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How to Make a Torta de Tamal: Mexican Guajolota Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 9, 2020 • 1 min read

Learn about one of Mexico City's famous street food breakfasts.



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What Is a Torta de Tamal?

A torta de tamal is a Mexican antojito (snack) consisting of a tamal sandwiched in a bread roll. Also known as guajolote (a Nahuatl word meaning “turkeys”), this tamal sandwich combines two of Mexico's favorite street foods: tortas and tamales. In Mexico City, vendors who sell tamales often keep a bag of bolillos or teleras (the rolls used to make tortas) on hand for anyone who wants a quick, affordable carb-on-carb breakfast.

Since they're ultra-portable, tortas de tamal are especially popular as a grab-and-go breakfast. The bread keeps your hands clean, and there's no chance of any filling falling out of a tamal. Tamales can be filled with almost anything: rajas con queso (poblano peppers and queso Oaxaca), pollo con salsa verde (chicken and tomatillo salsa), carne de puerco (pork and red mole or salsa roja). On the sweet side, you'll find tamales dulces filled with dulce de leche or fruits like pineapple or guava; sweet tamales are often made with sweetened masa (corn dough). Served with a cup of atole or champurrado, a torta de tamal is a complete breakfast.

Mexican Torta de Tamal Recipe

Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min


  • 1 bolillo or telera roll
  • 1 tamal, store-bought or homemade
  1. If your tamal is cold, reheat it by wrapping the tamal (still in the corn husk wrapper) in a damp paper towel. Microwave the tamal in the paper towel until warm, about 30 seconds.
  2. Slice open the bolillo. Unwrap the tamal and place the tamal inside the bolillo.

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