Huaraches Vs. Sopes | Know The Difference

Note- This post may contain affiliate links, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

You might have heard about really popular Mexican style sandals – Huaraches but do you know there is a famous Mexican dish as well named after the sandals?


Also, many of you might be confused between a sandal-shaped Mexican dish and another smaller, circular, similar-looking dish – Sopes. Let’s clear out the confusion.

Huaraches and Sopes can be confused with each other, but they are not the same. Huaraches are larger in size and shaped like Mexican sandals, mainly served as a main meal. On the other hand, Sopes are small circular Mexican dishes eaten as a snack. 

However, their base is made from the same ingredient, masa harina, but the cooking methods are quite different. Both are made with various toppings.

Huaraches have onions, queso fresco, and other salad ingredients, whereas Sopes have toppings of meat, sauce, and vegetables. 

Today we will dive deep into the discussion about Huaraches vs. Sopes and learn about the significant differences between the two and their recipes.

So stick with me till the end if you love Mexican food but are often confused between these two very famous dishes, which are loved not in Mexico but in many parts of the United States.

Huaraches Vs. Sopes | The Difference Table

Basis Of Differences HuarachesSopes
DoughStuffed masa dough balls with mashed pinto beansMasa dough
ShapeSandal like shapeRound and pinched edges
Size10-12 inches in length, ¼ inch in thickness4 to 6 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick
ToppingsTraditionally served with salsa, meat, onions, queso fresco.Traditionally served with onions, crumbled cheese, meat, sour cream, and red or green sauce.
MethodDough is filled with mashed beans and then shaped similar to a sandal. Fried and topped with toppings.Thick circular disc shaped, then fried and toppings are added before serving.

What are Huaraches?


Huarache is a very popular Mexican dish and is also found in many American cities. Huaraches are large, sandal-shaped dishes mainly consumed as a main meal. It is primarily eaten with a spoon and knife.

The name Huarache is derived from the shape of the masa, which is similar to very famous sandals with the same name. It originated in Mexico city back in the 1930s. 

The dish consists of a masa dough with mashed pinto beans filled in the center. Then it is shaped similarly to a sandal shape. After shaping the Huaraches, they are fried in a hot pan.

They are topped with green or red salsa, onions, potato, cilantro, and anything from ground beef or tongue, and lastly, they are topped with queso fresco, which is white cheese. 

The popularity of this dish in Mexico and America is such that any place with Mexican-American cuisine will have Huaraches.

It is trendy in America in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. However, it still needs proper recognition in the rest of the United States.

Another fact about Huaraches is that they are similar to sopes but differ in shape. The main characteristic of Huaraches is their elongated shape.

What are Sopes?


Sopes are another very popular dish from Mexico. Similar to Huaraches, they are served with an even broader set of toppings and the technique for the preparation is also quite different.  

About sopes, they are served in different variations and often people are competing with their own versions. They are commonly found in street foods in Mexico as Mexican snacks. 

Traditionally, sope is a Mexican dish consisting of a masa base with various toppings. It is also known as pellizcadas as it originally emerged from central and southern parts of Mexico. In physical appearance it looks like a thick tortilla with lots of savory toppings.

Sopes are round shaped and pinched from edges which are made from masa base. The circular base is fried and then topped with refried beans, crumbled cheese, lettuce, onions, red or green sauce and sour cream.

People also add some meat for variations and taste. 

These round shaped dishes are now a big part of Central American food with little different ingredients. The sopes are fried until the thick masa base is cooked due to which they have a soft texture.

As mentioned above there are different variations of Sopes prepared by people but the most common one is adding chicken. They are similar like Huaraches but much smaller in size when compared with each other.

Huaraches Vs. Sopes | Similarities Between The Two


1. Origin

Huaraches and Sopes, both originated from Mexico and are widely popular in cities of Mexico as well southern and central America. 

2. Base Ingredients

Both Huaraches and Sopes are Mexican dishes which are made from masa harina as a base. Masa Harina is corn flour dough and used to make many dishes, especially Latin American dishes. 

3. Type

Huaraches and Sopes are open faced snacks with various toppings and are also known to fulfill the small cravings. They both are popular in America as a snack and have different variations according to people’s preferences. 

Huaraches Vs. Sopes | Major Differences


Huaraches and Sopes both are Mexican dishes yet they have many differences. From shapes to preparations they stand out very clearly from each other. Let’s have complete information on differences between the two. 

1. Shape and Size

Huaraches are sandal shaped Mexican dishes whereas Sopes are round in shape. While making Huaraches they are stuffed masa dough pressed into a large oblong shaped sheet whereas Sopes are much smaller in size and thicker.

Sopes also have pinched edges whereas Huaraches don’t. 

2. Toppings 

Huaraches are made with pinto beans stuffed in masa harina dough, whereas Sopes are plain masa harina dough. When it comes to toppings, people often are very generous and use different toppings.

