Papas a la Huancaina is a traditional Peruvian dish of cold sliced potatoes topped with a spicy, creamy cheese sauce that is made in a blender! This recipe was has been updated with photos and a video! The recipe and post remain the same. This post also contains affiliate links, these help support My Gluten Free Miami at no cost to you.
Gluten Free Papas a la Huancaina
I remember the moment very clearly. Standing in the kitchen with my husband, contemplating what this new gluten-free lifestyle would mean when he looked at me and said,
This means you can’t have Huancaina Sauce anymore.
I broke into tears. Not pretty, one tear running down your cheek kind of tears. Ugly, heaving, my life is ending tears. Of course, I knew my life was not ending, but learning that I cannot eat the foods I love made it feel as though.
A Love for Peruvian Food
I love it all, but one of my favorites is Papas a la Huancaina, Potatoes in Huancaina Sauce. It is spicy, creamy, cheesy deliciousness. Rather than wallow in my tears, we set out to develop a gluten-free version that would allow me to continue to enjoy this Peruvian classic. What we came up with is just as good as the real thing, so good in fact, that rather than making two versions of sauce for family gatherings, our family now only makes the gluten-free version. No one can even tell the difference!
Quick and Easy Potatoes with Spicy Cheese Sauce
The major difference between our traditional family Huancaina Sauce recipe and this gluten free version is the type of crackers that are used to thicken the sauce. Below each ingredient, there are some notes, just in case you are not familiar. All of these ingredients are readily available in the South Florida area, but if you are creating this masterpiece and cannot find an ingredient, they are available on Amazon as well. Just click on the link!
- 1/2 block (3 and 1/2- 4 ounces) Queso Blanco
We like Vendito brand, but any will work, just be sure it is not “para freir” or “for frying”.
- 1/3 cup ground Saltine Style Crackers
We use Schar brand, they have amazing, consistent results. One sleeve is the amount you will need. In South Florida you can find them at Whole Foods or Milam’s Market. When all else fails, Amazon is your friend! We make this so often we order them by the case. If you are not gluten-free you can use regular saltine crackers. I would recommend the ones without the salt on top.
- 1 Tablespoon Chopped Onion
- 1-3 Teaspoons Aji Amarillo Paste
Aji Amarillo Paste can vary greatly in concentration. Start with a small amount, you can always add more to increase the spice level. Currently I am using a jar of Inca Food’s Aji Amarillo Paste and 3 teaspoons was just the right amount for a little bit of heat without it being overwhelming. If I was making this just for my husband I would probably add more. I have used other brands that use a smaller amount for the same amount of heat and our family sometimes makes it as well.
- 1 Teaspoon Chopped Garlic
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Add the salt last, some cheeses may vary in the amount of saltiness. I always add it, but if you are using a different brand of cheese, you may not need it.
- 1 Cup Milk
I would not recommend using skim milk in this recipe. Your sauce will be runny. Whole milk would be best, but at least use 2%.
(This picture is from the original post from September 4, 2015!)
You are going to love this traditional Peruvian Dish. It’s one of our family favorites and it will be one of yours as well!
Happy Gluten Free Eating!
Papas a la Huancaina, Gluten-Free
For the Huancaina Sauce
- 1/2 package Queso Blanco 3.5-4 ounces
- 1/3 cup ground Scharr cracker crumbs or other saltine type gluten free cracker
- 1 Tbs chopped onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1-3 tsp aji amarillo paste
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- 4 baking potatoes boiled, peeled and sliced
- 2 hard boiled eggs sliced
- black olives
- Saute the Onion, Garlic and Aji Amarillo in a small pan, just until the onion is a bit soft.
- Break apart cheese.
- Place all ingredients into a blender (I use a Nutribullet).
- Blend until smooth. This may take a few minutes, you will be tempted to add more milk, but give it a few minutes. The cheese needs time to fully incorporate into the milk.
- Taste and adjust your seasonings, add more salt or more aji amarillo paste if needed.
- Serve over sliced, cold boiled potatoes with sliced hard boiled eggs and olives (or on whatever you wish, I also love it over rice).