Tamales (ground maize with meat wrapped in a maize leaf) and humitas (flavored corn paste wrapped in corn leaves) are displayed in a bar as women prepare empanadas (meat pastry) at a typical eating place in Salta, at the foothills of the Andes mountain range, in the Argentine northern province of Salta, on June 14, 2009. Getty Images

National Tamale Day is Wednesday, serving as the perfect excuse to chow down on the popular Mexican dish. Instead of heading to your favorite Mexican spot, spice things up Wednesday by rolling up your sleeves and making your own.

Mexican tamales are packets of corn dough that can be filled with anything from squash or beans to fish, chicken beef or pork, and are usually wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves. The dish dates back to pre-Christopher Columbus Mexico, and according to a 16th-century account, the Spaniards were served tamales by the Aztecs during their first visits to Mexico. Below are some delicious tamale recipes to check out in celebration of National Tamale Day.

This beef tamale recipe, courtesy of, calls for 4 pounds of boneless chuck roast, garlic, three packages of dried corn husks and dried ancho chiles, among other ingredients. Be sure to have enough time to prepare this dish; it requires the corn husks to soak for three hours. Check out the full recipe here.

A fisherman pushes a wheelbarrow with "white charales fish" tamales in a small building near the shore of the Cuitzeo lagoon in Michoacan state, Mexico, on January 10, 2012. Getty Images

For a bit of a twist on the classic Mexican dish, check out this cabbage tamale recipe. This recipe can be cooked using a pressure cooker, slow cooker or oven. The recipe call for cabbage leaves, ground beef, white rice, tomato sauce and New Mexico red chile powder, among other ingredients, and only takes an hour and a half to prepare. Check out the full recipe here.

For those with a sweet tooth, check out this recipe for sweet tamales with raisins and pineapple. To make this recipe, you will need dried corn husks, fresh pineapple, fresh coarse-ground corn masa and raisins, among other ingredients. This is a great recipe for beginners; it explains step by step how to prepare the batter, how to form the tamales, how to set up the steamer and how to serve and steam the tamales. Check out the full recipe here.