How to Make Sopes: A Beginner’s Guide

Welcome to this article about how to make one of the most popular dishes in Mexican cuisine: sopes! If you’re a fan of tacos, burritos, and all kinds of delicious Mexican food, you’ll definitely love these small, thick tortillas filled with beans, meat, cheese, and other toppings of your choice. In this article, we’ll guide you through the 12 steps of making sopes, from preparing the dough to serving the finished product. Let’s get started!

Steps how to make sopes

Step 1: Make the dough

The first step in making sopes is to prepare the dough for the tortillas. To do this, mix masa harina (a type of corn flour), warm water, and a pinch of salt in a bowl until you get a smooth, non-sticky dough. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes, so it becomes more pliable and easier to work with.

Step 2: Divide the dough

Next, divide the dough into small balls about the size of a golf ball. You should be able to make about 8-10 sopes with one batch of dough, depending on the size and thickness of the tortillas.

Step 3: Shape the sopes

To shape the sopes, flatten the dough balls with your hands until they are about ¼ inch thick. Then, use your fingers to create a rim or border around the edges of the tortillas, making them look like small cups or bowls. The edges should be slightly thicker than the center of the tortilla.

Step 4: Cook the sopes

Heat a skillet or comal over medium-high heat and cook the sopes for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until they start to look golden brown and crispy. You don’t need to add any oil to the skillet, but you should flip the tortillas only once during cooking to avoid breaking them.

Step 5: Add the filling

Once the sopes are cooked, remove them from the skillet and let them cool for a minute or two. Then, add the filling of your choice to the center of each tortilla. Traditional toppings for sopes include refried beans, shredded chicken, beef, or pork, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and chopped cilantro, but you can experiment with your own combinations.

Step 6: Heat the filling

You can heat the filling in a separate pan or directly on the skillet, depending on the ingredients and your preferences. Make sure the filling is hot and well-seasoned before adding it to the sopes, as this will enhance the flavor and texture of the dish.

Step 7: Add the toppings

After adding the filling, don’t forget to add the toppings as well! You can add as much or as little as you want, depending on how hearty and flavorful you want your sopes to be. Some popular toppings include shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, avocados, and lime wedges.

Step 8: Serve and enjoy!

Once your sopes are loaded with all the ingredients, they are ready to be served! Arrange them on a plate or platter and garnish them with some extra cilantro or salsa if you like. Sopes are best eaten warm or hot, so make sure you don’t let them sit too long before serving. And don’t forget to enjoy every bite!

Explanation how to make sopes

What are sopes?

Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the central and southern regions of the country. They are similar to tortillas or tostadas, but with a thicker and more elevated shape that allows them to hold more fillings and toppings. The word “sope” means “sole” or “shoe” in Spanish, and it refers to the shape and texture of the tortillas, which resemble small cups or bowls.

What are the main ingredients of sopes?

The main ingredients of sopes are masa harina, water, salt, and a filling of your choice. Masa harina is a type of corn flour that is used to make tortillas, tamales, and other traditional Mexican dishes. It is different from regular cornmeal, as it has been treated with lime or calcium hydroxide to improve its flavor and nutrition. The water is used to hydrate the masa harina and create a dough that can be shaped into tortillas. The salt is used to enhance the flavor of the dough and the filling. The filling can be anything from refried beans, shredded meat, cheese, vegetables, or a combination of these.

What are some tips for making sopes?

Making sopes can be a bit challenging if you’re not used to working with masa harina or shaping tortillas. Here are some tips to make the process easier and more successful:

  • Use warm water to hydrate the masa harina, as cold water can make the dough tougher and harder to shape.
  • Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before shaping and cooking it, to allow the masa harina to absorb the water and become more pliable.
  • Don’t make the sopes too thick or too thin, as this can affect their texture and flavor. Aim for a thickness of about ¼ inch, and a diameter of about 3-4 inches.
  • Don’t overcook or undercook the sopes, as this can make them too hard or too chewy. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
  • Experiment with different fillings and toppings, but make sure they are balanced in flavor and texture. Don’t overload the sopes with too many ingredients, as this can make them messy and hard to handle.

Tips and Tricks how to make sopes

1. Use a tortilla press

If you have a tortilla press, you can use it to flatten the masa balls into tortillas more quickly and evenly. Simply place a ball of dough between two sheets of plastic or wax paper, and press it down with the press until it reaches the desired thickness. This can save you time and effort in shaping the sopes by hand.

2. Add some spices to the dough

To enhance the flavor of the sopes, you can add some spices or herbs to the masa dough before shaping it. Some good options are cumin, oregano, chili powder, or garlic powder. You can also add some chopped cilantro or parsley for a fresher taste.

3. Fry the sopes for a crispier texture

If you want your sopes to be extra crispy and crunchy, you can fry them instead of cooking them on a skillet. Simply heat some oil in a deep frying pan or pot, and fry the sopes for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crisp. Drain them on a paper towel before adding the filling.

4. Try different toppings and fillings

Sopes can be filled and topped with almost anything you like, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations. Some popular fillings are shredded beef, chicken, or pork, black beans, refried beans, scrambled eggs, chorizo, or tofu for a vegan option. Some popular toppings are shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, onions, avocado, sliced jalapenos, crumbled cheese, sour cream, or hot sauce.

