The Ultimate Salsa Recipe for Delicious Pupusas

Calling all foodies and adventure seekers alike, have you ever heard of pupusas? Originating from El Salvador, pupusas are a traditional dish consisting of stuffed corn tortillas. These delicious pockets can be filled with a variety of mouth-watering options such as cheese, beans, pork, and even shredded vegetables. Pupusas are not only a popular street food in El Salvador, but also across Latin America and the United States. In fact, it is one of the must-try dishes when visiting El Salvador or any Latin American country.

Today’s recipe is not just any regular salsa, it is the perfect accompaniment to pupusas – the Pupusas Salsa! This recipe is easy-peasy to make and perfect for anyone looking to experiment with new flavors in their kitchen. The salsa provides the perfect balance of acidity and heat that enhances the flavor of the pupusas to give you an authentic Salvadoran culinary experience.

Are you ready for an adventure that will tantalize your taste buds? Look no further than this Pupusas Salsa recipe! Let’s dive in!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Salsa for Pupusas
Salsa for Pupusas

Looking for a delicious and authentic Salvadoran salsa recipe to complement your pupusas? Look no further!

With my salsa recipe, you can add the perfect touch of flavor to your pupusas, tacos, and even chips. This tomato-based salsa combines the traditional flavors of El Salvador with hints of garlic, onion, and cilantro to create a taste sensation that will transport you to the streets of San Salvador.

But what sets this recipe apart from others is its versatility. You can make it as mild or as spicy as you like by adjusting the number of Serrano chilies included. Plus, it’s vegan-friendly!

Not only is this salsa incredibly delicious, but it’s easy to make with common ingredients found in most pantries. And who doesn’t love a good recipe hack that won’t break the bank?

So whether you’re looking for an authentic Salvadorian food experience or just want to elevate your everyday snack game, you’ll love this simple and tasty salsa recipe. Give it a try!

Ingredient List

 The vibrant colors of this salsa are a feast for the eyes.
The vibrant colors of this salsa are a feast for the eyes.

Let’s dive into the ingredient list for this salsa recipe that is perfect for pupusas! You will need the following ingredients:

For the Salsa:

  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 Serrano chilies
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • Salt to taste

For the Curtido (Fermented Cabbage):

  • 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 carrot grated
  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • Flaked red pepper (optional)

For Serving:

  • Chips or Pupusas

These ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store, so don’t fret too much about expensive or exotic items. Let’s get started making a flavorful salsa for your next pupusa dish!

The Recipe How-To

 A perfect accompaniment to pupusas, tacos, or chips.
A perfect accompaniment to pupusas, tacos, or chips.

Here we are, ready to dive into the heart of the matter: How to prepare this salsa for pupusas recipe. It’s crucial to know that this recipe has a bit of a kick, so if you’re sensitive to spiciness, you may want to use fewer serrano chilies (or even skip them). If you want to turn up the heat, you could try adding more. In any case, here’s how it goes:


  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1-2 serrano chilies (depending on your spice preference)
  • 1 small chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Cilantro (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add chopped onion and garlic and stir for about three minutes or until they are golden brown.
  3. Add chopped green bell pepper and cook for two minutes.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and water and increase the heat to medium-low.
  5. Cook for ten minutes with the pan covered, stirring occasionally.
  6. Then add chopped serrano chilies (de-seed if you prefer less spicy), chicken bouillon powder, and salt.
  7. Cook for an additional five minutes uncovered.
  8. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.


  • For a smoother consistency, blend the salsa after cooking.
  • To prevent the salsa from being too watery, use less water or simmer it longer on low heat.
  • If you don’t have access to roma tomatoes, substitute them with canned diced tomatoes in their juice.

Now that you know how to make this delicious salsa for pupusas recipe, it’s time to hit the kitchen and get cooking. Don’t forget to experiment with different levels of spice for a personalized taste that you’ll enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 A blend of juicy tomatoes, zesty lime, and spicy jalapeños.
A blend of juicy tomatoes, zesty lime, and spicy jalapeños.

