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Chicken Pupusas

Posted by Diana Zamora | September 10, 2020

Prep time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes | Servings: 12


  • 16 ounces chicken breast, ground
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ pound cheese, part-skim mozzarella, grated
  • ½ small onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups masa harina
  • 6 cups water

Live Well Tips

  • Pupusas are the national dish of El Salvador. They are often served with Salsa Roja (red sauce) and curtido, a fermented cabbage relish that includes carrots, onions, spices and garlic.
  • Low-fat ground chicken and cheese help reduce the saturated fat and calories in this tasty dish.


  1. In a non-stick skillet over low heat, sauté chicken in oil until chicken turns white. Constantly stir the chicken to keep it from sticking.
  2. Add onion, garlic, green pepper, tomato and salt. Cook until chicken mixture is cooked through (internal temperature is 165°). Remove the skillet from the stove. Put the mixture in a bowl and cool in the refrigerator.
  3. While the chicken mixture is cooling, place the corn flour in a large mixing bowl and gradually stir in enough water to make a stiff tortilla-like dough.
  4. When the chicken mixture has cooled, mix in the cheese.
  5. Divide the dough into 24 portions. With your hands, roll the dough into balls and flatten each ball into ½ inch thick circles. Put a tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the middle of each circle of dough and bring the edges to the center. Flatten the ball of dough again until it is ½ inch thick.
  6. In a very hot iron skillet, cook the pupusas on each side until golden brown.
  7. Serve hot.

Cook Together! Making Pupusas with Kids

Pupusas are traditionally stuffed with either cheese, refried beans, a combination of the two, loroco flowers, or ground pork. You can try making these variations with your child and see which they like most!

Easy Tasks

  • Gather ingredients and equipment.
  • Wash fresh foods.
  • Add cheese to chicken mixture.
  • Stir flour and water mixture.

Intermediate Tasks

  • Measure ingredients.
  • Flatten dough balls.
  • Add chicken mixture to flattened dough balls.

Difficult Tasks

  • Add flour and water to bowl.
  • Divide dough into 12 balls.
  • Fold dough over chicken mixture and flatten.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size 2 pupusas: Calories–290; Protein–14g; Carbohydrate–38g; Total Fat–7g; Saturated Fat–3g; Cholesterol–33mg; Fiber–5g; Sodium–223mg; Iron–2mg; Calcium–191mg.

Adapted from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Delicious Heart-Healthy Latino Recipes