Are Pupusas Gluten Free? (GF Recipes)

Last Updated on January 11, 2022

Today, we’re going to be answering the question: are pupusas gluten-free? And looking at gluten-free recipes to follow if you’re craving pupusas. But are these hot pocket-style snacks suitable when following a gluten-free diet? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Pupusas?

Pupusas are the national dish of El Salvador. It’s very popular in El Salvador and Honduras. A pupusa is essentially a small, round corncake, and it’s a thick flatbread-style cake made from cornmeal or rice flour – and utterly delicious. They are usually stuffed with fillings such as shredded meat, cheese, or beans, and you usually cook them on a hot griddle or skillet.

Ingredients In Pupusas

For the filling, the ingredients can vary. However, the ingredients for the corncake itself usually consists of the following:

  • Cornmeal (Masa Harina – white or yellow)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Butter

As you can see, the dish does not require many ingredients at all!

Are Pupusas Gluten-Free?

If you’re a fan of pupusas – we have some good news! Naturally, they are completely gluten-free. However, some may contain gluten depending on where they’re made and the filling used. If wheat flour is used instead of the traditional cornmeal, the pupusa will not be gluten-free. And if any gluten is added to the filling, it will no longer be gluten-free.

The masa harina (the pupusa flour) should also be naturally gluten-free. However, there is a chance of cross-contact. This means that although the product is gluten-free, due to manufacturing and transportation methods, the final product may contain some gluten. So always buy masa harina that carries a gluten-free label, if possible.

However, it should be easy to enjoy pupusas! Whether from a store or making your own at home.

Gluten-Free Pupusas

If you’re looking to buy ready-made pupusas – look no further! While there may not be many options available, one brand goes above and beyond with gluten-free pupusas!

Read more about Is Gluten Free Less Carbs: Fact Or Myth?

what are pupusas

Tres Latin Foods

Tres Latin Foods have a huge range of pupusas and accompanying sauces. They are all inspired by classic Latin recipes. Not only is the company organic, but more importantly, certified gluten-free! This means that each product is tested for gluten and must go through rigorous testing to ensure its gluten-free status. These foods are as safe as can possibly be!

They also have vegetarian and vegan options, meaning these products are suitable for a range of dietary lifestyles.

Their gluten-free pupusas and products include:


  • black bean & sweet corn pupusa
  • chicken & cheese pupusa
  • green chile & cheese pupusa
  • kale & pinto bean pupusa
  • pinto bean & cheese pupusa
  • shredded pork & pinto bean pupusa
  • spinach & cheese pupusa

Mini Pupusas:

  • black bean & cheese mini pupusa
  • jalapeno & cheese mini pupusa


  • spicy bean tamale
  • chicken & green chile tamale

Tomatillo Salsas:

  • chipotle tomatillo salsa
  • habanero tomatillo salsa
  • original tomatillo salsa
  • serrano tomatillo salsa

Skillet Sauces:

  • classic taco skillet sauce
  • green enchilada skillet sauce
  • original fajita skillet sauce
  • red enchilada skillet sauce

You can find more information on the entire range here.

Gluten-Free Pupusa Recipe

You may feel more comfortable making your own pupusas at home, which is completely understandable. And the best news is – it’s really easy to make your own!

We’ll be looking at a recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch, which has a great Easy Homemade Pupusas recipe. Please ensure that all the ingredients you buy are gluten-free, as some brands may contain gluten.

The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 4 Cups of Masa Harina (yellow or white) – ensure it’s GF
  • 4 Cups of Warm Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 tablespoons of Softened Butter
  • 1 Can of Refried Beans (or homemade)
  • 2 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (or cheese of your choice)

Optional Toppings:

  • Salsa Roja
  • Curtido

Step-By-Step Recipe

Here’s easy to follow guide to make the perfect pupusas:

  1. Add the masa harina and salt to a mixing bowl.
  2. Slowly add the water, mixing the dough with your hands as you go. You don’t want it to be too wet, but also not too dry. Add more masa harina/water if it becomes too wet/dry. It should feel like soft play-dough. Mix in the butter (this is optional).
  3. Make small ball shape portions and keep the dough shapes covered with a damp cloth (you don’t want it to dry out).
  4. Using the palms of your hands, press the balls down into a disc shape (around 4 inches).
  5. Using a tablespoon, half fill the spoon with the beans and place it in the middle of the shape, with a sprinkling of cheese on top.
  6. Bring the edges of the dough up and pinch closed around the filling gently. Pat gently to form into a disc shape again (be careful!).
  7. Ensure the skillet is hot (this is important!) over medium heat and cook each pupusa for around 2-4 minutes on each side. The edges will look set when ready to flip and cook on the other side. It should be lightly golden when cooked.
  8. Serve immediately with an accompaniment of your choice – your pupusas are ready!

It should only take around 30 minutes to make the perfect pupusas – what are you waiting for?

Learn more about Do Corn Tortilla Chips Have Gluten?


I hope this article has helped to answer the question: are pupusas gluten-free? And helped you to become more familiar with the amazing range of pupusas on offer. Thankfully these tasty treats are gluten-free, and we can enjoy them with ease. Tres Latin Foods are a great place to start if you’ve never tried pupusas, and they are as safe as can possibly be for us!

Have you ever had a pupusa? I’m craving one with shredded meat and cheese – they sound absolutely delicious! What’s your filling of choice? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below. And if you have any GF pupusa recipes, please share them below! I love reading through your comments, and sharing is caring.