Hey there, are you looking to put your own twist to the traditional salsa for pupusas recipe? Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things! Here are some ingredient substitutions and variations that may just surprise your taste buds.

First off, let’s talk about the heat. If you’re not a fan of spicy food or simply can’t handle it, you can always remove the Serrano chilies and replace them with something more mild like jalapenos. Conversely, if you’re a heat seeker and want more of a kick, add some habanero peppers or even ghost peppers if you dare.

Don’t have any Roma tomatoes on hand? Try using beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes instead. They’ll give your salsa a slightly different texture and slightly sweeter flavor profile. You can also experiment with adding in other veggies like diced bell peppers or corn to give your salsa even more pizzazz.

If you want to make a vegan version of this recipe, just skip the chicken bouillon powder and use vegetable bouillon instead. To kick up the umami flavor, you can add in some nutritional yeast.

Want to switch up the texture? Instead of chopping everything finely, try pulsing it in a blender or food processor for a smoother texture. Or leave everything chunky for an extra satisfying bite.

Lastly, let’s talk about the garnishes – because we all know toppings make everything better. If you don’t have any cilantro on hand or simply don’t enjoy the taste, try adding in some fresh minced parsley instead. And for those who cannot tolerate raw onions, try pickling them before using as garnish by soaking them in vinegar with a sprinkle of salt for an hour.

Remember, cooking is all about having fun and getting creative. Feel free to mix and match ingredients until you find exactly what works best for you!

Serving and Pairing

 This salsa will elevate any meal to a flavor explosion!
This salsa will elevate any meal to a flavor explosion!

Now that you’ve made your delicious salsa for pupusas, it’s time to consider how you’ll serve and pair this zesty sauce with other complementary dishes. Traditionally, this Salvadoran salsa is served alongside pupusas, a popular filling street food item in Central America that consist of stuffed masa cakes. However, don’t let tradition limit your pairing options.

Serving: The vibrant color and tangy flavors of this salsa make it a great addition to any dish. Scoop it onto tacos, burritos or nachos for a pop of flavor or use it as a dipping sauce for chips. For an authentic Salvadoran experience, try serving it alongside pupusas paired with curtido, the fermented cabbage slaw.

Pairing: Since this salsa is bursting with tomato flavors and mild heat from serrano chilies, it pairs well with other bold and savory dishes. It complements classic dishes like enchiladas or quesadillas perfectly. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try pairing it with grilled chicken or fish to add some punchy flavor into the mix.

For those of you who love experimenting in the kitchen, try using this red sauce as a base for a vegan-friendly pupusa recipe by filling the masa cakes with mashed beans and cheese or sautéed spinach and onions. There are endless ways to pair and serve this delicious salsa for pupusas with your favorite meals!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Say goodbye to boring store-bought salsa and hello to homemade goodness.
Say goodbye to boring store-bought salsa and hello to homemade goodness.

One of the great things about this salsa for pupusas recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use. This means you can prepare the salsa for your pupusas a day or two before you plan on serving it.

To store the salsa, place it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. It should last up to five days if properly stored.

When ready to serve, you may need to reheat the salsa if it has been refrigerated. You can do this by reheating the salsa in a saucepan over low heat until it is warmed through. Be sure to stir the salsa frequently while reheating, so that it heats evenly throughout.

If you have any leftover salsa after serving, store it again in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for later use. Remember to reheat before using again.

By making this salsa ahead of time and storing it properly, you can save yourself time and effort when preparing your pupusas. So go ahead and make a big batch to enjoy throughout the week!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors.
The perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors.

If you want to make sure that your salsa for pupusas recipe turns out perfectly every time, make sure to follow these tips and recommendations.

First, choose fresh and high-quality ingredients. The flavor and texture of the salsa will depend on the quality of the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers you use. Try going to a farmer’s market or choosing organic produce whenever possible.

