These pupusa are basically handmade corn tortillas that are stuffed with a filling before cooking. Most of the time cheese is involved, so they end up hot and melty – like a quesadilla, but way better.
Look at that melty cheese! There’s a ton of different options for filling these, but our go-to is almost always beans and cheese just because we always have it on hand. Some of the other traditional types are pupusas de quesillo – filled with a soft, Central American cheese called quesillo that I’ve rarely found in the US, pupusas de frijoles refritos – filled with just refried beans, pupusas mixtas – filled with beans, quesillo, and chicharrón (which is a ground, cooked pork paste that’s different from the pork rind by the same name), and pupusas de queso con loroco – filled with cheese and loroco, an edible Central American flower sometimes sold in Latin grocery stores.
2 cups Maseca Instant Corn Masa Mix (not the kind for Tamales), available at most grocery stores or here on Amazon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup re-fried beans (canned or homemade)
1.5 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or quesillo if you can find it)
additional water and oil for your hands
Mix maseca, water, oil, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Dough should be moist and have the texture of play-dough. It should not crack when pinched. If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the right consistency is reached.
Cover dough and allow it to rest while mixing the filling.
Heat re-fried beans for 30 seconds in the microwave to soften. Combine with shredded cheese.
Divide dough into 10 equally sized portions and form into balls.
Wet hands with a bit of water and vegetable oil to prevent sticking.
Press dough ball out flat until it’s about 1/2″ thick.
Add 2 tablespoons of filling mixture into the center of the dough.
Pinch the dough closed around the filling until it forms a ball again.
Gently press the ball back out flat until it’s about 1/2″ thick again.
Place onto a lightly-oiled griddle over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side, or until pupusa surface begins to brown and blister.
Serve hot with salsa or curtido.
Any number of other fillings can be used as long as they are somewhat paste-like to be able to spread out inside the pupusa dough.
Gluten-free: These are gluten-free!
Vegetarian: These are vegetarian if using vegetarian re-fried beans.
Vegan: Choose a vegan filling – refried beans, squash puree, spinach puree, etc.