Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (2024)


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Salvadorean Bean and Cheese Pupusas are pillowy bean and cheese-stuffed corn tortillas.

Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (1)

5 years ago, my husband and I got engaged while on a mission trip in El Salvador. While we were there, we learned how to make traditional bean and cheese pupusas from one of the abuelas in the church we were working with. If you’ve never had a pupusa before, they’re 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.

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Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (2)

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 chicharrón (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.

Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (3)

They’re traditionally served with a pickled cabbage relish called curtido (It’s pretty similar to kimchi).It started snowing this morning and I really didn’t want to go out in the snow just to make some slaw for these, so it’s not pictured, but here’sa link to a recipe so you can try it. Hubby and I aren’t as big on the fermented stuff, so we prefer these with just some salsa or some tomato sauce.

Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (4)

These come together quickly, but I will saythat the trickiest part is forming the pupusa. You can cheat and use a tortilla press if you like, but I still find it a bit easier to shape them by hand. You’ll make the masa and form it into balls, lightly oil your hands, press the ball out flat, add the filling, and pinch the dough closed around the filling. After the filling is inside, you’ll press the ball back out flat, trying to make sure the filling is evenly distributed. Then you just grill it up until it’s slightly brown and beginning to blister. Here’s a video of my hubby shaping a pupusa so you can get a good idea of how to do it:

Don’t worry if you can’t get it to work the first time. (Not all of mine were perfect this go round anyways.) It will still taste delicious and you’ll get better with practice, I promise. (And more pupusas for the sake of “practicing” isn’t ever a bad thing.)

Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (5)

The best part about these bean and cheese pupusas is that they’re incredibly cheap, already gluten-free, and can be adapted with sooooo many fillings to make them fit any of your dietary needs. Pretty much anything you can make into a paste can be stuffed into the masa. I’ve seen roasted butternut squash, spinach, zucchini, red beans, plantains, peanut butter and jelly (not my fave, but it wasn’t disgusting), apple butter, kale, eggplant, hummus, and any variety of meat pastes and shredded cheese stuffed inside non-traditional pupusas.

Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (6)


Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (7)

Bean and Cheese Pupusas

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  • Author: Stephanie Powers
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 pupusas 1x
Print Recipe


Salvadorean Pupusas are pillowy bean and cheese-stuffed corn tortillas.



  • 2 cups Maseca Instant Corn Masa Mix (not the kind for Tamales), available at most grocery stores or here on Amazon
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup re-fried beans (canned or homemade)
  • 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.

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Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (8)

Meal Plan Monday 2/16-2/23:

Click Here for the (Now Mobile-Friendly) Weekly Shopping List Printable!

This meal plan is designed to feed approximately 4 adults at each meal or two adults with lunches left over. Feel free to double or add to it as needed. **You’ll need to open it with the free Adobe Reader App (Android or iOS) to be able to use the check boxes on mobile, so install that first if you don’t have it already.**

Monday: These Bean and Cheese Pupusas (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan option)– I love how cheap and flexible pupusas are. I can’t believe they aren’t more popular everywhere!

Tuesday: Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats from Skinny Taste (gluten-free, vegetarian option) –I am a huge fan of these zucchini boats. You hollow the zucchini out, remix the centers, and stuff these with taco goodness without any of the guilt!

Wednesday: My Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Risotto (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan option) –I adore risotto, but I hate standing at a stove for an hour while stirring it. For this recipe, you just toss it all into the slow cooker and come back in an hour to add in some sauteed butternut squash!

Thursday:Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Cabbage, Carrots and Peanut Saucefrom Simplicity Relished (gluten-free option, vegan option) – I’m adding some shredded chicken to this amazing cruciferoussalad and making a meal out of it. The peanut sauce dressing is yummy, and easily gluten-free since you’re makingit from scratch.

Friday:Pizza Nightwith thisLow Carb Crustless Pizza from Food Faith Fitness (gluten-free, vegetarian option) –This pizza fascinates me because you use egg whites (orI usewhole eggs) as the base for the pizza. You end up with all the flavors of pizza without all the carbs.

Saturday: Date Night – Eat Out!

Sunday: Y.O.Y.OYou’re on your own.

Linked up with:Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (9)

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Recipe: Bean and Cheese Pupusas + Meal Plan Monday Week 7 - Sustaining the Powers (2024)


How many calories in a pupusa with cheese and beans? ›

Pupusa, bean and cheese filled (1 each - approx 5" diameter) contains 37.8g total carbs, 32.5g net carbs, 3.8g fat, 7.7g protein, and 211 calories.

Are pupusas healthy? ›

Conclusion. In conclusion, pupusas are not only a delicious and satisfying food choice, but they also offer several health benefits. Packed with essential nutrients, pupusas can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. They provide a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

How many calories are in 2 pupusas? ›

There are 361 calories in 2 pupusa of Cheese Filled Pupusa.

What do you eat with pupusas? ›

Pupusas are traditionally served with a vinegary cabbage, carrot and onion salad called curtido. The salad is typically lightly fermented, kind of like sauerkraut, but it's still delicious if you don't have the time to let that happen.

How long can pupusas last in the fridge? ›

Note: Pupusas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat, cooking for 3 minutes on each side.

Are pupusas bad for weight loss? ›

Pupusas filled with refried beans can offer a substantial amount of dietary fiber. Fiber aids in digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and can support weight management by promoting feelings of fullness.

What does pupusas mean in English? ›

feminine noun (Central America) (Cookery) stuffed tortilla.

Why are pupusas special? ›

But the pupusa also has a deep cultural significance. Pupusas are family meals, Sunday dinners, and, importantly, the taste of home. Just as the indigenous people used corn tortillas to sustain themselves on their travels, many Salvadorans today seek refuge in pupusas when they are outside of El Salvador.

How many calories should I eat a day? ›

An ideal daily intake of calories varies depending on age, metabolism and levels of physical activity, among other things. Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 for men.

What is the serving size for pupusas? ›

Nutrition Facts

There are 300 calories in a 1 piece (117.000g) serving size of Restaurant, Latino, pupusas con queso (pupusas, cheese). The calorie breakdown is 47% fat, 35% carbs, and 18% protein.

What is the Mexican version of a pupusa? ›

A similar Mexican dish is called a gordita (literally, "little fatty"), but gorditas are usually open at one end.

What is the most popular pupusa? ›

The most popular traditional combination are pupusas revueltas, stuffed with cheese, beans and chicharron (fried pork).

What is pupusa in Mexico? ›

Pupusas are thick corn tortillas that can be stuffed with various fillings, including various meats, refried beans, cheese, and even squash flowers. The filled corn tortillas are then cooked to perfection on a traditional grill referred to as a comal.

How many calories are in 1 bean and cheese burrito? ›

There are 285 calories in a 1 burrito (129.000g) serving size of Burrito, bean and cheese, frozen. The calorie breakdown is 26% fat, 62% carbs, and 13% protein.

How many calories are in beans and cheese? ›

Refried Beans With Cheese (1 cup) contains 44.8g total carbs, 30.1g net carbs, 16.8g fat, 18.3g protein, and 397 calories.

How many calories in a big pupusa? ›

Pupusa, meat-filled contains 283 calories per 122 g serving. This serving contains 13 g of fat, 14 g of protein and 28 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 1.8 g sugar and 3.2 g of dietary fiber, the rest is complex carbohydrate. Pupusa, meat-filled contains 3.9 g of saturated fat and 35 mg of cholesterol per serving.

How many calories in a bean and cheese burrito from a Mexican restaurant? ›

Nutrition Facts
Saturated fats14g
Trans fats0g
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