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Ecuadorian Llapingachos – GW Recipe Box

Llapingachos, also called yapingachos, are scrumptious potato pancakes stuffed with cheese and pan fried to created a fluffy, crispy, cheesy, heavenly appetizer. Typically served as a side dish in Ecuador, you’ll want to bring them to your next brunch or potluck – they will not disappoint!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 10 to 12 friends


  • 5 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbs of butter, sunflower oil, or avocado oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 tsp ground achiote (annatto powder)
  • 1 cup grated quesillo or mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil the potatoes until soft
  2. Heat the butter or oil over medium high heat
  3. Add the onions and achiote, cooking for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft
  4. Mash the potatoes
  5. Mix in the onion and achiote, adding salt and pepper to taste
  6. Cover the potato dough and let sit until room temperature (do not skip this step!)
  7. Roll small golf sized balls with the potato dough
  8. Poke a hole in the middle of each ball and fill with the grated cheese
  9. Shape the dough into thick patties and let rest in the refrigerator for about ½ to 1 hour (again, do not skip!)
  10. Fresh out of the refrigerator, brown both sides of the patties on a hot griddle or cast iron skillet

Serve alone or with spicy peanut sauce, fresh avocado, fried eggs, grilled chorizo, or chimichurri!