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Sopes With Black Beans + Avocado

Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian
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Why we love it:

For a long time sopes were something I only ever had when dining out. They’re traditionally an appetizer but I make a few more and happily call it dinner (this recipe will make about 12 sopes). Recently, I learned that they’re actually really simple to make at home if you have masa harina in your grocery store. If you can’t find masa harina, just buy flour tortillas and turn this into quesadillas (you can then order masa harina online and make these later)!


  • 2 cups Masa Harina
  • 112 cups Water (warm but not hot)
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 12 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans Black Beans
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 14 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 4 ounces Queso Fresco
  • 1 Avocado
  • 12 cup Salsa

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. MIX MASA

    Mix masa harina and warm water in a medium-size bowl, knead the dough until you have a uniform texture. If the dough feels dry, add more water, little by little, spoon by spoon, until the dough is soft and manageable like play dough. It won’t be sticky. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel, this will help to keep the dough moist. Set a small bowl of water next to your working area to moisten your hands and dough as you roll.


    Divide the dough into 12 pieces of the same size, cover with the kitchen towel.

    Heat a large heavy sauté pan or cast iron griddle over medium-high heat.

    To flatten the dough balls, use a ziplock style bag with the edges all cut off, or 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper. Place one dough ball between the plastic or paper. If you have a tortilla press, use that. If not, use a pie pan and press evenly to flatter the ball into a disc about ⅓” thick and evenly flat.

  • 3. COOK MASA

    Carefully pull off the plastic or paper, flip into your palm and remove the other side and slide the tortilla on to the hot pan. Cook for 1 minute, then carefully flip. Don’t let it cook longer or the dough will dry and crack. Turn again after another minute and cook the first side again for 20 - 30 seconds. Remove from the pan with the help of a spatula.


    Cover the cooked tortillas with a dry kitchen towel on a plate and allow to cool for about 30 - 45 seconds. Pinch the edges with your fingers to form a little wall all the way around the tortilla. Cover again with the dry towel and keep cooking the rest of the sopes.

    *The sopes can be stored at this point in a very airtight container for up to 1 day at room temperature. Or seal them well and freeze them for a month or two!*

  • 5. SPICES

    In a small bowl, stir together the onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and salt.

  • 6. BEANS

    Open the can of beans and rinse. Heat butter in a small pot and add the beans. Add ½ cup water and the spice mix. As they simmer, use a fork or potato masher to smash and stir until you like the consistency. If you prefer them very smooth you can use a hand blender. Set aside.

  • 7. SERVING

    Reheat by searing both sides of the sopes if needed. Smear each sope shell with beans. Top with shredded lettuce, crumbled cheese and sliced avocado. Top with salsa if desired. Serve with fruit or rice to make a full meal if needed. Or chips and salsa....or just eat another sope!

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    check the masa and make sure it meets your standards, some may have traces of gluten, most don’t
    omit cheese
  • VEGAN:
    swap butter for oil of your choice and omit cheese
    grilled shrimp or flaked white fish would make for a nice topping
    don’t try to sub in another cornmeal or flour. Just purchase sopes shells or use thick style tortillas and serve the fillings on top. Or add grated jack cheese and form into quesadillas
  • BEANS:
    pinto beans are wonderful too. If you don’t eat beans, you can omit and use more avocado mashed into a guacamole. Or add cooked mexi-style rice, or more cheese or more lettuce and make it like a salad
  • EGGS:
    make them breakfast style with scrambled eggs for the win!
    top the shells with filling they’ll go for and encourage them to plate their own or try new things. Serve with fruit or a veggie on the side to help with familiarity

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make the shells and store at room temperature for up to 2 days well wrapped, or freeze them for 2 months! Heat and brown on a griddle before serving
  2. Make spice blend
  3. Consider cooking and mashing the beans ahead, they’ll keep for 5 days in the fridge
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