Colombian Style Stuffed Potatoes (Papas Rellenas Colombianas)

by Erica Dinho on June 9, 2009

This post is also available in Spanish

Colombian Food-Papas Rellenas

Papas Rellenas are a popular Colombian food that we eat for breakfast or as a snack. You can serve these Colombian Stuffed Potatoes hot or cold and they are delicious with ají sauce. Colombians have different versions of Papas Rellenas. I called my aunt in Florida to get my grandmother’s recipe for this one. Some people add cooked egg and rice to the meat filling. I have included a vegetarian version too.

Papas Rellenas Colombianas



(10 stuffed potatoes)

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Papas Rellenas Colombianas

Meat Filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sazon Goya with azafran
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ pound ground beef

For a vegetarian version:
Use the same ingredients in the meat filling except the beef and add 1 cup frozen carrots and peas.

1 egg
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
½ tablespoon sazon Goya with azafran
¼ cup milk

Papas Rellenas Colombianas

Papas Rellenas or Colombian Stuffed Potatoes

Papas Rellenas or Colombian Stuffed Potatoes


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks, put them in a medium pot and cover with water and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  2. Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until fork tender about 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes and mash with a fork or masher and set aside.
  4. Prepare the filling, in a large sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, tomato, scallions, garlic, cumin, azafran, pepper and salt. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent, add the beef and cook stirring occasionally about 10 – 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a medium bowl place all the batter ingredients and whisk until smooth and set aside.
  6. Divide the potato mash into 10 equal sized portions, about 1/3 cup each, and form each portion into a ball by rolling between the palms of your hands. Flatten into patties and place 1 ½ tablespoons of the filling in the center of each one. Shape the potato mixture with the filling into balls to enclose the filling completely.
  7. Fill a large heavy pot with vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat to 360° F.
  8. Dip the stuffed potato into the batter and carefully place them in the hot oil and fry for about 4 minutes or until golden, turning over halfway through. Remove the potatoes from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain in a plate with paper towels. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with Ají.
  9. Papas Rellenas Colombianas

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen June 9, 2009 at 1:08 PM

These look delicious. I’m not big on frying, but I suppose these could be done successfully in the oven, too. New to your blog and am loving all of the dishes!


2 Nancy June 9, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Your recipes are great and the photos of them are fabulous!


3 Joy June 10, 2009 at 5:22 AM

This is wonderful, but what is sazon goya? Is it just saffron?


4 Erica June 10, 2009 at 7:20 AM

Hi Joy,
Is a dry seasoning containing garlic powder, cumin, Mexican saffron.


5 Karen October 23, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Can’t wait to try this recipe. But what is sazon goya?


6 Erica Dinho October 24, 2014 at 9:06 AM

It’s a powdered seasoning with color. Here is a recipe to make it at home:


7 Sweet Kitchen June 10, 2009 at 7:40 AM

These are mouth-watering! They are very similar to the Italian crochette di patate, which I adore.


8 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie June 10, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Wow, my daughter would devour those adorable stuffed potatoes in seconds, and we also would really love them too. Bookmarking for sure!


9 Soma June 10, 2009 at 9:43 PM

Wow Stuffed.. i am in.. & i really do not mind deep frying once in a while. the things supposed to be deep fried somehow do not taste as good to be baked. one great recipe.


10 Erica June 11, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Thank you all for the comments!
I agree with you, I don’t mind fried food once in a while.If you are on a diet, this is one of the best reasons to break it.


11 nora@ffr June 11, 2009 at 11:12 PM

the vegetarian version of filling sound great.. m gonna try this out soon as having fried food once in a while not a prob eh?? hehe


12 Anna June 14, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Hi Erica, this potatoes looks delicious, do you think I could bake then in the oven? Maybe coat then with “panko” bread crumbs?


13 Erica June 15, 2009 at 7:57 AM

This is the traditional way to cook papa rellena in Colombia, but will be great to try baking them coated with panko bread crumbs!


