Up your weeknight dinner game with mushroom and bean pupusas

[pu ‘ pusas] are a traditional Salvadorian dish consisting of a fluffy, filled corn round.

This recipe uses beans and mushrooms as filling, but the possibilities are endless. Don’t be discouraged if the first shaping attempts don’t go as planned – it might take a few practice runs to get it right. The uncooked pupusas also freeze well and can be saved to cook at a later date.

  • Mushroom – white or cremini, 2 pts
  • Red pepper – large
  • Cayenne pepper – pinch
  • Refried beans – one can
  • Cheese – cheddar/of choice
  • Masa harina – 2 cups
  • Water
  • Avocado – optional
  • Salsa – optional
  • Tomato – optional
  • Sour cream – or plain yogurt, optional
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Place chopped mushrooms and a pinch of salt in a dry pan over medium heat to medium-high heat. Allow mushrooms to expel all water (a surprising amount), about 15 minutes. Once water has evaporated, add oil, chopped red pepper, and cayenne. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes until all veggies are cooked through.

Additional fillings: 

Grate cheese and prep refried beans ( I used left over black beans from the night before).

Masa dough:

Place 1.5 c. of water in large bowl. Slowly add masa while mixing to ensure no large chunks. Add additional 0.5 c water until you achieve a tacky, wet dough. Let rest 5 minutes.


Cut tomato and avocado. Grate additional cheese. Prepare sour cream and salsa.

Shape Pupusa:

With oiled hands, roll a small ball of dough, pat flat then fill with small amount of beans, mushroom mixture, and cheese. Fold edges to seal then re-roll into a ball. Gently flatten and cook or store on greased parchment.

Cook Pupusa:

Heat skillet to medium-high with vegetable oil and add pupusas to pan. Flip when browned (3 – 5 minutes per side). To keep warm wrap in tin foil in a 220°F oven.

Serve with choice of toppings

Make ahead: Shape pupusa and freeze in parchment separated layers. To cook, allow to thaw then cook as directed.