All the flavor of the traditional, with a fraction of the carbs, these keto tamales are a delicious low-carb take on a classic Mexican comfort food. Made with almond flour, ground flax, and seasoned ground beef, each tamale is only 5g net carbs.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- Unlike traditional tamales which are high in carbs (usually around 35g per tamale!), these keto tamales clock in at just 9g total carbs each, and only 5g net carbs! Despite containing a fraction of the carbohydrates, they’ve got all the flavor and texture you’d expect from a traditional tamale.
- Tamales are a little labor-intensive, it’s true. They’re super worth it, though, and once you get the hang of making them, it all moves pretty quickly. Don’t let the instructions intimidate you!
- They’re a great make-ahead option! There’s a decent amount of prep work before you get around to actually steaming the tamales, which is the final step before you eat them. You can do all of that prepping in advance, and just refrigerate the wrapped tamales in an airtight container up to 5 days. When you’re ready to eat them, steam them for 45 minutes as instructed below.
Corn Husks – Corn husk hold the entire recipe together… literally! The tamale filling is wrapped up tight in a boiled corn husk and then steamed to perfection. You don’t eat the corn husk, though. You just unwrap it and focus on the tamale filling inside.
Almond Flour – Traditionally, tamales use masa flour for the masa dough. Makes sense, right? At roughly 24g of carbs for ¼ cup, though, masa flour is decidedly NOT keto-friendly, so we’re subbing almond flour instead.
- One of the really nice things about tamales is you can make them a little differently every time! Instead of ground beef, try pulled pork or chicken. Ground turkey would also work! A little chili powder will add a spicy kick to your keto tamale filling, too.
- Don’t worry if your “masa” dough is a little crumbly when you’re mixing it. The ground flax acts as a binder to help hold it together, and as the mixture rests, the flax works its magic.
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- 10 corn husks rinsed
For the Tamale Filling
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons keto taco seasoning store-bought or make your own
- 3 tablespoons water
For the Keto Masa Dough
- 2 cups almond flour
- ½ cup butter melted
- ¼ cup ground flax
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons water
Suggested Toppings (All Optional)
- diced avocado
- sour cream
- lime juice
- chopped cilantro
- Large pot
- Large skillet
- Large bowl
- Paper towels
- Flat surface (cutting board, clean countertop, etc.)
- Steamer insert for large pot
- Aluminum foil
- Fill large pot with water and bring to boil. Once water starts boiling, remove pot from heat. Add rinsed corn husks to hot water and soak 20 to 30 minutes.
- While corn husks soak, heat large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef to hot skillet and cook until browned and crumbled, then drain ground beef. Add taco seasoning and water and stir well. Bring to simmer and cook until water is absorbed.
- While ground beef simmers, prepare masa dough. Add almond flour, butter, ground flax, salt, baking powder, and water to large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Set mixture aside to rest for 5 to 7 minutes. After 5 to 7 minutes, divide masa evenly into 10 balls.
- After corn husks have soaked in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, remove one corn husk and pat it completely dry, then lay it on flat surface.
- Take one masa ball and flatten it into rectangular shape, then place it on corn husk, toward one edge of husk. Place 1 to 3 tablespoons ground beef filling in a line in center of masa dough.
- Lift edge of masa dough closest to you and fold it over filling. Roll dough to far edge of corn husk, then wrap corn husk around filling and fold excess corn husk in. Place tamale seam-down on flat surface. Tear strip from another soaked corn husk to tie around rolled tamale. Repeat process until all tamales are rolled.
- Place rolled tamales standing upright (open side up!) in steamer and cover with aluminum foil. Steam 45 minutes, then carefully uncover and serve hot with desired toppings.
- Ground Beef: You can also use ground turkey, ground chicken, pulled pork, or shredded chicken.
- “Masa” Dough: The dough may be a little crumbly as you mix it. It’ll become more workable as it rests.
- Corn Husks: Not for eating!
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.