Gluten-Free Vegetarian Chalupa

It's a gluten-free fiesta — and vegetarian to boot.

You can buy crunchy corn chalupa shells ready-made — Charras brand is even gluten-free in the United States, too! And if you'd like to kick up the heat, use spicier canned green chiles and add ground chipotle chili powder to the tomato mixture. This recipe calls for cotija cheese, a hard Mexican cheese with a very mild flavor. Feta cheese is saltier, but is of similar consistency, so would be a good substitute.

Level: Easy
Yield: 10 chalupas


  • 2 tbsp. (28 g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped mild green chiles
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 15-ounce can vegetarian refried beans
  • 4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. cotija cheese (or feta), crumbled
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Sour cream, for serving


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and hand sauté the diced onion, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the chopped green chiles and diced tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and allow to cook, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside.
  2. Place the tortillas on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and spray on both sides with cooking oil spray. Preheat your oven’s broiler, and place the tortillas about 5 inches under the broiler until golden brown on one side (less than 2 minutes). Remove from the oven, flip the tortillas over, and place them back under the broiler until golden brown on the other side (less than 2 minutes more). Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly.
  3. To serve, spread a thick layer of refried beans on each tortilla, then top with the tomato and chile mixture, then the Monterey jack cheese, cotija crumbles, and scallions. Serve warm, with sour cream.

Recipe excerpted from Gluten-Free Small Bites: Sweet and Savory Hand-Held Treats for On-the-Go Lifestyles and Entertaining by Nicole Hunn. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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