International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Woman making pupusas in El Salvador

(Salvadoran, Honduran stuffed masa flatbread)

Image Creative Commons by Hermann Luyken

Average: 4.5 (478 votes)

Pupusas are similar to corn tortillas, only thicker and stuffed with cheese, beans or meat. The pupusa originated in El Salvador, but it is also popular in neighboring Honduras. Pupusas are sold hot at small restaurants called pupuserías, where they are always accompanied by a cabbage salad called curtido and a slightly spicy tomato sauce called salsa roja.

Pupusas are traditionally made by slapping the dough back and forth between well greased palms. A tortilla press is quicker and easier for beginners.

Makes 4 or 5 pupusas


  • Masa harina -- 2 cups
  • Warm water -- 1 cup
  • Filling (see variations) -- 1 cup


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the masa harina and water and knead well. Work in more water, one tablespoonful at a time, if needed, to make a moist yet firm dough. A ball of the masa should not crack at the edges when you press down on it. Cover the masa and set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. On a clean, smooth surface, roll the dough into a log and cut it into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
  3. Press an indentation in each ball with your thumb. Put about 1 tablespoon of desired filling into each indentation and fold the dough over to completely enclose it. Press the ball out with your palms to form a disc, taking care that that the filling doesn't spill out.
  4. Line a tortilla press with plastic and press out each ball to about 5 or 6 inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick. If you don't have a tortilla press, place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll it out with a rolling pin.
  5. Heat a well greased skillet over medium-high flame. Cook each pupusa for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and blistered. Remove to a plate and hold warm until all pupusas are done. Serve with curtido and salsa roja.

Pupusa Variations

  • Pupusa Dough: This recipe uses masa harina, a special dried cornmeal flour used in making tortillas, tamales, etc. If you are able to get fresh masa, definitely use it instead. The flavor will be much fresher. Just substitute the masa harina and water with fresh masa. One pound will make about 4 to 6 pupusas depending on size.
  • Pupusas de Queso: Fill the pupusa with grated cheese. Use grated quesillo, queso fresco, farmer's cheese, mozzarella, Swiss cheese or a combination of two or more. Add some minced green chile for a bit of a kick.
  • Pupusas de Chicharrones: These pupusas are filled with chopped chicharrones, or ground, cooked pork, and mixed with a a little tomato sauce. A reasonable facsimile can be made by pulsing 1 cup of cooked bacon with a little bit of tomato sauce in a food processor.
  • Pupusas de Frijoles Refritos: Use either black or red refried beans.
  • Pupusas Revueltas: A tasty mix of chicharrones, cheese and refried beans. Revueltas means roughly "mixed up" in Spanish.
  • Pupusas de Queso y Loroco: A filling of cheese and a tropical vine flower, called loroco. Loroco can be found in jars at many Latin markets.
  • Other Fillings: Try cooked, chopped potatoes or finely minced and sauteed jalapeño peppers.
  • Pupusas de Arroz: Rice pupusas are a variety of pupusa that uses rice flour instead of corn masa.


  • November 13th is National Pupusa Day in El Salvador.


Viva El Salvador!!

Pupusas r da da best food ever!!!!!
Saludos a todos los Salvadorenos del mundo!!! :)

noooo booboo thatsz a biq nono!!!:]

jealous of salvadoreans!

I agree


I love pupusas my parents were born in El Salvador and my mom is an expert at making pupusas i love her and them :)

could you let me know what cheese your mom uses please!!!!!
i haven't had good ones sence i left md i am in nm now and could make them if i had the right cheese
thank you

Hi there my name is Dani and I used to live in Morelos State in Mexico near DF where I'm a Canadian citizen living back in Canada, and I may have the right cheeses for you to add to these wonderful Papusa Recipe's.
I think that manchego cheese or even a nice mozzarella cheese that are both grated individually or just individually.

Hey, My mom uses mozzarella cheese and a tiny bit of onions, the taste is a little different, but soooooo good!

use mozzarela and queso fresco so it wont rip the pupusa and you can buy some loroco to go with it yuuuummmmy!!!! oh and a little secret use a dalop of sour cream..

i love pupusas 2 my dad was born in e salvador so im half salvadorian but im happy 2 be one nd i will love 2 taste ur mother pupopusas lmao


im proud 2 b a Salvadorean!!!!! y las pupusas son el platillo tipico de EL SALVADOR y son las mejores estoy de acuerdo contigo en mantener el haritage!!!!!!!!!! y arriba LAS PUPUSAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(:


y tambien que vivan los salvadorenos

Mucha's Gracias Amigo. I've been telling my mom about how those chef at high classs restaurants spend thousands of dollars, and years at some cooking school. Yet, it's ironic that the pupusas is a poor man's food and it's ambrosial comparing it to the so-called patrician foods.

Santa Tecla has the best pupusas (at least that what I remember).... the cheese soooo creamy

Jorge, I am not of your same heritage, but love it that you are proud of yours and wanting to keep it alive. It is a good thing. Tho my family and I are caucasians with Norwegian heritage that we too are proud of we LOVE all kinds of Mexican, South and central American food. I think we must have been from there in another life time if there is such a thing as reincarnation. We decided a while back when we were talking about food that if we could only have one kind of food for the rest of our life it would be your kind!! I have not tried the recipe yet, but will as soon as I can get out of the house (I have a cold now) and get the ingredients I need. I am sure we will love them. Another favorite of mine is tamalies though I have never tried to make them yet.
One of the foods we love that is from our heritage is Lefse. It is like a potatoe tortillia. But no spicy filling. we eat it like bread.
Thanks again for your comments. Blessings, Judie

I am dating a Salvadorian guy and his mother gave me pupusas for the first time on Sunday. I thought they were delicious! There were a few other dishes, though I cannot remember the names. I loved all of it, but, I must admit, I prefer it with a bit more spice.

i know i too have a salvi boyfriend and i love his mom's pupusas but i alsways have add hot sauce on the salsa to make the pupusas taste much better, spicy is good

Mhm my boyfriend is Salvadorian too and his mom made me pupusas n man they're good.
Me gustan mas los de arroz (:

I Puertorican and I do have to admit that Pupusas are the bomb!!

