Pupusas are an extremely cost effective meal! Fill them with your favorites and you’ve got a perfect dish!


There have been many times I’ve seen people shy away from an international dish solely based on its 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! There was actually shock in his voice (as if he thought they only came from the Salvadorian lady at the farmer’s market). 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 stretch your weekly menu planning budget. If you make them please let me know in the comments below what you added inside (if anything) to make them your own!



Pupusas are an extremely cost effective meal! Fill them with your favorites and you've got a perfect dish!
3 from 2 votes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 cups masa harina (corn flour)*
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese I used a mexican blend of cheeses)
  • oil


  • Combine the masa, water and salt in a bowl and stir to combine into a dough.
  • Divide the mixture into 6 balls and flatten each one into a 3 inch disk.
  • Place 1 tbsp of shredded cheese in the center of the disk and carefully fold in the edges to enclose the cheese.
  • Flatten the disk, covering the cheese and form into 1/4 inch thick disks (about 5-6 inches across).
  • 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.
  • 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.


Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 3mg
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About the Author

Catherine is a 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. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. […] 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 […]

  2. 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! 🙂

  3. 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??

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. Pupusa Program | Weelicious ™ - Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home Made Baby Food Babyfood Recipes, Toddler Food and recipes for the entire family! says:

    […] 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 […]

3 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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