Pupusas de Queso (Cheese-Stuffed Corn Masa Cakes)

Pupusas de Queso (Cheese-Stuffed Corn Masa Cakes)


  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (or chicken broth for added flavor)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Oaxaca, jack or mozzarella cheese
  • Oil for brushing (I used olive oil)


  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa
  • 1 cup pickled red onions


  1. In a bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients for the dough.
  2. Gradually add in the water until dough forms. If it’s too dry, add a little more water. And if it’s too sticky, add a little more masa harina. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat a large griddle pan or skillet to medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Make 6 equal dough balls.
  5. Take one ball and using your hands form a patty about 3 inches wide.
  6. Place some cheese in the center (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) and form the dough around the cheese to seal it back up. Form into a patty once again, but try not to squeeze too hard or the cheese will come out. The patty should be about 4 inches wide.
  7. Brush the skillet with oil, add the pupusas and brush the tops with oil. Cook for about 3 minutes per side or until you get some nice golden brown spots. My trick is to cover the pupusas with a lid as they cook. This helps steam the inside as the outside gets crispy. Remove form heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite salsa, curtido (cabbage slaw) or pickled red onions.

Cook’s Notes

I like a simple garnish of salsa verde and pickled red onions… A more traditional way to serve them would be with a lightly pickled curtido (cabbage slaw).



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