Poblano-infused corn cakes are topped with a fresh-flavored arugula, black bean, avocado and queso salad.

poblano sopes with avocado salad
These sopes are what happen when you follow a recipe to a T, refusing to follow your gut instinct which is pretty much telling you to run for the hills!

Away from the totally soupy mixture of masa, quinoa, water and roasted poblanos that is supposed to form a pliable dough that is a little more like modeling clay and a little less like really wet sand.


And it’s really only after your sixth attempt to form this concoction of yours into four equal rounds without them dissolving between your fingertips (and your eighteenth time uncovering a chunk of it in your hair) that you throw your hands up in defeat and break out your cookie scoop.

Because if it is going to insist on being a batter instead of a dough, then you are going to have to treat it as such. And that’s that.


And really, so long as they behave once they hit the hot oil on your pan, then who cares what it took to get them there?

(Aside from your scalp and the walls of your kitchen, of course. From which you’ll likely be removing bits of batter for days. Sigh.)

Not to mention that these little cakes are topped with a fabulous salad of arugula, black beans, avocado, cherry tomatoes and so much queso fresco that your heart can’t help but skip a beat. And you really just can’t stay mad at something as delicious as all that.

(FYI – The winner of my Baking with Yogurt GIVEAWAY was commenter #72 – Kathy of Kathy Can Cook!)


One year ago…Blueberry Peach Cobbler

Two years ago…Thai Basil Ice Cream, Vegetable Sushi Rice Salad

Three years ago…Linguine with Raw Tomato Sauce

Four years ago…Banana Streusel Muffins

Poblano Sopes with Avocado Salad
Poblano-infused corn cakes are topped with a fresh-flavored arugula, black bean, avocado and queso salad.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 poblano chile
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • 5 oz masa harina
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ tsp salt, divided
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tbsp + 1½ tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1½ tsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 5 oz arugula
  • 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 4 oz queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and dried
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Cut the poblano in half lengthwise and discard the seeds and membranes. Place the chile halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until blackened, about 6 minutes. Place in a container and cover. Let stand five minutes. Peel and chop the chile.
  3. Combine the chile, quinoa, masa harina, 1 cup water, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until a soft dough forms.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Using a 1½ tbsp cookie scoop, add dough to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Combine the remaining ¼ tsp salt, remaining ¼ tsp pepper, 1½ tsp olive oil, lime juice and sugar in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Toss together the arugula, tomatoes, cilantro, queso fresco, avocado, and black beans. Toss with the dressing and serve over sopes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe


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66 Responses to Poblano Sopes with Avocado Salad

  1. cquek says:

    Thanks for helping me plan my weekend menu!

  2. I totally just googled “sopes”..whoa, there are waaaaay too many foods that I keep finding out exist, haha. This sounds awesome!!

  3. Love that you added quinoa to these “sopes” – they look amazing!

  4. Tracey says:

    I have such a weakness for corn cakes, and I love the idea of infusing them with poblanos – these need to happen immediately!

  5. You’re always introducing me to new foods and ingredients I’ve never heard of! I love the look of this dish – it’s quite pretty. All your effort is totally worth it in the end!

  6. Beth says:

    It’s hard to imagine you being confounded by any recipe, so I’m not surprised you found a way to make it work. And what a great outcome!

  7. Megan says:

    I love the sound of this salad. Glad the sopes worked out in the end!

  8. SallyBR says:

    I thought I knew everything about cooking (and I am obviously very modest), but never heard of sopes.

    Not sure I would be up for the challenge of making them myself after your description (I can see my hair, the walls, and the dogs covered in batter) – but I sure would like to try some!

  9. I just made Pupusas, which are kind of similar to these, and they were SUCH a pain to form into patties! I totally feel your frustration. Luckily, shape has no bearing on taste, and these look totally delicious πŸ™‚

  10. Masa harina is on my ‘to try to cook with’ list, so this is perfect timing. I’ll remember the scoop tip!

  11. I shall call these “yay…happy accident”…because YUM!

  12. Caroline says:

    Joanne! This is a meal with my name all over it! I’ve never made sopes…but looks like that’s about to change! Your post had me cracking up…I am terrible at following directions. I promise to TRY to follow yours! Awesome meeting you…you are such a sweetheart! πŸ™‚

  13. Interesting recipes- never heard of “sopes’ but when I googled- boy there is always something new to learn about cooking. Hope you will stop by and enter in our first giveaway!

  14. Believe it or not I have never tried this before. It looks really yummy and refreshing so I shall make some soon. Love coming here and learning new cooking/baking creations a lot of the times πŸ™‚

  15. What a refreshing and healthy summer meal! Love it! I would add a dollup of lime hinted FF Greek yogurt- I love something creamy with my mexican style food!

  16. Stacy says:

    Well, aren’t you the persistent little devil! I probably would have thrown my hands up in the air and dispersed even more batter about the place. Good for you because they turned out lovely!

  17. sometimes accidents make happy meals πŸ™‚

  18. Oh yum, Joanne. We have been rocking arepas and pupusas lately but I love how this adds quinoa to the batter. πŸ™‚

  19. how did i miss this recipe in the latest Cooking Light? It looks fantastic!

  20. how did i miss this recipe in the latest Cooking Light? It looks fantastic!

  21. danielle says:

    This looks great to me – and a fun way to add something extra to a yummy salad.

  22. I love when you post unique things like this! I never have heard of sopes, but it sounds delish!

  23. Monica says:

    Glad it worked out in the end. Looks really good!

