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Pupusa Recipe from El Salvador

Pupusas, the national dish of El Salvador, are a simple and affordable recipe to make. Stuff them with cheese, meat, or vegetables, and fry them up for a filling snack or lunch!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course, street food
Cuisine: El Salvador, Salvadoran
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 Pupusas


  • 3 cups masa harina
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking


  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together salt and masa harina. Then use a mixing spoon to mix in the water. When the dough gets too hard to mix, begin kneading the dough with your hands until everything is combined.
  • Form the dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Use your palm to flatten the balls into a disk.
  • When they are flat, lay about 1 tbsp of shredded cheese in the middle, then ball up the dough to form a ball again. Finally, flatten into a disk again now that the cheese is inside.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and allow to heat up. Add the pupusa into the pan, and cook for about 5-10 minutes on one side, until the outside is crispy and you see a few small char marks. Flip the pupusa and grill again on the other side. Enjoy!


Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 
  • Masa Harina: Masa harina comes from grinding corn up. I used white masa harina, though it also comes in yellow. 
  • Salt: I use Kosher salt but you can use 
  • Cheese: I used a shredded, Italian Blend, which was mostly mozzarella. A traditional filling is Oaxacan cheese, but you can use anything melty.
  • Oil: The oil is meant to cook the pupusas. I used vegetable oil, but you can use any oil with a low smoking point. Another good option is sunflower oil!
  • An easier option to add mozzarella into the middle of the pupusas could be mozzarella balls, sliced in half (to keep them thinner). Simply form the dough around the mozzarella ball, and flatten it into a disk. This may be easier than trying to fit shredded parmesan in the dough. 
  • You don’t have to fill your Pupusas with anything if you don’t want to. You can leave them plain. 
  • Other great filling options are taco filling, refried beans, japanos, cheese, or anything else that sounds delicious! 
  • You can dip the pupusas in salsa. Additionally, you can make a curtido to serve with the pupusas!
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