Easy Mexican Potatoes (Papas A La Mexicana)

Papas a la Mexicana or Mexican potatoes is one of the simplest and budget friendly dishes you can make. Serve it as a delicious side dish or as a filling for tacos, gorditas, quesadillas or even with some refried beans for a complete.

How to make papas a la Mexicana or Mexican-style potatoes
Papas a la Mexicana or Mexican Style Potatoes

Papas a la Mexicana (Mexican Potatoes)

Papas a la Mexicana or Mexican-style potatoes are a stable food in Mexican cuisine.

If you’re new to Mexican Made Meatless, then let me tell you that we are strong believers of easy Mexican cooking. This humble potato recipe fits the bill perfectly! 

Potatoes are easy to cook, inexpensive, and can be made into countless different dishes. All of this applies to this Mexican potato recipe.

Growing up in a Mexican home meant that this quick, budget friendly, flavorful meal was on repeat.

My mom would serve it as a filling for gorditas or sopes, as a main meal paired with some frijoles refritos and warm corn tortillas. It always blew my mind how such a simple dish could be bursting with so much delicious flavor.

You can serve Mexican potatoes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Enjoy it as a perfect side dish or as a main dish — it also makes a perfect and delicious meatless dish or vegan meal

Did I mention you can make this Mexican potato recipe ahead of time? Just store in the fridge until ready to use. You can also make this dish for your weekly meal prep. 

Just like my Mexican mom, you can pair it with a protein like some refried beans for a complete meal. Or use as a stuffing and filling for tacosgorditasquesadillas…It’s just such a versatile dish and honestly it’s no wonder why it’s so popular with Mexican people. 

How to Make Papas a la Mexicana
Mexican-Style Potatoes

What Does “a la Mexicana” Mean

You may be wondering the meaning of a la Mexicana, it simply means Mexican style.

This term is used in Mexican cuisine to refer to dishes made using three common ingredients which represent the Mexican flag.

They are: chilies for the green, onion for the white and tomatoes for the red color in the Mexican flag.

There are countless popular “A la Mexicana” dishes. For example: huevos a la Mexicana, mushrooms a la Mexicana, nopales a la Mexicana, arroz a la Mexicana, bistec a la Mexicana, and calabacitas just to name a few.

Of course there’s also this authentic Mexican potatoes recipe made “a la Mexicana”.

Salsas like pico de gallo (aka salsa bandera) are also based on this traditional combination.

I’ve also share some fusion recipes for Brocoli A La Mexicana and Okra a la Mexicana.

Recipe for Papas a la Mexicana or Easy Mexican Style Potatoes
Papas a la Mexicana | Mexican Style Potatoes

Why You Should Make Mexican Potatoes

There’s really no excuse not to make papas a la Mexicana, these are the best potatoes!

  • Ingredients are easy to find and are pantry staples.
  • It’s and inexpensive and very budget friendly recipe.
  • It’s easy to make and ready in about 30 minutes.
  • Just a few ingredients needed and you’ll wonder how something so simple can be bursting with so much delicious flavor.
  • Even though it’s a traditional plant-based recipe, hardcore meat eaters will also love this dish.
  • You can serve Mexican potatoes as a main meal, a healthy side, a filling or stuffing, and even use any leftovers to make breakfast the next day.
Ingredients needed to make papas a la Mexicana.
Ingredients Needed for Papas a La Mexicana

Ingredients Needed for Mexican Style Potatoes

Papas a la Mexicana is seriously one of the easiest recipes you can possibly make.

It’s made with 7 simple ingredients that are all pantry basics. The ingredients are inexpensive and are available to just about everyone all around the World. Plus this is quite a healthy recipe too, check the recipe card for nutritional information.