  24. Who cares what they look like? If they taste delicious, count me in.

  25. Kate says:

    I’ve had pretty good luck with sopes without quinoa, but I’m going to try my hand at these for next week. Doesn’t hurt I have a giant bag of masa sitting on my counter.

  26. Kelsey says:

    GIRL, these look outstanding! And I LOVE the new look!

  27. Lynn says:

    Great solution – that scoop. This looks so good!

  28. Veronica says:

    Oh this sounds so good, and thanks for working out the cookie scoop details so we don’t have to go through the same frustration. lol! I hate it when I don’t go with my instincts on a recipe, but hate it even more when I don’t follow the recipe and end up with a failure. At least your efforts were rewarded with a delicious dinner!

  29. Eileen says:

    These sound so good! I haven’t been able to find poblanos for a few weeks, so I’m super jealous (and seriously in need of some rajas poblanas besides).

  30. Jessie says:

    Oh man, that’s some struggle to make these sopes! They look so deliciously worth it, though, so thanks for sticking with it πŸ™‚ And as for your hair, I’ve got a solution: hairnets! It’s the totally hot kitchen fashion accessory! πŸ˜‰

    (But seriously, batter-in-hair is a continuous trial in our kitchen, too.)

  31. Jamie says:

    I saw these in the Cooking Light and they were on my list of things to make too!

  32. I want ALL the poblano sopes! YUM. πŸ™‚

  33. Shannon says:

    yeah… i’m thinking these are worth it πŸ™‚ yum!

  34. Pam says:

    Totally worth it! This looks like a drool worthy dish!

  35. elly says:

    Oooh these sound really interesting, batter or dough. Poblano should probably be in everything.

  36. debbie says:

    Been on vacation for the past week and have lots of posts to catch up on! Love this dish…I think it looks delicious!

  37. P says:

    This looks so light and refreshing, as well as filling!

  38. Christina says:

    These look great to me πŸ™‚ and will help me on my veggie pursuit, i.e. eating less meat. I am sure some of this will end up in my hair and on the walls as well!

  39. Monet says:

    I’m glad that they ended up turning out in the end. Sometimes we just have to adapt…and you did an excellent job! These look delicious…and I’m sure the avocado salad took it over the top. Thank you for sharing Joanne!

  40. Suzie says:

    Your end results look fantastic! I’ve been there doing recipes over and over until I get something just right…lol!! Ah well, it gives us patience right? πŸ˜‰

  41. I had no idea what sopes were but after a quick Google search, I love your adaptations. The veggie combinations are wonderful!

  42. Mmmm these would have been awesome with the tipalipa tacos i just had for dinner!

  43. Erica says:

    Wow! This so creative and delicious! I love traditional sopes and this variation sounds amazing, Joanne!

  44. ramblingtart says:

    Sometimes the ugliest food tastes the BEST! πŸ™‚ I love the looks of your wonky sopes, especially with that scrumptious salad on top. πŸ™‚

  45. these are so fresh and summery! such a delicious dinner Joanne!

  46. Hahah I’m glad to see that the mess of batter turned out to be such a lovely meal! Sopes are so wonderful, and I’m a sucker for anything made with masa harina.

  47. Rhonda says:

    I would have totally been over it after the first failed attempt πŸ™‚ Good job, they do look tasty.

  48. Von says:

    Awww….how frustrating! But wow, you made these 6 times!?!?! That’s dedication! πŸ™‚ They look great and tasty though!

  49. Juliana says:

    Great corn cakes with poblano, and perfect with salad…this is sure a perfect meal for summer…
    Thanks for this tasty recipe Joanne…have a lovely week my dear πŸ˜€

  50. I think I like your version better anyway because it looks like the corn cakes (or sopes – new to me!) break up into pieces that can be spread through the rest of the dish like a salad!

  51. This post gives me two new food words – poblano and sopes – and I love them both πŸ™‚ Also the product involved!

  52. A delightful summer salad, Joanne, I particularly love those sopes.

  53. Tahnycooks says:

    This salad looks fab!! I love me some black beans! I’m so intrigued by the sopes! Gonna have to try it! Pinning!

  54. Hotly Spiced says:

    It certainly looks like the best meal ever but it does seem there was a lot of grief to get it there. I’m certain the rewards were worth it xx

  55. Courtney says:

    I love poblano anything, so I can’t wait to try these. It’s all worth it when those troublesome meals come out tasting fabulous, isn’t it?

  56. Karen says:

    I could eat that salad all day long… yum!

  57. Claudia says:

    All these years I’ve been calling them chalupas, but the recipe is similar, without the quinoa of course, which may be the source of the falling apart problem. With just masa, butter and water they hold together very well. Yummy at any rate, and thanks for the reminder.

  58. grace says:

    i love that you can see the bits of quinoa in there–this is a fantastic creation, joanne! well worth almost any degree of trouble. πŸ™‚

  59. Reeni says:

    I’m sold! They look spectacular! Well worth the trouble they gave you!

  60. Well sign me up! Avocado and I are best friends.

  61. Um, yum. These look so good. Quick question: is the quinoa for this recipe meant to be cooked, or just the uncooked grains?

  62. Ashley says:

    I kick myself every once in a while for not trusting my gut in the kitchen, too. But I love what you ended up making out of this tricky dough/batter. Looks beautiful!

  63. […] View Recipe Ingredients & Preparation Instructions […]

  64. Ginger says:

    Another good one! We doubled the dressing and sprinkled fresh lime juice on the sopes, which made all the difference in flavor.

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