Pupusas from weelicious.com

There have been many times I’ve seen people shy away from an international dish solely based on it’s name. I totally get that it can be intimidating to order something you know nothing about in hopes that you, or dare I utter, your kids would enjoy it. Just the other day we went to a Mexican restaurant while on vacation in upstate New York and when I named off dishes to the kids that included sopes, huaraches and flautas there was silence in the air for several seconds until Kenya said “do they have tacos or enchiladas?”

It can feel intimidating trying new foods with exotic names, but once you try and enjoy them there’s no going back. This is exactly what happened when we had pupusas for the first time at our farmers market years ago. I remembered all of our friends ordering them for breakfast with their kids, but for some reason it took some time before we made the leap. One bite, though, and Kenya was hooked! Years later our family has had every variation of this Salvadorian dish including cheese, bean, chicken, vegetable and more. They’re generally topped with a vinegary slaw, a side of guacamole and crema to add to the simple flavor of the masa that makes these traditional pupusas.

The best part is they only take minutes to make and cost so little per serving which is great if you’re feeding a group or looking to stretching your weekly menu planning budget. For all of these reasons I’ve made these for Rewind Wednesday and even show you how to make Pupusas here. If you make them please let me know in the comments below what you added inside (if anything) to make them your own!

Pupusas from weelicious.com

Every Sunday morning we all wake up super excited because that's our farmer's market day and without fail the first word out of Kenya's mouth when he wakes up is "'pusa"?! 'Pusa is Kenyan for papusa and Kenya doesn't just like pupusas, he loves them, and he especially loves the ones they sell at our local market.

Here in Los Angeles there are pupusa stands all over, but until I moved here I had no idea what they were. In El Salvador, where this dish hails from, vendors everywhere sell this delicious street food which looks like a thick tortilla. Hidden inside each one is a savory filling, usually made up of cheese, chicken, beans or a combination of the three and it is served with curtido (a vinegary coleslaw, generally too spicy for most kids), guacamole and/or crema (similar to sour cream).

Pupusas from weelicious.com

I decided to make my own pupusas for lunch yesterday to see how I compared to Kenya's favorite vendor at the market. When Kenya woke up from his nap and came to the kitchen he took one whiff and said "pusa"? There was actually shock in his voice (as if he thought they only came from the Salvadorian lady at the farmer's market). You'll be shocked too when you see how easy these are to make in no time flat and each one costs mere pennies compared to the $2 I spend on the ones at our market.

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:404]

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Pupusas (6 Pupusas)

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 10 mins

nut free

gluten free

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Masa Harina (corn flour)*
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Cheese, shredded (I used a mexican blend of cheeses)
  • oil

Preparation

1. Combine the masa, water and salt in a bowl and stir to combine into a dough.
2. Divide the mixture into 6 balls and flatten each one into a 3 inch disk.
3. Place 1 tbsp of shredded cheese in the center of the disk and carefully fold in the edges to enclose the cheese.
4. Flatten the disk, covering the cheese and form into 1/4 inch thick disks (about 5-6 inches across).
5. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saute pan. Add 2-3 pupusas at a time and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side for a total of 8-10 minutes.
6. Serve.

*Make sure to buy masa harina (sold at most groceries) which is different from cornmeal

To Freeze: After step 4, place on sheet tray and freeze for 30 minutes or until frozen then transfer to a ziploc bag label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in fridge for 24 hours and follow steps 5-6.

Accompaniments

guacamole, sour cream, salsa, vinegary coleslaw

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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21 comments

  • Pupusa Program Weelicious ™ Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home Made Baby Food Babyfood Recipes, Toddler Food And Recipes For The Entire family!

    [...] Sunday at our farmers market, Kenya gets a pupusa and has since he was able to say the word! I finally decided to figure out how to make pupusas so [...]

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  • Melissa C.

    Hi! These look so delicious, I just had to try them. I've never even made tortillas before though, so they didn't turn out quite right I fear. They do taste delicious though. A few questions if you don't mind?

    1) Is the dough supposed to be very crumbly or was there not enough water?

    2) Mine turned out yellow and crispy. I used Wesson oil and the Masa was the Maseca brand that says it's for pupusa. Too much oil, too high heat (cooked on medium)? Any ideas?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    leave a comment

  • Dana

    These were so good. My 15 month old loved them! Is there anyway to spice up the dough for adults? It was a bit bland for my grown up taste.

    leave a comment

  • HCinKC

    I didn't have cheese for the middle. Instead I made them a bit smaller and used them as hamburger buns. Yum!

    leave a comment

  • Norma

    I love pupusas! My mom puts mashed brown beans with cheese inside or mashed beans, cheese and small bits of chorizo (Mexican type sausage) or bits of chicken.

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  • Lindsey

    Is there something you can use instead of the corn flour?

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  • Coralee

    When I went to the Mexican store to get the corn flour, she told me a trick. To flatten these press a plate down on the ball to make it into a disk, this definitely makes things easier. My kids didn't really go for it though, I don't think they like the corn taste, but I enjoyed them.

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  • SuperEmilyMomma

    These are amazing! My 18 month old loves them and we've eaten them two days in a row already! Great recipe, super delicious. I had a bit of difficulty finding the masa, but Whole Foods came through in the end.

    leave a comment

  • Sarah

    What type of oil is the best to cook them in?

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  • Kim

    Just tried these. I had a hard time with the dough crumbling and sticking. Added a little water and didn't seem to help. Still tasted good though.

    leave a comment

  • Marjorie

    Hi! I am from El Salvador, and it is great to see how everyone tried to make one of our favorite dishes, this is just delicious! Just a tip, sometimes used this type of rice dough and most Salvadorans love it! you can make a pupusa with chicken, shrimp, fish, spinach, squash, almost everything! we also have a very well known called \"pupusa loca\" I'm pretty sure you all would love it!

    http://www.mimaseca.com/ is the harina masa :)

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  • Celeste O

    I LOVE Pupusas! I also enjoy making my own tortillas with masa harina so it's always stocked at my house. I'll have to make some for dinner one of these nights.

    leave a comment

  • Josh

    is there that big of a difference white flour and mesa?? i made chicken and cheese pupusas yesterday (with this recipe) and they were great, but i was just wondering if there was a big difference mesa and flour??

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    • Catherine

      Masa is a flour made from corn and white flour is made from wheat so that is the biggest difference between the two! It's sort of like the difference between corn tortillas and flour tortillas! :)

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  • Baked What The Neighbors Saw

    […] a snap. In the “better luck next time” column, I’m going to have to put these pupusas from Weelicious. I did make them. The kids did actually eat them. But, let’s just say they didn’t make […]

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  • Jill

    Looks great! I can't wait to try this recipe out with my kids :)

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  • Megan K

    I just made these and they are outstanding! Use Maseca brand masa and add water slowly. I used slightly over 1 1/2 cups. Super yummy and they brown up with no oil :)

    leave a comment

  • Rachael La Fuji Mama

    You had me at pusa! (How cute is that?) I adore pupusas, so Kenya OBVIOUSLY has great taste. Yours look amazing! Already printed off the recipe...

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  • Liz

    These sound good - thank you.

    leave a comment

  • Peggy Taylor

    My son-in-law is Salvadoran and has me hooked on Pupusas. My favorite is Chorizo and cheese filled.

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    • McCord

      Yum!

      leave a comment