Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce - Papa a La Huancaina

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

This famous Peruvian dish Papa a la Huancaína was posted by Marian Blazes. I have posted it here for use in the ZWT-7 world tour of South/Central America. This is a dish of sliced potatoes covered in a spicy cheese sauce that is typically served cold, as a first course or as a lunch dish. It is delicious made with yellow or white potatoes. The sauce for the dish is called Salsa a la Huancaina and is made with aji amarillo peppers. The spiciness can be adjusted by using less or more yellow chile peppers. (your preference) If you would rather not have it spicy, you may use some tumeric powder instead for flavor.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • salsa, a la Huancaina, Spicy Cheese Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons oil, vegetable
  • 12 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 -4 chili peppers (yellow aji amarillo frozen is fine or 1/2 cup jarred aji amarillo paste)
  • 14 teaspoon turmeric (optional, if you don't want it spicy add tumeric instead)
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 2 cups cheese, white farmer's cheese (queso freso, may sub with feta)
  • 4 crackers, saltine (or for slightly sweet flavor add animal crackers instead)
  • 34 cup milk, evaporated
  • 1 pinch salt (to taste)
  • 14 teaspoon pepper (to taste)
  • 8 potatoes (yellow or white)
  • lettuce leaf (for plating)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 8 large black olives, halved


  1. For the sauce - Remove seeds from yellow chile peppers and chop into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Sauté the onion, garlic, and chile peppers (or paste) in the oil until onion is softened, about 3-5 minutes. If using the tumeric option, add it now.
  3. Once onion is softened remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Place the onion-chile mixture in a food processor or blender, add the evaporated milk and blend.
  5. Next add the cheese and crackers and blend until smooth.
  6. The sauce should be fairly thick. If necessary thicken you can thicken the sauce with more saltines or thin the sauce with more .
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at room temperature or chilled.
  8. For the potatoe dish - Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling and add the potatoes.
  9. Boil the potatoes until tender, drain and let cool.
  10. Slice the potatoes and place on top of the lettuce leaves.
  11. Then pour the huancaína sauce over the potatoes and garnish with slices of hard-boiled egg and black olive halves.
Most Helpful

This recipe is okay, but not quite what I was looking for. It's missing something. It is very easy to make though and is worth trying. I've eaten many papas a la huancaina though and this sauce while good doesn't quite do it for me.

embuggy September 21, 2011

Kato, I'm soooo sorry that I forgot about the eggs and olives. The photo would have looked a lot better so I'm typing this with a bag over my head. However, The sauce is the shining star of the recipe and it's delicious, it was even yummy on the lonely potatoes lol. You can make it as hot or not as you like, it very versatile so your going to want to make it a lot because you'll keep thinking of things that you want to put it on (DH had a lot of it on his monster double pattie chicken burger and smiled a lot). It's also very simple and quick to make, heck the food pro does all the work :D. All in all, it's a keeper. Thanks for thing one hon.

Annacia June 09, 2011

These are so good! We like spicy so I added enough to make it very spicy! I didn't know about serving it cold, but I did serve it at room temperature. Thanks for sharing. Made for the Central/South America stop on ZWT7 for the Vivacious Violets.

Lainey6605 June 06, 2011