Celebrating La Virgen de Guadalupe with Sopapillas, Green Chile Stew and Angie!

My favorite feast on December 12th, the celebration of La Virgen de Guadalupe, is a big bowl of Green Chile Stew and a basket full of pipping hot Sopapillas.  I am sharing my recipes for both. 

We start with Sopapillas.

The Sopapilla recipe I am sharing here is not for those flat, sugar and cinnamon covered impostors served at Mexican restaurants.   This recipe is for the real McCoy!  Served only in New Mexico!  Perfect little pillows served hot right after cooking with a side of honey!

While I was growing up in Santa Fe, my favorite part of any meal at a Mexican restaurant  was watching the waitress appear at table side with that basket of sublime goodness.

I am sharing the recipe I have used for years because it is made with yeast - the very best way to make Sopapillas.  They can be made with baking powder, but I don't recommend it for two very good reasons:  they just aren't as good as they are made with yeast, and if you are going to go to the effort to make them, the 30 minutes extra needed for the yeast to rise is no big deal.  It takes almost that long to bring the oil up to temperature!


1 1/2 cups warm water - about 115 degrees
2 1/2 teaspoons SAF instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening (lard is traditional but I don't use it)
Canola oil for frying

Place the water, sugar and yeast into a small bowl, stir to mix and let sit about 10 minutes until the yeast bubbles up.

In the meantime, mix the flour and salt together very well.  Add the shortening and mix it in - I find for this little bit of flour, your fingers work best for mixing.

Add the yeast mixture and stir.  Add flour if you need to to get a nice soft dough.  It should not be too sticky.

Turn the dough out onto your work surface and knead about 10 to 15 times until it is smooth and elastic.

Like this!  Now - cover with a towel and leave it for about half an hour.

Start heating your oil. You will need a deep sauce pan or skillet.  Pour in  about 1 1/2" oil.  Heat to about 350 degrees. You can go a little higher, but not lower.

Divide the dough in half and roll out to about 1/4" thick.  Cut into pieces. Perfection isn't necessary!

Drop a couple pieces of dough into the hot oil.  The dough will sink and bubble like crazy!

Then the dough rises to the surface, still bubbling! Now watch!  This is so cool!

They turn into pillows!

Once they are golden on the bottom, turn them over and fry a minute or so until they are golden and remove with a slotted spoon.  Drain on paper towels and place in a warm oven until you have finished frying the whole batch.

Serve warm with honey!


1.  This recipe makes a big batch - about 20 to 24.    Sopapillas do NOT keep well so you might as well toss what you don't eat.  Even I can't eat this many!

2. I usually halve the recipe, but when I do, I almost always need to add more than 1 1/2 cup flour - usually closer to 1 3/4 to  1 7/8  cups.


Simple ingredients but amazing flavor!

2 lbs. chuck cut into cubes no bigger than 1 inch.  I make mine about 3/4"

16 to 20  roasted green chile ( peeled and seeds removed) OR 1 large 24 to 26 oz can of whole green chile cut into large pieces.

14 to 16 oz can diced tomatoes with juice

1 1/4 cup water

1 cup diced onion

1 - 2 garlic cloves diced very fine

1 teaspoon salt

Brown the chuck in two batches using just a little oil.  When the meat is browned, add all the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the meat is very tender.  You can add a little more water during cooking if necessary but a very slow simmer should make the addition of more water unnecessary. 

As you can see, there is no "broth", just a lovely stew of beef, chile and tomato!

I love it just as it is!  But Chile Verde Con Carne makes an excellent filling for burritos. 

I hope some of you will be joining me on December 12th with a bowl of Green Chile Stew and a basket full of golden Sopapillas!

Or treat yourself to this perfect New Mexican comfort food during the dark, cold days ahead in January - maybe for Dia de Reyes.


Angie - At Home in Mexico - posted about La Virgen de Guadalupe last year.  Do not miss visiting her post because she takes you on a delightful journey with her son as he joins his school mates on their annual pilgrimage to the Santuario de Guadalupe.  Just look at these costumes the children wear for this occasion.

Poinsettias grow wild in Mexico and December is their natural blooming season in that country.  I love this imageAngie shares of the Poinsettias blooming in the gardens where she joined other teachers for Retiro Aviento (Advent retreat).

Angie will be sharing more with us at the Feast of Guadalupe and throughout the Mexican holiday season which lasts until Dia de Magos on January 6th.  I will be linking to her site throughout that time, but to be sure you don't miss anyuthing, you might want to keep tabs on her celebrations in your reader!

You might also wish to visit my post from last year with pictures of my own little collection of La Virgen.

I guess this is as good a time as any to mention that although I am not Mexican or Catholic, I take great joy in participating in the holiday celebrations of Mexico in my own way.  I don't think I could state it any better than I did last year.

"Latinos are now the largest ethnic culture living in the United States. I have always found the Mexican people to be very kind, generous and loving. I hope you will make a craft or prepare a special meal or simply spend a little time on the internet getting to know more about the gifts the people of Mexico have brought to the world that enrich all of us."


Thank you for sharing this

Thank you for sharing this sopapilla recipe! My first time making them myself and they turned out perfect!

Kellie, I am so happy to hear


I am so happy to hear your efforts turned out to be successful!  Recipe makes a lot so hope you were feeding at least 4 people!  As you have no doubt discovered by now - the magic disappears as soon as they get cold.  I have also tried holding excess dough overnight but they are not the same.  Best always fresh.  Serve them immediately after frying.  I have discovered that you can make up the dough , cut in squares and store in frige or at cool room temperature between sheets of wax paper for an hour or so before frying.

Always nice to hear from someone who appreciates Northern New Mexico style Sopapillas!


Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you for your recipe. I

Thank you for your recipe. I was scouting the internet for 1, having had this dessert in New Mexico as a child, and couldn't understand why they didn't have yeast in them. I can't wait to try your recipe, you really make it look authentic.

Hi, Your sopapilla recipe


Your sopapilla recipe looks amazing. I was wondering how far in advance that you could make this recipe if you weren't planning on frying them right away. Should you roll them out and then put them in the fridge? Thank you!

Yum, the recipes sound

Yum, the recipes sound delicious... will have to give them a try. Would you believe I've never bought a can of green chiles, nor am I even sure if I've had them in anything except prepared salsa? I'm such a northerner, ha. Thanks Pam!

Oh my, I jut drooled all over

Oh my, I jut drooled all over my laptop looking and reading about these fabulous sopa's. Gosh they sound good. New Mexico really impacted your life didn't it!

Pam, these little puffs look

Pam, these little puffs look so great! I would make them if I felt more comfortable with oil. We never fry anything! What do you do with the oil when you're done?

I'm going to go visit Angie's site now. I love your continual sharing of traditions I wasn't raised on!