Llapingachos, pronounced (yah-peen-GAH-chos), are Ecuadorian scallion, cheese and mashed potato patties. So simple to make, crisp on the outside, tender inside, these cheese scallion mashed potato cakes will make everyone at the table happy.
If you like potato pancakes, you're going to love llapingachos!
How to make Llapingachos: (cheese and potato patties)
Making Llapingachos is easy, with just 3 ingredients: potatoes, cheese and scallions. Boil and mash the potatoes, mix in chopped scallions and cheese (farmer, queso fresco or Monterey Jack), form the mixture into thick pancakes, and cook them on a griddle or in a skillet until they're heated through and crispy brown on the outside. Serve them right away or keep them warm in the oven until ready to serve.
Serving Suggestions for Llapingachos:
There are all sorts of ways to eat this popular Ecuadorian dish
- In Ecuador you might find Llapingachos served a la carte, as an appetizer.
- For breakfast lunch or dinner, they're commonly eaten with a fried egg on top and chorizo sausages on the side.
- Or they might be slathered with creamy peanut sauce and topped with tomato-onion salad and sliced avocado.
The good new is, Llapingachos are already amazing before you even add anything to them.
When I first taste-tested these Ecuadorian potato patties on my family, I served a tomato avocado onion salad on the side. We loved the pairing of the potato patties with colorful, juicy tomatoes, red onion, avocado and a light lime-garlic dressing. It was such a delicious satisfying vegetarian meal, I decided to include the tomato salad in this recipe post. However I also sautéed up some sliced spicy chicken sausage for one of my sons, because he's not a fan of tomatoes. The sausage and Llapingacho combo is also pretty great. Depends on what kind of mood you're in.
You might also like:
- Easy Potato Latkes
- Mini Spinach Potato Knish Appetizer
- Swiss Rösti: Shredded Potato Casserole with Ham and Eggs
- Spanish Inspired Funeral Potatoes with Chorizo and Smoked Paprika
You might also enjoy Venezuelan Arepas which are gluten free corn cakes that have some similarities to Llapingachos.
Before researching this post, I could not have named a single Ecuadorian recipe. You don't hear a lot about Ecuadorian cuisine. Ecuador has other claims to fame: it contains The Galapagos Islands which is one of the worlds best destinations for viewing wildlife; it's got the equator running through it (hence the name Ecuador). Now that I've tried Llapingachos I think it's definitely a claim to fame that the rest of the world should know about.
Here's the Llapingachos recipe. If you try this, I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print
Llapingachos: Ecuadorian Cheese and Potato Patties
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
Delicious 3-ingredient cheese and potato patties. They make a delicious vegetarian meal served with a fresh salad of tomato, avocado and red onions. Perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner. [gluten-free]
Adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light Global Kitchen
- 2 tablespoons or so of cooking oil such as canola (or for authenticity use annatto oil if you can find it or make it)
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (4 medium sized potatoes)
- 1 cup of farmer cheese or substitute shredded queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese
- 6-7 green onions, minced, white and light green parts only, mince the dark parts separately to sprinkle on the finished dish.
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Tomato Onion Avocado Salad
- 1 head butter lettuce, washed and torn (optional)
- 1 ½ -2 pounds of ripe tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced - I suggest heirloom tomatoes, if you can find them
- 2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced (wait until the last minute to slice the avocados, so they don't turn brown)
- 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, and drained
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice (the juice of 1 lime)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled and pressed or finely minced
- Place potatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large pot and fill with water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with a potato masher. Set aside until cool.
- Add cheese, green onions, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper to potatoes, stirring well to combine. Scoop up about ½ cup of the mixture and form it into a patty that's about 3 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Set it on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. You should get about 10 patties. Cover and refrigerate patties until firm - for at least ½ hour. (note: you can make them ahead up to this point and keep them in the fridge overnight, if you like)
- Make the Salad While the potatoes are chilling make the salad. In a small bowl whisk oil, lime juice, garlic, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Place tomatoes, avocado, onion and lettuce (if using) in a bowl. Toss gently with dressing.
- Cook the Patties: Heat a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Cook patties in two batches. Let them to brown on one side for 4-5 minutes, then turn and brown on the other side for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve patties with tomato-avocado salad. Garnish patties and salad with reserved minced green onions.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Ecuadorian
Keywords: Ecuadorian cheese and potato patties, three ingredient potato pancakes
Thank you for the recipe, The Llapingachos (Quechua) Tortilla de Papa (Spanish)was sooo delicious,
Martha - I'm so glad you enjoyed the Llapingachos! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I used to live in Ecuador and it was my favorite meal there; I legitimately ate it once a week. Where I was living, they made them sans queso, as cheese is rather expensive, and they also refer to them as tortillas de papas (a far easier pronunciation than llapingachos). The entire plato is paired with a simple shredded beet and lettuce salad, cubes of grilled steak, and a fried egg. All for $1.50-$2! If you ever get the chance to visit, I highly recommend! I miss Ecuador often so this recipe is dear to my heart. Thank you!!
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ)
Glad you told us how to get our tongues around these delicious morsels - Lisa:-) I would have saying them all wrong otherwise!
Yum!!! These look so delicious! Perfect for any time of day!!! Thank you, Lisa!!