14 Kim June 22, 2009 at 9:23 PM

What could be better than this? They look so good and addictive : )
You have so many great recipes!!


15 Danielle July 9, 2009 at 5:40 PM

I just wanted to stop by, take a look at your blog…(very nice :) ) and say thank you for following me.

I’ve had something very similiar to this at a cuban deli / bakery near my house…YUM!! I just might have to try this out.


16 Melly. February 9, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Erica, Gracias por la receta. Le hice estas papitas a mi esposo el domingo y quedo encantado. No cocino mucha comida colombiana porque afortunadamente tengo a mi mama cerca y ella cocina delicioso. Pero con tus recetas y tus explicaciones, suele ser un poco mas facil!!! Gracias =)


17 Erica February 9, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Melly- Gracias por tu comentario! Me alegra que les gusto la receta :)


18 Carolina Benoit March 22, 2010 at 7:44 AM

I am new to cooking but this is so clear and good!!! absolutely love your blog!


19 Anonymous March 31, 2010 at 5:01 PM

My Colombian husband made these and the whole family loved them. Thank you so much for the papas rellenas recipe.


20 christina April 19, 2010 at 7:37 PM

I am so grateful that you posted this. I remember when I was younger, everyday after school I would save my one dollar and head to the cuban bakery by my house and purchase one of these. Can’t wait to make them at home and have my family taste them!


21 Marc @ NoRecipes June 23, 2010 at 9:30 AM

I just found your blog off a comment you left somewhere else and I have to say I have a food crush on your blog.


22 Erica June 23, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Marc- Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! I love your blog :)


23 Heather July 4, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Hi! Ive been following your blog but just decided to official follow. I am American and my husband is Colombian (from Bogota) and I am frequently trying to bring some home flavors to him.

Ive never had papas rellenas and had nothing to compare it to, but I dont think I made the batter part right. It was so thin thin thin that I had to thicken it more so it would stick to the potatoes at all! Should it have been thin? Was I just heating the oil too low?


24 Erica July 5, 2010 at 6:04 PM

Heather- The batter is not too thick and the oil has to be very hot!


25 luisa fernanda August 20, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Porque al freir las papas se desbarataron? Gracias por tu respuesta


26 Erica August 20, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Luisa Fernanda- No se. A lo mejor el aceite no estaba en la temperatura ideal.


27 Christine October 18, 2010 at 10:47 PM

If we did want to bake them with the panko,
what would we set out oven to? (time and temp)
RECIPE sounds GREAT! cant wait to try


28 Claudia December 6, 2010 at 3:58 PM

I am glad to find something possitive on Colombia. As a Colombian raised in the USA, its hard to find good culinary from Colombia. I enjoy each and every recipes. Thank you….



29 Ulric March 9, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Hi Erica, this looks great. I am also colombian but my family doesn’t come from the mainland so the food is a little different. This is an awesome recipe to show off so thanks haha.


30 Cristina March 24, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Yum! Made them for my kids and husband and they loved them, thanks for such a great recipe.


31 DIANA April 28, 2011 at 7:09 PM



32 LENA May 5, 2011 at 3:35 PM

respondiendo a la pregunta de luisa fernanda que decia que se desbarataron las papas fritandolas, es por que seguramente el tipo de papa que uso contenia mucha agua. es mejor usar papas especiales para hacerlas fritas hay un tipo de papa que es de cascara roja que es mas seca. si no encuentra otro tipo, mejor cocinarlas con la cascara para que no absorban mas agua :)


33 marisel May 10, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Para que no se desbaraten las papas, se debe utilizar la papa adecuada o mesclar papa roja y cafe y cuanto se esten armando las papas colocarlas en un plastico y amarrarlas bien, quedan bien rendondas.


34 Jaqueline June 23, 2011 at 8:48 AM

I made those papas for a brunch last sunday and my dad was crazy about them. We didn’t stop eating them all day. I made a double batch. Delicious.


