These papitas con chile are the BEST Mexican spicy potatoes you’ll ever taste! This delicious dish combines garlic cloves, chili peppers, lime juice, and baby potatoes to create a flavorful dish that will tantalize your taste buds.
Papitas con chile is a popular Mexican dish that consists of baby potatoes cooked with a spicy chile sauce. The dish can be prepared in various ways, but it typically includes whole potatoes parboiled and then combined with a chile sauce.
These Mexican spicy potatoes are often served as an appetizer at bars and restaurants along with fun cocktails like Micheladas or Margaritas. The tangy and spicy flavors from the chile and lime create a delicious contrast to the soft and salty potatoes.
The recipe is relatively simple and easy to make and can be prepared in a short amount of time. It usually involves first cooking the potatoes briefly and then sautéing them with the spicy salsa to finish cooking.
- Baby potatoes: The recipe calls for baby potatoes, known in Mexico as papitas cambray, but you can use any size of potatoes and cut them into chunks.
- Chile de árbol peppers: The quantity of the chili peppers will solely depend on how much heat you can stand. If you love spicy food then go for it, as many as you like, put in less if you don’t like extra spicy food, or use other types of chilies such as chile guajillo or chile chipotle.
- Olive oil: We use olive oil to saute the potatoes after we have parboiled them. You can use any vegetable oil such as sunflower oil or any that you have on hand.
- Garlic cloves: The garlic will pump up the aroma of these potatoes, when you cook it the mellower the flavor becomes. You can sub with garlic powder.
- Limón: Freshly squeezed lime juice to balance the sweetness of the garlic with a bit of tanginess.
- Bouillon: Use it to flavor the sauce, you can either use vegetable or chicken (consomé de pollo Knorr). I used a vegetable bouillon cube but feel free to use powdered bouillon too.
- Cilantro: Use chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish.
- Salt and pepper that suits your taste buds.
How To Make Papitas Con Chile
Wash the baby potatoes thoroughly under cold water and then place them in a medium pot and cover them with water.
Add one tablespoon of salt and mix to dissolve.
Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Cook potatoes for 10 minutes or until softened but not completely cooked. Drain potatoes and set aside.
Top Tip: Drain the potatoes well and pat dry them with a kitchen towel before frying to avoid hot oil splatters.
Place arbol chiles in a blender along with garlic cloves, powdered vegetable broth, lime juice, and ½ cup of water. Blend for 1 minute at high speed to make the sauce.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add potatoes and saute until lightly crispy.
Carefully, pour the spicy chili sauce and mix well to coat the potatoes on all sides.
Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until the sauce has thickened and the potatoes are nicely cooked through.
Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- Choose the right potatoes: If you can’t find cambray potatoes, opt for starchy potatoes like Russet or Idaho potatoes, as they hold up well when cooked in the sauce. Waxy potatoes like red or fingerling potatoes can also be used but may result in a slightly different texture.
- Parboil the potatoes: Parboiling the potatoes for 5-7 minutes before frying can help ensure they cook evenly and become tender in the sauce.
- Control the heat level: The spiciness of papitas con chile comes primarily from the chili peppers used in the sauce. To control the heat, experiment with different types of dried chiles or adjust the quantity. Chiles de árbol provides more intense spiciness, while chipotle, guajillo, or morita chiles offer a milder heat. You can also combine different chiles for a more complex flavor.
- Strain the sauce: After blending the salsa, you can strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds or skins that didn’t blend thoroughly. This step will give you a smoother sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasonings: As you cook the sauce, taste it and adjust the seasoning as needed. You may need to add more salt, pepper, or lime juice to suit your preferences. You can also add a pinch of sugar or a splash of vinegar to balance the flavors if needed.
How To Serve
Garnish your papitas con chile with chopped cilantro or parsley, crumbled cotija or queso fresco, or a dollop of sour cream or crema to tame the heat.
These Mexican spicy potatoes are the perfect appetizer that goes amazing with aguas frescas like agua de mazapán or agua de avena, both beverages are creamy and sweet, which helps with the heat of this dish.
Store & Reheat
Allow the Papitas con Chile to cool to room temperature. Avoid leaving cooked food out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, as this increases the risk of bacterial growth.
Transfer the cooled dish to an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat on the stovetop, transfer the Papitas con Chile to a skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add a splash of vegetable stock or water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are heated through and the sauce is bubbling. This method helps retain the dish’s moisture and prevents the potatoes from becoming too dry.
Can I peel the potatoes to make these papitas?
Yes, you can definitely peel the potatoes when making Papitas con chile. By peeling the potatoes, you’ll achieve a more uniform texture, and the potatoes will absorb the flavors of the sauce more effectively, but be aware they will be spicier.
What are papas cambray?
Papas cambray, also known as “Cambray potatoes” or “baby potatoes,” are small, tender, and young potatoes that are typically harvested before they reach their full size. They have thin, delicate skin that is often left on when cooking, and their flesh is usually creamy and moist.
More Mexican Potatoes Recipes
Papitas Con Chile
- 2 lb baby potatoes (skin on)
- 7-8 chile de árbol peppers
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 medium garlic cloves (peeled)
- 2 limes (juice)
- 1 cube vegetable broth
- 1 ½ Tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Wash the cambray baby potatoes thoroughly under cold water and then place them in a medium pot.
- Cover the potatoes with water, add one tablespoon of salt, and mix to dissolve.
- Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes for 10 minutes or until softened but not completely cooked.
- Drain well and pat dry them with a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.
- Place arbol chiles in a blender along with garlic cloves, vegetable broth, lime juice, and ½ cup of water. Blend for 1 minute at high speed to make the sauce.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add potatoes and saute until lightly crispy.
- Pour the spicy chili sauce and mix well to coat the potatoes on all sides.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until the sauce has thickened and the potatoes are nicely cooked through.
- Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
- Parboiling the potatoes for 5-7 minutes before frying can help ensure they cook evenly and become tender in the sauce.
- Make sure to drain the potatoes well and pat dry them with a kitchen towel before frying to avoid hot oil splatters.
- After blending the salsa, you can strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds or skins that didn’t blend thoroughly. This step will give you a smoother sauce.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.