A pupusa is a beloved Salvadoran dish made of a thick corn tortilla and stuffed with a savory filling. (Hint: They are DELICIOUS.) You mix together masa flour, salt, and water to make up the dough and then add any kind of savory filling—typical options include beef, beans, cheese, and pork. These masa cakes are an authentic Salvadoran street food and are a great option for entertaining.
Pupusas are often served with curtido, a fermented cabbage relish, which usually includes carrots, onions, spices, and garlic.
Pupusas are the national dish of El Salvador and can easily be made in advance. They’re best when fried up in some oil and served soon thereafter, still warm with a generous helping of curtido. Pupusas are found in neighboring countries of El Salvador, and it’s also argued that they originated in Honduras. Pupusas are also very similar in construction to Venezuelan and Colombian arepas, and the Mexican dish, gorditas.
Check out these recipes for classic pupusas and some fun variations! You can even make vegan pupusas with beans or vegan cheese; they’re an incredibly versatile dish that you can spice up in any way you see fit.
Grated queso Oaxaca or salted mozzarella make these pupusas a must-have. Mixed with sautéed white onions and red kidney beans they’re a filling meal. Get the recipe.
Simple step-by-step instructions and an easy recipe for the accompanying cortido make this recipe an easy weeknight pick! Get the recipe.
Adding spices to the pupusa dough adds some extra excitement—this recipe calls for chili and garlic powder in addition to salt. You can also use cayenne to kick it up a notch. Get the recipe.
For an extra filling pupusa, try this recipe for pupusas de frijoles, that are stuffed with refried beans and seasoned with ground cumin. Get the recipe.