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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 10 pupusas

Native to El Salvador, pupusas are delicious stuffed corn pockets that are browned to crispy perfection on a stovetop griddle. These vegan pupusas are filled with a blend of spinach and a savory potato-based “cheese” sauce (separate recipe here) that will have you licking your fingers for every last drop. Served with a side of traditional pickled cabbage slaw known as curtido, these irresistible corn flatbreads are perfect for a quick and satisfying meal. 

Tip: Look for low-sodium, oil-free salsa at the grocery store, or make your own using our 20-minute recipe.

Vegan Spinach and Cheese Pupusas with Red Cabbage Slaw on a blue and white porcelain plate


  • 1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach
  • ¾ cup Potato “Cheese” Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh jalapeño chile pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • Oil-free salsa, for serving


  1. Place spinach in a strainer; run hot water over spinach to thaw. Press spinach with the back of a spoon to remove as much excess liquid as possible. Transfer spinach to a large bowl. Add the Cheese Sauce, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the lime juice, the oregano, and salt. Mix well.
  2. For Red Cabbage Slaw, in a bowl combine red cabbage, carrot, onion, white wine vinegar, the remaining lime juice, and ¼ cup water. Season to taste with sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl combine masa harina with 2 cups of warm water. Stir with a rubber spatula or your hands to form a ball. Divide dough into ten ¼-cup portions.
  4. To assemble, roll one portion of dough into a ball. Press into the center of the ball and stretch sides to widen the impression. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of spinach mixture into the center of the dough. Fold edges of dough around filling and roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining dough and spinach mixture. Pat each ball into a patty about ½-inch thick.
  5. Brush patties with water. Cook on a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-low about 7 minutes or until edges and top start to appear dry and underside is nicely browned. Turn patties over; cook 5 to 7 minutes more to brown the second side. Transfer to a platter. (You may have to cook pupusas in batches.) Serve with salsa and Red Cabbage Slaw.

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about the author

Darshana Thacker

Darshana Thacker is chef and culinary project manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit for more.

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