Pupusas with Curtido Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Pupusas with Curtido

This Salvadoran classic is made by filling masa dough with cheese or black beans. Keep leftover curtido in the fridge for up to two weeks.


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4 cups shredded cabbage
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1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
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½ cup thinly sliced onion
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½ jalapeno chile, finely diced, optional
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½ cup white vinegar
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2 tsp. salt
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2 tsp. sugar
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1 tsp. dried oregano

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4 cups masa harina, such as Maseca
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2 tsp. ground cumin
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1 tsp. baking powder
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1 tsp. salt
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½ cup vegetarian refried black beans
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½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
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8 tsp. vegetable oil


1. To make Curtido: Pour 4 cups boiling water over cabbage, carrot, onion, and jalapeño in bowl. Steep 5 minutes; drain.

2. Bring vinegar, 1/2 cup water, salt, sugar, and oregano to a boil in saucepan. Pour over cabbage mixture. Cover, and cool.

3. To make Pupusas: Combine masa harina, cumin, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Stir in 3 cups warm water, adding more, if needed, to form soft dough. Cover, and let stand 30 minutes.

4. Line baking sheet with wax paper. Roll dough into 16 balls. Make indentation in centers; fill 8 balls with 1 Tbs. refried beans; fill remaining 8 balls with 1 Tbs. cheese. Fold edges over fillings, and roll into balls once more. Press into 4-inch disks. Place on prepared baking sheet.

5. Heat 2 tsp. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 Pupusas at a time to skillet; cook 5 to 6 minutes, turning once. Serve with Curtido.

Nutrition Information: 

9 g
Total Fat: 
10 g
Saturated Fat: 
2 g
48 g
9 mg
806 mg
6 g
2 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

I had some roasted garlic and vegetables on hand, so that's what I filled them with. I didn't mash everything together so that there would be distinctive flavors. It was good, but needed salt, or some seasoning. Simply cheese was better, but the right balance has yet to be found. Like the previous comment, Pupusas are so very easy and versitile.

This was a good idea starter. I instead made thicker "tortillas" according to the masa package directions, and made them into sopes of a sort (although I did not fry them, only cooked on the skillet), they were great. The curtido really should be made a day ahead to mix all the flavors, and since I am Mexican, I added about 6-7 jalapenos to my half head of cabbage, it was delicious!

Made this recipe tonight. It was very mild for me and my family, although yummy...so after the first few trial ones, I put beans, cheese and diced jalapenos inside each one, with a little spices sprinkled on top as they cooked. Mucho bien! I will make this again with whatever fillings come to mind. Very versatile.

Just curious...What's the point of the waxed paper on baking sheets if you're just going to fry them in a skillet? Otherwise, they sound great.

Wax paper keeps them from sticking to the baking sheet - it's a wet soft dough. You could also use kitchen parchment but it's usually more expensive. You could also skip the baking sheet and just lay the wax paper on the counter, providing you have space. Then put the baking sheet in oven on 200 to keep the finished ones warm while cooking the rest.

Pupusas - we could try with almond flour instead of the corn flour (masa) they are both pretty dense so it might work

I'm looking forward to making these! I tried some from a local restaurant and fell in love with them. This recipe makes it look super easy!

I love this recipe, it's such a great starting point! I do find, however, the masa needs closer to 4 cups of water. The dough should be creamy and not crack when being formed. My favorite filling is bean, cheese, jalapeno.