Papas Rellenas de Queso o Carne (Stuffed Potatoes with Cheese or Meat)

These little balls are a staple in Dominican cooking and are usually served as an appetizer.  They’re fun to eat, and very addicting.  If you’re planning on making the meat version, you can add or take away to serve your own taste.  You really can’t mess these up!


Potato Ingredients

6 medium sized potatoes 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature 

1 1/2 cup milk 

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup flour

2 eggs, beaten

 1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Vegetable oil for frying

Meat Filling

1 tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, minced

3/4 cup ground meat

4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled



Cheese Filling

1 cup cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes



Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees, and bake the potatoes for about  45 minutes or so, depending on your oven (do the squish test).   When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half, length wise and scoop the flesh out into a bowl.  Add the butter and mash together until smooth.  You can use a food processor, but you really don’t need to. Add the milk and mozzarella cheese, and mix thoroughly. 

Heat a large skillet or medium sized pot to medium heat.  Add the potato mixture and cook until thick and creamy.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Meat Filling: Heat a medium sized saute pan to medium heat with about a tablespoon of butter.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent (don’t let the garlic burn).  Add the ground beef and brown completely.  Mix in the bacon, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Form the Balls: Take enough of the mixture to form the size of a golf ball. 

If stuffing these with cheese, take a piece of the cheddar and stuff it in the middle of the ball and close the hole. 

If using the meat mixture, hold the ball in your hand and make a little well.  Take about a teaspoon of the mixture and place inside the well and close the potato mixture around the meat.  Re-form into a ball if you need to.

Heat the same skillet, after it’s been wiped out, with about 2 inches of oil to medium high heat.  

Combine the 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs.  After forming all the balls, roll each ball in the 1/2 cup flour, then dredge in the eggs, then roll in the flour/breadcrumb mixture.

Place about 3-4 balls into the oil, and brown all sides.  Remove and drain on a paper towel.  Repeat until all balls are cooked.  Serve immediately.

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