How to Wrap Tamales in Parchment Paper?

Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Lauren Beck

As someone who appreciates the art of tamale making, I understand the importance of proper wrapping. While corn husks are the traditional choice, parchment paper offers a convenient alternative. 

In this article, I’ll guide you through wrapping tamales in parchment paper, allowing you to explore new possibilities and enjoy these delectable treats. 

Let’s dive in and master the art of tamale wrapping with parchment paper!

How to Wrap Tamales in Parchment Paper?

To wrap tamales in parchment paper:

  • Cut parchment paper into pieces.
  • Spread masa on each piece.
  • Add filling in the center.
  • Fold and roll tightly.
  • Twist ends to seal.

Enjoy your delicious tamales wrapped in parchment paper!

Can Parchment Paper Be Used to Wrap Tamales?

Parchment paper can be used as an alternative to corn husks for wrapping tamales. It provides a non-stick surface and keeps the tamale intact during steaming.

How Long to Steam Tamales in Parchment Paper?

The steaming time for tamales wrapped in parchment paper is generally the same as those wrapped in corn husks. 

Steam tamales typically take 1 to 1.5 hours until they are fully cooked and firm. 

However, steaming times may vary based on the size and thickness of the tamales, so it’s always best to check for doneness using the toothpick test.

What Paper Is Used To Wrap Tamales?

Traditionally, tamales are wrapped in corn husks, which impart a unique flavor and aroma to the dish. 

However, parchment paper can be a suitable alternative when corn husks are unavailable.

Can You Use Baking Paper For Tamales?

Yes, baking paper can be used interchangeably with parchment paper for wrapping tamales. 

Both paper types have a non-stick surface and can withstand heat and moisture during steaming.

What Is the Best Way to Wrap a Tamale?

opening a tamales
  • Cut Parchment Paper: Cut the parchment paper into rectangular or square pieces, depending on the size of your tamales. Each piece should be large enough to enclose the tamale fully.
  • Spread Masa: Take a portion of the prepared masa dough and spread it onto the center of the parchment paper, leaving some space on the sides for folding.
  • Add Filling: Place your desired filling, such as meat, cheese, or vegetables, onto the masa in the center.
  • Fold and Roll: Fold one side of the parchment paper over the filling, then fold the other side to enclose it. Roll the tamale tightly, like a burrito, ensuring the parchment paper is securely wrapped around the tamale.
  • Twist Ends: Twist the ends of the parchment paper to seal the tamale completely.

What Are Tamales Traditionally Wrapped In?

Tamales are traditionally wrapped in corn husks, which add flavor and a rustic touch to the dish [1]. Corn husks also help keep the tamale shape and prevent sticking during the steaming process.

How Do You Keep Tamales From Sticking to the Husk?

To prevent tamales from sticking to the husk, follow these tips:

  • Soak the Corn Husks: Before using corn husks, soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes until they become pliable.
  • Overlap Husks: When assembling the tamale, overlap the corn husks to create a tight seal. This will help keep the tamale intact and prevent sticking.
  • Proper Steaming: Make sure to steam the tamales for the recommended time until they are fully cooked and firm. Overcooking can cause the masa to become sticky and stick to the husk.


By mastering the technique of wrapping tamales in parchment paper, you have unlocked a world of possibilities and expanded your tamale-making repertoire. 

Whether you’re out of corn husks or simply want to try something new, parchment paper offers a reliable and convenient alternative. With the right steps and a tight seal, you can create beautifully wrapped tamales to be steamed and enjoyed. 

So embrace the versatility of parchment paper, experiment with different fillings, and savor the deliciousness of your homemade tamales. Get wrapping and delight in the flavors of this cherished culinary tradition!


Lauren Beck
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