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Bean and Cheese Pupusas

The national dish of El Salvador are a filled masa flatbread served with Curtido (Spicy Slaw) and Salsa Rojo. Pupusas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, this recipe uses cheese and beans.
Bean and Cheese Pupusas

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Servings: 6 to 8
Total Time: 8 hours
Recipe by: Rae


1/2 small green cabbage shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 TBSP white vinegar
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp honey or sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 roma tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped yellow onions
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 serrano chili or up to 4 for more heat
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Bean filling:
1 TBSP oil
1 cup diced onions
1 tsp kosher salt
1 can red beans with the liquid
1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella
4 cups masa harina
2 tsp kosher salt
3 cup warm water
1 cup water
1 TBSP oil
4 TBSP peanut oil



1. Mix together all the slaw ingredients and store in fridge for at least 8 hours.


1. In a blender puree the tomatoes, onions, garlic, serrano, and the vegetable broth.

2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the puree.

3. Bring to boil and add the vinegar. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half. Cool, and serve at room temperature.


1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onions and salt. Cook, stirring often for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the onions are very brown, if they begin to stick turn the heat down.

2. Puree the beans in their liquid in a food processor. Add the pureed beans to the onions and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. Take off the heat and allow to cool completely. Once the beans are cool stir in the cheese and set aside.

2. In a stand mixer mix the masa harina, salt and water for 3 to 5 minutes, it should be a soft dough. Add a bit more water if it's too dry and bit more masa if it's too wet. Roll the dough into 20 balls (roughly the size of golf balls) and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

3. To fill the pupusas: In a small bowl mix the water and oil, dip your hands into the oil water as needed to prevent sticking. Pick up a ball in one hand and use the thumb of your other hand to make a cavity, move the ball in a circular motion around the thumb forming a cup-like shape. Fill with about 2 tablespoons of filling and then close it up by bring the dough back around the filling, forming a ball again. Pat this ball in the palms of your hands back and forth until you have a patty roughly 4 to 5 inches wide. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling.

4. Heat a pan or griddle over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Cook the pupusas in the oil until crisp and golden on both sides. About 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with cabbage slaw and salsa roja.

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Bean and Cheese Pupusas

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