12 Delectable Side Dishes to Serve with Pupusas

You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re wondering what to serve with your pupusas.

In this essay, I’ll cover 12 of the most popular pupusa side dishes.

In a rush? Heres the short answer.

The traditional curtido and salsa roja are the perfect accompaniments to pupusas. Dip alternatives include cilantro-lime crema, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Refried beans, plantain chips, grilled veggie kabobs, or Mexican rice are more substantial side dishes.

Ready? Lets jump right in.


You wont often see pupusas without curtido.

This classic Salvadoran side is produced by pickling cabbage and carrots in vinegar, giving the rich and creamy pupusas a refreshing tang.

Picture a slaw, but zestier.

I can understand why everyone like eating it with curtido; it stops the meal from becoming too heavy.

Salsa roja

Pupusas and salsa roja go hand in hand in Salvadoran cuisine.

Tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and cilantro are common ingredients in this bright crimson salsa.

It’s ideal for dipping your meaty tortillas in, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Go to Alpha Foodie to get your hands on their original recipe.

The green variation of this dip called salsa verde.

Mexican slaw

If the curtido isn’t your thing, try some Mexican slaw instead.

It’s not pickled, therefore it’s less sour than the Salvadoran version.

However, the slaw retains a nice amount of acidity from the lime dressing, which aids in keeping the pupusas taste fresh.

The vibrant purple cabbage will offer a lovely splash of color to the table as well.

For a filling snack, serve your toasted pupusas with a side of Mexican slaw.

Fried plantains

Plantains are a harder and less sweet banana than conventional bananas.

It also creates delicious chips, which are ideal for adding crunch to your pupusas.

These fried plantains are so versatile too.

You can flavor them with whatever you want.

Vanessa’s recipe calls for salt, but if you want additional heat, use cayenne pepper. You may also use ranch seasoning to add some zing.

Mexican rice

Serve your pupusas with some of this restaurant-style Mexican rice for a full supper.

The rice is cooked in chicken stock and tomato puree, which infuses each grain with flavor.

My tummy grumbles just thinking about it cooking!

Plus, since it’s all done in one pot, cleaning is a snap.

Talk about a win-win.

Fresh veggie chow chow

Not a fan of a hefty side dish like rich?

This fresh veggie chow chow has your back.

It’s a colorful blend of freshly chopped veggies marinated in a sour vinegar sauce, quite similar to the curtido above!

This chow chow works well with more than just pupusas.

You may keep it in the fridge and use it as a relish on sandwiches, salads, and burgers.

Cilantro lime crema

Still scouting for the right dip?

This cilantro lime crema might be the one.

It’s creamy and refreshing, but it also has some acidity from the lime juice, which complements the pupusas well.

After all, they’re seldom served without a slice of lime on the side.

Do you want something light? Replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt.

Homemade guacamole

This is certainly one of my favorite pupusa side dish recommendations.

The unique avocado taste complements the pupusas’ rich, savory overtones and brightens the meal.

Basic guacamole is usually my go-to.

But I also like to add some sliced jalapenos.

Do you having problems with your guacamole browning? Green Healthy Cooking provides a unique idea to assist you (and it does not involve adding lime juice).

Creamy tomato and cucumber salad

Theres no shame in serving something simple.

And the key to this creamy tomato and cucumber salad is simplicity.

The salad is a light way to cleanse your palette, and it just takes 10 minutes to prepare, making it ideal for entertaining.

Psst, this salad is finest in the summer when tomatoes are in season.

Grilled vegetable kabobs

Pupusas include both carbohydrates and meat. The only thing lacking are some veggies.

But veggies dont have to be boring.

These kabobs are a colorful and appealing side dish. They may even be participatory if the attendees create their own.

Id have onions, peppers, and zucchini on mine.

What about you?

Pico de gallo

Pico de gallo goes well with tacos, so it stands to reason that it would also go well with pupusas.

The ingredients for this fresh salsa are diced tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and cilantro.

Sounds similar to salsa roja, right?

It is! Except its much chunkier.

The flavors will take 20 minutes to completely emerge, so set aside some time before serving.

Spicy refried beans

You could cheat and use canned refried beans, but it would be a disservice to your pupusas.

Homemade is usually better; the beans have so much more flavor.

