Hahaha still makes me laugh every time <— re: me screaming “pupusas!!!” on my birthday night after flipping through my new bday cookbook gift.

Who does that? Anyways.

So yea, pupusas.  What the heck, right?

A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of thick, hand-made corn tortilla that is usually filled with a blend of the following: cheese, cooked pork meat ground to a paste consistency, refried beans or queso con loroco. Pupusas are typically served with curtido (lightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar) and a watery tomato salsa.

My first pupusa was had at The CitizenBlack bean and cheese to be exact.

After eating it for lunch one day and doing a little internetz research I thought to myself, how hard could this be?

The answer:  not hard, not hard at all!  And 100% delicious.

Plus I already had leftover Maseca that was just perfect to get the job done…

So, here goes nothin’ 😉

Black Bean & Cheese Pupusas w/ Chili Slaw

The Bean Filling:

Tri-bean blend.  Kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans. 

Or whatever beans you like.

Garlic. Chopped. Small.

Olive oil.

Garlic into a warm pan.

Beans next.

Salt & pepper.  Then smashed.

Covered and set aside on warm until dough is ready.

The Dough:

Maseca yellow corn masa flour

Finely grated monterey jack cheese plus a pinch of salt.

Combined with H20 until dough forms. 


Handful of masa dough, rolled into a ball.

Flattened with a small indentation in the middle to make room for the filling.

Small spoonful of bean mixture. 

Then dough wrapped around the filling and pinched together at the top.

Rolled into a ball and then flattened out a bit, but not so much that the bean filling peaks out through.

And laid onto parchment paper until ready to cook.



Into a hot skillet, a few at a time. No oil or fat required.  Until browned and the dough cooked through.           

Then served!

With this spicy chili slaw to top if ya like. 

I just can’t get enough of this simple slaw.  In fact I’ve made it twice already in one week, each time tweaking the amounts in the dressing to my liking (so do so too if you decide to give it a whirl).

This time I made it with napa cabbage (love!) but have also used the bagged preshredded stuff too.

And some additional hot sauce.  This one’s a scorcher, I love.

Picked it up during our hot sauce tasting extravaganza at Peppers of Key West.

You could also serve with a tomato salsa as well.  I just didn’t happen to have any on hand.


The outside of the pupusas gets lightly crisp and the bean-filled middle is soft & hearty. And what is it about the flavor of cooked masa that just gets me every time?

What a perfect lil’ weekend dinner.

Huaraches. Pupusas.  Who knows what’ll be next…?! 😉

Have you ever had a pupusa?


  1. Sounds like a stuffed quesadilla to me! I’m in! Delicious! Love that the outer shell was homemade. You are rockin

  2. Love your excitement in this post! Would love to try these, though I may have to make up another word for them. I believe the word pupusa, at least the way it sounds in my head, is one of those words I don’t like to say – kinda like panties.

  3. Oh my gosh. WANT!!!!

  4. I have wanted to try them for so long now! I’ve seen them all over LA. I really didn’t think they were that easy though, that looks do-able!

  5. These rock!! I adore pupusas and I need try that slaw!

  6. Despite having a name that I can hardly pronounce and makes me giggle out loud, these look completely delicious!!!

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