Papa Rellenas Recipe

papa rellenas 2

My husband was sick one day, but he wasn’t craving your typical chicken noodle soup. He wanted something hearty and filling, so I decided to take it upon myself to make him some comfort food, papa rellenas. Keep in mind I have only eaten them and never made them, but figured that it was time that I learned.

The problem with giving you a papa rellenas recipe is that I didn’t write it down, so I’m only going to be able to give an outline of what I did.

I ended up with 7 papa rellenas.


Potatoes, peel and cut into even chunks and quarters (I probably used 5-6 to be on the safe side)

Ground beef

Diced onion

Diced red pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced



½-3/4 cup of milk

A cup of flour

¼ cup of corn starch

Big sprinkle of garlic powder

Big sprinkle of onion powder

Hard boiled eggs, diced small (I probably did like 3-5 and added by eye the amount the I needed.

Enough oil to fill up an 1 ½” of a pan

Now What?

Boil water and cook your potatoes until they are cooked through. After about 10-15 minutes, test with a butter knife or fork. If it cuts through easily, then it is done. Drain the water out. Mash the potatoes with a masher until a bit chunky. Add into a few pinches of salt and half of your milk. Keep mashing until smooth. If it is dry, add in more milk, but do it in increments, because if the mashed potatoes are too runny, they won’t hold their shape. Set aside to cool.

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Heat and oil and pan and sauté the diced onion and peppers until wilted. Then throw in the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Throw in the ground beef, 2 big pinches of salt, two big pinches of pepper, the garlic powder and the onion powder. You want the beef to be crumbled, so use a kitchen utensil to keep breaking it up as it cooks. When it cooks through and there is no more pink, taste it. If it needs more salt or pepper, then add more. Set this aside to cool.

When everything is cooled off or at least cool enough for you to hand with your hands, add the diced eggs to the beef mixture and combine together.

Now you are ready to start shaping and frying.

In a bowl, mix together the flour and cornstarch. Pour out into a plate.

In a deep pan, fill a pan up with 1 1/2 “ of oil (I usually use canola) and heat until you see very gentle ripples.

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Fill the palm of your hand with about a ½” of mashed potatoes. Cup your hand so that the mashed potatoes become a cup, but one that is like a rounded oval, versus full circle. You want the end result to be 3-4 inches in height and width, so keep that in mind in case you have very big hands. Fill with a couple of spoonfuls of the beef mixture and then top with more mashed potatoes, pat the potatoes to seal up the ball.

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Roll the ball all around the flour mixture and gently place into the oil.

Papa rellenas 1

When the bottom half is a golden brown, turn and fry the other side until they match in color. Drain on a paper towel and serve.

Joyce Huang

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