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Jun 26, 2012 11:27 AM

Ideas for using up masa harina? Tamale pie?

I bought a 2kilo bag of maseca brand masa but after looking up some tamale recipes, I just don't have time to get into a lengthy project and don't like the amount of lard/shortening called for in most. Does anyone have a casserole or tamale pie type recipe that would let me use the masa and just bake the whole thing? Most of the tamale pie recipes I can find call for instant cornbread mix, not true masa. I can figure something out for filling- just looking for logistics or suggestions on the dough.

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  1. I recently discovered a shockingly good microwave recipe for sweet corn tomalito. Of course I can't find the link now, but I'll dig it up if you're interested. It only uses 1/4 cup of the masa harina at a time, but it's something to help use up the stuff.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Parsnipity

        Found it!

        I don't use the microwave for much, and I NEVER used canned vegetables, but this is really delicious! Just like the stuff baked in a water bath for four times as long.

    1. I would make a bunch of tortillas and then wrap and freeze them. Masa is also a good thickener for chili and adds a nice flavor, but you only need a bit for that.

      1. Microwave Mexican Restaurant Sweet Corn Cake

        Makes 6 cups, 12 servings - On table in 15-minutes

        Copy Cat Recipe. I wanted a quick recipe to copy the sweet corn cakes that
        are served at Mexican restaurants like El Torito and Chi Chi's. This is ready to
        eat in about 15 minutes. For a less sweet dish, reduce granulated sugar to 1/3 cup.
        For a firmer sweet corn cake, microwave an addition al 3-minutes.

        If you've never had these at a Mexican restaurant, they are similar to a firm, sweet, grits or polenta, with a corn tortilla flavor.
        The corn tortilla flavor comes from the masa harina flour.


        1 cup yellow cornmeal
        1/4 cup masa harina (Tamales) flour (or 3 corn tortillas, uncooked, - process in food processor to fine bits, use in place of masa harina)
        1/2 cup granulated sugar
        1 tablespoon baking powder
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        2 cups milk
        1 cup water
        1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
        1 egg, beaten
        4 tablespoons butter, melted


        Stir all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl, mix well and set aside until needed.

        Mix all wet ingredients together in another bowl. Stir until well mixed.
        Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir out any dry lumps in batter.

        Pour into a 3-quart covered, microwaveable casserole dish.

        Cover and microwave on high for 6-minutes.
        Stir well. Stir bottom and sides of dish well to remove any dry lumps.
        Cover and microwave on high for another 6-minutes.

        Stir a few times and serve warm using an ice cream scoop or disher.
        This gets thicker as it cools and reaches room temperature. If you want a more
        gritty sweet corn cake, use polenta corn meal instead of regular corn meal.

        1. This tamale pie recipe doesn't use cornbread and looks promising:

          1 Reply
          1. re: modthyrth

            Ah, perfect! This is exactly what I'm looking for- also love that it gives the whole methodology of arriving at the recipe.

          2. It can also be frozen for many months without harm! Just use it straight from the freezer as needed.