Mexican cremasalsachicken

Chicken in Salsa Verde Tamales Casserole

Chicken in Salsa Verde Tamales Casserole

Cazuela de Tamales de Pollo en Salsa Verde

Recipe Yield

12 servings

Cooking time

1 hour 25 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.34 from 6 votes


  • Vegetable oil to grease the baking dish
  • 1 batch corn dough or masa from my tamal recipe
  • 1 batch salsa verde
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican crema or Latin-style cream, crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated Oaxaca cheese mozzarella or Monterey Jack

To Prepare

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease a large baking dish with oil. Spread half of the tamal dough or masa in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Set aside 3/4 cup of salsa verde and combine the rest with the shredded chicken. Spread the chicken and salsa verde mix on top of the masa. Cover with the rest of the masa in a second layer. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for an hour.
  • Remove from the oven. Carefully remove the aluminum foil and spread on the remaining 3/4 cup of salsa verde. Top with the cream and cheese. Place back in the oven, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until the cheese completely melts and begins to brown along the edges. Serve hot, cut into squares.


114comments inChicken in Salsa Verde Tamales Casserole

  1. Dolores Sandoval

    Dec 30

    I finally have time to comment on this delish casserole. We do potluck for church on Christmas, and since tamales take too much time, I introduced this great casserole, we all loved it. I make it now every year for potluck, so far 4 years in a row, anyone who loves tamales, highly recommend this casserole without all the work. Thank u party for sharing this great recipe? Your big fan

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 14

      Thanks so much for letting me know Dolores! So happy to hear this casserole has been a hit for so many years now!

  2. Anonymous

    Dec 18

    You always make such awesome foods,love it and your show’s.Thank you❤️

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 20

      Thanks to you for following 🙂

  3. Elizabeth Lane

    Dec 18

    What a grand idea. Gonna make this & take it to two elderly ladies who are shut-ins.

    I was wondering what to make for them.

    Thank you.


    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 20

      I hope they enjoy it Elizabeth, gracias!

  4. Eugenia

    Dec 15

    Hola Pati,
    Me gusta tu receta de la Cazuela de Tamal de Pollo en Salsa Verde, y la quiero preparar para mi familia en esta Navidad. Se oye deliciosa y mas facil de preparar que cada tamal por separado.

    Gracias por compartirla y deseo que tengas una bonita y Feliz Navidad con todos en tu familia, y un Año Nuevo con salud y bediciones para cada uno de ustedes.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 20

      Ojala que les guste mucho a todos la cazuela Eugenia! Abrazos y mis mejores deseos para ti y tu familia 🙂

  5. Mel

    Dec 13


    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 20

      My pleasure 😉

  6. Karen Lane

    Dec 12

    Sounds great. Can’t wait to try it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 19

      Hope you will love this casserole Karen!

  7. Mago

    Feb 04

    Wow!! It was delicious thank you for the recipe

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 23

      So glad you liked it 😉

  8. Alicia

    Feb 02

    Hola Pati yo le voy hacer esta receta para mis nietos les encanta los tamales 🫔 y sin tanto tiempo en la cocina gracias 🙏🏼 bendiciones

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 13

      Yay, mil gracias Alicia, ojala que les gusten!

  9. Marsha Rodriguez

    Feb 02

    Sounds good. Saves all the work of individual tamales.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 13


  10. Elvira Bake

    Nov 19

    Pati this recipe sounds good but would or could make with red enchilada sauce?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 11

      Absolutely, go for it!

  11. Herb

    Jan 25

    How does this freeze?

    Just tried it. Very good but just two of us.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 08

      It freezes beautifully, just make sure to do it in an air tight container and then let it thaw in the counter before re heating when you are ready for left overs 🙂

      1. Theresa (big fan in Madison, WI)

        Dec 03

        Would it work to prepare it, chill it and then freeze it, uncooked? I like having ready to bake things in the freezer.

        1. Pati Jinich

          Dec 08

          In my opinion it would be better to fully cook it, freeze it and then thaw and reheat in the oven when you are ready to eat it Theresa 😉

  12. Cristina Manley

    Dec 30

    Esto se ve y suena delicioso, lo intentaré gracias Patti for sharing 😊

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      Ojala que te guste Cristina, un abrazo!

