Tamale Burgers

Prep: 30 minutes (need cooked rice) Rest/Chill: 50 minutes Cook: 45 minutes



  • 1/3 cup masa harina (treated corn flour)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 tsp adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (warm)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp lime zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 8-10 corn tortillas


Place the vegetable broth in a large non-stick frying pan with the onion, bell pepper, corn, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, garlic, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened.

Mix the masa harina with 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl. Add to the vegetable mixture and mix well. (Mixture will be very thick.) Cover and cook over low heat, stirring once or twice, for about 5 minutes.

Put the warmed rice into a large bowl and add the masa-vegetable mixture, along with the cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice. Mix very well. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a small bowl with water and place it by a work surface, along with the baking sheets. Moisten your hands with the water, then pinch off and shape the mixture into 8 to 10 oblong, flattened burgers that fit across the middle of a tortilla. Arrange the shaped burgers on the baking sheets. Refrigerate the burgers on the baking sheets for 30 minutes.

Grill burgers over medium heat for about 7 minutes on each side, until crusty on the outside. This may be done on a charcoal or gas grill, or on a griddle on the stovetop.

Place each burger in a corn tortilla, add lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, if desired, and spoon some Taco Sauce (recipe in Sauces) over the top. Fold up and enjoy.

Hint: Masa harina can usually be found in Latin American markets, or in the ethnic section of some supermarkets. It is a fine corn flour that is used to make tortillas and tamales. I usually make a double batch of these burgers because they freeze well and then I have an easy meal for some time later. These may also be shaped into the traditional burger shape and eaten on whole wheat buns. They have a decidedly Mexican flavor to them, so they are best topped with Mexican-style seasonings.