Idaho Potato Empanadas a la Huancaina
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These Idaho Potato Empanadas a la Huancaina are new and exciting and a great way to switch up your appetizer and snack game. Give these a try!
Serves: about 18 empanadas
  • 1½ cups masa harina*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 large egg whisked with a splash of water, for egg wash
  • 3 medium Idaho russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Huancaina Sauce
  • ¼ cup aji amarillo paste*
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 saltine crackers
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco*
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 hard boiled egg, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives, for garnish
  • 6 to 8 green leaf lettuce leaves, for garnish
  1. To make the dough, combine the masa harina, flour, baking powder, salt, melted butter and water. The dough should be wet but not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Place the diced potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, salt, pepper, garlic and scallions. Set aside and let cool completely.
  3. Roll out the chilled empanada dough on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼ of an inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut out the dough. Reroll any leftover dough and cut out as well. Fill each with 1 tablespoon of potato, a bit of cheese and then fold over and crimp with a fork. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Preheat oven to about 375 degrees F.
  5. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  6. To make the sauce, in a blender, combine the aji amarillo, vegetable oil, crackers, queso fresco, evaporated milk, egg, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Serve the empanadas on a piece of lettuce, top with the huancaina sauce and black olive slices.
*Masa harina is a corn flour made from corn that has been soaked in lime water. It can be found in most large super markets in the flour aisle.
**Aji amarillo paste is a Peruvian hot yellow pepper paste. You can find it in specialty stores in their Hispanic foods aisle or online.
***Queso fresco is a creamy, soft and unaged Mexican cheese. Most super markets carry it in the cheese aisle.
Recipe by The Candid Appetite at