These incredibly delicious picaditas are full of flavor and are meatless. So they’re perfect for a meatless Monday! Serve them with a yummy and refreshing agua fresca such as coconut horchata or a creamy strawberry agua fresca.
Picaditas are one of our favorite meals. It’s made with simple ingredients yet it’s big on flavor!
What are picaditas?
Picaditas are made from masa harina. They’re basically tortillas but a little bit thicker and then pinched around the edges. Pinching them around the edges is what keeps the salsa, cheese and garnishes from falling off while eating.
These ones are filled with a delicious red salsa however you can also use this yummy salsa verde.
- Morita peppers
- Roma tomatoes
- Garlic cloves
- Instant corn masa flour (such as Maseca)
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
How to make the salsa:
Preheat the oven to 500.
In a skillet toast the peppers on both sides over medium heat. This will take around 2 minutes. Then transfer them to the blender.
Put the tomatoes, onion and garlic in the oven. Take out the onion and garlic after 10 minutes. Peel the garlic. Transfer the onion and the garlic to the blender. Continue cooking the tomatoes for about 8 more minutes.
Then transfer the tomatoes to the blender as well along with the salt. Blend everything until smooth. You may add a little water to the blender to get everything going.
Add 1/2 tbs of lard to a pot over medium heat. Once hot add the salsa and fry for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and set aside.
How to make them
Put the masa harina in a large bowl. Add the water and mix with your hands until you get a smooth dough.
Then divide the dough into 10 equal sized balls.
You can use a tortilla press if you have one for this step. I’m just going to use a ziploc bag that I cut the sides off of in order to make a flap. Put one ball inside the flap.
Then use a heavy pot to flatten the ball. You want it to be a little thicker than a tortilla.
Then take out the flattened dough and cook it over medium heat in a skillet or pan for about a minute on each side.
Then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls. Then you’re going to pinch the edges of the picaditas so that they are raised as shown in the photo below. Make sure to do this while the picaditas are warm. You don’t want to do it immediately after they come off the skillet because they’ll be too hot and you’ll burn your fingers.
Heat up some lard in the skillet over medium heat. Fry the picaditas on each side until they are a golden color. This will give the outside of the picaditas a nice crunchy texture. Add more lard to the skillet as needed.
See the difference in color after frying?
Now they are ready to be garnished and eaten. Just spoon some of the salsa into the center of the picaditas and spread. Then top with cheese. I used shredded mozzarella cheese and then I microwave it for a bit just to melt the cheese. However that definitely isn’t authentic. If you want to keep it authentic use crumbled queso fresco. It’s completely up to you. Both ways are delicious! Then garnish with some diced onion and sliced avocadoes if desired.
These are a great meal option if you’re trying to reduce your meat consumption. They’re so delicious and full of flavor! I hope you will give them a try.
More meatless recipes:
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Picaditas are a bit thicker than tortillas and are topped with a yummy salsa and garnished with cheese, onion and avocado.
- 4 morita chilies
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 1 white onion 1/4 for the salsa and the rest diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 avocado sliced
- 2 cups masa harina
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup lard
Preheat the oven to 500.
In a skillet over medium heat toast the chilies on both sides. This will take about two minutes. Then transfer them to the blender.
Put the tomatoes, 1/4 piece of onion and garlic in the oven.
After 10 minutes take out the onion and garlic. Peel the garlic. Transfer the onion and garlic to the blender.
Continue to cook the tomatoes for 8 more minutes.
Transfer the tomatoes to the blender along with the salt.
Blend everything until smooth. Add a little water to the blender if necessary to get everything going.
Heat up 1/2 tbs of lard in a pot over medium heat. Add the salsa and fry for about 5 minutes.
Put the masa harina in a large bowl. Add the water and mix with your hand until you get a smooth dough. Add a little more water if the dough is dry.
Divide the dough into 10 equal sized balls.
Use a tortilla press or a ziploc bag with the sides cut off in order to make a flap.
Open the flap and put one of the dough balls inside and close the flap.
Use a heavy bottomed pot to flatten the ball. You want it to be a little thicker than a tortilla.
Take out the flattened dough and cook it over medium heat in a skillet for about a minute on each side. Then transfer to a plate.
Repeat these steps with the rest of the dough balls.
Pinch the edges of the picaditas while they are still warm but not hot.
Heat up the lard in the skillet over medium heat.
Fry the picaditas on each side until they turn a golden color. Add more lard if needed.
Fill the picaditas with some salsa and spread it out. Then top with some of the cheese.
Microwave it for a bit just to melt the cheese.
Then top with the diced onion and sliced avocado.
Serve and enjoy.