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Pastelitos Salvadoreños Recipe

Pastelitos Salvadoreños Recipe

Pastelitos Salvadoreños is a traditional Salvadoran dish which is a savory pastry filled with meat, vegetables, and spices. The pastry dough is made from a combination of masa harina (corn flour), wheat flour and sometimes rice flour, which gives it a slightly sweet taste and a delicate texture.

The most common filling for Pastelitos Salvadoreños is a mixture of ground pork, potatoes, onions, and spices such as cumin, coriander, and paprika. The filling is cooked until it’s tender and flavorful before it’s wrapped in the pastry dough and fried until crispy and golden brown.

This dish is typically eaten as a snack or appetizer and is usually served with condiments such as salsa, curtido (a pickled cabbage slaw) or hot sauce. They are a popular street food in El Salvador and can be found in many Salvadoran homes and eateries all over the world.

Origin & Cultural Significance

Typically, a flaky pastry crust is used to make Pastelitos Salvadoreños, and the inside is a savory combination of seasoned ground beef or chicken, carrots, potatoes and other vegetables.

In Salvadoran culture, pastelitos are often eaten as a snack or served as an appetizer at social gatherings and special occasions. They are a staple of Salvadoran cuisine but the dish has its roots in Spanish cuisine, however it has since been adapted and modified over time to reflect Salvadoran tastes and preferences.

The use of local ingredients and spices has given pastelitos Salvadoreños a unique flavor that is distinct from other types of pastries.

Additionally, pastelitos also have religious significance and are often served during Holy Week, which is a time of religious observance and reflection in El Salvador.

Pastelitos Salvadoreños

Salvadoran Pastelitos Salvadoreños Recipe

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Pastelitos Salvadoreños is a traditional Salvadoran dish which is a savory pastry filled with meat, vegetables, and spices.


  • Masa harina (corn flour) - 2 cups
  • Warm water - 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Ground pork or beef - 1/2 lb
  • Diced onions - 1/2 cup
  • Diced green bell pepper - 1/4 cup
  • Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp
  • Ground cumin - 1/2 tsp
  • Dried oregano - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Paprika - 1/4 tsp
  • Chicken broth - 1/4 cup
  • Diced tomatoes - 1/4 cup
  • Diced green olives - 1/4 cup
  • Raisins - 1/4 cup
  • Hard-boiled eggs, diced - 2
  • Vegetable oil - for frying


  1. In a large bowl, mix the masa harina, warm water, and salt until it forms a smooth dough. Cover and set aside.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground pork or beef until browned. Add the onions, green bell pepper, and vegetable oil and cook until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Add the cumin, oregano, black pepper, and paprika to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, green olives, raisins, and hard-boiled eggs to the skillet. Stir well and cook for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is thickened.
  5. Preheat a deep fryer or a large pot with vegetable oil to 375°F (190°C).
  6. Take a small ball of masa dough and flatten it with your hands or using a tortilla press. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Add a tablespoon of the meat mixture to the center of the flattened masa dough. Fold the dough in half, and seal the edges by pressing them with your fingers or a fork.
  8. Fry the pastelitos in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  9. Repeat the process with the remaining masa dough and meat mixture.
  10. Serve the pastelitos hot with your favorite salsa or hot sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 217mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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