  13. Camilla Rios

    Dec 29

    Just the recipe I was looking for! Thank you. I religiously watched your tv program on Create TV. Your family was always so much fun.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      So glad you liked this recipe Camilla, and thanks for tuning in 🙂

  14. Pamela

    Dec 25

    OMG! This was so good!
    I actually make my salsa verde the same way. We made it for Christmas dinner for just the 4 of us. Everyone is full and happy. Maybe next time we’ll actual my make the tamales, but this is so easy. And the best part is we don’t have to cook tomorrow either. 🙂

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 26

      Happy you liked this recipe Pamela, gracias!

  15. Jessica

    Jun 30

    I have made your favourite chicken in green salsa tamales before and everyone absolutely loved them. So delicious! I want to try the tamales pie recipe now but I was wondering if I could omit the cheese and crema on top? Or do you need them to retain the moisture? Many thanks

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 04

      Hi Jessica! You can leave out the cheese and crema on top if you are dairy free, no problem enjoy!

  16. Stewart, in a Arlington, VA

    Dec 04


    This recipe is sensational. I already make the salsa verde regularly. I use it in sour cream enchiladas and just eat it with chips. I bought masa and corn husks, but, I’ve wimped out on making tamales. I’ve been making Pupusas and corn tortillas. Tonight that changed. Your masa dough recipe is so easy and so tasty. It works perfectly in this casserole recipe. I think some true tamales will be coming soon. Thank you.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 06

      Awesome Stewart, go for the tamales, you will love them!

  17. Nancy

    Dec 14

    My family LOVES this casserole! The first time my daughter and I made masa, we jumped for joy when a small amount of masa floated as you said. We were thrilled we did it right! Thank you for the wonderful memories I will have with my daughter making this wonderful casserole! Do you know if the casserole can be frozen? Should I freeze if prior to baking or after baking???

    Thanks again for your wonderful methods of teaching and phenomenal recipes!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 14

      Oh I love that you guys jumped for joy, Nancy! And yes it can be frozen.

  18. G

    Nov 18

    Question, I have a hard time adding the top layer of masa. It gets hard to spread. Do I need to thicken the salsa verde so I don’t have that problem?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 20

      It takes some practice…keep going, G!

  19. Stewart p, in Arlington, VA

    Aug 03

    Pati! This recipe is great. I’ve always wanted to make tamales, and, this recipe was a perfect way to cook all the pieces without the stress of assembling tamales. It was actually really easy. So delicious. I can think of MANY ways to use the salsa verde. It’s terrific. I find I need to add a tbsp or two of agave to balance the tomatillos to my taste. Tomorrow we will have the leftovers on eggs, for breakfast. I found Oaxaca cheese and Crema in the Oaxaca style. Yum! I really enjoy your show and this is the second recipe I’ve tried that we really liked. Thanks.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 08

      I hope you give many more recipes a try, Stewart!

    2. Pamela

      Dec 25

      Stewart, I did the same thing! If you have garden or farmers market tomatillos AND if you’re really lucky red jalapeños, the sauce will be slightly sweet. I’ve done this several times and my daughter (then 12) devours the salsa

      1. Pati Jinich

        Dec 26


  20. Gary

    Jul 18

    What size pan did you cook it in?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 19

      Depends which pan is clean 😉…any large casserole dish will work great, Gary.

  21. Angel Washington st.

    Jun 21

    Fire meal after a smoke out

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 23

      I hope you enjoyed the casserole, Angel.

  22. Rosie

    Mar 20

    If you use prepared masa, how much in lbs.?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 29

      About a pound….

  23. Marie

    Dec 22

    Oh! Not sure what i did wrong! My tamal dough came out dense and dry, but the chicken filling was delicious!

    1. Pati

      Jan 01

      Oh I’m glad you enjoyed the filling, Marie! Next time, try adding more chicken broth and lard, and whip the masa longer until it is super fluffy and puffy.

  24. Jeff Brown

    Oct 26

    I love salsa verse!! So far I have only used it with enchiladas. I also love poblana peppers and I am one American that uses them exclusively instead of green bell peppers. I never tried making tamales, but this recipe sounds like a good place to start. Somehow I think a couple of poblanos will find their way into my product of pollo salsa verde tamals.

