BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Chili-Corn Pupusas

I made pupusas for my friend Dominic and he asked me if we were eating butterfly.

“Butterfly?” I asked. “What does that mean?”
“The pupal life stage is a phase in a butterfly’s life. It’s integral to complete metamorphosis.”
“Oh. No, these are pupsas—stuffed Salvadoran tortillas—basically the best quesadilla you’ve ever had.”
“Ahh. That sounds much better than butterfly.”

Here, I added pan-roasted corn, jalapeño, onions and garlic. Way, way better than butterfly.

Note: To make the classic cabbage slaw shown here that pupusas are often served with, simply toss together 1/2 cabbage, sliced thinly, juice of 1 lime, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped, salt and pepper to taste. Top with your favorite prepared salsa.

  • ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive, canola or vegetable oil Pantry
  • 2/3 cup frozen (or fresh) corn kernels $1.50 for 10 oz.
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped $0.25
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped $1 for a bunch
  • 1/2 red onion, diced $0.50
  • 1 clove garlic, minced Pantry
  • salt and pepper Pantry
  • 4 cups masa harina $2 for 1 lb
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey jack or queso blanco $3.50 for 8 oz
Total cost of Ingredients $8.75


Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium- high heat. Add corn, jalapeño, onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until corn is lightly charred. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

Mix masa harina, a pinch of salt and water together in a bowl to make a sticky dough (add a touch more water if it’s too crumbly after stirring well). Divide the dough into 8 balls.

Place a ball between two pieces of wax paper and roll out, using hands or a rolling pin, into a 6” circle. Set on a plate coated lightly with masa harina. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.

In a mixing bowl, combine the corn mixture with the shredded cheese. Place 1/4 of the mixture on top of one dough round. Spread out evenly. Top with a second dough round and pinch edges gently to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and corn-cheese mixture.

To cook, heat an ungreased griddle or pan (preferably cast iron) over high heat. Cook the pupusas for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred in places.

Serve hot, with cabbage slaw and salsa if desired.

Makes 4 pupusas.

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What They're Saying

Jamesism, on Mar 22, 04:38 PM, wrote:

Once again – you have re-engaged my hunger self just by looking at the offerings today…I ought to cut back on browsing your website!

Sam at Broke and Chic, on Mar 23, 06:33 AM, wrote:

Love Pupusas! Love your blog…I’ve been wanting to do cost breakdowns for a while. It’s a great/important thing. So far I just do menus under $100 (for dinner parties).

Alissa, on Mar 29, 11:38 AM, wrote:

I love your blog!! Can’t wait to try this recipe out, looks delicious!

Tree Service, on Jan 6, 10:58 AM, wrote:

Continue your great work! Keep on sharing great ideas and information!