35 christopher gomez August 12, 2011 at 11:24 AM

how can a colombian recipe be made with (sazon goya) a product that does not exist in colombia?


36 Erica August 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Christopher- sazon Goya with azafran is similar to “Triguisar” .


37 Astrid October 6, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Comida tipica colombiana…Tu tienes recetas trdicionales de colombia y con las que creci en colombia. Yo ya hice las papas rellenas y me quedaron deliciosas.


38 Jeanette Merl November 15, 2011 at 2:14 PM

My fiance is a Colombian native, I am hispanic myself and decided to make these Stuffed potatoes, white rice, friend plantains & black beans for a dinner surprise. He was so PLEASED, and loved every bite. Thank you, these were a hit w/the whole family, and I enjoyed my oldest son helping me out as well.


39 Anita June 3, 2012 at 9:13 PM

I’ve made this recipe several times, a huge hit with the family, and was looking to add new ingredients to the piccadillo mixture I use just to give it a bit of a twist from the norm. I came across this recipe, and though its very similar to my own I had never tried a vegetarian version, so I cant wait to experience that. Also,

Instead of frying the papas rellenas, you may place them on baking sheets and bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until heated through or golden brown. Since everything is already cooked when its placed together, the baking is just to crisp up the outside of the potatoes (or breading).

I usually use SBP (Standard Breading Procedure) once I’ve rounded the meat filled potatoes into actual balls, instead of the above batter which I’m excited about trying for my vegetarian experience.
SBP requires three bowls, one with flower, one with an egg wash (egg and milk or water mixed together like you would for scrambled eggs) and bread crumbs (any type). Dredge the formed potato balls in flower, egg wash, bread crumb order and then fry. If your going to bake them, I recommend this process highly (instead of the batter above) because you don’t have to worry about thinness and it makes less of a mess on the baking sheet.

Hope that helps!!
Have fun cooking everyone!!
Love seeing the recipe :)
Thanks so much,

Anita G


40 Leilani Mansingh December 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Mi esposo y yo fuimos a un lugar en Queens, Nueva York en el proceso de buscar a donde sentarnos a comer escoger fue facil, restaurante colombiano,
pedimos papas rellenas, pero fue las mejores que hemos comido.
Estas estaban rellenas con arroz y pernil, el sabor era unico.
Sabera como me puede conseguir esa receta porfavor, y tampoco era pequena era al menos dos punos juntos, ummm, riqisimo!


41 Heather December 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I’m a relative newcomer to your blog, but have become a huge fan. Made this recipe today because my homesick Colombian husband demanded it … absolutely delicious. Thank you :-)


42 Ariana January 8, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Hey I was just wondering if the Saxon Goya with azafran is necessary I live in New Zealand and we don’t have much imported food from Latin America?


43 Erica Dinho January 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM


Mix garlic powder, ground cumin and achiote or saffron.


44 Sarah Juanita March 18, 2014 at 5:17 PM

So Yummy! thanks for sharing!


45 sonia March 25, 2014 at 3:33 AM

Hi Erica Im from Australia and my husband who is also from Colombia and he loved them and so did our girls thanks


46 Jeanette June 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM

The pineapple sauce on the hot dog, is this something you make or can you buy it somewhere?


47 Deborah G. June 11, 2014 at 8:03 AM

When I lived in Florida these were sold at almost every gas station in my area. I have always wondered how they were made, and tonight we are going to have a rare treat! Thank you so much Erica! tonight my Colombian husband will think I’m a goddess!!


48 Angela August 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM

I love following your website. I am 1/2 Columbian but never learned to cook Columbian food. I tried this because it’s one of my favorites. But they fell apart during frying. What did I do wrong?


49 Ariana Kopa November 18, 2014 at 3:59 AM

Hey Erica, these Papa rellenas are compeletly delisious .

I have an understanding understanding that the batter could be made to make the putter shell more harder or crunchy do you know how that could be done? Thank you


50 Erica Dinho November 18, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Add more flour to the batter.


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