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Crispy Sopes in Minutes: How to Make Mexican Street Food with an Air Fryer!

Crispy Sopes in Minutes: How to Make Mexican Street Food with an Air Fryer!

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Hiya, y’all! By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Air Fryer craze – and today I’m gonna show you how to make some delicious Air Fryer Sopes that are sure to have your taste buds on a whole ‘nother level!

Crispy Sopes in Minutes: How to Make Mexican Street Food with an Air Fryer!

Today I’m gonna talk about something truly delicious – Mexican Sopes. This Mexican food is easy and quick to make, so read on for some directions for making these delectable treats!

What even are sopes?

Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish that originates from Central Mexico and Southern Mexico. They can be found in many states such as Puebla, Oaxaca, Michoacan, Guerrero, Veracruz, and Chiapas.

These tasty creations are made of masa dough, formed into a circular shape, and then fried to a golden brown – mmmm, doesn’t that sound delicious? They’re usually around three inches in diameter and filled with savory fillings like beef, pork, cheese, and even veggies.

In Mexico, you can find sopes all over the place – street stands and restaurants alike will serve them up hot and fresh. But the best part about sopes is that they can be made at home too – so read on to learn more about one of my favorite south-of-the-border dishes.

Why Are We Using an Air Fryer?

Now, y’all might be wondering why we’re using an air fryer instead of deep frying these sopes like they do in Mexico. Well, the truth is, deep frying can make everything a bit too greasy and fatty – having to set on that paper towel-covered plate so all that excess oil stays out of our bodies. We believe that using an air fryer is a healthier alternative to deep frying. Plus, it’s super easy – all you have to do is add your ingredients to the air fryer basket and turn it on. That way you get all the flavor without all the mess and fat!

No frying pan, no hot oil, and no paper towels. These are easy to cook and clean up after making when using that air fryer!

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What do you serve with sopes?

Alright, y’all, let’s talk sides! Obviously, the sopes are the main course. When it comes to serving up Mexican Sopes, there’s so many delicious possibilities. Whether you go for a salted lime wedge or a side of refried beans, you can’t go wrong. Another great pairing is a simple salsa verde or pico de gallo. Or for something more substantial, why not make some Mexican-style rice and beans? Feel free to mix things up with this traditional Mexican dish and get creative – with sopes, the sky really is the limit!

What Air Fyer Do I Like?

I use the Instant Pot Vortex Plus 10 Quart 7-in-1 Multi-Use Air Fryer, Rotisserie, Roast, Broil, Bake, Reheat & Dehydrater that you can see here on Amazon: Instant Pot Vortex.

Create healthier versions of all your family’s favorite fried foods. From fresh or frozen, from air fryer to rotisserie — the Instant Vortex Plus 10-Quart 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven crisps to perfection with little or no oil. Experience a world of flavor with the touch of a button. Use the preset Smart Programs to easily roast, broil, bake, reheat, air fry, dehydrate or cook on a rotisserie.

Air fryers make juicy chicken wings and crispy fries, onion rings, and other vegetables a big hit. Bake fluffy cinnamon rolls. Roast chicken parmesan, stuffed peppers, and garlic potatoes. Broil a perfectly flaky salmon fillet. Reheat leftovers in a jiffy. You can even dehydrate your own jerky, fruit strips, and even kale chips.

Simple touch controls are easy to use. And the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven remembers your settings, so your favorites can be made with the touch of a button. Combine space efficiency on your countertop with versatility and say goodbye to your microwave, pizza oven, convection oven, dehydrator, and toaster. Anything they can do the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven can do better.

Get Our Air Fryer Cooking Times Free Printable!

Print if off here:

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Why do we use corn flour?

Corn flour, also known as masa harina, is the best type of corn flour to use when making sopes. It has a finer texture than regular cornmeal and can be easily mixed with water to form a dough. When shopping for masa harina, look for one that is labeled as “instant” or “nixtamalized” for the best results in your recipes.

Corn flour is essential for making sopes because it provides structure and texture. The combination of corn flour and water creates a dough that can be molded into the desired shape before frying. This dough also helps keep the sopes from becoming too greasy during cooking. Corn flour provides the perfect balance between crunch and chewiness, making it ideal for creating the perfect traditional Mexican Sope.

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Can You make your own taco seasoning?

Heck yes! There is no need to buy those little packets in the store when it is so easy to make.

Making your own taco seasoning is easy and requires only a few simple ingredients. You’ll need chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, paprika, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or jar and store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it. Two tablespoons of taco seasoning to one pound of ground beef is the general rule.

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Can you make the Sopes shells in advance?

Absolutely! You can make Sopes shells in advance and still enjoy that delicious, fresh-from-the-fryer taste. Just fry those shells up ahead of time, let them cool, and store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to use ’em.

If you want to freeze them, spread them out on a baking sheet and pop them into your freezer for an hour or so. They will be easy to remove and pop into a container without freezing all together in one lump. You can let those cooked sopes come to room temperature before you use them to make your meal.

sopes ingredients

Air Fryer Sopes 

What do you need to make these tasty little meat and vegetable open-faced pies? It is a pretty simple list.

