Image of yummy black bean pupusas.

Black Bean Pupusas


A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish of a thick corn tortilla stuffed with a savory filling. It is typically accompanied by curtido (a spicy cabbage slaw), and tomato salsa. Pupusas are also a popular dish in Honduras, especially in southern regions.


Makes 6 Servings; Vegan Recipe





– 3 cups masa harina

– 2 cups water, at room temperature 



– 1 15-ounce can black beans (1 ½ cups), rinsed and drained

– ½ medium onion, minced

– 3 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 tablespoon olive oil or other nut oil

– ½ cup vegetable broth

– ½ teaspoon cumin

– ½ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

– ½ teaspoon oregano

– Black pepper, to taste

– 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice





  1. Heat a frying pan or skillet with the oil; sauté the garlic and onion until softened.
  2. Add the remaining filling ingredients, except the lime juice, and cook for about 5 minutes, until hot.
  3. Using a potato masher, mash the beans until they are creamy.
  4. Simmer uncovered, stirring often, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Set aside to cool as you make the dough.



  1. Put the masa harina into a large bowl. Add 2 cups of water and stir. Add more water (if necessary) until the mixture clings together and forms a dough. It should be soft and pliable and not crack when you press on it. Knead the dough for about 2 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough evenly into 6 parts. Using wet hands, roll the first piece into a ball. Pat the ball between wet palms until it flattens, pressing any split edges back together.
  3. Cradling the dough disk in the palm of your hand, gently press the center to create a well.
  4. Add about one-sixth of the bean mixture. The dough will be nearly covered with filling.
  5. Using the hand cradling the pupusa, fold the edges of the dough toward the center, rotating the ball in your hand as you work. Stretch the dough gently to cover the filling.
  6. Once the filling is sealed, gently but firmly press on the dough to flatten it out. Try putting it in your left hand and pressing down on it with your right as your right thumb also compresses it from the side. When it’s flat, put it down on a cutting board and use your hands to flatten it even more, until it’s about ½ inch thick and about 4 inches in diameter. Be careful not to squeeze the filling out.
  7. Transfer the pupusa to a plate. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  8. In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, cook a pupusa until firm, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining pupusas. Serve warm. Buen Provecho. : )


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