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Looking for an authentic, traditional Mexican dish to serve on Cinco de Mayo? These easy Mexican Sopes would be perfect! As a bonus, they are gluten free and vegetarian!
Mexican Sopes are made from Masa, which is a finely ground corn flour. The dough is shaped into thick disks, like a thick corn tortilla, that are fried, then topped with all your favorite taco toppings, like Refried Beans, Shredded Chicken, lettuce and cheese.
Be sure to try some of our other popular Mexican recipes like One Pan Mexican Chicken and Rice, Authentic Mexican Rice and Slow Cooker Mexican Beans.
Ingredients for Mexican Sopes
There are only a few ingredients you need to make this homemade Sopes Recipe.
- Masa Harina (corn flour) – Made from dried Maize corn and found in the hispanic foods aisle. It’s also used to make Corn Tortillas and Tamales.
- Warm Water – Tap water on the hot setting is fine, or you can heat it a little in the microwave. It should be warm, but not so hot it will burn you.
- Cooking Oil – Choose a neutral oil with a high smoke point, like vegetable or canola oil.
How to Make Mexican Sopes
Don’t be intimidated by the process, it’s actually really easy to make them from scratch! I make them all the time and it’s about as easy as it gets.
Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.
- Make the dough. Combine Masa harina, salt and warm water together to form the masa dough, kneading for a couple of minutes with your hands or until the dough is firm and not sticky. Cover with a damp kitchen towel for 20 minutes to rest.
- Divide and press the dough. Divide dough into 12-14 golf ball sized portions. Using a tortilla press, a rolling pin, or your hands, press into 1/4-½ thick inch discs. If the discs are cracking as you press them, the dough needs more water. It should be firm but springy.
- Fry and form. Add some oil to a cast iron skillet and fry the discs over medium-high heat. As you work, keep a damp towel over the dough so it doesn’t dry out. Set the cooked sopes aside and cover with a dry kitchen towel. After about 30-45 seconds when they are cool enough to handle, gently press the edges to form a rimmed edge.
- Serve. Top the sope shells with beans, meat, lettuce, cheese, salsa, and sour cream.
A sope is a traditional Mexican dish originating in the central and southern parts of Mexico. It is also known (but not as commonly) as picadita. Sopes are also served as antojitos, which is Spanish for “little cravings,” or Mexican appetizers. Some other delicious antojitos include Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, Elote, Homemade Taquitos, and Shrimp Ceviche.
Traditionally they are made from masa harina and water. Masa harina is a corn flour that thickens when water is added. The dough is used to make tortillas, tostadas, tamales, pupusas, and more. Masa Harina can be found in the Hispanic section of your grocery store.
A sope is a thick disk of fried corn dough that’s shaped and topped like a pizza. Gorditas are made with the same thick dough but stuffed and folded like a taco.
No! They are made from Masa, which is corn, and they are completely gluten free! Of course you’ll want to take caution with the oil you use for frying and the toppings you select.
Sopes are similar to a tostada, served topped with meat, beans, and vegetables. I can totally eat these thick, crunchy bowls on their own, but popular toppings include:
- Beans: Refried beans, Mexican Black Beans
- Proteins: Carne Asada, Carnitas, Shredded Chicken, Shredded Mexican Beef
- Vegetables: Lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sauteed bell peppers, and onions
- Salsas: Homemade Salsa, Salsa Verde, Fresh Pineapple Salsa, Pico de Gallo
- Cheese: Cotija cheese, shredded cheddar, or queso fresco
- Other toppings: Sour cream, Guacamole
- Breakfast: Spread with a thin layer of refried beans, then top with scrambled eggs, chorizo and cheese.
Storage and Reheating
Storage: Sopes will last about a week in the fridge if properly stored in an airtight container.
Freezing: You can freeze them for up to a month, stored in a freezer bag.
Reheating: To reheat, place the disks, thawed, in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake or air fry at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until crisp.
Recipe Notes and Top Tips
- If the dough feels dry as you knead it, add more water a spoonful at a time, until the dough is soft and manageable. The dough should feel firm and spring back when lightly pressed.
- Keep the dough covered with a damp towel to keep it moist.
