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  • Writer's pictureCecilia Tupac

How to make Papa Rellena: Peruvian Stuffed Potato Recipe

Peruvian Papa Rellena Recipe

Papa Rellena, or Peruvian Stuffed Potato, is a delectable dish featuring deep-fried mashed potatoes stuffed with seasoned ground beef, egg, and black olives. This savoury treat is perfect for any meal or as a satisfying snack. Discover how to prepare this classic Peruvian dish below.


What is Papa Rellena?


Peruvian Papa Rellena consists of mashed potatoes filled with a savoury mixture of ground beef, onions, garlic, hard-boiled egg, and black olives, all seasoned with a variety of spices. The stuffed potatoes are then moulded into oval shapes, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried until golden brown.


This affordable and filling dish is typically served with a spicy "ají" sauce and Peruvian "sarza criolla," a tangy onion and lime salsa. While beef is the traditional filling, variations with chicken and vegetarian options are also popular.


Origins of Papa Rellena


Peru boasts over 3,000 different types of potatoes, making it famous for a variety of potato-based dishes. Papa Rellena is believed to have originated during the War of the Pacific in the late 1800s between Peru and Chile. Soldiers needed a substantial and easy-to-prepare meal to sustain them during the conflict, leading to the creation of this dish.


Today, Papa Rellena remains a beloved dish found in many Peruvian households, restaurants, and street food stalls.


How to make Papa Rellena


Ready to prepare your own Peruvian Papa Rellena? Follow the step-by-step instructions below:


  1. Boil and Mash the Potatoes: Peel and boil the potatoes until tender. Mash the potatoes into a smooth puree and set aside to cool.

  2. Prepare the Filling: In a bowl, season the ground beef with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic paste, and oregano. Chop the onions, parsley, and aji amarillo (or bell pepper).

  3. Fry the Filling: In a pan, fry the onions over low-medium heat until translucent. Add the seasoned beef and aji panca paste, cooking for 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped aji amarillo (or bell pepper) and cook until tender, adding chopped parsley/coriander at the end.

  4. Make the Papa Rellena: Rub a little oil on your hands to prevent sticking. Take a portion of mashed potato and flatten it into a disc shape. Place 1-2 tablespoons of the beef filling in the center. Cover with another portion of mashed potato and mould into an oval shape, ensuring the filling is completely enclosed.

  5. Coat and Fry: Dip the stuffed potato into beaten egg yolk, then coat with breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a deep pan and fry the Papa Rellena until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

  6. Serve: Serve the Papa Rellena hot, accompanied by fresh sarza criolla and a drizzle of ají sauce.

Papa Rellena Recipe


For a visual guide on how to make these delicious deep-fried stuffed potatoes, watch the video below from Chef Cecilia Tupac:



Papa Rellena Ingredients:


  • 400 gr of ground beef

  • 2 medium onions

  • 4 garlic cloves (or 1 tablespoon of garlic paste)

  • 2 tablespoons of aji panca paste

  • 1 tablespoon of aji amarillo (optional)

  • 1 aji amarillo pepper (or 1 yellow bell pepper)

  • Salt, pepper, cumin, oregano to taste

  • Black olives

  • Boiled egg

  • Parsley / Coriander to taste For the Potato:

  • 6 large potatoes

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 250 gr of breadcrumbs

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