Learn how easy it is to make stuffed sopapillas, filled with red chile carne adovada, and topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and melted cheese.Jump to Recipe
Stuffed sopapillas have long been one of my favorite dishes to order in New Mexican restaurants.
There is a restaurant near the New Mexico/Texas border that serves football-sized sopapillas filled with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, then it’s smothered with red chile, green chile, or both, and then it’s topped with cheese.
It’s mouthwatering and can feed a person for at least 4 meals.
I was reminiscing about those stuffed sopapillas the other day and decided to whip up a batch of sopapillas for my kids.
I also happened to be making carne adovada that day, and it seemed like the union of tender red chile pork and fresh sopas would be a magical thing.
And it absolutely was.
The crispy sopapilla pairs well with the juicy, tender pork and buttery cheese.
Carne Adovada Stuffed Sopapillas
The first thing you’ll need for carne adovada stuffed sopapillas are the sopapillas themselves.
How to Make Sopapillas
They have pre-made mixes in the store, but it’s pretty simple to make them from scratch (and you get to control what goes in them).
You’ll start by combining flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Once mixed, add in butter and water, and mix the dough with your hands until it’s smooth.
This sopapilla dough sits in the bowl and gets covered with a towel for about 20 minutes.
Once the sopapilla dough has rested, roll it out into a thin sheet, about 1/4″ thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut it into small 3″ squares.
Heat 4″ of oil in a sturdy pot over medium-high heat, until temp reaches 375 degrees. Add sopapilla dough, one square at a time, until it crisps up and turns golden brown.
If your oil is hot enough, this takes about 15 seconds per side.
If your homemade sopapillas are not fluffing up (like the video above), try rolling them out to make them more thin.
Once they’re golden brown, remove them with metal tongs and place in a paper-towel lined bowl.
How to Make Carne Adovada
My favorite way to make carne adovada is in the slow cooker. You’ll cut up 2 lbs of pork shoulder or pork butt into 1″ cubes, then add them to a slow cooker. Season with salt and oregano, then add 2 cups of red chile sauce (homemade or store-bought) and stir until pork is coated.
Note: If you’re into Instant Pot cooking, I also have an Instant Pot Carne Adovada recipe you can use instead.
If you have time, it’s great to let this marinade in the fridge for 12 – 24 hours, but it still will taste great even if you don’t marinate it.
Cook in the slow cooker on low for 9 hours, until cooked through and fork tender.
Assemble Carne Adovada Stuffed Sopapillas
Now that you’ve gone through the work to make fresh, warm sopapillas, and fork-tender carne adovada, it’s time to assemble the stuffed sopapillas!
Split a sopapilla in half.
Spoon on a healthy serving of carne adovada.
Note: when I made this, I shredded the carne adovada, but you can leave it in chunks if you prefer!
Add on a couple tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese.
Top with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. You can even do chopped onions, if you like them.
Then take a couple spoonfuls of the carne adovada sauce, and spoon it over the top of the sopapilla.
Then top with another couple tablespoons of cheese!
I like to turn my oven onto broil and stick the stuffed sopapillas into the oven for 1 – 2 minutes to melt the cheese. If you try this, make sure you’re using an oven-safe plate.
Stuffed Sopapillas with Carne Adovada
Homemade fresh sopapillas stuffed with carne adovada and topped with red chile and melted cheese
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp butter melted
- 3/4 cup water
- oil for frying
- 2 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt cut into 1" cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 2 cups red chile sauce
- 1 cup lettuce shredded
- 3 tomatoes diced
- 2 cups cheese shredded
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add melted butter and water then mix the dough until it is smooth.
Return dough to the bowl and cover with a towel for 20 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin (or sturdy cup) to roll into 1/4" thickness. Use a knife or pizza roller to cut into 3" squares.
Heat 4" of oil in a sturdy pot over medium-high heat, until temperature reaches 375 degrees. Add sopapillas, one at a time, and fry until puffy and golden brown, about 15 seconds per side.
Remove from pot and transfer to a paper-towel lined bowl.
In a slow cooker, season pork with salt and oregano. Pour in red chile and stir until coated.
If possible, marinate for 12 - 24 hours.
Cook on slow for 9 hours, until cooked through and fork-tender.
On an oven-safe plate, split sopapilla in half. Spoon on a generous serving of carne adovada.
Top carne adovada with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Top cheese with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.
Fold over the top of the sopapilla to seal it. Spoon over a couple tablespoons of the red chile from the carne adovada. Top with cheese.
Turn your oven on to broil, then place in oven for 1 - 2 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Repeat for remaining sopapillas.
Pin it –>
I know you have a red chile Pinterest board, right? 😉 Pin this to it so you can find the recipe any time you’re craving it!
Different Red Chile Options
I know if you’re living outside of New Mexico, it may be challenging getting your hands on red chile. So, when it comes to red chile, there are a few different options:
- Homemade Red Chile – if you have the extra time, making your own red chile is such a treat! It’s made with red chile pods and you can season it to your liking.
- Jarred Red Chile – there are many great options for jarred red chile. They’re sold at almost every grocery store in New Mexico, but if you live out of the state, you can also order it through Amazon.
- Frozen Red Chile – this is another thing that is found in the freezer section in stores in New Mexico, but it might be challenging finding it elsewhere. Bueno makes a great frozen red green chile.
- Powdered Red Chile – If you have red chile powder, you can make red chile with it and a few other ingredients.
Speaking of Red Chile:
If you love red chile, I have a lot of recipes you’ll want to try!