    1. Pati

      Oct 30

      Oh it’s a great place to start, Jeff! I hope you love the tamales…and adding poblanos is a great idea.

  25. Lily

    Sep 26

    Hi Pati:

    I love tamales and they are hard to find in Vancouver. After watching your show, you gave me the incentive to make my own. This casserole is so delicious I’ve already made it 3 times. My husband enjoys eating it too. Just wondering if I could omit the lard or oil when making the dough as some of my friends are watching their fat intake. What is the purpose of adding lard?


    1. Pati

      Oct 18

      I’m so glad you and your husband enjoy the casserole, Lily! The tamales need some kind of fat to make the masa puff and be fluffy. The lard can be substituted with seasoned oil or even coconut oil. You can also reduce the fat a little but it will have different results.


    Aug 03

    hola pati, i plan to make this tamal casserole for my weekend trip with my girlfriends. i was wondering if lining the casserole dish with corn husk and a layer on top then bake the casserole in a water bath then remove from oven the last 15-20 mins to add cream and cheese. do you think it would work out ok? kinda like one big tamale! i would reheat it in a water bath too!

    can’t wait to try it, patty

    1. Pati

      Aug 08

      I don’t think it would work because it is so much content! I’d either make individual tamales ( or bake in the casserole…


    Jul 27

    Can the tamal casserole be made ahead of time and baked later? Or baked and reheated later?

    1. Pati

      Aug 02

      I would make it ahead of time and bake it later…. but if you bake it and have leftovers, they can be reheated too! (Just cover it when you reheat it so it doesn’t dry out).

      1. Emily

        Aug 24

        Hello! I wanted to share what I’ve tried with this as I’m very much a make-ahead, freeze ahead cook. I made and froze separately the green salsa, chicken, and masa ( I spread the masa out in a rectangle on a lined cookie sheet, froze solid, then wrapped it well. It’s a little tricky to transfer to the casserole once thawed, but any places where you have to patch it will be covered by sour cream and cheese : ) ). I later thawed all the components, warmed the chicken in the sauce, assembled, and baked. I think the masa is a tiny bit softer this way, but it’s still delicious. My brother’s family (visiting from California) LOVED it, and a day or two later everyone enjoyed the reheated leftovers as well. Not quite the same texture as the first day, but still good. I’ve also frozen squares of leftover casserole and reheated them for quick work-day lunches. I just love that I can have a wonderful “real” tamale taste with the ease of cooking a casserole!

        1. Pati

          Aug 24

          Thank you for sharing, Emily! And I’m so happy everyone loved the casserole.

  28. Bridget Gethins

    Jun 16

    Love this dish! I kept mixing the masa until it floated in the glass. I used crisco and butter. Next time I am hunting for the lard. Thank you for such a wonderful show. And this delicious dish tamales casserole.

    1. Pati

      Jun 18

      Thank YOU Bridget.

  29. Deborah

    May 02

    I LOVE tamales, and I can’t wait to make this. Do you have any suggestions for a vegetable/vegetarian filling for this? I am new to Mexican cooking, and I am not sure what combination would taste good. Zucchini and tomatoes? Thank you.

    1. Pati

      May 04

      Oh so many great veggies would go with these…choose your favorite and enjoy Deborah!

    2. Gee

      Jul 18

      Deborah my family loves when I take chopped spinach leaves, corn, and some chunks of pepperjack cheese and actually mix it into the masa as a vegitarian option and we serve it with a salsa verde and sour cream. But I have had tamales that come with a slice or two of each of: potato, tomato, onion, peas, green beans, corn, and jalapeno (or not)

      1. Pati

        Jul 20

        Sounds yum!

  30. Cecilia Wauschek

    Apr 08

    Can u use pork meat instead that’s been cooked in broth and seasoning and then put the cooked meat on top and proceed with the rest

    1. Pati

      Apr 09

      Of course!

  31. laura ovalle

    Mar 09

    does the cooking time vary depending the cooking dish ? i have had bad experiences with glass casserole dishes! by the way me and my 3 year old daughter love your show!

