How long are tamales good for in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long are tamales good for in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the time for which the tamales can be stored at room temperature, in the fridge, and the freezer in both cooked and uncooked forms. Moreover, we are going to highlight how we can store tamales, what problems may arise during storage and how to deal with them.

How long are tamales good for in the fridge?

Tamales can be stored in the fridge for about a week. They can also be stored at room temperature for about 4-5 hours and in the freezer for up to months. In either case, tamales may be altered in taste, quality,vacuum-sealed, in, or safety state. Therefore, one should try to eat them as soon as possible.

Lasting of tamales:

Cooked tamales can last in the fridge for one week. One can also freeze the tamales to extend the shelf life for a couple of months. The uncooked tamales can also be stored in the fridge for about 6-7 days and in the freezer for months. To keep them at room temperature will be a problem as they can be spoiled after 4-5 hours.

Shelf life of tamales:

TamalesRoom temperatureRefrigeratorFreezer
Cooked tamales4-5 hours1 weekUp to 6 months
Uncooked tamales4-5 hours1 weekUp to 6 months

Storing tamales:

To store the tamales for a short period at room temperature, cover them with a wrapper to prevent the supply of air or oxygen. This will help in preventing the growth of microorganisms in the tamales at room temperature.

When you are going to store tamales in a fridge, try to put them in an airtight container or jar to prevent exposure to the outside environment. Also, do not stack them on top of each other. If you are going to store the tamales in plastic bags, try to squeeze out the air as much as possible to prevent the exposure of oxygen.

For freeing, also store them in an airtight jar or container or plastic bag. The purpose behind removing or reducing the oxygen level is to prevent the oxidation as well as the growth of bacteria inside the jar or plastic bag.

You can also store tamales for about a year or two by placing them in a vacuum sealed bag. Make sure that the tamales should be stored at such freezers that do not face the problems of temperature fluctuation.

Main problems with storage:

Tamales can be spoiled once they pass their shelf lives. At room temperature, the tamales can be stored for only a few hours and after that the bacterial growth in them starts. These bacteria spoil the taste, texture, and safety of the tamales, making them unsuitable for consumption.

Tamales can also be stored in the fridge and freezer for longer periods but prolonged storage than suggested also alter their properties, including change in the taste, texture, flavor and overall appearance. The overall quality will be affected and when you reheat them, they will produce off-flavors and off-smells.

In frozen storage, the cooked tamales will face a problem in that the vegetables cannot last for too long and lose their nutritional contents, especially vitamins and minerals.

Spoiled tamales:

There are some signs which can indicate that the tamales have gone bad. The change in the quality of tamales is mainly due to the presence of delicate or perishable items, such as meat, fruits, and vegetables.

Some of the indications are bad or stinky smell due to the growth of molds, alteration in the texture, change of color from yellowish to orange or pink, and bad or rotten smelling.


Tamales are the traditional Mexican dish that is prepared with a corn-based dough filled with various ingredients, including cheese, beans, vegetables, fruits, meats, and sauces.

First, the filling is prepared and then filled in the dough, also known as “masa.” The dough is then wrapped in the corn husk and cooked. The husk is removed before cooking. If you are going to store them in either a cooked or uncooked state, just do not remove the husk for storage.

Tamales are light in weight and can be carried from one place to another easily. Most of the countries also wrap them in banana leaves instead of corn husk. Both corn husk and banana leaves serve the same purpose.

You can read how to make tamales here.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long are tamales good for in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cooked and uncooked tamales at room temperature, refrigerator temperature,vacuum-sealed containers, and freezing temperature. Moreover, we discussed how tamales can be stored, what are the main concerns with their storage and how can these problems be solved by following several precautions.


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