Easy Step to Make Bean and Cheese Pupusas (Vegan & Gluten Free)

These pupusa are basically handmade corn tortillas that are stuffed with a filling before cooking. Most of the time cheese is involved, so they end up hot and melty – like a quesadilla, but way better.

Look at that melty cheese! There’s a ton of different options for filling these, but our go-to is almost always beans and cheese just because we always have it on hand. Some of the other traditional types are pupusas de quesillo – filled with a soft, Central American cheese called quesillo that I’ve rarely found in the US, pupusas de frijoles refritos – filled with just refried beans, pupusas mixtas – filled with beans, quesillo, and chicharrĂ³n (which is a ground, cooked pork paste that’s different from the pork rind by the same name), and pupusas de queso con loroco – filled with cheese and loroco, an edible Central American flower sometimes sold in Latin grocery stores.


  • 2 cups Maseca Instant Corn Masa Mix (not the kind for Tamales), available at most grocery stores or here on Amazon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup re-fried beans (canned or homemade)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or quesillo if you can find it)
  • additional water and oil for your hands


  1. Mix maseca, water, oil, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Dough should be moist and have the texture of play-dough. It should not crack when pinched. If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the right consistency is reached.
  2. Cover dough and allow it to rest while mixing the filling.
  3. Heat re-fried beans for 30 seconds in the microwave to soften. Combine with shredded cheese.
  4. Divide dough into 10 equally sized portions and form into balls.
  5. Wet hands with a bit of water and vegetable oil to prevent sticking.
  6. Press dough ball out flat until it’s about 1/2″ thick.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of filling mixture into the center of the dough.
  8. Pinch the dough closed around the filling until it forms a ball again.
  9. Gently press the ball back out flat until it’s about 1/2″ thick again.
  10. Place onto a lightly-oiled griddle over medium heat for about 2 minutes per side, or until pupusa surface begins to brown and blister.
  11. Serve hot with salsa or curtido.


  • Any number of other fillings can be used as long as they are somewhat paste-like to be able to spread out inside the pupusa dough.
  • Gluten-free: These are gluten-free!
  • Vegetarian: These are vegetarian if using vegetarian re-fried beans.
  • Vegan: Choose a vegan filling – refried beans, squash puree, spinach puree, etc.

Source: sustainingthepowers.com