This post has kindly been supported by The Hatch Chile Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own (and highly persuasive.)
This recipe features the “New Mexican cuisine” version of these delicious little puffy wonders. There can be as many variations of stuffed sopapillas as there are burritos and enchiladas. So I encourage you to have fun trying various ingredient combos to find your favorite!
What are sopapillas?
I have been making sopapillas for many years, thanks to a good friend of mine who taught me how to make her grandmother’s New Mexican sopapillas. I seriously LOVE sopapillas; I love them so much I should probably get a decal for my car stating as much. I’d put it right next to my baby Yoda decal!
Simply stated, sopapillas are a square piece of deep fried dough (made with flour, salt, lard, and baking powder) roughly the size of the palm of your hand that puffs up hollow when submerged into hot oil. It is fried golden crisp on the outside and is served with honey and eaten by hand. Occasionally they are also served as an entree on a plate stuffed with filling.
I have a fabulous in-depth article all about the history of sopapillas which includes the recipe I use and the tricks I have learned over the years to ensure they turn out perfect every time. You can check that out here.
What stuffing or filling is best for sopapillas?
From chili con carne (or chile con carne where I’m from), to ground beef taco meat, to vegetarian bean and cheese, you can stuff sopapillas with all sorts of delicious fillings. It’s really up to you. Anything you’d put into a burrito bowl, you can stuff into a sopapilla.
My personal favorites are carne adovada, chile verde, creamy Salsa Chicken, and ground beef taco meat. But I bet that some of you will come up with some fantastic stuffing ideas of your own, and I would LOVE if you would share with me down in the comments!
Should I smother my sopapillas with chile sauce?
If you enjoy spicy foods then, you simply must smother your sopapillas in chile sauce. If the spice isn’t nice to your gut (or tongue) then just top your stuffed sopapillas with cabbage and cheese.
What do I mean when I say ‘chile sauce’? I’m talking about New Mexico’s famous red or green Hatch chile pepper sauces. Let me explain further:
Hatch Green chile sauce is made with green, or not quite ripe, chile peppers. They are picked just before they begin to ripen and turn red, are flame roasted, peeled, chopped and then cooked into a sauce with a little flour, onion, and sometimes herbs and spices.
Green chile sauce spiciness (hotness) can range anywhere from mild to hot. It all depends on the specific type of chiles it was made with, of which there are many. Green chile sauce is chunky, with bits of chopped green chile and sometimes pork in the mix. It has a smoky, pungent, bright flavor. I think green chile pairs best with chicken.
Hatch Red chile sauce is made with ripened red chile peppers. This sauce is most often made from sun dried red chile peppers that are then re-hydrated with water (or broth) and blended smooth with herbs and spices for additional flavor. Sometimes it is also made with fresh red chiles as well. This chile sauce can also range in heat from mild to hot, and has a deeper, earthier, more complex flavor than green chile sauce. I love red chile sauce with beef or pork.
Why are Hatch Chiles so special?
Hatch Chile is world renown for it’s delicious flavor, due to the unique climate, soil composition, and cultivars that exist only in the Hatch valley of New Mexico. These factors combine to grow exceptional chile peppers with the perfect blend of smoky, sweet and hot flavor notes. More people discover Hatch Chiles each year, and their popularity continues to grow.
Growing up in New Mexico where chile peppers are an integral part of the culture, I know that Hatch chiles have earned a reputation for being the best of the best. I personally only use authentic Hatch in all my cooking because it simply tastes amazing. You should be able to find canned Hatch chile in any supermarket these days, or you can order it directly like I do. Frozen chile is much, much better tasting than canned!
The Hatch Chile Store is the premiere website for ordering your Hatch chile– they are incredibly good at shipping fresh authentic chile right to your door, whatever variety and hotness lever you prefer. It’s where I get all my Hatch Chile, and I must say the flavor really does stand out above any other chile pepper variety.
Head on over now to The Hatch Chile Store to stock up on the most delicious Hatch chile you can buy anywhere- they’ve always got great deals on your favorite products!
How to make stuffed sopapillas
Making stuffed sopapillas is quite simple, just remember to cook up your filling and chile sauces first, then fry the sopapillas last. They should be fresh and warm when stuffed and eaten.
First you need to make your filling. I wanted to stuff this batch of sopapillas with creamy southwestern chicken, a recipe featured in my New Mexican Food Made Easy Cookbook. I love it because it is crazy easy- it’s just a couple pieces of chicken breast cooked in your favorite salsa (this time I used Grandpa’s salsa I ordered from The Hatch Chile Store). Sometimes I’ll throw in some corn and beans if I have them. When it’s finished stir in some sour cream and you have a delicious chicken dinner winner on your hands.
Next you can either make your chile sauce or make life easy and just purchase it ready-made from The Hatch Chile Store. They have a wonderful variety of sauces to choose from, and you can purchase mild, medium, or hot, so you know exactly what to expect from your sauce.
This time I wanted to smother my sopapillas in red chile sauce, so I used a jar of The Fresh Chile Co.’s fresh red chile sauce that I also ordered from The Hatch Chile Store. I just love the bright color and flavor of this sauce!
Assemble: now that your filling and sauce are ready, simply slice the end of the sopapillas open, stuff (but don’t over stuff!) with filling, and smother with sauce.
You can garnish stuffed sopapillas with shredded cabbage, cheese (queso fresco, cotija, Monterrey Jack, Mexican blend, etc.) sour cream or freshly minced herbs such as cilantro. Serve those bad boys while they are still hot and you’ll have a most excellent southwestern dinner!!
What goes with stuffed sopapillas
Stuffed sopapillas can be quite filling so whipping up and serving a side dish is really optional. But if you feel you must, the classic Mexican rice and refried beans is always delicious. I would also recommend a Mocktail tropical fruit salad to lighten things up and really round out the meal to get another serving of fruit for the day.Print
Did you know I have a full-color cookbook with lots more easy and delicious New Mexican recipes? You can learn more about it here!
Looking for more fantastic green chile recipes? Check out the gallery below!