Enjoy this Mexican huaraches recipe made from scratch! A tasty dish made of a thick oblong-shaped tortilla and topped with refried beans, bites of beef, and classic toppings like pico de gallo, salsa, and cheese.
Before you get confused with the name, let me clarify that in this post I will be talking about the dish, not the sandals! Because, yes…the name of this dish can be confused with a Mexican sandal (huarache), but this is for a reason: It has the typical shape of a sandal sole!
What Are Mexican Huaraches?
Huaraches are a traditional Mexican dish made of a thick corn masa tortilla with an oval shape with some ingredients on top. Those ingredients can vary, from vegetables to meat, to beans, cheese, and salsa.
I am going to show you how to make them at home so you can enjoy them as an appetizer, or also for breakfast or lunch like we traditionally do in Mexico!
- Masa harina: This is a type of flour used to make tortillas. You can find it in Mexican grocery stores or on Amazon.
- Beef: I am using beef chuck steak to make the topping, feel free to swap with chicken, pork, or vegetarian alternatives like mushrooms or zucchini.
- Seasonings & aromatics: You’ll need onion, garlic, cumin, black peppers, and salt.
- Oil: I used olive oil, but any vegetable oil will work fine.
For topping & serving
How to Make Huaraches
Step 1. Cook the meat
Cut the meat into strips and slice the onions, you will also need some spices such as garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Next, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add the meat.
Season with the spices and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
Add the onions to the pan and keep cooking until the onions are soft and translucent and the meat has cooked through (about 10 minutes). Cover and set aside.
Step 2. Make the oval tortillas
Start by combining masa harina, salt, and water in a bowl. Then knead for 2 minutes to achieve a non-sticky dough.
Tip: Masa dough should be smooth and have a texture similar to play-dough once prepared, it shouldn’t either be too dry or too soft as you will need to easily shape a huarache.
Heat a griddle or a comal over medium heat.
Now, divide the dough into 10 balls and keep them covered with a damp towel. Using your hands and a smooth surface, create a log of about 6 inches long and 1 inch thick (15×3.5cm).
Now, place the log between 2 sheets of plastic and use a heavy dish to flatten it.
Then, use your hands to shape the masa into the typical sandal form. Make sure is not too tin (like a tortilla), but a little thicker. Use your hands to finish shaping the dough.
Carefully, peel the sheet on top and flip the huarache onto your hand (you can also moist a bit your hand).
Remove the last sheet and then place the oval tortilla onto the hot griddle.
Cook for one minute, then carefully flip it and cook for 1-2 more minutes or until is nicely done and with some dark spots on the surface.
Repeat the steps until all masa is used and keep the pieces nicely wrapped in a kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft.
Step 3. Assemble
- Place a huarache flat on a plate.
- Spread a nice spoonful of refried beans making sure to cover it nicely.
- Next, add the beef and onions mixture.
- Top with pico de gallo. And then drizzle with your favorite salsa (I am using fake guacamole).
- Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately!
Tips & Tricks
- When mixing the masa harina with water, use room temperature water to achieve the right consistency. Start with about 1 cup of water per 2 cups of masa harina and adjust as needed to form a soft, pliable dough.
- Shaping and cooking the dough might take some practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first few huaraches aren’t perfect!
- You can also fry the thick tortillas, but I don’t like to do that because huaraches are a healthy food and always have been. It’s just lately that they started to be served fried, but there’s not need for that! Avoid fried foods whenever you can and enjoy traditional Mexican recipes how they’re supposed to be.
The beauty of this tasty treat is that you can customize it in many ways! I love using leftovers from other dishes, from meat to vegetables, there’s always something delicious to top your huaraches with.
Take a look at my favorites…
Storage & Reheat
To store your huaraches food leftovers, make sure everything is cooled to room temperature, then wrap each huarache tightly with plastic wrap, this will help them to remain soft and not dry out. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Meat can be stored in containers with a tight lid for up to 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freeze.
for reheating a huarache, first heat up a griddle or a pan, lightly oil it, and heat up each piece for 2-3 minutes flipping it from time to time. Top and serve.
More Mexican Recipes
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- 2 cups masa harina
- 1 ½ cups water (read notes)
- 1 tsp salt
For the meat
- 1 ½ lb beef chuck steak (cut into small bites)
- 1 medium onion (sliced)
- 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt (to taste)
Cook the meat
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the meat. Season with garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
- Mix in the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent and the meat has cooked through (about 10 minutes).
- Cover and set aside.
Make the huaraches
- Combine masa harina, salt, and water in a bowl.
- Knead for 2 minutes to achieve a smooth and non-sticky dough.
- Heat a griddle or a comal over medium heat.
- Divide the dough into 10 portions and keep them covered with a damp towel.
- Using your hands and a smooth surface, create a log of about 6 inches long and 1 inch thick (15×3.5cm).
- Place the log between 2 sheets of plastic and use a heavy dish to flatten it.
- Use your hands to shape the masa into the typical sandal form. Make sure is not too tin (like a tortilla), but a little thick.
- Peel the sheet on top and flip the huarache onto your hand.
- Remove the last sheet and then place the huarache onto the hot griddle.
- Cook for one minute, then carefully flip it and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Repeat the steps until all masa dough is used and keep huaraches wrapped in a kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft.
- Place a huarache flat on a plate and spread a spoonful of refried beans
- Add some meat, then top with pico de gallo.
- Drizzle with guacamole salsa and add some cheese on top. Serve immediately.
- You might need to adjust the water according to the humidity and weather in your kitchen, just make sure to add it little by little and combine until you’ll achieve a smooth dough.
- You can use other types of cheese such as Cotija, queso ranchero, feta, etc.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.