Picadas (Pinched Masa Tartlets)

"from www.thatsmyhome.com"
photo by Linajjac photo by Linajjac
photo by Linajjac
photo by Linajjac photo by Linajjac
photo by cookiedog photo by cookiedog
Ready In:
20-22 Picadas


  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 lb masa harina flour, fresh or reconstituted by mixing 2 cups masa harina with about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (masa harina is made by Quaker Oats and other companies)
  • 12 cup lard or 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • For the toppings

  • 1 cup any salsa or 1 cup green chili salsa
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped


  • For the picadas: With your hands, work the salt into the masa.
  • Shape it into 20 to 22 walnut-size balls.
  • Press them into rounds about 3 inches across and 1/8-inch thick.
  • Set them side by side (not stacked) on baking sheets as they are shaped, covering them with a damp cloth.
  • Lightly grease a griddle or large cast-iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact.
  • Have ready a basket lined with tea towels.
  • Now you must work quickly, because the masa will be supple enough to shape for only a few seconds after baking.
  • Place 2 of the prepared masa rounds on the hot griddle and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, until the edges shrink away slightly from the pan and lose their raw look.
  • Turn and cook the other side for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes more.
  • Transfer to a plate or work surface and, while they're still hot, quickly pinch up the edges of each into a slightly raised rim.
  • Place them in the basket and cover snugly with the towels.
  • Continue with the remaining masa rounds, 2 at a time.
  • Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  • In a small skillet or saucepan, heat the lard or shortening over medium heat until hot but not quite rippling.
  • Using kitchen tongs, slide each picada into the hot fat and let it cook for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Before it starts to brown, lift out, letting it drain well, and set on the prepared baking sheet.
  • When all the picadas are done, layer them with guacamole, cooked chicken and salsa.
  • Scatter some of the grated cheese over the sauce, top with some chopped onion, if desired, and serve.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Linajjac
    Great recipe! I only made 6 as it’s just the 2 of us. I found a trick. Down a beer real fast, then use that bottle and set it in the middle of the dough when you shape it. Just form it to the sides of the bottle. Worked like a charm & I didn’t burn my hands off. LOL. Thanks!
  2. whtbxrmom
    Not sure what went wrong. My masa dough was too crumbly when I mixed the flour and water usung the amounts called for. So I added more warm water in small amounts until I could get it to hold together to roll the walnut shape balls. When I tried to flatten the dough balls they either crumbled apart or stuck to my hands. I gave up and made burritos instead.
  3. Charmie777
    These were great, but very labor intensive. My family gobbled them up! I used refried beans, chicken, queso fresco, and pico de gallo.
  4. Aunt Cookie
    These were great. I made a half recipe, and the two of us finished them off in one sitting. I just used guacamole, cheese, lettuce and sour cream (we skipped the chicken). They were much easier to make than I expected, too. Thanks for posting this recipe!
  5. Stephanie Y.
    A 10 star recipe! These tasted like authentic mexican food. I halved the recipe without a problem and also used jack cheese. I found that I needed to use much more warm water for the masa to stick together - I just kept adding it until it was not crumbly. These were really fun to make and the directions were very clear. This makes a nice change from tacos and tostadas. Thank you Mariposa for sharing this outstanding recipe!



Find More Recipes