Pupusas are a fat corn tortilla that has been stuffed with refried beans, cheese, vegetables or meat. These bean and cheese pupusas are really easy to make, for a quick and delicious dinner or snack.
How to eat Pupusas
Though they can be stuffed with a rich and flavourful fulling, pupusas are not meant to be eaten on their own. The heavy flavour of masa and beans tastes better with a bright and flavouful topping. Pupusas are generally eaten with your hands, so spread the topping on top, then pick it up to eat it like a slice of pizza.
Here are some suggested toppings:
- Curtido is the traditional topping for pupusas. It is a lightly spiced fermented cabbage dish, similar to sauerkraut.
- Fresh salsa is another traditional option. I wouldn’t recommend a store-bought salsa, because the amount of liquid would make it difficult to pick up the pupusa with your hands.
- Guacamole and cilantro isn’t as traditional, however, it is still a delicious option.
Bean and cheese Pupusas
Traditional Salvadoran refried bean and cheese pupusas are very easy to make. Serve them for a quick weeknight dinner or as a snack. Pupusas are naturally gluten free, and you can make them vegan by omitting the cheese.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Stuffed
- Cuisine: Salvadoran
- 3 cups masa flour
- 2 2/3 cup water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup of refried beans
- 1/4 cup of white cheese
- Mix the masa flour with salt and water to form a stiff dough. If you want to pre-ferment your flour, replace 1/3 cup of water with a fermenting liquid (see notes).
- Allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes. If you want to make the dough in advance, then stash it in the refrigerator.
- Divide dough into 12 balls. Fill the balls by turning them into a small bowl-like shape and putting in 1 tbsp of refried beans and a sprinkle of cheese. Then seal the filling into the center of the ball and pull some of the dough around the filling to seal it in. Then flatten into a disk about 1/2″ thick. See the photo above for an example.
- Fry on medium heat for about 3 minutes per side, until the masa is browning.
- Serve fresh and hot with curtido.
- If you want to preferment the masa flour then replace 1/3 of the water with a fermented liquid like kombucha, milk kefir or yogurt. Masa flour ferments really quickly, so only leave it for 2 hours.
- Refried beans and cheese is the easiest filling to stuff into a pupusa. However, you can also add a pinch of cilantro or cooked ground pork.
- Don’t worry if some of the filling leaks out, it will still taste great! My kids love to help me make pupusas. They are far from perfect, but it always works out.
Keywords: egg free, gluten free, nut free, oil free, vegetarian, savory, latin inspired, 5 ingredients, 30 minutes or less, spring, summer, fall, curtido