Rajas and Cheese Tamales

This post has been sponsored by MAGGI®. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Rajas and cheese tamales made with Nestle Maggi vegetable bouillon.

I remember the first time I was introduced to NESTLÉ MAGGI® , I was sitting in a busy kitchen in Mexicali , Mexico, learning to make rajas con crema (green chile strips) for a batch of Rajas and Cheese Tamales with my husband’s grandmother. I watched as she broke up the cube of vegetable bouillon over the strips of green chile and corn.  Later that day, I was fascinated to learn that Maggi would be the key to flavoring the tamal masa as the lesson proceeded. It was a great way to season the masa and give it an extra level of sabor. Grandma said to me in Spanish that Maggi was her favorite bouillon, and she used it for many dishes. I was liking this tutorial and knew I would keep the Maggi step in my own tamal making.

rajas and cheese tamales fresh out of the steamer

masa spread on corn husk

Back home, I was happy to easily find Maggi at Walmart in the ethnic food aisle, which made life easier knowing I could also find all my other tamal making ingredients there as well.  Take note…. Walmart is the one- stop shop for tamales no matter where you live in the country, and their reusable bag doubles down as a fantastic work mat for spreading your tamal masa. Make this Rajas and Cheese Tamales recipe… You’ll be so happy you did.

Before you skip down to the recipe…. I got a little coupon for you to download by clicking here. Save $.50 off 2 Maggi products. Don’t you love saving money, especially during the holiday season?

Ingredients for tamales


  • 1 8-oz. pkg. dried corn husks


  • 1 10oz.  Jack Cheese (cut into 1/2 inch strips)
  • Rajas con crema  (recipe below)

Masa for Tamales

  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 1/2 cups masa harina for tamales
  •  3 cups warm water
  • 3 cubes NESTLÉ MAGGI® vegetable bouillon
  • 2 Tbs. dried Mexican oregano


  • Crema con sal
  • Green salsa


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pasilla chiles (charred, peeled, and sliced)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cubes NESTLÉ MAGGI®  vegetable bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2  tablespoons water
  • 2  cups sour cream


Directions for Rajas and Cheese Tamales:

  1. Place corn husks in a large tub of hot water.  Soak overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours to soften.
  2. PREPARE THE FILLING: Cut the cheese into strips, and make rajas con crema. Set to the side until ready to use.
  3. MAKE THE MASA: Place vegetable shortening, salt and baking powder in a stand-up mixer and beat until fluffy for about 4 minutes. Scrape mixture down with a rubber spatula. Then, slowly add in masa harina and oregano with mixer on low until fully combined. Turn the speed up on the mixer to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Dissolve 2 cubes Maggi vegetable bouillon  in 3 cups warm water. Turn mixer speed back to low and pour in water into mixture, continue mixing until combined. Bring the mixer speed back up to high and beat for 5 minutes. WE ARE NOW READY TO MAKE TAMALES!
  4. Remove corn husks from soaking water and shake off/drain. Set to the side for assembling.
  5. Place corn husk on work surface. Take about ¼ cup of masa and spread on the center of a corn husk. Leave a 2 inch frame on the bottom of husk.
  6. Place a strip  jack cheese in the center of masa, then top with a heaping spoonful of rajas con crema.
  7. Fold one long side of husk over the center, then roll to enclose all the masa. Fold the bottom end up.
  8. Place tamale in a bowl while you prepare the remaining tamales. Open end up so none of the ingredients fall out. 
  9. READY TO STEAM: Prepare steamer by placing a rack at the bottom of the pot. And pouring in water.
  10. Stand the tamales (open end up, folded bottom down) in steamer. Secure empty spaces with wadded husks to prevent tamales from falling over or from burning on the pot. Then cover the top with remaining corn husks creating a little insulation over the tamales. Then place a few wet kitchen towels over the husks to really lock in the moisture.
  11. Place a lid tightly on the steamer and bring the water to a boil over a high heat. Steam for 2 hours.
  12. After 2 hours, carefully remove a single tamal to check if fully cooked. Allow tamal to cool for 10 minutes, check if fully cooked masa will pull away from husk easily. If not, cook for an additional 15 minutes or until fully cooked.
  13. Remove tamales from husks and drizzle top with crema con sal, and green salsa.

How to make Rajas:

  1. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small dish., with a pastry brush, generously brush pasilla chiles with olive oil to coat. Then place oil- coated pasilla chiles on an open medium- high flame. Burn the skin of the entire chile. It will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Place charred chiles in an air tight ziplock bag for 1 hour. This step will allow chiles to steam in their own sweat.
  3. Remove from ziplock and place under a slow stream of water from faucet. With your fingers, slowly and carefully peel charred skin off of chile, until all burned skin is removed.
  4. Remove stems and deseed skinned pasilla chiles. Then slice into long strips that are 1/4 of an inch thick.
  5. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a big frying pan over medium flame, allow to heat for two minutes. Then add in corn kernels. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring every so often.
  6. Add in sliced pasilla chile, and garlic powder. Mix to combine and allow to saute for 10 minutes. Then add in 4 tablespoons of water, and vegetable bouillon. Give it a good stir and let cook for another minute or so. 
  7. Now for the final step., add sour cream and stir in well. Cook for 3 minutes. Then place in bowl.

Rajas and Cheese Tamales made with Maggi



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