Rellenos de papa (stuffed potato balls) recipe: deep fry genius creation of potato meets savory carne molida (Puerto Rican Picadillo) and then covered in a crusty heaven! Flavorful picadillo (ground beef hash) surrounded by creamy, smooth mashed potatoes and then rolled in cornstarch, panko breadcrumbs and fried to golden perfection. Absolute yum!
Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potato Balls) is one of my absolute favorite foods by far!
And really if you’re anything like me where comfort food for you means home, then this recipe is for you!
You will absolutely love rellenos de papa too! It’s comfort food in a little sphere!
What are Rellenos de Papa?
Well if you’ve ever had Shepherd’s Pie, then this is sort of Shepherds pie in a sphere Puerto Rican style! 🙂
It’s a soft potato blend surrounding a delicious, savory carne molida (Puerto Rican picadillo) and then lightly coated with cornstarch and fried to golden perfection!
Rellenos de papa, are simply a deep fry genius creation, period!
It is sort of a potato croquette.
All Latin countries have their own version of a relleno.
Whether it is how the picadillo is seasoned, potato is blended or how they are coated.
For example, in Puerto Rico once the rellenos have been formed, they are then lightly covered in cornstarch.
In Mexico, these potato fritters are covered in breadcrumbs and are known as Bombas.
For the love of my own cultural food and upbringing we are going to make my hyper flavorful Puerto Rican rellenos!
But I am also going to share with you how they are coated traditionally but also a little extra delicious idea!
Plus normally we have rellenos with hot sauce or pique, which is my favorite way to have them!
But if you are not all about hot sauce, I’ve also added a Mexican dipping sauce that is really mild and doesn’t take away from all the delicious relleno flavor!
So this is your choice, you can either make it or not, you decide, either way they will be amazing!
How do You Make Rellenos de Papa?
- Start with boiling quartered potatoes.
- Make the hyper tasty carne molida.
- Form relleno balls.
- Fry potato balls.
Serve rellenos with hot sauce or poblano pepper dip sauce or both!
Recipe and full recipe steps with photos below ↓
Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potato Balls)
- extra cornstarch to cover balls
- panko breadcrumbs
- 1-2 eggs beaten
- oil for frying
- hot sauce of your choice
- 2 lbs russet potatoes peeled and quartered
- 8 cups water
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 4 tbsp of butter
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
Carne Molida (Puerto Rican Picadillo)
- 1/4 of the recipe for carne molida follow link on post for carne molida (picadillo recipe)
Poblano Dipping Sauce
- 1 poblano pepper roasted and skin peeled and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a pot, combine potatoes, water and salt. Cook for 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.Drain and immediately mash or put through a potato ricer.Add butter, egg, salt and cornstarch.Cool to room temperature.
Carne Molida (Puerto Rican Picadillo)
- Follow carne molida recipe(link for recipe also in post)Let carne molida cool.
Poblano Dipping Sauce
- Roast poblano pepper in a skillet over medium heat on both sides until nicely charred.
- Remove skin, seeds and stem. Rinse under cool water to get all seeds out.Add all ingredients to a blend and blend until smooth.
Set aside until ready to use.
- Divide mixture in 12 balls.
- Cover palm of hand with cornstarch and make a hole in center of potato ball with fingers.
- Spoon the center with part of the picadillo mixture filling and bring mixture of potato over to cover filling.
- Coat lightly with cornstarch and proceed with remaining balls until all balls are ready.
- Note: Don't forget the light coat of cornstarch or potato balls can break apart while frying.
- If you are going to coat with panko crumbs, place egg wash in one bowl and panko breadcrumbs in another bowl.
- Place in egg wash first covering the entire ball with egg and then coat with breadcrumbs. Set aside and continue with other balls.
Frying Potato Balls (Rellenos de Papa)
- Using a deep fryer, a deep skillet or saucepan add enough oil to cook potato balls comfortably. Note: When its time to add potato balls to oil, oil should cover balls at least halfway or fully.
- Bring oil to high heat (about 350 F) before adding balls or they will crumble if oil is not hot enough.Note: Check oil by adding a piece of crumb and if it sizzles, oil should be ready.
- Carefully add potato balls to oil when oil is hot.
- Cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Serve immediately with sauce and hot sauce (pique!).Enjoy!
Start with your potatoes…peel and quarter potatoes and once cooked follow recipe.
While potatoes are cooking, make the picadillo.
Note: The carne molida recipe includes cubed potatoes, exclude potatoes for this recipe.
Set picadillo aside to cool.
Form potato balls.
Make a hole in the center for picadillo filling.
Fill potato ball with picadillo.
Slowing start on one side to close potato ball by gently over lapping potato over to the other side.
Continue to fully cover picadillo with potato.
Once potatoes are stuffed, sprinkle a little cornstarch and lightly coat. Rellenos are ready to cook, however if you would like to coat in panko crumbs, follow the additional step.
Cover rellenos with egg wash and roll in panko breadcrumbs.
Note: Traditional rellenos de papa are just covered with the cornstarch, so you can do some with and without panko breadcrumbs. They both will be nice and crispy on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside.
Finally fry to golden perfection!
For a Rellenos de Papa recipe made with sweet potatoes, you may want to check out Delish D’Lights Sweet Potato Rellenos.
When will you be making Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Poato Balls)?
I’m eager to try these! This is something I’ve never had before!
Tisha these are ridiculously delicious and one of my favorites!
Cliona Keane says
Oh wow! These are perfect in my eyes. I love anything potato based and the stuffing on these looks beyond tasty!
Thank you! These Rellenos de Papa are exceptional! True winner here!! 🙂
Anything with potato is good with me! Love all the flavours they are stuffed with.
Matt @ Plating Pixels says
This is delicious and easy to make. I love how versatile the dish is – I can even make different fillings for this. Thanks for the recipe – definitely a keeper!
Thanks Matt! Yes you can do seafood, chicken, turkey, cheese, whatever your hearts content! 🙂
Ehm this looks like it could be my new favorite dish. So making this!
You made me smile! 🙂 It’s one of mine for sure!!
I’m sorry to bother everyone, but I tried to make this and they disintegrated in the oil….what the heck did I do wrong…I swear I followed the recipe
So sorry to hear this Kathleen! I have gone back into this recipe and added more detailed instructions on how to fry the “rellenos.” Usually when the rellenos fall apart it is due to two possible factors…not enough oil in skillet or pot or oil was not hot enough when the potato balls were added. Take a look at the added instructions in “frying” section of recipe. I hope this helps for next time! Do not give up! These are delicious!