    1. Pati

      Mar 12

      Any large baking dish will work. Say hello to your daughter for me!

  32. Rayna

    Jan 06

    Hola Pati! I came across this recipe in your cookbook, “Mexican Today”. I’ve never had success with recipes calling for masa, it’s always so heavy and too dense to enjoy. I followed your instructions, alternating the broth and masa harina, along with beating for a good 10-15 minutes, and I was so proud of the end result! Light, fluffy, tender tamal perfection; I couldn’t believe I made this. I can’t wait to experiment with different fillings. This is a great dish for warming the incredibly cold nights we are enduring here in the Northeast. Many thanks!

    1. Pati

      Jan 08

      That is so awesome!!! Thank YOU Rayna!

  33. dolores

    Oct 27

    Dear Pati, the Casserole is sooooo delish, but I used too much salt, and it was ruined-we couldn’t eat it. I made evr’ything from scratch like your recipe says, but I thought I knew better, and put too much salt. But the whole family decided we would all take at least one bite, and drink water after. hahahahaha Lol…. the flavor was great. This recipe is work, so I’ll have to wait a couple of weaks till I’m in the mood again, to work in the kitchen for a couple of hours. Oh well-the flavor is beyond! Will try again. Thx for the recipe

    1. Pati

      Oct 30

      Oh no! But I’m sure it will be better next time :).

  34. Aimee

    Sep 14

    This recipe is bomb! I never had the right things on hand to attempt tamales and I saw the episode with this recipe and tried it right away. Huge hit with my family, and now my extended family. Keep the awesome show and recipes coming Pati:)

    1. Pati

      Sep 15

      Thank you so much Aimee!!!

  35. Rebecca Van Horn

    Aug 14

    This is so good! Reheats beautifully; my husband and I are eating leftovers tonight!

    1. Pati

      Aug 14


  36. Rebecca Van Horn

    Aug 13

    Oh ny goodness! The casserole is beyond delicious! And I’ll be making both it and the salsa verde again! My husband and I are enjoying this for dinner as I write – so so so good!

    1. Pati

      Aug 14


  37. Karen Ricca

    Apr 30

    Pati, this casserole was so darn good my family ate every bit of it. I tried it with the chicken of course but I also made it with a beef roast and red chili. DELICIOUS!!! My only problem was that it stuck to the bottom of the baking dish so I’m going to try using parchment paper. Can’t wait to eat this again.

    1. Pati

      May 01

      So glad you made the casserole your own and enjoyed it!

  38. jennifer kaye

    Sep 30

    My Mexican mother in law and I called each other right away during the marathon and couldn’t believe what we were seeing. This looks amazing! We can’t wait to try this near Christmas!

    1. Pati

      Oct 04

      Thank you so much for watching the show!!! I hope you like it. =)

  39. Jason Jacobs

    Sep 18

    We saw this during the marathon on Create, and my wife and I looked at each other and immediately said we were making it. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. 🙂

    1. Pati

      Sep 26

      Yes, let me know, Jason! Hello to your wife!

      1. Jason Jacobs

        Sep 26

        Nos salió demasiado rico! Lo llevamos a una cena familiar en nuestra iglesia (no son de comer comida mexicana normalmente), y nos dijeron que era muy muy rico. 🙂 Gracias por la receta! Aunque, la masa no flotó…

        1. Pati

          Oct 11

          ​Uy me da mucho gusto! Bueno, la masa es caprichosa a veces… ​

  40. Pam

    Feb 09

    Hi, Pati
    I made the Chicken in Salsa Verde Tamal Casserole tonight and had a problem making the tamal. I used the seasoned oil but could not get it to the white and spongy stage. Where did I go wrong? The finished dish was delicious.

    1. Pati

      Feb 10

      Hi Pam, the dough gets less spongy when using the seasoned oil rather than the lard or vegetable shortening. So no worries, specially if you loved the dish!

  41. Paul

    Jan 17

    Hola Pati!
    I am so grateful to you for sharing this wonderful idea with us! I am going to make this for my darling Mama’s birthday dinner. She loves tamales, and loves to help make the dinner, but can’t use a steamer because she’s in a wheelchair and can’t reach into the pot! SO we are going to make it this way and have a wonderful time.
    You are a gem, can’t wait!

