Bean and cheese Pupusas

Simple and delicious bean and cheese pupusas for a quick dinner or snack

5 from 3 reviews

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.


Units Scale
  • 3 cups masa flour
  • 2 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of refried beans
  • 1/4 cup of white cheese


  1. Mix the masa flour with salt and water to form a stiff dough. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Fry on medium heat for about 3 minutes per side, until the masa is browning.
  5. 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