- Keep a small bowl of water nearby to keep your hands and the dough moistened as you work.
- Use a tortilla press to form the disks. If you don’t have a tortilla press, use the flat bottomed heavy dish or skillet.
- Instead of plastic wrap, use a gallon sized Ziploc bag and cut the ends off to create two separate pieces. The plastic is thicker than plastic wrap and is easier to peel off and reuse.
More Delicious Mexican Recipes
- Mexican Chicken Casserole
- 10 Minute Baked Tostadas
- Ground Beef Tacos
- How to Make Tamales
- Cheese Enchiladas
- Baked Chicken Tacos
- 1 1/2 cups masa harina (corn flour)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt optional
- Vegetable of Canola Oil for frying
- Optional toppings: refried beans, shredded lettuce, cheese, salsa, etc.
- Stir the masa, salt and water together until a dough forms. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for a few minutes. Form the dough into a large ball. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into golf ball sized portions and roll each one into a ball shape.
- Place a ball of dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap (or use a plastic zip-top bag cut in half) and press into a disc about 1/4-½ inch in thickness. Place back into the bowl and cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel.
- Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat. (You will know it's ready when a drop of water sizzles in the pan).
- Place masa discs into the hot oil and cook until lightly browned and crispy, turning once. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and cover with a dry kitchen towel. After about 30-60 seconds, when they are cool enough to handle, use your finger to form a rim around the edges.
- Add toppings and serve immediately.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
I love this sope recipe. It is so easy and very authentic. They taste fresh and are so chewy and savory. Thanks for making it so simple to make delicious sopes at home!
Awesome feedback Kara! Thanks for stopping by.
Hi, so my family has been making sopes for decades in Mexico and in the U.S. and I’d like to throw in the best way to make sopes. Follow recipe until you get to the rolled balls of masa. Once the masa is rolled into a ball, flatten it out slowly by pressing it in between the palms of your hands (like playdoh) but do not flatten completely just enough to give it a round look. Then with your fingers starting in the middle flatten out the masa outward turning the disc as you slowly move outward. The disc should be about half-inch thick. Then place on a heated Comal (flat griddle or skillet) medium heat. Heat the sope on both sides (approx 2 min on each side) pull aside let it cool (but not for too long, masa will harden) then pinch the edges to form a cup. Then follow the rest of the directions Ms. Kristin gave. Fry them, load them up with whatever toppings you choose and enjoy!
Thanks for your tip Alicia!
any idea what i may have done wrong? i lightly fried them in pam in a flat cast iron skillet, removed them, then added oil to the skillet as suggested below and added back in but they completely disintegrated within a few minutes.
Hi Elizabeth, I would try just following the recipe as written, I know for sure that will work! 🙂
Hi Elizabeth, when Aceneth wrote Pam, I think she meant heat in a PAN first. I know her misspelled words were misleading.
Heating the masa (disk) in a skillet or griddle first before you pinch the sides of the disk to form the cup. It’s best to not fry fresh masa because it absorbs too much oil. That is why we heat it up first.
Chose this method over others. Made the right choice. Very tasty, easy to make, very happy wife. Added a margarita to ease it down with. Thank you.
A “comal” is basically a round cast iron plate/ skillet. Shallow like a plate. and well seasoned is important with all cast iron.
Do you think these could be made ahead of time and either frozen or refrigerated and them baked before a party?
I haven’t tried this…I know they could be reheated and I’d definitely bake versus microwaving.
We’ve been making these since I was a child. We in our Mexican home call them Chalupas de frijole.
Bean chalupas. They are easy and delicious to make.
Hi! I am mexican, and want to raise the hand just for a little change that will blow your recipie, once you have the flat masa, dont put it on fan with oil, just add a little pam and let them cook, this will make your masa more soft and yumi. Then, while you are preparing the sope, i mean, while you are adding the frijoles and cheesee, you can add oil to the sopes to make them cruchy from the outside. In mexico we use a “comal” instead of a pan, but i am sure it will also work.
Thanks for the tip!
Very easy recepies
Had some pinto beans to use up and came across this post…decided to try it. So simple…I mean, CRAZY simple. And so delicious. Thank you for posting.
Made these tonight for Cinco de Mayo. These were great! 🙂