  • Potatoes:  In Mexico we use white potatoes. But you could also use russet potatoes, yellow potatoes or Yukon golds (aka gold potatoes)red potatoes. Once I even used fingerling potatoes because that’s all I had at the time. You could really use any potato that is available locally to you. They’ll each have a slightly different starch or texture to them, but potatoes are delicious. I personally love starchier potatoes.
  • Onion: You can use white onion or if not available then yellow onion is perfectly fine.
  • Green Chilies: You can use serrano peppers, jalapenos or even poblanos. I once made this with Hatch chiles and they were delicious.
  • Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes that are ripe and juicy are perfect in this simple recipe. But you could also use just regular ripe red tomatoes.
  • Garlic: Not everyone uses garlic but I personally love it.
  • Oil: Anything from vegetable oil or corn oil, canola oil or even a little olive oil work. Olive oil isn’t traditional but it’s what I normally use due to health reasons. Use your favorite.
  • Salt: Potatoes need to be well salted to really enjoy their deliciousness. I like to use sea salt. 

Additional Optional Ingredients

I personally love to add chopped cilantro to the crispy Mexican potatoes to give them a burst of herby freshness. This is optional and up to you.

Some people like to add seasonings like black pepper, ground cumin or dried oregano. It’s completely up to you.

Tips for Substituting Ingredients

If you don’t have access to fresh green chilis then in a pinch you could use chili powder – to give a smoky touch chipotle chili powder would work great. 

If you’re out of fresh garlic then garlic powder is a good substitute – as is onion powder for fresh onion.

Red onion would work it just wouldn’t have that Mexican flag look to it.

For the potatoes use any of the varieties mentioned and stay away from sweet potatoes for this recipe. It wouldn’t work too well here.

You may have noticed that authentic Mexican food doesn’t rely on the so-called “Mexican seasoning” packets so often promoted in Mexican-inspired cooking. You see, blend of spices are used in Mexican cooking, we just add them individually and they are quite different than the Mexican spices mixes (like taco seasoning) often seen outside of Mexico.

I would recommend you stick to the basic flavors provided in the recipe and skip the spice mixes for another meal. 

Please notice that the results using any of these substitutions will be quite different then the traditional dish and what you see pictured here. Still yummy, just different.

Easy salsa verde for tacos
Easy Homemade Salsa Verde

How to Make Mexican Potatoes

This authentic Mexican recipe is one of the simplest and easiest ones to make.

Step 1: Peel the potatoes then run them under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Chop into very small pieces. This helps cooking go faster. Prepare the rest of your ingredients because this easy recipe moves quickly.

How to Make Papas a la Mexicana
How to Make Papas a la Mexicana

Step 2: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the potatoes and sprinkle a bit of salt over them.

Use a wooden spoon to sauté until fork tender or crispy. Try to create one single layer with the potatoes to help them cook faster. You can cook until you have extra crispy potatoes if you’d like.

Step 3: Add the onion, garlic, and chile and sauté for 4 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Stirring occasionally.

How to Make Mexican-Style Potatoes
How to Cook Mexican-Style Potatoes

Step 4: Next you’re going to add the chopped tomatoes and season with salt. Cook just a few minutes or until the tomatoes begin to break down.

Mexican Potatoes with Cilantro
Cilantro adds a burst of freshness

Step 5: Lastly mix in the chopped cilantro, if using, and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and serve as desired.

Soft shell potato tacos on corn tortillas.
Papas a La Mexicana on Corn Tortillas (soft shell potato tacos)

How to Serve

Now that you’ve made these easy Mexican potatoes, it’s time to enjoy them.

The combination of the tender potatoes, spicy green chiles, sweet onions, juicy tomatoes on a warm tortilla and drizzled with some homemade salsa or sour cream, is a scrumptious one!

Below are some of the many ways you can eat papas a la Mexicana.

As an easy side dish you can serve them with any protein main dish. These vegan fajitas would go great with these papas. So would enchiladas, grilled vegan steaks, bistec a la mexicana, tinga tostadas, vegan chicken milanesa torta, or my Breakfast Tacos: Huevos con Salchicha.

As a main dish you can serve it with some refried beans, maybe some arroz rojo. You can also sprinkle with some queso fresco or cotija (parmesan cheese will work too). Don’t forget the warm corn tortillas or flour if you’d like.

