Learn how to make Papa Rellena, Peruvian comfort food

In the first edition of
Immigrant Recipes, New Women New Yorkers Board Director Maria shares a recipe for Papa Rellena, or stuffed potatoes, a savory dish from her home country of Peru. “This is Peruvian comfort food,” says Maria. “I always associate it with going back home to visit my family.”


Papa Rellena

Approx. 6 servings

Prep time: Approx. 60 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes


2 pounds white potatoes
1¼ pound meat (may combine pork and beef, finely diced or minced)
3 medium red onions chopped fine
½ pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced fine
1 tsp paprika
3½ oz black olives, pitted
3 oz raisins
3 hard-boiled eggs, diced
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil potatoes in plenty of salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).
  2. When potatoes are done, strain them well and when they are cool, peel them and mash them with a fork or ricer. Add salt to taste.
  3. For the filling:
    • Season the meat with salt and pepper, to taste.
    • On a medium sized skillet, heat vegetable oil. Brown the meat on each side, seasoning more as needed.
    • Remove the meat from the skillet, leaving the oil.
    • In that same skillet, saute the onion and tomato with the paprika.
    • Cook on low heat until the onions begin to soften, then return the meat to the skillet. Mix and simmer all the ingredients together for 5 minutes.
    • Remove from the heat and mix in the hard-boiled eggs, raisins, and olives.
  4. Stuff the potatoes:
    • Work the mashed potatoes with your hands until they resemble a soft, smooth dough.
    • Flour a work surface and your hands.
    • Place about ½ cup of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand and carefully form a thin disc-shaped layer. In the center place about 1 tbsp of the filling.
    • Bring the sides of the potato layer together to cover filling and form large croquettes.
    • Dip each croquette in beaten egg and then coat with sifted flour.
  5. Heat ¼ cup of oil in skillet and pan fry the croquettes until golden brown.

Note: Usually papa rellena is served with salsa criolla. This salsa is made with one medium-sized raw onion finely chopped and mixed with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1 tbsp of lime juice, as well as parsley, salt, and pepper, to taste.

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