Create a Mexican tamale platter for the ultimate way to serve tamales.
Looking for the best way of how to serve tamales? This fun Mexican tamale platter would be a great way to serve tamales at a party, or just for a fun weekend dinner! Basically, this is a giant Mexican appetizer platter filled with tamales and your favorite sides and toppings. This is the ultimate guide for what to serve with tamales - both side dishes and toppings.
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To say I've been obsessed with Mexican food lately is an understatement. We've been eating everything from homemade salsa, to huevos con chorizo, and so much more! My latest culinary adventure has been creating my own tamale recipe.
I wanted to have some fun with all the tamales I made and decided to create my very own Mexican tamale platter (you know how much I love making boards and platters).
A Little Bit About Tamales
Tamales have been around for thousands of years. In fact, because of this, people have created hundreds of varieties and flavors. Each state, region, and even every family has its own recipe and traditions for making tamales.
Although tamales are made for many special occasions like Christmas and Day of the Dead, they are a well know street food. Meaning, they are a great grab and go treat!
And just so you know the correct terminology, if you're talking about one tamale it's actually called a 'tamal' vs two tamales is 'tamales'. And, if you're having a party for assembling tamales, it's called a 'tamalada'.
Popular Tamale Toppings
It's debatable whether or not tamales should authentically be served with toppings and sides. But, I decided to put my spin on things and make a giant Mexican tamale platter filled with lots of fun toppings!
For people who have never made tamales before, it's fun to make a big batch of one flavor, and then add various toppings to change things up! Here are some of my favorite popular tamale toppings:
- Marinated onions
- Pico de gallo
- Pickled jalapenos
- Cotija cheese
- Sour cream/Greek yogurt
- Salsa (various flavors)
- Cholula hot sauce
RELATED POST: Instant Pot Chicken Tamales
What To Serve With Tamales
Traditionally, tamales are typically served with beans and rice, or sometimes nothing at all because they are eaten on-the-go street food style. However, for this tamale platter, I thought it would be fun to add in some non-traditional sides to serve with the tamales.
- Mexican rice
- Cucumber avocado salad
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Refried beans
- Tortilla chips
How To Serve Tamales At A Party
My favorite way to serve tamales, especially at a party, is on a giant board or platter. It's almost like a Mexican charcuterie board or Mexican appetizer platter!
Here's how I make my tamale platter:
- Make (or buy) a large batch of tamales. I used about 25 tamales to fill my four foot board. My Instant Pot chicken tamales are a great recipe to try at home!
- Pick out your favorite tamale toppings and side dishes using the lists above as inspiration.
- Choose a board or platter to lay everything on. Make sure you have a decent-sized board, especially if you're serving this for a party. Here are some of my favorites:
4. Next, grab your favorite bowls or accessories to add your various toppings and sides into. If you have bright and colorful bowls, these give a nice, fun look to the board! I also love using a mini skillet to put my queso in.
5. Start placing all your bowls down. First, place all the large bowls. Next, place varying colors and textures next to each other. Add in the tamales (make sure they've been steamed). Finally, fill in any remaining spots with tortilla chips.
Other Mexican-Inspired Recipes
Mexican Tamale Platter
- tamales (whichever flavor you prefer)
- Mexican rice
- cucumber avocado salad
- sour cream/Greek yogurt
- cotija cheese
- limes sliced into wedges
- marinated onions
- pico de gallo
- cilantro for garnish
- tortilla chips (white & blue corn)
- Make (or buy) a large batch of tamales.
- Place all your sides and toppings into bowls.
- Lay everyone on your platter. Start placing all your bowls down (large bowls first, then small bowls). Next, place varying colors and texture next to each other. Add in the tamales (make sure they've been steamed). Finally, fill in any remaining spots with tortilla chips.
- Serve immediately.
LET’S SHARE RECIPES
I love trying new recipes! Let’s discover new recipes together on Pinterest!
P.S. If you made this Mexican tamale platter, share a picture with me on Instagram using #HomebodyEats. I love seeing your creations!!