Cheese pupusas

Share with your friends & family!

Have you ever made cheese pupusas? Cheese pupusas are the easiest kind of pupusa to make because you do not need to do any work to prepare the filling. This recipe for cheese pupusas is gluten free, vegetarian, egg free, and nut free. It can also be made vegan and dairy free if you use vegan cheese. 

If it is your first time making pupusas or if you have any additional questions about how to make pupusas then you should check out our comprehensive tutorial on how to make pupusas

Cheese pupusas with sour cream, hot sauce, and curtido.

What consistency should pupusa dough be?

What consistency should masa dough be for making pupusas? Masa dough should be dry enough that the dough does not stick to your hands when you shape it but wet enough that the dough easily holds together. If you have ever made corn tortillas, gorditas, sopes, or chalupas before then you should know the consistency of a good masa dough.

If your masa dough is difficult to work with because it is sticking to your hands then you should add a little more masa harina to the dough. Try adding 1 tbsp of masa at a time until the pupusa dough becomes easy to work with. If the dough is too dry and it crumbles when you try to shape it you should add more water to the dough. Add water 1/2 tbsp at a time until the pupusa dough comes together.

A bowl of masa sough for making bean and cheese gorditas.
How to make pupusas. A ball of masa dough that is filled with beans and cheese to make pupusas.
How to make pupusas: a cup of masa dough to put pupusa fillings in.
How to make pupusas: a cup of masa dough that is filled with pupusa fillings. The cup is being closed to create a ball that is filled with fillings.

How to shape pupusas

How do you shape pupusas? Here are the steps you need to follow to shape your pupusas before you can cook them. 

  • Make a ball of dough. Grab a small chunk of dough and roll it into a ball. The ball of dough should be around 2 inches in diameter. 
  • Make a hole in the middle of the ball. Make a hole in the middle of the ball with your thumb. You should push your thumb 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the ball. Do not push your thumb all the way through the ball of dough.
  • Thin out the walls of the hole. Pinch the dough between your thumb and your fingers to thin the walls of the hole. Shape the ball of dough into a cup.
  • Stuff the pupusa with filling. Add filling to the cup you made with the masa dough. Leave a little bit of room at the top of the cup that does not have any filling in it. 
  • Pinch the rim of the pupusa together. Pinch the rim of the pupusa together over the top of the filling. If you cannot quite get the edges of the cup together, you can grab an extra piece of masa dough to cover the opening. 
  • Flatten the pupusa. Flatten the pupusa between your thumb and the rest of your fingers. Work from the outside in, gradually flattening the ball of dough until it is the shape of a thin pancake. 

Cheese pupusas with sour cream, hot sauce, and curtido.

Tips for making pupusas

Here are some of our best tips for making pupusas. 

  • Adjust the masa dough until it is easy to work with. Masa dough should be easy to work with if it has the proper consistency. Play around with your dough before you start to shape your pupusas to make sure that it is easy to shape. Adjust the ingredients as necessary – the consistency of the dough is more important than the exact measurements of the ingredients. 
  • Wet your hands before shaping the pupusas. You should keep a bowl of water with a little bit of vegetable oil in it nearby as you shape your pupusas. You should dip your hands in this bowl periodically to keep them moist. The benefits of having moist hands are threefold – it is easier to smooth over cracks, the dough is less likely to get stuck to your hands, and the dough is less likely to crack.
  • Flatten the pupusas gradually. Do not try to flatten your pupusas into flat pancakes all in one motion. You should flatten your pupusas gradually, pinching them a little bit at a time. This will minimize the number of cracks that form around the edges of your pupusas. 
  • Keep extra dough to patch cracks. Even if you take great care to moisten your hands and flatten your pupas gradually, you will still get cracks in your pupusas occasionally. You should reserve a little bit of masa dough to patch up any large holes or cracks that appear in your pupusas.  

How to store leftover pupusas

How do you store leftover pupusas? Leftover pupusas should be stored in an airtight bag or food storage container. You can store the pupusas in either the refrigerator or the freezer. If you store the pupusas in the freezer, they will keep for up to 3 days. If you store your pupusas in the freezer, they will keep for a few months. 

How to reheat leftover pupusas

How do you reheat leftover pupusas? You have a few options when it comes to reheating leftover pupusas. 

  • In the microwave. Leftover pupusas generally heat pretty well in the microwave. If you store your pupusas in the refrigerator, they will only need to be heated for 30 – 60 seconds on full power. If you store your pupusas in the freezer, the pupusas will need to be reheated for more like 2 minutes on full power. 
  • On the stove. If you want the outside of your pupusas to be nice and crispy, you can also reheat them on the stove. We recommend heating the pupusas over medium heat for a few minutes. You may need to add a little bit of neutral oil to the pan to prevent the pupusas from sticking if you are not using a non-stick pan. 

Cheese pupusas

This recipe for cheese pupusas is about as easy as it gets when it comes to pupusas.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Salvadoran
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella, Monterrey jack, or Oaxaca)
  • vegetable oil

Masa dough

  • 2 heaping cups masa harina
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Fill a medium sized bowl of warm water with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Dip your hands in this bowl to moisten your hands periodically while you shape your pupusas.
  • Mix the ingredients for the pupusa dough together.
    If the dough is too wet and it sticks to your hands when you shape it, add more masa 1 tbsp at a time. If the dough is too dry and it crumbles when you shape it add more water 1/2 tbsp at a time.
    A bowl of masa sough for making bean and cheese gorditas.
  • Seperate the dough out into balls that are about 2 inches in diameter.
    rolled sough for chalupa shells
  • Use your thumb to make a hole in the middle of the ball of dough. Pinch the walls of the dough ball to thin them out until the dough is in the shape of a small cup or bowl.
    How to make pupusas: a cup of masa dough to put pupusa fillings in.
  • Fill the bowl with cheese, leaving a little bit of extra room at the top so that you can pinch the rim of the bowl together over the top of the filling. Pinch the rim of the bowl together until the hole has been completely closed.
    If there is not enough dough left to completely close the gap you can grab a little bit of extra dough to cover up the hole.
    How to make pupusas: a cup of masa dough that is filled with pupusa fillings. The cup is being closed to create a ball that is filled with fillings.
  • Start to flatten the pupusa by pinching the dough between your thumb and the rest of your fingers. Flatten the pupusa out gradually to help prevent the dough from cracking as you flatten it.
    How to make pupusas. Shaped pupusas being cook on a flat pan.
  • Cook the pupusas over medium to medium high heat in a flat pan, skillet, or comal. Cook the pupusas for 3 - 5 minutes per side until they start to brown.
    How to cook pupusas. Fully cooked pupusas on a flat pan.

Other tasty pupusa recipe


Gluten free and vegetarian bean and cheese pupusas with avocado, lime, and jalapeños.

If you have any questions about how to make pupusas then you should check out our comprehensive article on how to make pupusas. In this article we use a simple bean and cheese filling but you could also follow the steps in this article using a cheese filling.  


Homemade curtido. Fresh cabbage, carrots, jalapeños, greed onions, and red onions mixed with salt, sugar, and vinegar for making curtido.

Pupusas are typically served alongside a tasty cabbage slaw called curtido. Check out this recipe for curtido made with cabbage, carrots, red onions, and jalapeños.

Related articles


Share with your friends & family!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating