These low carb and Keto beef tamales use almond flour in place of corn masa harina which lowers the carb count to 4g net carbs.
Greetings! You're just in time for the tamale party.
Tamales are, of course, the Mexican dish made of seasoned meat wrapped in cornmeal dough and steamed in corn husks.
The cornmeal mixture used in tamales is called masa harina. Since cornmeal is too high in carbohydrate to eat on a low carb diet, I've found a way to make it out of almond flour and flax seed meal. The masa harina recipe comes from the website GAPS Diet Journey. She makes a roasted pork tamale that is really good. I didn't have enough time to roast a pork butt today, so I made up a quick filling of seasoned ground beef and cheese. My recipe is very simple, so the only trick is getting the cornhusk wrapping just right.
Here are step by step instructions on how to roll a tamale:
Submerge the cornhusks in very hot water for 30 minutes to soften them up. Lay out one of the corn husks.
Add masa harina to the corn husk and form into a rectangle along the longest edge.
Add seasoned ground beef in the middle of the rectangle.
Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
Bring the edges of the corn husk together so that the filling folds over on itself.
Roll the corn husk around itself.
Cut one of the cornhusks into thin strips and use one to tie together the tamale.
And there you go. Now you've got a perfectly wrapped tamale, all ready to steam.
Time to party.
Low Carb Keto Beef Tamales
These low carb beef tamales use almond flour in place of corn masa harina which lowers the carb count to 4g net carbs.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 1:30
- Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
- Yield: 8 tamales 1x
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 2 ½ cups super fine almond flour
- ½ cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1 cup butter or lard
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
seasoned ground beef:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ tablespoon chili powder
- ⅛ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1. Add the corn husks to a pot of hot water and use a plate to keep the husks underwater. Cook over medium heat to keep the water hot. Do not boil. When it gets close to simmering, lower the heat. You just want the water to be hot. After 30 minutes, remove the cornhusks and dry them off.
2. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add ground beef and cook until completely browned.
3. In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, oregano, paprika, cumin and salt. Add to the ground beef and stir to coat.
4. In a medium sized bowl, microwave water and butter for the masa harina. Mix with almond flour, flax seed meal and salt.
5. Lay out one of the corn husks. Add ⅛ of the masa harina to the corn husk and form into a rectangle along the longest edge.
6. Add ⅛ of the seasoned ground beef in the middle of the rectangle.
7. Sprinkle ⅛ of the shredded cheese on top.
8. Bring the edges of the corn husk together so that the filling folds over on itself. Roll the corn husk around itself. Fold it in the middle, leaving the long end open.
9. Cut one of the cornhusks into thin strips and use one to tie together the tamale.
10. Repeat the process with the remaining 7 corn husks.
11. Add to a steam basket and steam, covered for 1 hour.
12. Allow to cool until cool enough to handle. Unwrap the corn husks and enjoy. It's best with salsa verde or chili sauce.
- Serving Size: 1 tamale
- Calories: 533
- Fat: 50
- Carbohydrates: 10
- Fiber: 6
- Protein: 17
Keywords: Low Carb Tamales, Keto Tamales, Paleo Tamales
If you liked this recipe for Beef Tamales, then you might like my recipes for Chicken Tamales, Cabbage Wrapped Enchiladas or Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
Bob M. says
I want to make these but I don't know where to buy corn husks. Where did you buy the ones you used?
Emily Krill says
I found the ones I used on Amazon. https://amzn.to/3KNIxGB
Do you have a recipe for chicken tamales too?
Emily Krill says
I do. Here you go: https://www.resolutioneats.com/blog/low-carb-chicken-tamales/
Using almond flour instead of masa harina is such a good idea! Have you tried making polenta or grits with it?
Emily Krill says
I do have a cheese grits recipe, actually. It's really good. https://www.resolutioneats.com/blog/low-carb-keto-cheese-grits/
Paul S says
How did you get your tamales to look so pretty? Mine turned out delicious, but didn't look quite as good as yours LOL.
Emily Krill says
Oh, just practice. Make sure to soak them first so they are pliable.😊
Curious if you have seen the Keto tamales at Walmart in the freezer section. They are amazing and the outside is a blend of almond flour and cauliflower. Yum!
Wow no. That sounds amazing though. Thanks for the tip!
I made them with pull pork left over and almond flour because I'm a Keto lover. They are Delicious, easy and thank you very much for sharing.
Sure thing. Pork tamales sound great.
Has anyone attempted this with corn extract? Curious if the corn flavor makes it closer to traditional flavor or not.
No, I haven't tried it out, so I don't know how much it would take before you tasted the corn flavor. You could use trial and error and add 1 tablespoon of the extract to the almond flour mixture, taste it, and then add more, 1 teaspoon at a time until it tasted alright. I fear that it would take quite a lot of extract before you noticed the flavor though, and it is very expensive, so I am not sure that the result would equal the cost.
These are so delicious! I love masa harina but this recipe with almond flour is a great low carb substitute.
I’ve used this recipe several times with great success. Adding Tex Mex spices to the “masa” is yummy too.
With this recipe I don’t feel like I’m missing my favorite food group, TAMALES!
Three cheers for TAMALES! Thanks for the Tex Mex spices tip. I will try that next time I make them.
I loved these tamales. What a good idea to use almond flour instead of corn.
Thanks! I was surprised how much like masa harina it tasted.
Because you put masa harina in it, read the recipe, no offense just stating the obvious.
This recipe doesn't have normal cornmeal masa harina, because it is, obviously, not low carb. The low carb masa harina in this recipe is made from almond flour, flax seed meal, butter or lard and salt. That's why the ingredients read: "masa harina:" with the ingredients listed down below it. I think it's pretty clear.
Donna Rodriguez says
Can someone tell me how a tamale looks like done? Like how is the texture when its done. Ive steamed a couple of hours but it doesnt seem their done. Maybe a foto.
There is a step by step guide to making low carb chicken tamales here. https://www.resolutioneats.com/blog/low-carb-chicken-tamales/ Hit the "Jump to Recipe" button and a picture of the finished product is right above the recipe card.