Recipes from El Salvador: Bean and Cheese Pupusas

Recipes from El Salvador

Bean and Cheese Pupusas

Country: El Salvador
Course: Main
Makes: 12 pupusas


  • 3 cups instant masa
  • 2 cups water (more if needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 14 oz refried beans
  • 1 cup queso fresco or mozzarella, finely grated
  • 1 to 2 tbsp water
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Put the masa in a bowl and slowly add the water with some salt and pepper. Knead until you get a smooth ball. The dough should not crumble when you handle it--if it does, add more water.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the cheese with the water and mash it until you get a cheesy paste. Now add the beans and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Put the vegetable oil on your hands and pick up a golf-ball sized chunk of dough. Roll it into a ball and then make a little well in it with your thumb. Put a tablespoon of the bean mixture into the well, then seal and flatten into a round patty. Make sure there is plenty of oil on the patty.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over a medium flame and add one of the pupusas (if they are well-coated in oil you don't need to add oil to the pan). Fry them until they are golden on both sides, taking care when you turn them. Serve warm with curtido and salsa.