Indulge in the rich flavors of El Salvador with garnachas, a beloved traditional dish that tantalizes the taste buds and speaks to the country's culinary heritage. These delectable treats consist of crispy, fried tortillas topped with savory ground meat, beans, cabbage, salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese, creating a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. Whether enjoyed as a street food snack or a hearty meal, garnachas offer a delicious glimpse into the vibrant culinary tapestry of El Salvador, inviting you to experience the warmth and authenticity of Central American cuisine firsthand.


For the Garnachas:

  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup refried beans (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (such as queso fresco or Monterey Jack)
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage or lettuce
  • 1 cup salsa (homemade or store-bought)
  • Optional toppings: sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, sour cream

For the Salsa (optional):

  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste


1- Prepare the salsa (if making): In a bowl, combine diced tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped pepper, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Mix well and set aside to allow the flavors to meld.

2- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for frying.

3- Fry the tortillas: Once the oil is hot, carefully add a tortilla to the skillet. Fry until it is golden and crispy, about 1-2 minutes per side. Use tongs to flip the tortilla as needed. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, adding more oil to the skillet if necessary. Place the fried tortillas on paper towels to drain any excess oil.

4- Assemble the garnachas: Spread a generous layer of refried beans onto each fried tortilla. Top with shredded cheese, followed by shredded cabbage or lettuce. Spoon salsa over the top, and add any optional toppings as desired.

5- Serve immediately: Arrange the garnachas on a platter and serve while still warm. Enjoy the crispy texture of the fried tortillas combined with the creamy beans, melted cheese, and vibrant salsa.

6- Optional: Garnish with additional chopped cilantro or a squeeze of lime juice before serving for extra freshness.

These El Salvador Garnachas are perfect for a flavorful snack, appetizer, or light meal. Enjoy the authentic taste of Central American cuisine with this delicious and easy-to-make recipe!

Nutritional Values:

Corn Tortillas (1 small tortilla, about 20g):

  • Calories: 50
  • Total Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Protein: 1g


  • Source of carbohydrates for energy
  • Contains dietary fiber for digestive health

Refried Beans (1/4 cup, about 60g):

  • Calories: 70
  • Total Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Protein: 4g


  • Good source of plant-based protein
  • Provides fiber for digestive health
  • Rich in minerals such as iron and magnesium

Shredded Cheese (1/4 cup, about 28g):

  • Calories: 110-120 (depends on the type of cheese)
  • Total Fat: 9-10g
  • Carbohydrates: 0-1g
  • Protein: 7-8g


  • Excellent source of calcium for bone health
  • Provides protein and fat for satiety
  • Contains vitamins A and B12 for overall health

Shredded Cabbage or Lettuce (1 cup, about 70g):

  • Calories: 10-20
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 2-4g
  • Protein: 1g


  • Low in calories and carbohydrates
  • High in fiber for digestive health
  • Rich in vitamins C and K for immune support and bone health

Salsa (1/4 cup, about 60g, homemade):

  • Calories: 15-20
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 3-5g
  • Protein: 1g


  • Low in calories and fat
  • Contains antioxidants such as lycopene from tomatoes
  • Provides vitamin C for immune support

These values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as specific brands, preparation methods, and ingredient proportions. Additionally, the optional toppings like radishes, cilantro, tomatoes, and sour cream would add additional nutritional content, so it's essential to consider those if included in the garnachas.


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