What you need

  • Corn Flour 
  • Warm water
  • Ground turkey is what we used this time but you could use ground beef. I prefer what is on sale.
  • Refried beans – we have also used refried black beans!
  • Lettuce – I like this shredded and go for something a darker green than plain old iceberg lettuce.
  • Cherry tomatoes – Roma or beefsteak tomatoes make an excellent alternative. Both are easy to dice, and they provide a similar texture and flavor profile to the cherry tomato. To use either variety instead of diced cherry tomatoes, cut the tomato into small cubes (1/4-inch) and add them in place of the cherry tomatoes in your recipe. If you’re pressed for time, canned diced tomatoes can also be used as a substitute. 
  • Avocado – this provides a beautiful color and sweet counter to the taco seasoning. Guacamole could be used instead 
  • Monterey jack cheese – Queso fresco would be more authentic, but can be a bit challenging to find. If you can’t find Monterey cheese, pepperjack is an excellent alternative. Pepperjack is a relatively mild cheese but it has a nice sharpness that pairs well with other Mexican flavors like chilies and cilantro. It’s also meltable, so it makes for great quesadillas and tacos. Asiago or Colby Jack cheeses are other good substitutes if you’re looking for something with a bit more flavor.

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees and spray the basket with olive oil.  

Making the crust for sopes

In a large bowl mix the corn flour and water until a corn dough forms. 

Knead the dough for a few minutes more and then form them into even size dough balls.

We like to divide dough into balls the size of a golf ball.

How to make sopes shells

Take each dough ball and create shallow bowls with your hands. 

sopes shell in an air fryer basket

Spray each bowl with olive oil and place sopes on your air fryer wire rack or in the basket.

golden brown sopes shell

Air fry sopes for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Cooking ground turkey with taco sauce

In a large skillet over medium heat, pan fry the ground turkey with the taco seasoning until the meat is no longer pink.

Warm the refried beans.

sopes shells with refried bean layer

Take your cooked shells, and layer on a heaping tablespoon of re-fried beans to make a thin layer.

sopes con carne

Add a single layer of taco meat. Top with the shredded lettuce, diced tomato, shredded cheese, and avocado.

how to make air fryer sopes

Garnish with chopped cilantro or a drizzle of sour cream. Serve, and enjoy this easy weeknight dinner! 

How do you store leftover sopes shells?

You should place them in an airtight container or wrap them in aluminum foil before refrigerating them. Be sure to consume the leftovers within 2-3 days for best results.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, a delicious recipe for Sopes that will have your family and friends asking for more of your amazing Mexican cuisine. And the best part is that you can make those shells in advance and fry them up when it’s time to enjoy. Now that’s what I call some tasty and easy cooking! Don’t wait until Cinco de Mayo to try these – you would be mission out!

ready to serve sopes
Doesn’t that just look yummy?

Sopes in Air Fryer FAQ

Q: Can you make sopes with a flour tortilla?

A; Yes, you can make sopes with a flour tortilla. To do so, press the tortilla into a small bowl to create an indentation and then fry it in oil until golden brown. After that, stuff it with your favorite ingredients and enjoy!

Q: Can I make sopes ahead of time and reheat them in the air fryer?

A: Yes, you can definitely prepare your sopes ahead of time and reheat them in the air fryer when you’re ready to eat. Just be sure to store the pre-made sopes in an airtight container until you’re ready to cook them.

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Q: Do I need any special tools or accessories to make sopes in the air fryer?

A: No, you don’t need any special tools or accessories to make sopes in the air fryer. Put that tortilla press away! You just need your regular air fryer pan or basket with oil for coating, plus all your other ingredients like masa discs and fillings/toppings.

Q: What should I do if my sopes are burning in the air fryer?

A: If your sopes are beginning to burn in the air fryer, one possible solution is to reduce the temperature slightly or turn off the heat for a few moments until they stop burning. This will help ensure that your sopes are evenly cooked and don’t end up charred.

Print off sopes in air fryer directions here:

Yield: 4

How to Make Mexican Street Food with an Air Fryer

how to make air fryer sopes

In Mexico, you can find sopes all over the place - street stands and restaurants alike will serve them up hot and fresh. But the best part about sopes is that they can be made at home too - so read on to learn more about one of my favorite south-of-the-border dishes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2 cups corn flour
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 packages of taco seasoning
  • 1 can of re-fried beans
  • 1 cup lettuce, shredded
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into 4 pieces each
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese


    Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees and spray the basket with olive oil

    In a large bowl mix the corn flour and water until a dough forms

    Knead the dough for a few minutes then form shallow bowls with your hands

    Spray the bowl with olive oil and air fry for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown

    In a skillet cook the ground turkey with the taco seasoning until done

    Warm the refried beans

    Layer the beans, ground turkey, lettuce, tomato, cheese and avocado on to the sopes

    Garnish with chopped cilantro, serve, and enjoy!


    You can use ground beef instead of ground turkey, Queso Fresco instead of Monterey Jack, and Roma tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes if you wish.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1069Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 268mgSodium: 812mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 11gSugar: 7gProtein: 73g

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