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A Great Chalupa Shell Recipe

Learning how to make chalupas is a great idea if you want to make authentic Mexican food. So, what is a chalupa exactly? Chalupas are popular in Mexico’s south central states, including Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Puebla. To make a chalupa, you just need three ingredients and they are really simple to prepare. This flour, water, and salt mixture can be molded into a cup shape with a chalupa mold or you can use a tortilla press. Failing that, just heat them and they will curl up anyway. The chalupa forms an edible shell to put the fillings in. There are different chalupa recipes, but this is how to make the basic chalupa shell.

Chalupa recipes might contain pork, chilies, salsa, chicken, fish, onion and other Mexican ingredients. You can fill your chalupas with any filling you happen to like or use them as an alternative to tortilla chips. Garnachas and sopes are similar to chalupas, although sopes tend to be soft and thick. Chalupas are named after the canoe-like boat they look like.

Perhaps you have tried Taco Bell’s chalupa recipes with chicken, bacon, ground meat, or steak. Homemade chalupa recipes are, of course, much nicer, and making your own chalupas is so simple.

A Simple Recipe

You only need 3 ingredients to make this recipe – flour, water and salt. You just need to combine these ingredients until you have a dough and then knead it and let it rest. You can then make the chalupa shapes, using a tortilla press if you have one or a rolling pin if you do not. They are quick and easy to cook too, so ensure you have your filling ready to add as soon as your chalupa shells are done.

Even though you can buy chalupa shells, it is still worth making your own because you will get a fresher flavor and, of course, this is such a quick and simple recipe. If you are looking for easy weekday recipes consider making chalupas for the family. You have plenty of choice when it comes to fillings and toppings.

A Simple and Easy Chalupa Shell
Summary: Chalupa shells are easier to make than you might imagine and you only need 3 ingredients to make these delicious, crunchy shells which can be stuffed with your favorite fillings.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Ingredient
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough.
  2. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it for 4 minutes until it loses its stickiness.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for an hour.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 pieces.
  5. Roll each piece into a ball, and then roll it out to a 6 inch round.
  6. You might want to use a tortilla press if you have one or a 6 inch round object such as a pan to cut with.
  7. Wrap each round around a mold and deep fry them.
  8. Alternatively, if you do not have a chalupa mold, you can heat the tortillas for a minute on each side over a medium hot heat in a large frying pan.
  9. Not many people have the tools to make this authentic chalupa shell recipe but if you do, this is how it is done!

Photo Description:

Chalupa shells are not difficult to make from scratch and if you are interested in Mexican recipes this is certainly one worth making. All you need are 3 ingredients. Stuff the chalupa shells with your favorite Mexican filling, perhaps pinto beans and chicken in the picture, or maybe pork, shrimp or fish. Actually the possibilities are endless, so anything you normally have in a burrito, taco or fajita would work here. Perhaps you usually buy your chalupa shells, but bookmark this recipe and try making them yourself next time. You will be pleased with the fresh-tasting results.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,