Black Bean Pupusas

The Recipe

This is a rating of the Black Bean Pupusas recipe, by Susan Voisin on



Black bean pupusas are satisfying and delicious, but they are also a bit tricky to get right. You might need to make 1 or 2 practice batches before bringing this dish to any parties. They are a high-protein and low sugar and sodium food that is definitely worth learning how to make.

balck bean pupusas 1black bean pupusas 2


There’s nothing like a good pupusa, especially with some curtido and salsa. The most common pupusa is cheese, but black bean pupusas are a close second (and vegan!). They have a toasty tortilla outside with a soft corn/black bean filling inside, and they have that signature toasted corn smell. The bean filling in this recipe is great, packed with onion and garlic flavor. My only note is on the dough. Maseca brand Masa Harina already has some salt in it, but if you’re like me and using a different brand check the box and add a pinch of salt to the dough if it’s missing. Otherwise, you may end up with sour-tasting dough.


I’ll be honest. I tried this recipe twice before I could get something that resembled a pupusa. Making the filling is easy enough, but it’s flattening the dough and getting the right dough-to-water ratio that’s tricky. If you’ve made other kinds of dough before, this dough will require a lot more water than you initially think. You want to keep mixing and adding until the dough is a little sticky to the touch, but more importantly until it doesn’t crack when you flatten it. This is going to help keep the pupusas from spilling the filling as you’re flattening them. Pupusas are supposed to be thin with the filling evenly distributed, but flattening them takes practice. This recipe suggested flattening them again a cutting board with one hand and keeping the edges in with the other, which was helpful. You may also want to dampen your fingers with some water to make this step easier.


black bean pupusasPupusas are easy to portion. A single pupusa is a filling snack and two or three make a satisfying meal. They are high in protein and low in sodium, relative to their calories, and they are virtually sugar-free. The only processed food in the list, canned beans, can be replaced by getting raw beans and cooking them. Just don’t forget to soak them! This will add a step to an already longer cook-time but is definitely worth it if you are watching your sodium.

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