However, Huaraches traditionally have toppings of salsa, onions, meat, and a queso fresco sauce, and Sopes are topped with fried beans, sour cream, crumbled cheese, and meat, onions, and red or green sauce.

Also, To make Sopes dough, the egg is also used, but Huaraches are prepared without any eggs. 

When it comes to Huaraches, they mostly have filling with cactus paddles along with cilantro and other salad ingredients. Traditionally Huaraches have black beans along with different toppings.

On the other hand, Sopes are mostly filled with chicken or meats like ground beef. 

3. Cooking Method

The cooking methods of both Mexican dishes are quite different. Masa Harina, water, and salt are kneaded together in both recipes. Sometimes eggs are also added while preparing the dough for Sopes.

For Huaraches, the dough is shaped like a sandal, whereas for Sopes, small round shapes are created. 

The toppings for Sopes, like chicken, are cooked beforehand, and similarly, toppings are pre-cooked for Huaraches. Sopes are fried in a hot pan for a short while until the exterior is crispy.

As Sopes dough are thick, the exterior gets crispy, but the inside of the sopes is soft. However, the same is not in the case for Huaraches. They are fried well for 2-3 minutes to be crispy and rigid throughout. 

A handy tip for both is to prepare the dough and then store it for future use. While serving, add the toppings, and you are good to go. You can even buy flatbreads for both dishes from stores. 

4. Serving Size

A Huarache can be served as breakfast, lunch, or even a snack as it is around 2-3 times larger in size when compared with a sope. Huaraches are also served with side dishes like soups, salads, and chicken.

When we talk about Sopes, they are generally served as a snack. They are typically eaten between meals. Huaraches are mainly eaten with a knife and fork due to their large sizes, but they are often sliced into smaller pieces and can be served as snacks.

Sopes are a little easy to eat because of their small size. However, adding more items with Sopes can also turn them into a complete meal.

How To Store Huaraches And Sopes? 

Storing Huaraches and Sopes is not a difficult task. You can even prepare excess and keep it for future use. They can be refrigerated or even frozen.

Simply take an airtight container or a plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator. This way, both dishes can last up to a week.

To increase the storage timings, freeze the dishes, which can last up to a month. In order to thaw them, simply put them back in the refrigerator and slowly unfreeze the dishes. 

How to reheat Huaraches and Sopes?

Reheating stored Huaraches and Sopes is relatively easy. To reheat Huaraches, you can use a grill or a pan with little oil and heat each for 2-3 minutes from each side after bringing it to room temperature.

In order to reheat Sopes, you can fry or bake them for a few minutes until the desired level of exterior crispiness.

 If you have stored any of them in a freezer, firstly put them back in the fridge and slowly freeze them. You can reheat them after they are back to room temperature.

It is advised to store the base of the dish and prepare fresh topping before serving. Like this, your Huaraches and Sopes will stay fresh and taste authentic.

 Tips for identifying spoilt Huaraches and Sopes

If your stored Huaraches and Sopes are spoiled, then they might develop some odor and might have molds. There could be a change in taste and texture. If you find your Huaraches or Sopes slimy, discard them.

Recipe To Make Huaraches


Firstly you need to prepare the base for Huaraches. You can also purchase pre prepared masa dough from stores. For making masa dough, you will need masa harina, which is made from gluten free corn flour that has been treated with alkali. 

Simply combine masa harina with vegetable oil and salt in a mixing bowl. Now, knead the dough really well with oil. Slowly add warm water and try to make a dough ball. The dough ball should be soft and a little sticky.

You can adjust the texture by adding more warm water, or if it’s too sticky, add some more masa harina. 

Now knead it for another few minutes. Divide the dough into 4 or 6 parts as per your requirement. Cover it with a cloth and let them rest for 20 minutes. Take a piece of the ball and shape it into a long cigar shape by rolling the pin.

Place it between wax paper and flatten using a plate or tortilla presser. Repeat the same with other pieces of dough balls. Your Huaraches dough is ready to be used.

After preparing the dough, you need to prepare the toppings. You can use any vegetables or ingredients for the toppings. Firstly preheat the oven broiler and meanwhile prepare the vegetables.

Now, add chorizo and cook until it turns brown over low, medium heat. Add pinto beans and mash them properly. Cook the chorizo and pinto beans for 10 minutes until they form a thick paste. Add some tomato paste and combine it well.

Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Take another pan and drizzle with some oil. Cook the prepared masa dough for 2-3 minutes on both sides. 

Now place the cooked dough on a baking sheet. Add the cooked toppings with chopped tomatoes and sliced onions. Repeat the same steps from cooking the dough till adding the toppings. Broil them in a preheated oven for 5 minutes.

Serve them after garnishing them with basil and queso fresco. As mentioned before, you can experiment with the toppings as per your taste. 

