Vegan Papas Rellenas (Latin American Stuffed Potato Balls)

December 30, 2020
Papas rellenas are fried mashed potato balls popular throughout Latin America that are usually stuffed with some sort of meat. They can easily be made vegan by filling them with a bunch of veggies and herbs instead. I chose to use chana masala as the stuffing and all of the fresh flavors helped to bring the potatoes to life. Instead of frying these, I baked them in the oven to avoid using fatty oil and it gave them the perfectly crisp outside coating. These are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes as well as chana masala. Once you learn how to make these, you can stuff them with whatever you like. You can enjoy these alone as an appetizer or serve them alongside some greens for a more substantial meal. You can also make these ahead of time and freeze them so all you have to do is pop them in the oven for a quick meal.
vegan papas rellenas on a white plate against a dark background

Vegan Papas Rellenas (Latin American Stuffed Potato Balls)

Recipe Type: Appetizers Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 10 balls
herb graphic for recipe card
  • For the potatoes:
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • pinch salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can chickpeas, strained
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, shredded
  • juice from 1 lime
  • For the outer coating:
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 cup almond milk
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1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook until potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Strain potatoes and add almond milk and salt. Mash and set aside.

3. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the chana masala. Add the oil to a pan over medium heat. Add peppers, onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté for a couple minutes. Add tomato paste, chickpeas, and spices and sauté for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro.

4. Roll a tennis ball size of mashed potatoes in your hand and then flatten it. Add a tablespoon of filling and wrap potato around and seal. Continue until potatoes and filling are gone, about ten balls.

5. In a small bowl, combine the flour and breadcrumbs. Brush each ball with almond milk and then coat in breadcrumbs/flour mix.

6. Add to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and serve hot.

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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote

Lauren is a homebody who likes to spend time with her cat, explore new ideas in the kitchen, relax in the sun with a good book, and promote healthy living to friends and family.


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