5. Serve with a side of salsa, guacamole, or pico de gallo

Sopes are traditionally served with a side of salsa, guacamole, or pico de gallo, to add some extra zing and freshness to the dish. You can make your own salsa or guacamole by blending or mashing fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and avocado or jalapenos. Or you can buy them pre-made at the store if you’re short on time.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Sopes


1. Sopes are easy to make and can be prepared quickly with basic ingredients.

2. They are a versatile dish as they can be filled with different ingredients such as beans, cheese, meat, or vegetables.

3. Sopes can be made in different sizes and shapes to suit personal preferences and can be served as a snack or a complete meal.

4. They are a great option for vegetarians or vegans as they can be filled with plant-based ingredients.

5. Sopes are a popular and traditional Mexican cuisine, so making them at home can bring cultural appreciation and a fun cooking activity.

6. They are a healthier option as they are typically baked instead of fried, making them lower in calories and fat.

7. Making sopes at home allows control over the quality and freshness of the ingredients used.

8. They are a perfect option for those who prefer gluten-free or dairy-free meals as they can be made without these ingredients.

9. Sopes can be customized to accommodate different dietary restrictions or preferences.

10. Making sopes at home can be a bonding experience for friends and family and can be enjoyed as a group activity.


1. Preparing the masa dough for the sopes can be time-consuming as it requires soaking and grinding corn, or purchasing masa harina.

2. Some of the ingredients used in making sopes can be hard to find outside of Latin markets or specialty stores.

3. Sopes may not be as filling as other Mexican dishes and may require additional courses or side dishes.

4. They may not be suitable for those with a low threshold for spice or heat, as some of the fillings can be quite spicy.

5. The toppings and fillings can be messy and may require additional clean-up or preparation time.

6. Sopes can be high in sodium depending on the filling, so moderation is key.

7. The dough can be finicky and may require some practice to get the right consistency and thickness for the sope.

8. The ingredients used for sopes may not be cost-effective for those on a tight budget, as some toppings and fillings can be more expensive.

9. Sopes may not appeal to picky eaters or those who prefer more familiar or mainstream dishes.

10. Making sopes at home may require additional kitchen tools such as a comal or tortilla press, which can be expensive to purchase.


1. What are sopes?

Sopes are Mexican snacks that are shaped like a small thick tortilla, with pinched edges to form a shallow bowl to hold toppings.

2. What ingredients do I need to make sopes?

You will need masa harina, warm water, salt, vegetable shortening, and toppings of your choice such as refried beans, meat, veggies, cheese, and salsa.

3. Can I use regular flour instead of masa harina?

No, masa harina is a special type of corn flour made from dried corn kernels that have been treated with lime or ash. It gives the sopes their distinct flavor and texture.

4. How do I shape the sopes?

You can shape the masa into small balls and flatten them with your hands or use a tortilla press. Then, use your fingers to pinch the edges to create a shallow bowl shape.

5. Do I need to fry the sopes?

No, you can either fry them in hot oil until golden brown or bake them in the oven until slightly crispy.

6. How do I store the sopes?

You can store the uncooked sopes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Cooked sopes should be eaten within a day or two and can be reheated in the oven or microwave.

7. Can I make sopes ahead of time for a party?

Yes, you can make the sopes ahead of time and store them in the fridge until ready to cook. Assemble the toppings just before serving for the best flavor and texture.

8. What toppings can I use?

You can use a variety of toppings such as refried beans, shredded meat, grilled veggies, cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and cilantro.

9. Can I make sopes without toppings?

Yes, you can serve plain sopes with a sprinkle of salt as a snack or a side dish.

10. Can I make sopes without shortening?

Yes, you can use vegetable oil instead of shortening, but the texture may be slightly different.

11. What is the best type of cheese to use for sopes?

You can use queso fresco, cotija, or any other crumbly Mexican cheese that you like.

12. Can I make sopes gluten-free?

Yes, if you use masa harina that is labeled gluten-free and avoid toppings that contain gluten.

13. Are sopes spicy?

Not necessarily, you can adjust the spiciness of the toppings to your liking by using mild or hot salsa, jalapenos, or other chili peppers.

Making sopes is a delicious and fun activity that allows you to experiment with different flavors and toppings. By following these simple steps and using fresh ingredients, you can create a tasty, healthy meal for yourself, family, or friends. So, let’s get started and learn how to make sopes!

Conclusion how to make sopes

First, you need to make the cornmeal dough, also known as masa. Mix masa harina, warm water, and a pinch of salt in a bowl until you have a smooth, homogenous dough. Then, divide the dough into small balls and flatten them to make the sopes’ base. You can use your hands or a tortilla press to shape the sopes.

Next, preheat a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the sopes for a few minutes on each side until they are slightly crispy. You can also grill or bake the sopes if you prefer a healthier option. Once the sopes are cooked, let them cool down and prepare the toppings.

The fun part is choosing the toppings for your sopes. You can add anything you like, from simple cheese and lettuce to more elaborate options such as shredded beef, refried beans, salsa, guacamole, or chopped veggies. Use your creativity to mix and match flavors and textures to create the perfect sopes.

If you prefer a vegetarian option, you can substitute the meat with grilled or roasted veggies, tofu, or beans. Don’t forget to add some lime juice, cilantro, or hot sauce to enhance the flavor of your sopes.

Closing how to make sopes

In conclusion, making sopes is a versatile and tasty way to enjoy a delicious meal at home. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, you can follow these simple steps and create your sopes in no time. Remember to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and experiment with different flavors to find your perfect combination. So, grab your apron and get ready to make some sopes, and enjoy your culinary adventure!

Until next time, happy cooking and buen provecho!