    1. Pati

      Jan 25

      This warms my heart, Paul. Good luck!

  42. Ninfa

    Jan 14

    Hello, Pati!
    Looking at this recipe brought to mind another recipe that my mom used to make. I never paid attention how she made it and after passing, I’ve craved it. Just recently a family member knew the recipe I described. She said it is called, “Huevo perdido”. I tried making it, but I think I add too much masa. Have you heard of it or have this recipe to share?

  43. Dolores

    Nov 25

    Hi Pati! I finally made this Casserole! Wow really good-I work on Christmas day, so I’ll be making this again for potluck-thank you for all your wonderful Mexican dishes you bring

  44. Matt Cordell

    Nov 06

    Gracias, Pati– fuimos al Cardenal. Me encanto! Su chocolate caliente y su pan me gustaron mucho. No tuvimos tiempo para ir al Emporio. Next time… It was my first time in Mexico City and I loved it. They even understood my Spanish 🙂 Muchisimas gracias por su recomendacion del Cardenal. Despues fui a pintar mi cara para Dia de los Muertos. Que tenga buen dia y gracias de neuvo!!! — Matt de Phoenix, AZ

  45. Matt Cordell

    Oct 26

    Hi Pati– vamos a la Ciudad de Mexico el 28 de esta mes. On one of your shows, you visited a tamal factory in el D.F. No puedo encontrar el programa… como se llama el lugar? Gracias! Vamos tambien al Restaurante Cardenal!

    1. Pati

      Oct 31

      Que increible! El Cardenal es de mis restaurantes favoritos! La tamalería se llama Emporio y también tiene un restaurante. Que disfruten!

  46. sandy

    Oct 25

    Patty como más o menos cuantas libras de masa usastes para el casserole?

  47. Jackie

    Sep 21

    Hola, I am so excited to make your tamale casserole for my mother-in-law’s birthday! The only problem is I don’t know what to serve with it, if anything. What do you suggest?

    1. Pati

      Sep 25

      Of course! You can serve it with any rice on the side (yellow, white, red…) also black beans are great! A green salad works too…

  48. Sandi

    Aug 30

    Saw the show today.instantly craved my much missed tamales! Had everything on hand to make the casserole, so that’s what we had for dinner! Mmm que rico! Como siempre! Gracias por toda las recetas tan super deliciosas!!!!!

    1. Pati

      Sep 06

      Con gusto, Sandi!

  49. Kim T

    Aug 18

    Hi, Pati! One of my favorite things in this world are green corn tamales. Do I just make the masa sweeter and put strips of roasted chilies in the middle of the casserole? Love your show as always.

    1. Pati

      Aug 25

      Hola Kim, Yes, you could add roasted poblano chile strips and use the masa from the Uchepos recipe ( to make it more like green corn tamales.

  50. mary ybarra

    Jul 03

    pati we made your tamales and green rice it was so good thank you from Texas.soooo great an easy.

    1. Pati

      Jul 05

      Great to hear! Send my best to Texas!

  51. Veronica McLinden

    Jul 02

    Pati, I really dislike cilantro. I can handle dried coriander or seeds, just not the leafy stuff. What can I substitute in the Salsa Verde recipe?

    1. Pati

      Jul 05

      You can either just skip the cilantro, or substitute with another green herb of your choice, like chives or tarragon or even mint!

  52. Gabe Townsend

    Jun 13

    Pati, how about a show using New Mexico green chile, I think this has such a unique flavor, smell, and heat. I love using that chile from Hatch New Mexico. I know you can have a great show issue no that with the skills and creativity you have.

    1. Pati

      Jun 14

      Great idea, Gabe!

  53. Gabe Townsend

    Jun 09

    Love the tamal recipe. We live in ABQ and use NM green chile came out great!


    1. Pati

      Jun 12

      Thank you for making it!!

  54. George Samsom

    May 19

    Watching your brilliant program on tamales, lovely stuff.
    We are going to try your recipes.

    My wife was watching and wanted to know where your
    Colorful dishes came from


    George Samson

    1. Pati

      May 22

      Hola George, The dishes are made by Le Creuset! Thank you so much for watching & I hope you both enjoy the tamales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.