Warm, hearty, and slightly spicy refried beans are ideal for scooping up with crisp pupusas.

Make the BEST refried beans you’ve ever had by following this recipe.

The best side dishes for pupusas

  • Curtido
  • Salsa roja
  • Mexican slaw
  • Fried plantains
  • Mexican rice
  • Fresh veggie chow chow
  • Cilantro lime crema
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Creamy tomato and cucumber salad
  • Grilled vegetable kabobs
  • Pico de gallo
  • Spicy refried beans

What To Serve With Pupusas

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your pupusas.

Print Pin Rate

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Salvadoran
Keyword: pupusas side dishes, what to serve with pupusas
Prep Time: 5minutes
Cook Time: 10minutes
Total Time: 15minutes
Servings: 1person
Calories: 256kcal


  • 1portionpupusas


  • Make your pupusas according to your preferred recipe.
  • Meanwhile, select one of the following sides to go with it.
  • Curtido, salsa roja, mexico slaw, fried plantains, mexican rice, fresh veggie chow chow, cilantro lime crème, handmade guacamole, creamy tomato and cucumber salad, grilled vegetable kabobs, pico de gallo, and spicy refried beans are among the side dishes available.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 256kcal


What side dish goes with pupusas?

Curtido is a traditional Salvadoran cabbage slaw or relish prepared with finely shredded cabbage, red onion, carrot, oregano, and vinegar. This is a genuine Salvadorian dish that you must try. Curtido is often served with pupusas (corn cakes) and salsa roja in Central America.

What vegetables go with pupusas?

Curtido, the accompanying slaw, is a vinegary, spicy brine of cabbage, carrots, and onions. This snappy cabbage relish, similar to sauerkraut or kimchi, complements the heaviness of the pupusa and makes it a simple but fulfilling meal at any time of day.

What is a traditional side dish for Salvadoran lunch?

15 Salvadorean Main Courses and Side Dishes
Soup of Pata. This substantial soup, also known as Caldo de Pata, is cooked with cow’s foot and tripe.
Chicharrón with Yuca. This is one of El Salvador’s most popular dishes.
Empanadas de Frijol.
Pisques Tamales.
Loco Elote.
Blue Cangrejo in Alguashte.

What do you eat on pupusas?

The packed corn tortillas are then grilled to perfection over a comal, a traditional grill. Pupusas are generally topped with a spicy coleslaw called curtido, which is made composed of onions, carrots, cabbage, and a variety of very fragrant spices.

How many pupusas is a meal?

Rule number one: One pupusa is never enough! Get three when you order. Trust me, it will spare you the hassle of having to wait in line again to purchase another one when your taste buds are going wild from eating one of Central America’s greatest street food snacks.

What is the etiquette for pupusa?

Pupusas are traditionally eaten with your hands. So, just construct mini guacalitos (for my non-Salvadoran friends, guacalito is a little dish) with pupusa pieces to scoop up a generous quantity of curtido and salsa to experience all of the tastes at once.

How many pupusas per person?

Pupusas are often served with a side of Curtido, a pickled cabbage dish, and salsa. One pupusa is often adequate for one person, but if you order many pupusas, anticipate two per person.

How do Salvadorans eat pupusas?

To eat a pupusa the Salvadoran way, peel off a piece of sweet-scented masa, separating the strings of cheese still clinging to the tortilla, then secure a tangle of crunchy curtido slaw bathed in tangy tomato purée with each mouthful with your thumb.

What are the 2 most popular pupusas?

Here is a list of the most popular ones that you will discover everywhere you go in Latin America.
The quesa pupusa (cheese pupusa)
Chicharrón pupusa (pork rind pupusa)
The ayote pupusa (squash pupusa)
Frijoles pupusa (bean pupusa)
The chipiln pupusa (chipiln pupusa)

What are 2 popular foods in El Salvador?

Sandwiches made with turkey or chicken. Wrapped with plantain leaves.
Quesadilla – Cheese Cake.
6 – Pavo Yuca Fries.
3 empanadas de leche o frijol – plantain pastry.
4 – Tamales – Flatbread with Salvadoran Tamales.
2 – Yuca Frita – Cassava Deep-Fried Salvadoran Cuisine to Try
1 – Pupusas – Tortillas Stuffed

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