The Best Healthy Papas Rellenas Recipe (Crispy Potato Balls)

Inside: Papas rellenas, or crispy stuffed potato balls, are a perfect appetizer for any sporting event or other get together with friends and families. They are delicious, crispy, and this version is good for you! 

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picture of papas rellenas on a plate with ketchup

We are back with another healthy recipe today. This time, I am going to share my healthy version of papas rellenas, or crispy stuffed potatoes. With summer in full swing, that means I have to be on top of making lunch for the kids during the day, including snacks!

This recipe for papas rellenas is a healthy snack that is easy to make and that my kids love. They love eating them hot off the stove after a long, hard morning of playing! 

For some people practicing an anti-inflammatory diet, potatoes can cause discomfort. If that is the case, you can replace it with something else like yucca or even sweet potato if that is better for your particular situation. It is important to remember that different things work for different people.

For example, in my case potatoes don’t cause me discomfort, but I still try to eat it sparingly. I always try to suggest substitutes for ingredients that commonly cause issues or inflammation, so it is important to experiment and figure out what works for you. 

 I love this recipe, because it is very versatile. You can make it sweet or savory and you can change up the savory filling depending on your personal preferences. For example, you can have a chicken filling, like the recipe I am sharing, or you can have a seasoned ground beef filling if you prefer. This is also a great recipe to make using leftover mashed potatoes from the night before!

hand picking up stuffed potato balls and dipping in ketchup

How do you make healthy Papas Rellenas? 

I learned how to make papas rellenas growing up in Mexico, since it was an easy meal to make that everyone loved. It has three main ingredients, and is different from the traditional recipe because we will only use the best ingredients, omitting certain ingredients like bread crumbs, eggs, and more.

Also, these are lightly pan fried with avocado oil instead of being deep fried in vegetable oil, which makes it better for you also. 

It is important to use organic potatoes for this recipe, because potatoes, being a root vegetable are more likely to absorb pesticides and herbicides that are used in non-organic agriculture. 

To make this recipe, start by gathering the following simple ingredients:

  • 2 Large Russet Potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon of Butter or Ghee
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup of Avocado Oil
  • 1/2 Cooked Chicken Breast, shredded and seasoned with cumin, salt, and pepper. You can also use organic ground chicken if you prefer. 

Start by boiling the potatoes in a large pot with water and a little salt over high heat until they are softened. I like to cut them into smaller chunks so that they cook more quickly. Once they are soft, drain, and mash potatoes with a potato masher until they are formed into a soft paste. 

Papas rellenas are most commonly fried, but you can also bake them if you want to use less oil, or you can use an air fryer. If you do fry them, you will want to use avocado oil, because it won’t add any other flavors to the recipe. You can also use olive oil or coconut oil if you prefer and don’t have any avocado oil on hand. 

white plate with 4 papas rellenas next to a bowl of ketchup

For the meat mixture, we will use the chicken. Another option is to use cheese, or a ground beef mixture. I prefer to avoid red meats when possible because they cause more inflammation, but any of these options is great! To form the crispy potato balls, take a portion of the potato mixture and flatten it out slightly. Then add the chicken and close the ball completely. 

Next, add the oil to the frying pan or large skillet and fry the potato balls over medium heat on all sides until golden brown before removing to a paper towel with a slotted spoon to get rid of excess oil. 

One of the reasons this is such a popular dish is because it uses so few ingredients, and is easy and fast to make. The best part is that it is also delicious and you can modify it according to your preferences. This is a popular latin american dish that you can find it many different countries. For example, besides Mexico, there are also Cuban potato balls, a Colombian version of papas rellenas, and you can also find them in Puerto Rico. 

What are some health benefits of potatoes?

Since we are using potatoes as the main ingredient for this recipe, I thought it would be helpful to list some of the benefits of this great ingredient.

Potatoes are a great source of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant. They have been used for centuries because they are filling, easy to grow, and good for our bodies. 

Another benefit is that they have potassium, which is important for heart health, our muscles, and our nervous system. In this recipe, I am using potatoes in the most natural way possible without adding bread crumbs or flour when frying them. 

I hope yuo enjoy this papas rellenas recipe and that it becomes a favorite at your house like it is in mine. Check out the recipe card for the full ingredients and instructions, and let me know in the comments below how it turns out for you. 

You can find more appetizers here.

picture of papas rellenas on a plate with ketchup

Healthy Papas Rellenas Recipe

Papas rellenas, or crispy stuffed potato balls, are a perfect appetizer for any sporting event or other get together with friends and familie
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 Papas Rellenas
Calories 53 kcal


  • 2 Russet Potatoes large
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Ghee
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Avocado Oil
  • 1/2 Chicken Breast Cooked, Shredded, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and cumin.


  • Boil the 2 Russet Potatoes with a 1 Tsp Saltittle salt until soft.
  • Drain potatoes and mash them with 1 Tbsp Butter 1 Tsp Salt, and 1 Tsp Pepper.
  • Form a ball with the mashed potatoes and make a small hole on one side. Fill with the chicken mixture and close completely.
  • Fry with 1/2 Cup Avocado Oil in a frying pan over medium heat until golden brown.
  • Remove and pat away excess oil.


Serving: 1Papa RellenaCalories: 53kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 0.02mgSodium: 399mgPotassium: 149mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 0.4IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Hi, I’m Charbel!

I am a child of a loving Heavenly Father. A mother to four and wife to a marvelous husband. I am also a Lupus Fighter. I Love to cook. I love inspirational podcasts. I am also lover of all things creative and a fearless DIY-er. A Homebody. A wellness and Relaxation lover. Welcome to The Healing Cookbook! Read more...

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