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
Bean and cheese 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. It’s the perfect meal for a night when I don’t have time to cook.
- The masa makes a really firm dough that is easily molded into whatever shape you want.
- Using refried beans and cheese means it’s fine if a bit of the filling leaks out. Melted cheese is always considered a bonus at our house!
The only real recommendation I have for making bean and cheese pupusas with your kids is to relax. It really doesn’t matter what they look like, they’ll still taste great!
How to Serve Pupusas
Though pupusas are stuffed with a flavorful filling, they are not meant to be eaten on their own. They are best served with a bright and flavorful 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 pinch of cheese. Seal the filling into the center of the ball by pulling some of the dough around the filling. Then flatten the pupusa into a disk about 1/2 inch 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. It is just too coarse.
- Don’t worry if the filling leaks out, it will still taste great! My kids love to help me make pupusas. Their pupusas 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
Was easy to make and very delicious.
Will make it again.
Thanks! It’s a favourite around here too.
Made these yesterday–excellent and very easy to make, as the others mentioned. I grilled them on our Jennair griddle. Next time I would have the heat a little higher, as 3 minutes per side wasn’t quite enough. In your recipe, you don’t mention what type of pan you use or whether you fry in oil. What do you normally do?
Hi Jessica, I use a cast iron griddle. Once it’s hot, it’s pretty much non-stick. However, pupusas are more like cooking corn tortillas than something fried, so they don’t need oil. Enjoy!