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Pupusas de Queso (Salvadoran Cheese-Stuffed Tortillas) on a wooden board.

Pupusas de Queso (Salvadoran Cheese-Stuffed Tortillas)

A recipe for Pupusas de Queso (Salvadoran Cheese-Stuffed Tortillas)! These tortillas are filled with melty cheese and paired with Curtido (a lightly pickled cabbage mixture) and Salsa Roja (red tomato salsa) for an incredible contrast in flavors.
Course Main
Cuisine Salvadoran
Keyword cabbage, cheese, El Salvador, pupusa, salsa, Salvadoran
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 6 Pupusas


Curtido (Pickled Cabbage):

  • 1/2 green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salsa Roja:

  • 4 roma tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 medium poblano or green bell pepper stem removed, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste

Pupusas de Queso:

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 6 ounces shredded quesillo cheese


To make the curtido:

  • Thinly shred the cabbage and place in a large bowl. Toss in the carrots and onion.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar and water, then season with oregano, salt, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight.

To make the salsa:

  • In a blender, combine the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalape├▒o, garlic, worcestershire sauce, and salt. Blend until smooth. Adjust salt if needed and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the pupusas:

  • In a large bowl, combine the masa harina and water with your hands to form a smooth, pliable dough. If too sticky to form, mix in a little more masa harina. If too dry and begins to crack when formed, add a little more water.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Form one piece into a flattened circle. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese to the center, leaving room around the edges. Form the edges together over the filling and gently roll in a ball to seal.
  • Lightly press the ball, working around the center to form into a disc. Push between the hands and fingers, back and forth, to form a circular, filled pupusa about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough and cheese.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, lightly oil and add 1-2 pupusas, depending on the size of your pan. Cook until golden brown blisters form on the bottom. Flip and cook on the other side until the blisters form. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining pupusas.
  • Serve the pupusas hot with the prepared curtido and salsa roja.