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Turkey Dinner Tamales with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

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  • Author: Rebecca Hicks
  • Yield: 15 1x


This fun holiday twist on my favorite Tex-Mex food will bring your entire family to the table. These Turkey Dinner Tamales are one of my new go-to meals to make during the holidays.



For the filling

  • Whole turkey breast (mine was about 7 lbs)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered and separated
  • 1 green apple
  • 4 sprigs of parsley
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Salt
  • Chicken broth
  • 1 can of La Morena® Sliced Jalapeños
  • Juice from roasting pan

For the Masa

  • 2 cups corn flour
  • 1 cup dried out bread, cut in 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sage, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup shortening

For the tamales

  • 20 corn husks

For the Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 bag cranberries
  • Juice from 3 oranges
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chipotle “sauce” (made from La Morena® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo)


For the filling

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a roasting pan or dutch oven, place most of the carrots, orange and onion along the bottom. Place a few sprigs of the parsley, rosemary and thyme on top of the veggies, along with some sage leaves.
  3. Put the turkey breast on top (breast side down), then stuff with the apple, and the rest of the carrots and onion.
  4. Pour about 2 cups of the chicken broth into the pan (I also made sure to coat the turkey in broth and poured a little inside of the cavity).
  5. Finely chop about 2 Tbsp each of the parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped fresh herbs, lemon pepper and salt. Rub this mixture along the outside of the turkey.
  6. Slow roast the turkey for 3-4 hours, until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast reads 165F. Remove from the oven, and let the turkey rest on a cutting board for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Once it has rested, remove the skin and carve the turkey. Place the breast meat in a large bowl and shred. My trick is to use a hand held blender- it shreds the meat in less than a minute.
  8. Dice about 1/4 cup (or more if you’d like!) of the La Morena® Sliced Jalapeños, and 1/2 cup of the onions from the bottom of the roasting pan. In a medium sized skillet, heat some olive oil and cook the jalapeños and onions until fragrant.
  9. Add the peppers and onion to the turkey along with 1/2-1 cup of the juice from the roasting pan. Mix it all together and set to the side.

For the Masa

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the corn flour, chopped bread, baking powder, fresh herbs and seasonings.
  2. Add the chicken broth and mix throughly with your hands until it has formed a soft dough (you can add a little more chicken broth if the mixture is too dry).
  3. In a small bowl, whip the shortening until it’s nice and fluffy. Add to the masa mixture and continue beating the batter until it is smooth and slightly sticky.
  4. Set aside.

Preparing the Tamales

  1. Soak the corn husks in water to soften them. While soaking, pour some water into a large pot with a steamer basket and simmer.
  2. Drain the corn husks, then place one on a cutting board.
  3. Spread the masa evenly over the top half of the corn husk, then add about a tablespoon of the meat mixture in the center.
  4. Close the husk by rolling the tamale and folding the end upwards. Tie off with a thin strip of corn husk if needed.
  5. Place in the steamer and cover with a damp towel. Steam for about 1 hour, or until the masa is soft and spongy.

For the cranberry sauce

  1. In a single serve blender cup, blend together 1/4 cup of the La Morena® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo until it becomes a smooth “sauce”.
  2. In a medium sauce pan mix together the cranberries, orange juice and zest, sugar and the blended chipotles.
  3. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and you have a beautiful looking sauce.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the cranberry sauce to cool. As it cools it will thicken into the perfect topping for your tamale!