I an el salvadorian love pupusas they r very tasty

Hello my name is Denna, and I'am American.
I'm dating a Mexican now, but before I dated a guy who was Salvadorian, (not sure of spelling), anyways I moved with him to Texas and for the first time I heard of and tasted pupusas. They were so good with some kind of cabbage and carrots salad on top.
Omg good!!! Now I cook them for my Mexican boyfriend, and he loves them too. (I do not make them as good as they did in Texas, but they are still good). Thanks

yeah im puertorican also an i think pupusas are the bomb too

I'm happy to read that we have a well educated group in E.S, but for the record, it is SALVADORAN not Salvadorian or Salvadorean.
So, I suggest grammar school to all the Salvadoran royalty who missed the finer points of the English language.

it is not spelled SALVADORAN its SALVADOREAN

Both spellings are considered acceptable, as is "Salvadorian." "Salvadoran" is the most common.

wow who ever smacked u down must be crazy that girl or boy aint Salvadorian she must be Mexican us Salvadorian dont fight over little things but won thing is that pupsas are the best its the number one dish of my life

Salvadoreños and that's it.

Tiene razón, muchacho. Es salvadoreño/a/os/as y es todo. !Cómo me encantan las pupusas!

Sra. Abuelita


i don't know what you are talking about salvadoreans do know how to use the english properly you knows why because i am salvadorean and for your information salvadorean is spelled like that so you better close your mouth because you don't know us like that and if we spell it wrong it is our problem not yours okay we are proud to be 100% to be salvadoreans so shut up so yeah stop talking smack about salvadoreans because you don't know who you are messing with and salvadoreans are the best srew those other people that don't like us they are just jealous of what every salvadorean has so leave us salvadoreans alone oaky get it straight boy or girl!!! 100% salvadorean forever

You may want to learn how to use periods before you smack someone down.This is recipe website in case you haven't noticed.

thanks! I have always spelled it incorrestly

This comment has been moved here.

I am Honduran, and like the Salvadorans, we make pupusas too. I just wanted to say that when making pupusas, it is a great way to bring the family together. You know, make it a group thing when making them. I remember my mother was using them as a way to raise money for the church, and she sold each one for a dollar, with the Curtido, and salsa de tomate. Boy was that an excellent deal, because usually people will vend them for 1.50$ or two dollars each, and probably won't even be that big lol. So shortly, my mother was overwhelmed by the amount of people craving pupusas, that she had to call My brother, sister, and I, plus another women from the congregation to help. These things can become very addictive.

Hello everyone my name is Maria, I'm a Chalateca who learn how to make pupusas. I consider myself an excellent cook. I have friends from different countries and sometimes they say "Oh no I don't like pupusas" but after they try the ones that I made they will be asking for more so that means PUPUSAS are those who really don't like pupusas THEY DON"T KNOW WHAT GOOD IS lol
I'm proud to be Salvadoran living in Texas and keeping up with our Culture........and I KNOW WHAT GOOD IS

I am Salvadorian, My parents are Chalatecos. Can I have your Pupusas reciepe.Please

Dear Maria,
I would sure love to have your recipe for these popusas. Several
years ago while I was teaching 7th grade history, my students had an intermational food fest. One student brought in some popusas, and made extra for me. They were the best things I had ever tasted. She never told me how her mother made them.
Would you be willing to part with your recipe and e-mail it to me. I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

Dear Maria,
I would sure love to have your recipe for these popusas. Several
years ago while I was teaching 7th grade history, my students had an intermational food fest. One student brought in some popusas, and made extra for me. They were the best things I had ever tasted. She never told me how her mother made them.
Would you be willing to part with your recipe and e-mail it to me. I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

the pupusas are the best food i ever taste there are so good
i am salvadorean to i am proud of the food we have

100% salvatrucho
buena suerte keep it going demuestra k la mida del Elsalvador
es sabrosa :)

me gusto tu comentario sobre las pupusas y tu sabes que adonde quiera que vayamos siempre preguntaran por nuestras pupusas . saludos y cuidate contestame cuando tengas un momento para uno de tus compatriotas.

I just had a pupusa for lunch...with curtido. It was my first one, but definitely not my last!!! salvadorian born there raised in the us..nd i hav got 2 admitt salvadorian food is banging, especially them pupusas yummy.!!!! viva yoloaquin!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pupusas are good but salvi food is not bangin, i love pupusas but thats about the only good food i have had that was salvi. oh might i add fried platain with crema is also good but then again there are other countriesthat make them too and they are just as good.

why you have to be negative??? everyone in the world adopts food from other countrys. pupusas are salvadorans. this is a cook site not political or hate site.

How long do pupusas last after made?

They're definitely best eaten freshly made. In many Latin markets that cater to Salvadorans you can buy bags of pupusas that are still warm they're so fresh. But leftovers can be refrigerated for a day or two. They will get hard, tough and brittle, but a little time in a hot skillet to reheat or a 30-second zap in the microwave should bring back a some of their suppleness.