used Frontera salsa verde)


  1. add corn husks to a large bowl filled with warm water, allow to soak for 30 minutes
  2. next clarify your butter (there is a video in the ingredients section)
  3. add coconut flour, salt, baking soda into a mixing bowl and combine well
  4. add in butter, cream, and chicken stock
  5. stir all ingredients until you have a nice even paste
  6. Next step for filling
  7. small dice your chicken
  8. add cheeses, sour cream, and salsa to bowl with diced chicken
  9. Assembly
  10. working in batches, lay out corn husks on a flat clean surface, pat husks dry
  11. using a scoop (1 1/2 T) portion paste mixture in the center of the corn husk
  12. using a spatula, spread paste in the middle (3"x4") area of the husk
  13. place 1 1/2 T of chicken mixture down the center of the paste
  14. roll corn husk until sealed and fold over the bottom (narrow end) of the husk to secure
  15. keep under a damp paper towel until all tamales have been rolled
  16. Cooking your tamales
  17. using a 6 quart crock pot add 1/2 inch of water to cover the bottom of the crock pot
  18. use a small wire rack on the bottom to keep the tamales elevated above the water
  19. line the bottom with tamales and crisscross each layer until all your tamales are in
  20. take a few wet paper towels and place on the top layer of tamales (for even cooking)
  21. cover and heat on high for 1 hour
  22. drop heat to low and cook for additional 45 minutes to an hour
  23. remove tamales with tongs and serve with additional queso fresco and sour cream


2 net carbs per tamale

-these can be individually wrapped and frozen after cooking not all coconut flour is created equal for best results use the mentioned brand or Bob's Red Mill Brand

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    • Amanda Mendell says

      Yay! I really hope you like it, it’s not traditional but unique. It’s better with a thinner layer of coconut meal rather than a thick layer, it toned down the taste of the coconut a little bit. Any feed back is much appreciated good or bad:)

    • Amanda Mendell says

      Thanks Lisa! The feeling is mutual, I have a laundry list of yours to try!! I appreciate all you’ve done to help me too:)

  1. Sylvie Farrell says

    Hi, great recipe. I ordered fresh corn imitation flavour. I wonder if that would help get that masa taste. Thanks.

  2. says

    I feel like I could eat a whole bunch of tamales all to myself in one sitting already, but with this recipe I know I would have to stop after a few because of how filling the coconut flour is! I too, love mexican food and love this recipe! Thank you for sharing!

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