As a filling it would be amazing in tacos dorados, chiles rellenos, gorditas or quesadillas or even breakfast burritos.

Don’t forget to drizzle your papas with some homemade salsa verde or homemade Mexican crema.

A dark blue bowl filled with Mexican potatoes and a sunny side up egg on top.

If you’d rather have these potatoes for breakfast, or you have any leftover potatoes, then you can serve with a fried egg on top. I like to sprinkle with some cotija cheese over the potatoes before adding the egg.

How to Store and Reheat

You can store Mexican potatoes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just allow to come to room temperature and store leftovers in an airtight container before placing in the fridge.

I really don’t recommend freezing. Potatoes don’t freeze nor defrost well.

To reheat do so on a hot pan with a little bit of oil. You can also microwave for about 30 seconds. In the oven would be fine too, or in the air fryer to end up with extra crispy potatoes.

Nancy’s Tips

  • Cut potatoes into small even bits, this ensures a shorter cooking time.
  • You could also pre-cook the potatoes then just sauté with the other ingredients.
  • Use a nonstick pan so you’ll need less oil.
  • Cook potatoes until golden brown for a crispier texture, make sure to aim for an even layer whilst cooking in the pan.
  • Remove the seeds and veins to make chiles milder — also, wear gloves to prevent chili burns.
  • For extra fiber you can leave the potatoes unpeeled.
  • To make the meal gluten free use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas.
Mexican potatoes served inside an oblong brown bowl and topped with cilantro.

Easy Mexican Potatoes Recipe (Papas A La Mexicana)

Nancy Lopez & MexicanMadeMeatless.com
Mexican potatoes or papas a la Mexicana is one of the simplest and budget friendly dishes you can make. Serve it as a side dish or as a filling for tacos, gorditas, quesadillas or even with some refried beans for a complete vegan meal.
5 from 52 votes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Mexican vegan, vegan mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 138 kcal


  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 ½ lbs potatoes cubed into small bits
  • cup white onion finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 large serrano or jalapeño pepper chopped
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1 large handful cilantro chopped


  • Heat the oil in a large pan, once hot add the potatoes and cook until soft. Add the onion, garlic and chili pepper and mix into the potato pieces. Cook for 4 minutes or until the onion is soft.
    Potatoes, onion, garlic and green chilies being sautéed in a black pan.
  • Mix in the tomato and the salt and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down.
    How to Make Mexican-Style Potatoes
  • Lastly mix in the chopped cilantro and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and serve as desired.
    Cooked Mexican-style potatoes in a frying pan and mixing in fresh cilantro.


Serving: 6servingsCalories: 138kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.02gSodium: 396mgPotassium: 548mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 199IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!
Mexican Potatoes Recipe
Mexican Potatoes Recipe

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Recipe Rating


    1. 5 stars
      Thanks for yet another excellent recipe! Knew “a la mexicana” translated into “Mexican style” but hadn’t connected the dots with red/green/white flag. Your details and photos elevate your beautiful presentations. ¡Muchísimas gracias!

  1. 5 stars
    These potatoes are delicious. Not vegan, but I topped mine with a poached egg. I can’t wait to make them again for my son and his family. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    We love papas a la mexicana! This recipe is always on repeat in our house 🙂 Definitely need it with fresh tortillas!

  3. 5 stars
    I need to make these for breakfast! These potatoes look super colorful and refreshing and perfect for the hot weather!

  4. 5 stars
    Your recipes are the best! I had tried this since you published it and it´s amazing! Thank you!!

  5. 5 stars
    Such a great recipe. I make it all the time. I’ve also played around with the recipe a few times and added tofu and soyrizo. Now it’s my favorite thing to keep in the fridge. Thank you so much.

  6. 5 stars
    Such a great recipe. I make it all the time. I’ve also played around with the recipe a few times and added tofu and soyrizo. Now it’s my favorite thing to keep in the fridge. Thank you so much.

  7. 5 stars
    This Mexican Potatoes Recipe looks so amazing! I love the combination of the flavor! My family loves it! Thank you so much