California Wild Rice Tamales

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“I love California Wild Rice because it’s so much more than just something to soak up a sauce. Here, it’s earthy and almost meaty it’s an alternative to the traditional filling of tamales. It’s chewy, and although it carries the flavor of the spices, its own flavor never stops shining through!”

~Roland Denzel, Food Editor, Blogger~
Visit Roland Denzel’s blog “Little Lost Dog” @

Makes 16 Tamales


  • 3 cups hominy (canned, drained)
  • 1½ cup dry wild rice
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • 1½ cup roasted tomatoes
  • (or rehydrated sun dried tomatoes)
  • 1 ½ tsp green chilies (canned)
  • 1 tbsp cumin, ground
  • 1½ tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 cup grated Quesadilla/melting cheese
  • Cornhusks, soaked in warm water overnight
Cooking Instructions:

Cook the wild rice according to the package directions, then drain and allow cooling.
Use a blender, food processor, or handheld jar chopper to grind the hominy to a rough paste.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and stir into the hominy and salt to taste.
Heat a pan over medium high heat, and add the remaining tablespoon butter and onions.

Cook the onions the onions until lightly caramelized. Chop the tomatoes, draining them, if necessary, and add them to the pan along with the rice, chilies, and spices. Salt to taste. Set aside, allowing the mixture to cool a bit (10-20 minutes), and then stir in the grated cheese.

Tear one of the cornhusks into long strips. The strips will be used for tying the tamales closed, so set them aside for now. Take a new husk, and spread 1/3 cup of the hominy mixture over the wider end of the husk, flattening it well. Place 3 tbsp of the wild rice filling over the hominy and roll it up, making sure the entire filling is surrounded by the hominy mixture.

Bend or twist the ends of the cornhusks and tie them closed with one or more corn husk strips. Repeat until all the tamales are assembled. After you have assembled and tied all of the tamales, place them in a steamer basket in a covered pan and steam for about 30 minutes. Serve hot with more chopped green chilies and red or green salsa.

Visit Roland Denzel’s blog “Little Lost Dog” @
Created by : Roland Denzel Torrance, California
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Always in Season

Wild Rice Month

September is National Wild Rice Month and National Whole Grains Month.  Visit our friends at Whole Grain Council to find health benefits, cooking tips and recipes, historical/cultural facts, and more.  

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CWR Tamales
CWR confetti shrimp salad
CWR and Pumpkin Gratin

Our Chef's Circle is continually developing new recipes and uses for wild rice especially with you, the professional chef, in mind.