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Chef Ken Oringer and his 13-year-old daughter, Verveine, just came out with a cookbook titled Cooking with My Dad, the Chef. It's full of tasty, do-able, kid-approved recipes that are also gluten-free, including these pupusas—Salvadoran stuffed, griddled tortillas. (Verveine was diagnosed with celiac disease a few years ago, so cooking without gluten has become the norm in the household.)  

"In East Boston, there is a restaurant that serves the best pupusas. We used to go there a lot, particularly when we had a half day of school and my dad would pick me up. When I found out that pupusas were naturally gluten-free, I was so excited to make them at home, too." —Verveine 

Pro Tip from Ken and Verveine: We developed this recipe using the Maseca brand of masa harina. If you use other brands, start with one cup of water and add more to your dough as needed. 

For more popular gluten-free recipes, check out this Hearty Paleo Banana Bread and Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies


For the Filling:
  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded zucchini (about ½ small zucchini)
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • One cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped jarred jalapeno chile slices
For the Dough:
  • 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) masa harina
  • 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) water, plus extra if needed (see Tip)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, measured separately, plus extra for shaping


Serves: Makes 6 pupusas


For the filling, in 10-inch skillet, heat 1 ½ teaspoons oil over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes (oil should be hot but not smoking). Add zucchini, pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon, until wilted, about 1 minute. Turn off heat. 

Place colander in sink. Transfer zucchini to colander (ask an adult for help). Let cool completely, about 10 minutes. Transfer zucchini to medium bowl. Add mozzarella and jalapenos and stir to combine. 

For the dough, in second medium bowl, combine masa harina, water, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Stir with clean wooden spoon until combined. Use your hands to knead mixture until dough forms, about 1 minute. (If many large cracks form when dough is squeezed, stir in more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough no longer cracks when pressed.) 

Divide the dough into 6 equal portions, roll into balls, and place on counter. Cover dough balls with plastic wrap.

Shape and fill pupusas: Working with 1 dough ball at a time, use your hands to shape dough into 4-inch circle, about ½ inch thick. Scoop 2 tablespoons filling into center of dough, pull sides over filling, and pinch at top. Roll into smooth ball. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Lightly grease your hands with oil. Working with 1 filled dough ball at a time, gently flatten dough with your hands into 4 ½-inch circle, about ½ inch thick. Place on rimmed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat flattening with remaining filled dough balls. 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200°F. Set cooling rack in second rimmed baking sheet. 

Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon oil to skillet. Hold skillet handle with oven mitts and swirl to coat skillet with oil (ask an adult for help). 

Add 3 pupusas to skillet and cook until well browned on first side, 4 to 6 minutes. Use spatula to flip pupusas. Cook until well browned on second side, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to rack set in rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.  

Repeat cooking with remaining oil and pupusas. Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven and place on second cooling rack (ask an adult for help). Serve.

Excerpted from Cooking with My Dad, the Chef by Verveine and Ken Oringer. Copyright © 2023 by Verveine and Ken Oringer. Used with permission by America's Test Kitchen Kids. All rights reserved.