Pastelitos (Little Meat Pies)

This dish takes me back to being a child in my mother’s kitchen in my native Honduras. We’d fight for them as they came out of the frying pan while waiting for company. There were always plenty to go around!

This is also a Gluten Free dish.


  • Preparation Time: 00:45
  • Cook Time: 00:06
  • Cuisine: Honduras Ethnic Cuisine
  • Servings: 6


  • 1 cup of Maseca yellow corn flour and 2/3 cup water (yields 6 pastelitos)
  • ½ Tbsp. chicken bouillon powder
  • ¼ tsp. pepper mixed with a pinch of cumin
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 lb. ground beef (15% fat) (yields many pastelitos)
  • ¼ cup each: finely diced tomato, green pepper, onion, yellow potato
  • ½ tsp. pepper mixed with ¼ tsp. cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1/3 cup diced green peppers
  • ¼ cup diced onions
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste
  • 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage


  • 1FILLING – sauté tomato, green pepper, onion and yellow potato in ½ tablespoon of olive oil until soft, and set aside. Brown the beef in the remaining olive oil, and add the pepper, cumin and salt. Ensure all liquid is gone, then add the vegetable sauté and mix. Set aside to cool.
  • 2PASTELITO MASA – in a bowl, mix the yellow corn flour and water with your hands until not too dry or sticky. Take just under 1/3 cup of the mixture and make it into a ball with your hands. Pat out a flat, round tortilla about 5 inches in diameter between two pieces of plastic wrap. Spoon enough filling in the middle to fold the tortilla in half and seal the edges with your fingers.
  • 3Heat vegetable oil over medium heat and fry the pastelitos until golden and crunchy on the outside. Turn once (about 3 minutes per side). Place on a paper-towel-lined plate when done. Serve immediately with red cabbage topped with chimol.
  • 4CHIMOL TOPPING – mix all chopped ingredients in a bowl, squeeze lime juice, add salt, pepper and cumin. Optional: Sprinkle a salty dry cheese, like parmesan, over the pastelitos.