This papa a la huancaina recipe is a classic Peruvian dish of boiled potatoes that are sliced and tossed in a creamy, spicy cheese sauce, the perfect appetizer.
We're serving up a popular Peruvian appetizer in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends. Care to join me? It's called Papa a la Huancaína, and I'm excited to bring it to you.
Papa a la huancaina is a dish of tender huancayo style potatoes in a spicy creamy sauce made with cheese, cream and spicy aji amarillo peppers blended until smooth.
The potatoes are simply boiled, but they come to life in the huancaína sauce, which is rather addictive once you try it. So smooth, creamy, and a nice level of spice to it.
Papa a la huancaina is typically served as an appetizer, though it can make a nice side dish. Serve it at your next party. Your guests are sure to be impressed!
Let's talk about how to make papa a la huancaina, shall we?
Papa a la Huancaina Ingredients
- Yukon Gold Potatoes. Other smaller potatoes can work for this recipe.
- Aji Amarillo Peppers. Aji amarillo peppers are traditionally used, though can sub in other peppers available to you. Or, use aji amarillo paste, which you can buy online. See the recipe notes for pepper suggestions.
- Feta Cheese. Or use another crumbly white cheese, like queso fresco.
- Olive Oil.
- Heavy Cream. Or use crema or sour cream for a lighter version.
- FOR SERVING
- Hard Boiled Eggs.
- Shredded Lettuce.
- Black Olives.
How to Make Papa a la Huancaina - the Recipe Method
FOR THE POTATOES
Boil Until Tender. Add the potatoes to a small pot and cover with water and a bit of salt. Boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and cool slightly.
FOR THE HUANCAINA SAUCE
First Blend. Add the aji amarillo, shallot, garlic, crumbly cheese, turmeric and salt to a food processor or blender. Blend until chunky.
Second Blend. Add the olive oil and heavy cream or crema. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Warm the Sauce. Pour the sauce into a saucepot and warm gently over low heat. Thin with water or more cream if desired.
FOR THE PAPA A LA HUANCAINA
Lettuce. Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter.
The Potatoes. Slice the potatoes into coins (or wedges or halves) and toss them with the warmed chili sauce. Arrange onto the lettuce. Pour any remaining sauce over the potatoes.
Garnish. Top with sliced hardboiled eggs (if using) and sliced black olives. I added some extra sliced peppers for my own tastes.
Boom! Done! Your papa a la huancaina is ready to serve. Doesn't it look so inviting? Such vibrant color in that creamy sauce. I'm ready to dig right into this!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- The Peppers. If you can't find aji amarillo peppers, use aji amarillo paste. Or, consider serrano peppers, which are about the same heat level. Use sweeter peppers for a milder version.
- The Cheese. Feta cheese works great for this recipe, though queso fresco is perfect as well. Consider adding in cream cheese or goat cheese for a personal update.
- The Cream. Heavy cream is more commonly used, though I prefer Mexican crema in my kitchen for a lighter version. Sour cream works great. I have seen evaporated milk used in some recipes.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this papa a la huancaina recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. I love this one.
I've been learning a lot about South American cooking recently. Here is a link to one of the cookbooks I highly recommend.
- The South American Table, by Maria Baez Kijac (affiliate link, my friends!)
Try Some of These Other Peruvian Recipes
- Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Beef Stir Fry with French Fries)
- Pollo a la Brassa (Peruvian Chicken)
Try Some of My Other Popular Potato Recipes
- Papas Arrugadas (Wrinkly Potatoes)
- Patatas Bravas
- Spicy Oven Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- Twice Baked Jalapeno Popper Potatoes
- Potato Salad Recipe
- Papas con Chile
- Papas con Chorizo
- Baked Cajun Fries
- Aloo Gobi (Indian Spiced Potato and Cauliflower)
- Bombay Potatoes
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Papa a la Huancaina Recipe (Peruvian Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce)
- 8 Yukon gold potatoes or use other smaller potatoes
- 3 aji amarillo chili peppers chopped (You can use other peppers or use 2 tablespoons aji amarillo paste. See the recipe notes section.)
- 1 small shallot sliced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese or use another crumbly white cheese, like queso fresco
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil or use another vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup heavy cream or use crema or sour cream for a lighter version
- 3 hard boiled eggs sliced (optional)
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced black olives
FOR THE POTATOES
- Add the potatoes to a small pot and cover with water and a bit of salt. Boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and cool slightly.
FOR THE SAUCE
- Add the aji amarillo, shallot, garlic, crumbly cheese, turmeric and salt to a food processor or blender. Blend until chunky.
- Add the olive oil and heavy cream or crema. Process until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the sauce into a saucepot and warm gently over low heat. Thin with water or more cream if desired.
FOR THE PAPA A LA HUANCAINA
- Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter.
- Slice the potatoes into coins (or wedges or halves) and toss them with the warmed chili sauce. Arrange onto the lettuce.
- Top with sliced hardboiled eggs (if using) and sliced black olives. I added some extra sliced peppers for my own tastes.