International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Llapingachos Recipe (Ecuadorian potato-cheese patties)

(Ecuadorian potato-cheese patties)

Average: 4.3 (59 votes)

Llapingachos (yah-peen-GAH-chos) are a popular side dish in the highlands of Ecuador. They are often served with fried eggs and a simple salad of lettuce, tomato and avocado. Sometimes sausages and a side of rice are added to make a full and typically Ecuadorian meal.

4 to 6 servings


  • Russet potatoes, peeled -- 2 pounds
  • White cheese, shredded (see variations) -- 1 cup
  • Scallions, chopped finely -- 6
  • Salt -- to taste
  • Achiote powder (see notes) -- 2 teaspoons
  • Oil -- 1/4 cup

Salsa de Maní (Peanut Sauce)

  • Milk -- 1 1/2 cups
  • Onion, thinly sliced -- 1/4 cup
  • Natural peanut butter -- 1/3 cup
  • Salt -- to taste


  1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with salted water and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Cook the potatoes until a knife pierces them easily. Drain the potatoes and set them aside to steam dry for 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Mash the potatoes until smooth or put them through a ricer. Season to taste with salt. When cool enough, form 1/3 cup portions of the mashed potatoes into balls and set on a baking sheet. Chill for at least 20 minutes; this will make the patties much easier to handle.
  3. While the potatoes are chilling, start your maní sauce. Simmer the milk and sliced onion in a small saucepan for about 10 minutes. Do not boil. Strain the onions from the milk and discard. Whisk the peanut butter into the warm milk and season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. The sauce should be the consistency of heavy cream. Add a little more milk or peanut butter as needed. Set aside.
  4. Remove potatoes from the refrigerator. Mix the cheese and scallions together and stuff each ball with about 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Flatten the balls with your hands to form patties.
  5. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the patties, a few at a time, until browned on each side. Remove to a warm oven until all patties have been sautéed. Serve topped with the salsa de maní.

Llapingachos Variations

  • Coloring: The achiote powder gives the patties an orange color. If you don't have achiote, add a teaspoon or two of paprika. Or just leave it out altogether.
  • Cheese: Ecuadorans typically use a young white cheese called queso blanco for stuffing llapingachos, but you can use Monterey jack or mozzarella.
  • Use finely minced white onion instead of scallions.
  • Mix the cheese and scallions in with the potatoes instead of stuffing them.
  • Add a little cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce to the to the peanut sauce if you'd like some heat. Or add a little ground cumin for extra flavor.


All went well with this until the frying stage, I think perhaps it may have been user error, however they kept sticking to the bottom of the pan...I tried a few different "non stick" ones...any advice?

All you do is beat an egg and just brush it on the llapingachos once they have the cheese inside. This will keep the potato together and avoid the cheese from coming out.

Good luck!!!

This is a good way but my mom makes it diffrent she uses hot dogs instead of sausage and in the peanut butter sauce she puts suger and scallions puts it in the blender and add achote and blend then cook the sauce till it gets brown and pour it over the hot dogs and potatos
after u do ur potatos the way it says above
)boil hotdogs
)get achote in the seed put them in
4 tablespoons of cooking oil and boil till it gets the color out
it will be red
)in the blender put a cup of milk the chopped up scallions
and add peanut butter crunchy is better ur gunna add till its
thick add the oil with out the seeds till the sauce gets yellow orange add 1/3 cup of suger if u like it sweeter add more to taste
)cook the sauce in a big pan till its brown keep
stiring it will stick to the pan and pour over hot dogs and potatos

What kind of "white" cheese is typically used in this dish? Please send me a recommendation. Thank you.

There are recommended cheeses in the Variations section.
Chef Brad

Hi, I was wondering if these can be frozen? If so, for how long?