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New Mexican Sopapillas

Authentic New Mexican Sopapillas

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 sopapillas 1x


Puffy, golden and hollow, Sopapillas are the hallmark of New Mexican food. Their crispy yet soft texture is delicious and is simply amazing when drizzled with honey, or stuffed with a delicious hearty filling.


  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil + 2 2/1 cups for frying (shortening or lard can be used instead of vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water


  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together. Create a small depression in the center and pour in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Whisk the oil around in the dry ingredients until little clumps form.
  2. Gently pour warm water into the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon just until the dough just comes together. Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and continue to knead the dough by hand until it becomes smooth. Divide the dough in half, and seal each half in a zipper-lock bag while you proceed with step 3.
  3. Heat frying oil in a stove-top dutch oven or a heavy-duty frying pan to around 350 to 375 degrees. The oil should be at least 2 inches deep. When the oil comes to temperature remove a bag from one portion of dough and roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares approximately 4 X 4 for a nice restaurant look. (You can also fry up the extra triangles that are left if you like.)
  4. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the rolled and cut dough; it’s very important the dough stay moist and not dry out while you fry each piece, or it won’t puff. Gently lift up one square of dough and slide it into the hot oil. It should begin to puff up within about 5-10 seconds. Use a large spoon or tongs to carefully splash oil over the top until the underside is golden brown, about 30 – 60 seconds.
  5. Flip and fry the other side until both sides are light golden brown. Remove from oil and place in a large bowl lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve immediately with honey or stuffing and chile sauce.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Cuisine: New Mexican

Keywords: sopapilla, sopaipilla, New Mexico