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Flamin’ Hot® Tamales

Preparation Time
Total Time: 1 hour 15 min.

Nothin’ says “holidays with the fam” like the taste of your abuela’s tamales. Nothin’ says “Cheetos® Xxtra Flamin’ Hot®” like, well, me saying to add them to your tamales for an insanely delicious treat. So this is my gift to you—my top (not-so) secret recipe for Flamin’ Hot® Tamales. Don’t say I never gave you anything.


  • For the Tamales
  • 1C. CHEETOS® Crunchy XXTRA FLAMIN' HOT® finely ground (reserve a little extra for garnish)

  • 1½ C. Yellow masa harina corn flour
  • ½ Tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1½ Tsp. Baking powder
  • ¼ Tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • ¼ C. Butter, melted.
  • 1¾ c. Boiling-hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp. Lime juice
  • 1 Tsp. Lime zest
  • 10 Large dried corn husks, soaked in water for one hour
  • 1 Lb. Grated pepper jack cheese
  • Sliced avocado (for presentation)
  • For the Lima Cream:
  • 1C. Store-bought crema Mexicana
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • For the Lime-Pickled Onions:
  • 1 Red onion, fine julienne
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ Tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped fresh cilantro

How To Make

  1. 1.

    In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine the Cheetle® (ground CHEETOS®), masa harina, salt, baking powder and cayenne until well combined.

  2. 2.

    On medium speed, add the butter, hot stock, lime juice and zest. Turn speed to high for about 2 minutes until the masa is light and fluffy.

  3. 3.

    Lay out the corn husks and divide the masa between them.

  4. 4.

    Using a rubber spatula, spread the masa out into a 5-inch square stretching from the broad edge of the corn husk to three-quarters of the way to the top and centered from side to side. Make sure the thickness is even.

  5. 5.

    Place a little more than ½ c. of grated cheese in your hand and squeeze it into a 4-inch-long tube. Place it in the center, and then roll one edge over the top. Gently pull the corn husk away, and roll the other side over so that they overlap masa on masa. Roll the corn husk up, and then using a thin strip of corn husk, tie the top of the tamale off about 2 inches from the top. Repeat for each tamale.

  6. 6.

    Put a steamer basket inside a pot filled with ¾ inch of water (water line should be just below the basket). Gently place tamales in a steamer basket and steam for 20 minutes.

  7. 7.

    Turn off the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with lime crema, lime-pickled onions, slices of fresh avocado and a sprinkling of Cheetle®.