My Life in Peru

An Expat Mom Shares Her Experiences with Peruvian Life, Travel and Food

Puré de Papas or Peruvian Style Mashed Potatoes

Posted on | April 13, 2011 | 6 Comments

El Olimpico

Image by TravelingMan via Flickr

I don’t talk often here about side dishes. One of the big reasons for that is that – generally speaking – there isn’t a lot of variation in side dishes in Peruvian meals. You’ll have rice with every meal (unless the meal is pasta based), and then usually boiled potatoes, yuca, or camote (yams). Beans of some sort or another are common. Perhaps there’s  corn on the cob or a small salad of some sort, but rarely anything else.

However, occasionally, you do have puré (puree in English).

There are a few kinds of puré, but puré de papas – or mashed potatoes – is by far the most common. Unlike the thick and creamy style we usually eat in the US, the Peruvian style is thinner, almost soupy.  It’s a favorite combination with roasted beef, where the juices from the roast and the puré mix together into a delicious, soggy mess that you almost want to lick off the plate.

The best potatoes for Peruvian style puré are the papas amarillos. You need a potato that has a low starch content, and the amarillos are perfect for this. Try it with starchy papa blanca, you’ll end up with a big, gluey mess.


  • 1kg (2lbs) papa amarilla
  • 1 cup cream (or milk)
  • 3 tbsps butter (or more to taste)
  • salt, pepper to taste


  1. Wash the potatoes well, then put them in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are cooked through – about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the potatoes from the water, peal them and mash them. (A potato ricer is super handy right about now.)
  3. Put the cream and butter into a large sauce pan and stir the mixture over medium heat until just before it starts to boil.  Reduce the heat to low.
  4. Add the riced potatoes to the cream mixture, and stir well over low heat until it’s all mixed together and creamy.
  5. Rectify the flavor with salt and pepper to taste.
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6 Responses to “Puré de Papas or Peruvian Style Mashed Potatoes”

  1. Maria
    April 13th, 2011 @ 16:16


    that is something we don’t eat at home! My husband likes creamy potatoes only. I miss the ‘soupy’ puree, yes! mixed with the juices of a steak… yum yum.

    Have you tried the ‘pure de espinacas’, same thing but with spinach? I prepared it for St. Patrick’s day (LOL).

  2. Kelly
    April 13th, 2011 @ 18:34

    I didn’t like it at first, but I’ve gotten used to it now, and love how it all mixes together!

    I haven’t had it with spinach, but i bet I’d LOVE it – we have pure de arvejitas pretty often.

  3. Maria
    April 13th, 2011 @ 19:27

    Kelly, are you planning something for Semana Santa? If you have time, may I suggest the recipe for Bacalao (Peruvian style) stew. I wonder if you can get the recipe.

  4. Eunice
    April 13th, 2011 @ 19:49

    I haven’t had soupy potatoes since I was back home! I totally forgot about them actually. I prefer mine thicker. :)
    Eunice´s last blog post ..Work It Out- Couples Edition

  5. Kelly
    April 14th, 2011 @ 17:18

    I like being able to make a big mashed potato volcano, with gravy lava filling it up and running down the sides!

  6. Jake Green
    September 23rd, 2011 @ 02:48

    I am a huge mashed potatoes fan! I know just about every country has its own version of the best dish known to mankind! Can’t wait to try this out. Thanks for the recipe, Kelly. I’ll be back to let you know how it turned out.

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    I got tired of life happening while I made other plans, so I quit my job and came to Peru. I live here with my Peruvian husband, two sons, three dogs and various other family members, depending on the weather.

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