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Sopes are a traditional Mexican recipe that are even easier to make than homemade tortillas! Fill them with black beans or meat for a tasty dinner recipe.

Sopes Recipe

After bringing our son Larson home, we’ve become connected to new people all over the globe. Many are related to adoption from all sides: birth mamas, adopted children, adoptive families. Others have reached out knowing Larson has Mexican heritage. One of these generous souls was Alejandra of the vegan recipe blog Brown Sugar & Vanilla. She’s from Mexico, now living in Houston, and is incredibly lovely and kind. We chatted about Spanish kids books and authentic Mexican recipes. One of the recipes she mentioned was sopes.

Homemade Sopes

What are sopes?

Sopes are a sort of thick tortilla with upturned edges, topped with meat, beans, and sauces. While Alex and I eat Mexican recipes often, neither of us had ever eaten a sope. Alejandra introduced us to sopes and created this special homemade sopes recipe in honor of Larson and his adoption story. So we are thrilled today to be sharing Alejandra’s method for making authentic homemade Mexican sopes.

Though they sound exotic, they’re actually quite simple to make at home. I expected them to be a little fussy, like making homemade tortillas. But unlike tortillas, which can be difficult to press thin enough, sopes are thicker and easier to press. They’re simple to cook on a hot griddle; the only part that requires a bit of finesse is turning up the edges after cooking.

How to make Mexican sopes

Here’s the basic concept for how to make homemade sopes!

Step 1: Mix up the dough, then roll it into balls.

Mix together a simple dough made mostly of masa harina, then form it into 10 dough balls.

Masa harina dough balls

Step 2: Flatten them into thin disks.

Cut a large plastic bag in half and place the dough ball on top of one piece, then top it with the other. Using a pie plate, flatten each dough ball into a thin disk. No need for a tortilla press here!

How to make sopes
Authentic Mexican sopes

Step 3: Cook the sopes on a griddle.

Cook each disk on a very hot griddle for a few minutes until cooked through.

Cooking sopes

Step 4: Crimp up the edges with your fingers.

While the sope is still warm, crimp up the edges using your fingers.

Crimping the edges of the dough

How to serve sopes

And that’s it! Once the sopes are cooked, you can fill them with anything you might use for a taco. Here, we’ve spread them with a thin layer of our easy refried black beans, then sprinkled with bright pink pickled onions and a bit of crunchy romaine. For a special treat, we added a dollop of this vegan chipotle cashew cream. If you think ahead and have some on hand in the refrigerator, it’s perfect for topping Mexican recipes of all kinds (so is this Mexican crema, by the way!). Or, you can go all Jackson Pollock with sour cream and hot sauce.

These homemade sopes make for simple, healthy meals. We made ours as a weeknight dinner (I’ll admit, we can be fairly ambitious on weeknights), but a dinner of sopes would be fabulous for weekend guests. Serve them with a side salad and some chips and salsa fresca as a unique alternative to tacos. They’re a bit outside the norm, but we’re convinced sopes should be a thing. And Larson will grow up knowing—and loving—them!

Authentic Mexican sopes

A huge thank you to Alejandra of Brown Sugar and Vanilla for sharing this recipe with us in honor of Larson. Alejandra blogs at Brown Sugar and Vanilla and has a lovely feed on Instagram.

Looking for Mexican recipes?

Because of its focus on fresh vegetables and zesty spices, Mexican-style recipes are easy to make vegetarian and vegan. Here are some of our top vegetarian Mexican recipes:

This homemade sopes recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Homemade Sopes with Black Beans | A Couple Cooks

Homemade Sopes Recipe

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10 sopes 1x


Sopes are a traditional Mexican recipe that are even easier to make than homemade tortillas! Fill them with black beans or meat for a tasty dinner recipe. 



For the sopes:

To serve:


  1. Mix the flour with the salt and gradually stir in the oil and nearly all of the water. Mix it together with your hands until a soft dough forms, with the consistency similar to playdough. Continue adding little bits of water until the correct consistency is achieved.
  2. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and roll them into balls, then cover them with a kitchen towel.
  3. Cut a gallon-sized plastic bag into 2 large squares. Get out a pie plate with a flat bottom or tortilla press.
  4. Heat a pan or skillet over high heat.
  5. While heating the skillet, place one of the dough balls between the two squares of plastic. Using a large pie plate with a flat bottom (or a tortilla press), apply pressure until you have a flat and even disk.
  6. Place the masa disk onto the griddle, and cook until it looks dry on the top, about 1 minute. Then flip it over and cook another 20 to 30 seconds until fully cooked. Place the cooked sope on a baking sheet and wait about 30 seconds until it has cooled, then pinch the edges up with your fingers to form the borders. Continue for all sopes. (This process works well with a helper!)
  7. To serve, spread with a thin layer of refried beans, then top with lettuce, pickled onions, hot sauce, and a dollop of cashew cream.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: sopes, sopes recipe, vegan Mexican recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. If I wanted to make a bunch of the sopes for the week ahead, would you recommend putting them in the fridge or anything? Or are these best eaten fresh? I think this could be an easy dish to meal prep if you don’t assemble until the night of!

    1. Great question! These are actually best eaten fresh. What I would do is get all the filling ingredients together (make the black beans, cashew cream, etc) and even measure out the dough quantities but not mix it. Then I’d make the sopes the night of — they actually don’t take that long to cook if you have everything else prepped and ready to go! Let me know if that seems doable. (We’ve tried them the next day, but they’re a bit dry. I could pose the question to Alejandra though if you’d like!)

  2. Oh I love sopes. I sometimes make my own tortillas since it’s hard to find good ones here. But I don’t ever think to make sopes, as I had in my mind they’re more complicated, like you said. But they aren’t! Thanks for sharing Alejandra’s method — going on the list!

  3. How simple! Definitely making these for friends with mojitos, while the warm weather lasts ;) Thanks!

  4. I’m making these tonight! Well, I’m definitely making the simple refried black beans. I’m hoping to make the sopas too, I bought masa last week, but it depends on how clingy my daughter is after the daycare pick up. Mondays can be rough, yo! I have slow cooker chicken, sweet potatoes, cheese, sour cream, etc., so everyone can choose their toppings!

  5. These look delicious. I’ve never tried sopes before so I’m intrigued. I can’t wait to make them. I like the ingredients so they might just become a favorite.

  6. So glad to find your method for this that doesn’t require frying in a quart of oil!! This was my first time making sopes & was happy to finally try. Yummy! We topped them similarly to your version: black refried beans, quick pickled chilies and onions, some fresh spinach&cilantro, sour cream, & a little salsa. Definitely will try again. By the way our toaster oven tray worked well for flattening sopes right on the cutting board without any plastic needed!