Papas a la Mexicana (Mexican-style potatoes) features tender potatoes sautéed with spicy green chiles, juicy tomatoes, white onions, and flavorful seasonings. Added to tortillas, this might just be your new favorite breakfast.
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They also happen to be one of our favorite foods, which is why these Mexican-style potatoes are part of our weekly rotation!
The recipe itself features creamy potatoes, spicy green chiles, juicy tomatoes, and white onions cooked together.
"A la Mexicana" refers to cooking ingredients with the above three vegetables. Have you noticed they also make up the color of the Mexican flag?
While Mexican-style potatoes don't have an exact origin story altogether, the individual ingredients that make up the recipe have been around in Mexico for centuries.
Potato cultivation in Mexico started as early as the 1500s, although wild potatoes have been traced back even further.
In addition, chiles, tomatoes, and onions start off the vast majority of Mexican recipes and are enjoyed daily in some form or the other.
All of these ingredients form an integral part of the cuisine, making their way into countless well-known Mexican dishes.
🌱 Is it vegan?
Papas a la Mexicana is both a vegetarian and vegan-friendly dish. There are just a few things to watch out for if you're ordering these out and about:
- Oil: Some restaurants or vendors use lard or the grease from chorizo to cook the potatoes, so double check or ask them to just use cooking oil.
- Cheese: Keep an eye out for cheese as it's commonly added as a garnish.
🍲 Ingredients & substitutions
For complete ingredient measurements and instructions, see our recipe card.
- White potatoes: We sometimes like to peel our potatoes, but feel free to keep the skins on for extra fiber. Yukon Gold, red, or sweet potatoes also work.
- Roma tomatoes: Provide a bit of moisture without being too watery like some other varieties. You could also use cherry or grape tomatoes instead.
- Onion, garlic: Both gently influse savoury flavors to the dish. Garlic isn't a typical ingredient in papas a la Mexicana, but we are garlic addicts.
- Mexican oregano: While optional, Mexican oregano adds citrus and anise flavors. Use marjoram for a close substitute, or omit this herb altogether.
- Olive oil: To add richness and prevent those starchy potatoes from sticking. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, which have been show to reduce inflammation in the body, but use vegetable broth if you are oil-free.
- Salt: To enhances all other flavors. Feel free to omit this for medical reasons.
Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium, then add in the peeled and cubed potatoes.
Step 2: Sauté the potatoes for around 10 minutes until they’re starting to become tender. Make sure to use a lid to help steam the potatoes.
Step 3: Add in the diced onions and sauté for another 3-4 minutes, or until they become translucent.
Step 4: Mix in the serrano chiles, garlic, and Mexican oregano. Cook for an additional few minutes to open up the flavors.
Step 5: Add the diced tomatoes in last and allow them to soften for about another 2-3 minutes. Taste and season everything with salt to your liking.
Step 6: When the vegetables are tender, serve your papas a la Mexicana with corn or flour tortillas, salsa, and cilantro. Happy eating!
🥗 Serving suggestions
Here are some of our favorite recipes to serve on (or alongside) papas a la Mexicana:
- Proteins: Common options include refried beans or chorizo.
- Sauces: Salsa verde, salsa roja, or Mexican crema are all tasty choices.
- Garnishes: Try topping yours with cilantro or vegan cheeses like queso fresco and cotija.
- Tortillas: Make a more filling meal by serving the potatoes inside corn or flour tortillas.
This is one of our favorite breakfast recipes to meal prep at the beginning of the week because it keeps so well. Keep these storage times in mind for your own recipe.
- Fridge: In an airtight container, papas a la Mexicana will last up to 5 days.
- Freezer: We don't recommend freezing this recipe as the texture of the potatoes will become mushy when thawed.
- Reheat: Add the potatoes to a pan with a little bit of oil and sauté over medium heat until warmed all the way through.
- Chiles: Make it mild with poblano peppers or spicier with habanero peppers.
- Spices: Other spices that work well include cumin, coriander, paprika, or cayenne.
- Bake: For an oil-free version, bake the potatoes with a squeeze of lime juice and salt, then add them to the other vegetables at the end.
🧑🍳 Top tips
- Cook the potatoes first. To avoid overcooked vegetables, make sure the potatoes are fairly tender before adding the onions, chiles, and tomatoes.
- Cut the potatoes in small cubes. For a faster cook time, make sure to cube the potatoes in small pieces (~1-2 centimeters).
- Make a big batch: Papas a la Mexicana is the perfect recipe for leftovers. Meal prep a double or triple batch for the whole week ahead.
- Use a non-stick pan. We can't stress how much easier cooking starchy foods is when you use a non-stick pan.
Yes, we make this recipe both ways and it's delicious with the potatoes unpeeled or peeled. It's all personal preference!
Yes, this recipe is gluten-free. Just make sure to serve your potatoes with corn tortillas over flour tortillas for a completely gluten-free meal.
Papas a la Mexicana
- Chef knife & cutting board
- Vegetable peeler
- Large skillet
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil ($0.16)
- 2 large white or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cubed in ½-inch pieces ($0.53)
- ½ medium white onion, diced ($0.12)
- 1-2 fresh serrano chiles, seeded & minced ($0.02)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.08)
- ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano ($0.01)
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced ($0.32)
- Salt to taste ($0.01)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium, then add in the cubed potatoes. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re starting to become tender. Cook with a lid on between stirring to help steam the potatoes.
- Add in the diced onions and sauté for another 3-4 minutes, or until turning translucent. Mix in the serrano chiles, garlic, and Mexican oregano. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add in the diced tomatoes and allow them to soften for another 2-3 minutes, then season with salt to taste.
- When the potatoes and vegetables are tender, serve your papas a la Mexicana with corn or flour tortillas, salsa, and cilantro. Happy eating!
- Yukon Gold, red, or sweet potato varieties will all work too.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe to recipe. All prices are in USD.
🍴 Similar recipes
For more potato-centric foods, check out some of our most popular recipes:
- Papas con chorizo: A plant-based version of Mexican potatoes with chorizo.
- Caldo de res: Plant-based meat mixed with potatoes, fresh vegetables, and savoury broth.
- Pambazos: Chile-dipped sandwiches filled with potatoes and soyrizo.
- Tacos de canasta: Mexican basket tacos filled with beans and potatoes, then steamed in hot chile oil.