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Stuffed Sopapillas

Looking down onto a wooden tabletop spread with a plate of stuffed sopapillas smothered in red chile, along with the various ingredients used to create it.

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?

New Mexican Sopapillas are drizzled with honey.

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?

A closeup of a stuffed sopapilla that has a portion cut away to reveal it is stuffed with shredded chicken and beans.

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?

A person shown from the waist down wearning a plaid shirt and white apron is pouring freshly blended red chile sauce into a serving dish.

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:

Looking down into an open burlap sack filled with fresh red and green Hatch chile peppers.

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.

A closup picture of a mason jar filled with red chile. A rolled corn tortilla is held just above and has just been dipped into the chile sauce.
Make Red Chile Sauce with dry pods

What are Hatch Chile Peppers?

Hatch Chile peppers are world famous for their delicious flavors, produced by the unique climate and soil composition that exists only in the Hatch Valley of Southern New Mexico. These factors combine to grow exceptional-tasting chile peppers with 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.

Wooden baskets at a farmer's market are filled with fresh New Mexico chiles; most of them are green, but a few are turning red.

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!

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!

How to make stuffed sopapillas

Looking down onto a wooden tabletop spread with cooked shredded chicken, golden fried sopapillas, sliced limes, crumbed queso fresco cheese, and jars of chile sauce.

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.

Red chile sauce simmers in a stainless steel pan .

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.

A sopapilla is being stuffed with shredded chicken.
Two stuffed sopapillas placed on a white plate have red chile sauce poured over them.

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!!

A closeup of stuffed sopapillas smothered in red chile sauce and garnished with fresh cheese and shredded cabbage.

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.

You know what else is fantastic? Simply giving this recipe a star rating and a comment below! Your comments and ratings are greatly appreciated by me AND the Google algorithm. Thank you!

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!

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New Mexican Sopapillas

Stuffed Sopapillas

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 55 minutes


Freshly fried sopapillas are stuffed with southwestern chicken and smothered in Hatch chile sauce. Garnishes include queso fresco and shredded cabbage.


Units Scale
  • 12 cups of Hatch red chile sauce (from The Hatch Chile Store or homemade)
  • 12 cups of creamy Salsa Chicken (or other filling of choice)
  • One batch of freshly fried sopapillas
  • shredded cabbage, crumbled queso fresco, sour cream to garnish


  1. Cut one end of each sopapilla and spoon in Soutwestern chicken filling.
  2. Plate one or two stuffed sopapillas and drizzle (or pour!) red chile sauce over the top.
  3. Sprinkle garnishes on top and serve immediately.


To help ensure the entire batch of sopapillas stay warm, set your oven to the ‘warm’ setting and place freshly fried sopapillas into a paper towel-lined bowl in the oven.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: fry
  • Cuisine: New Mexican

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!

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