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Llapingachos: Ecuadorian Cheese and Potato Patties

  • Author: Lisa
  • 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 1/2 -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 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (the juice of 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and pressed or finely minced


  1. 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.
  2. Add cheese, green onions, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to potatoes, stirring well to combine. Scoop up about 1/2 cup of the mixture and form it into a patty that's about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 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 1/2 hour. (note: you can make them ahead up to this point and keep them in the fridge overnight, if you like)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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