Chochoyotes Recipe

Chochoyotes in bowls

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 30 to 35 chochoyotes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
212 Calories
2g Fat
45g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 212
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 392mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 82mg 6%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 153mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chochoyotes are small balls of masa-based dough cooked in soup or broth. You could think of them like little meatless meatballs. This basic preparation is just one expression of the many different ways masa is used in Mexican cuisine.

You will find various chochoyote recipes in different regions of Mexico, mostly central and south Mexico. One element remains consistent, and that is the way they are always boiled in a liquid, whether that's a soup, broth, or mole. They can provide richness and texture to meatless dishes, and make it more filling. Adding chochoyotes to soup will thicken the broth, as they release a little bit of the starchy masa while they cook.

A recipe for chochoyotes can be as simple as a little masa harina with salt and water, as in this recipe, while others call for the addition of lard, herbs, cheese, or chicharrones renderings.

"The little dumplings are rich in earthy corn flavor with a delightfully dense texture, making them perfect in soups and hearty stews. They're simple to make and a great alternative to a side of corn tortillas or a can of hominy." —Danielle Centoni

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 350 grams (3 cups) masa harina

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups warm water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chochoyotes ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Add masa harina and salt to a large bowl and stir to combine.

    Masa harina and salt in a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add the water, pouring gradually while you mix, until you have a dough that's soft enough to form smooth balls with no cracks. You may not need to use all of the water.

    Dough in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Knead dough lightly for a minute or two.

    Kneading dough on a wooden surface

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Form inch-sized balls of dough with your hands. Then press an indentation into the center of each ball with the tip of your finger. The idea is to flatten the center somewhat so each dumpling cooks thoroughly when you add it to boiling soup. Keep the chochoyotes under a damp cloth or cling wrap until you are ready to cook them.

    Finger pressed into dough balls to form the chochoyotes

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Bring your cooking medium, such as a soup or broth, to a gentle boil.

    Soup in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Once you have formed all of the chochoyotes, you can add them to a soup, broth or mole. Gently lower them into the liquid and adjust the heat so the liquid is at enough of a simmer to keep the chochoyotes moving around, but not at a rapid boil. Simmer until completely cooked, about 15 minutes. You can test this by cutting one of the chochoyotes in half to see if the middle is cooked through. Serve with the soup or broth immediately.

    Chochoyotes cooking in a pot with soup on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Recipe Variations

  • For richer chochoyotes, add 2 tablespoons room-temperature lard, butter, or vegetable oil to the dough, and reduce the water as needed.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have access to fresh masa, you can use that instead of masa harina. You may not need to add much or any water at all, in that case.
  • Flavor chochoyote dough with a teaspoon of herbs such as epazotehoja santa, avocado leaf, or cilantro.

How to Store

  • Chochoyotes should be cooked on the same day they are made.
  • After cooking, store leftovers together with the soup in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • We do not recommend freezing.