Recipe To Make Sopes


In order to make Sopes, you will need to prepare the sauce or salsa along with the masa base and toppings. First, start with preparing the salsa or the sauce. In a pan, add tomatoes, chiles, and garlic cloves. Add some water until everything is properly submerged.

Place the pan on high heat. Let the water boil over high heat and soften the tomatoes and chiles. Put the heat out and let the water cool down for a bit. Strain the water and keep it aside. Blend the cooked tomatoes along with chiles and garlic cloves.

Add some cilantro and the strained water required to make a smooth sauce. 

Now prepare your toppings. For this, you can use potatoes and peel them. Slice the peeled potatoes into small cubes. Rinse the potatoes with water. A helpful tip is to slice small cubes of potatoes so that they cook quickly. 

Moving on, take a pan and add some oil to it. Add chopped onions and cook them for a few minutes until they are translucent. Add meat like ground beef, cumin, garlic salt, and black pepper. Cook the meat until it turns brown.

After this, add the chopped potatoes. Continue to cook the meat and potatoes for ten more minutes. Transfer the prepared sauce and a cup of water when the potatoes are soft. Add some salt if required.

Cover the pan with a lid, and let it simmer until the potatoes are well cooked. 

Meanwhile, prepare the masa dough. In a mixing bowl, masa harina with baking powder, all purpose flour, and salt. You can even break some eggs and mix the ingredients with oil. Then add some warm water slowly and knead a soft and smooth dough.

Take a small ball out of the dough and press it with your palms. You can use a tortilla presser or else use your hand to make a thick circular disc. Do not flatten it too much. Remember that slopes have thick exteriors. 

Put the circular disc in a pan and cook until its exterior is golden brown. After a minute of cooking, shape the borders by pinching the edges. Now place the cooked base on a paper towel. Add the cooked sauce along with potatoes and meat toppings.

You can add more toppings like refried beans, lettuce, queso fresco, onions, and cilantro. Serve it as a snack and enjoy.

Huaraches Vs. Sopes | Which is tastier?


Huaraches are mainly consumed as a main course meal, whereas Sopes are generally served as a snack. Huaraches can have a wide variety of toppings as compared to sopes because of their large sizes.

Therefore, Huaraches are much tastier, and also they are cooked until crispy on each side, which makes them more flavorful. 

Huaraches Vs. Sopes | Which is Healthier?


When it comes to the nutrient contents of Huaraches and Sopes, it solely depends on the toppings added. If we compare the nutrients, Huaraches have more count in calories as they are larger than Sopes.

Huaraches also have a good amount of protein and other nutrients. We can conclude that Huaraches are healthier than Sopes. However, you can also make Sopes more nutritious by adding more veggies and meat.

Huaraches Vs. Sopes | Which is more versatile?


Huaraches and Sopes are both made from masa harina and have similar toppings. The difference is the cooking method and serving style. Huaraches, because of their large size, are eaten with a fork and knife and are mainly served as a proper meal.

On the other hand, Sopes are much smaller in size and are easy to eat. They are served as a snack but can also be turned into a complete meal by adding rice and other side dishes. It is very evident that Sopes are more versatile.

They are not only easy to eat but can be served as any part of the meal.

Huaraches Vs. Sopes | Which is better?


We have compared Huaraches and Sopes on many different aspects, and we can easily conclude that Huaraches are better than Sopes as they have more points in terms of taste and nutrients. It is also said that Sopes are made from the inspiration of Huaraches.

Therefore, Huaraches are the clear winner when compared to Sopes. 


Finally, after a pretty interesting discussion, we are able to distinguish between two very famous Mexican dishes – Huaraches and Sopes.

As we have learned so far, Huaraches and Sopes have almost the same base ingredients, and even toppings are also not so distinct, but they are still different in their size, cooking methods, and flavors. 

On the one hand, Huaraches are served as the main dish, whereas on the other hand, Sopes are mostly eaten as a snack and can be found in Mexican street food.

They are both unique in their own way and stand apart from each other despite so much in common. 

I hope this differentiation was helpful, and next time whenever you spot any Mexican food outlet, check out Huaraches or Sopes dish.

I will be back with such more exciting information. Until then, try the recipe I have shared and taste the flavors of Mexico.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the main difference between Huaraches and Sopes?

The main difference between Huaraches and Sopes is their size and shape. Huaraches are larger in size and shaped like sandals whereas Sopes are small circular discs which are thicker than Huaraches or tortilla.

Are Huaraches fried?

Traditionally Huaraches were on a hot griddle. In today’s time also, Huaraches base is cooked with little oil in a pan. You can also fry them as per your wish.

Are Huaraches and Sopes gluten free?

Yes, Huaraches and Sopes are gluten free. The base ingredient of both the dishes are made with masa harina which is gluten free corn flour treated with alkali. 

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *