Pork and Cream Cheese Pupusas (GF and low FODMAPs)

While I love old favorites and tried-and-true recipes, I’m always looking for something new to make things more interesting. Because I can’t have wheat and various wheaty products, I’ve spent a few years attempting to cook all sorts of different grains, like quinoa, teff, and sorghum. On the other hand, I lived in Texas and California for about half of my life, and always loved corn tortillas and corn chips. Even when I lived in Russia, we made tortillas from scratch in order to introduce the students from Great Britain to tacos.

I’ve made pupusas before, once. They are from El Salvador and are a really great “street food” because they are an all-in-one, easy to carry and easy to pack meal. Basically, you mix masa harina and water, just as you would for corn tortillas, only you make them thicker and stuff them with filling. Last time I made them, I tried stuffing them with ham and cheese for the kids, which was rather tasty. This time I stuffed it with slow cooked pork and some half-and-half cheese I made last week.

Slow-Cooked Pork

Take one pork roast and place in a slow cooker. Add a splash of vinegar (I use rice), a little water, and which ever spices appeal to you — I used cumin, ginger, peppercorns, paprika, salt, thyme, and a few bay leaves. Then, set on high and let cook until it falls apart — could take 6-10 hours or so. Then you pull it apart with a fork and let it cook longer, if you want. 10-12 hours is ideal, I think.

Pupusa Filling

Mix the pork with the cream cheese, add any other flavorings. I added chipotle, ancho, and some more salt. I like a smoky pork taste.

Pupusa Dough

Mix masa harina with water according to the directions. I usually just add water and mix until it feels “right”. You don’t want it too crumbly, so if you have trouble forming balls, add more water. Let it sit about 10-20 minutes before making the pupusas so the dough is well-hydrated, and add more water if needed.


Roll the dough into 2″-3″ balls and either poke a hole in with your finger to stuff, or squish flat and fill like a ravioli. Then squish the whole thing (with filling!) until it’s no thicker than a centimeter. Try to keep the filling from falling out, but it really doesn’t matter. Cook on a griddle (or pan) for 3-5 minutes each side, until the dough is cooked, the filling is heated through, and the surface is nice and golden brown.

Place on a paper towel to cut down on the soggy sweating… or just eat immediately, because who can wait? I ate mine with some tomatoes from the garden, the husband enjoyed his slathered in sriracha (none for me.. too much garlic…). Salsa would also be nice, but it is hard to keep FODMAPs-friendly.

It seems like a lot of work, but the dough itself is easy, and you can fill it with whatever you have for leftovers! I just happened to have pork and cream cheese, so it was easy.