Pupusas are fat corn tortillas stuffed with refried beans, cheese, vegetables or meat. These bean and cheese pupusas are really easy to make, perfect for a quick and delicious dinner or snack.
A Kid-Simple Recipe
Pupusas are so fun and easy to make. My 7-year-old has no problem forming and filling them herself. And my 12-year old can easily cook them.
- The masa makes a really firm dough, that is easily molded into whatever shape you want.
- It’s fine if the filling leaks from the dough. A bit of melted cheese is always considered a bonus at our house!
The only real recommendation I have if you want to make bean and cheese pupusas with your kids is to relax. It really doesn’t matter what they look like, they’ll taste great!
How to eat Pupusas
Though pupusas are stuffed with a rich and flavourful filling, they are not meant to be eaten on their own. They taste even 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 pupusa topping. It is a lightly fermented cabbage condiment, 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 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
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 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.
- 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 one of the suggested toppings.
- Refried beans and cheese is the easiest filling to stuff into a pupusa. However, you can also add a pinch of cilantro or cooked vegetables.
- If you can’t find masa flour, use cornflour (not corn starch). It won’t be the same, but it will work. Unfortunately, you can’t make this recipe with cornmeal or polenta.
- Don’t worry if the filling leaks out, it will still taste great! My kids love to help me make pupusas. They are far from perfect, but they always work out.
Keywords: egg free, gluten free, nut free, oil free, vegetarian, savory, Latin-inspired, 5 ingredients, 30 minutes or less, spring, summer, fall, curtido