Secondly, balance the flavors. Salsa should have a perfect balance between sweet, sour, salty, and spicy tastes. Taste your salsa as you go along and adjust the seasoning accordingly. If it’s too sweet or too sour, add a bit of sugar or vinegar respectively. If it’s too mild, add more chili or hot sauce.

Thirdly, use the right knife skills. To get a chunky and rustic salsa texture, chop your ingredients finely by hand without using a food processor or blender. Make sure to use the right knife skills such as rocking motion for garlic clove or julienne cut for onion.

Fourthly, let it rest before serving. Salsa tastes even better if you let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour or two before serving. This allows flavors to blend fully and mellows out any acidity.

Fifthly, store it properly. Store salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Avoid storing it in metal bowls which can affect the color of your salsa.

By keeping these tips in mind when making your salsa for pupusas recipe, you can ensure that it turns out perfect every time!


As we conclude this recipe article, I want to address some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that you may have about making Salsa for Pupusas. Cooking can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming, but don’t worry! With these FAQs, you’ll be able to tackle any issues that might arise with confidence and ease. So read on, and let’s get ready to make the perfect Salsa for Pupusas every time!

What is the pupusa sauce made of?

To concoct a zesty sauce that’s perfect for Brazilian and American dishes, gather up tomato sauce, water, cilantro, green bell pepper, onion, crushed garlic, bouillon cube, and salt. Toss all of these ingredients into a saucepan set on medium-low heat.

What is traditionally served with pupusas?

Pupusas, a popular Salvadoran dish, are typically enjoyed with curtido, a tangy pickled cabbage relish similar to Sauerkraut or kimchi, and tomato sauce. The customary way to eat pupusas is with your hands.

What are pupusas paired with?

Pupusas, the national dish of El Salvador, are a delicious combination of masa harina and water, which form homemade tortillas filled with an array of fillings from savory cheese to protein-rich beans, slow-roasted pork, and even fresh zucchini. Pupusas are often complemented with a delicious fermented cabbage mixture called curtido.

What are the 2 most popular pupusas?

Pupusas are a well-known dish with many variations available worldwide. The most common types are pupusa de queso and pupusa revuelta which includes cheese, beans, and chicharrn. A traditional serving of pupusas includes curtruda, a slightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar, along with a thin tomato salsa.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, whether you are familiar with Salvadorian cuisine or not, this pupusas and salsa recipe is sure to be a hit. The salsa alone is versatile and can be used for a variety of dishes, while the pupusas are a delicious and hearty main course.

By using quality ingredients like ripe roma tomatoes, aromatic garlic, and zesty serrano chilies, you can create a robust and flavorful salsa that will enhance the complex flavors of the pupusas. Not only is this recipe simple to follow, but it also allows for substitutions and variations to cater to your tastes and preferences.

Whether you’re serving these at a party or making them for a quick weeknight dinner, you won’t be disappointed in the results! So why not give this recipe a try and experience the bold and satisfying flavors of Salvadorian cuisine? With savory curtido, rich cheese beans, and tangy tomato sauce complementing each other perfectly along with a vibrant salsa roja, you’ll quickly understand why pupusas have become such an iconic dish.

Salsa for Pupusas

Salsa for Pupusas Recipe

This salsa is great served with Salvadorean pupusas as well as a salsa to eat with traditional meals such as Yucca and Enchiladas Salvadorenos (more like a tostada).
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Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer/Side dish
Cuisine Salvadoran
Servings 2 cups
Calories 55.1 kcal


  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 small white onion
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 4 serrano chilies
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar


  • Place the first 5 ingredients in the blender and blend on high.
  • Heat the canola oil on medium high heat and pour the salsa into the pan.
  • Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Add the vinager and the chicken bouillon powder and continue boiling for 10 minutes until the salsa is reduced by half.
  • Allow the salsa to come down to room temperature and serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1252gCalories: 55.1kcalCarbohydrates: 7.2gProtein: 1.6gFat: 2.7gSaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 0.1mgSodium: 203.3mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 4.3g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Sauces, Spicy, Spring, Summer, Vegetable, Very Low Carbs
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.