Peruvian Causa, Spicy Mashed Potatoes

Peruvian Causa, Spicy Mashed Potatoes with Lime Juice, filled with your choice of salad or veggies. The perfect meal!CausaMainThis post contains affiliate links. Purchases through these links support My Gluten Free Miami at no cost to you. Thank you!

Peruvian Causa, Spicy Mashed Potatoes

One of my absolute favorite Peruvian dishes is Causa. Causa is super simple to make and has so many uses. Causa itself refers to the spicy mashed potatoes that are seasoned with aji amarillo and lime. It can be filled with chicken salad, tuna salad, avocado, shrimp salad, ceviche or really anything you like! Traditionally it has a bit of mayonnaise on top to counteract the spiciness, and in true Peruvian style, a hard boiled egg.

Peruvian Causa, gluten free, dairy free mashed potatoes that are more addicting than potato chips! Share on X

When I was pregnant this was one of my cravings, and luckily it is a dish that is naturally gluten free and dairy free. Naturally gluten free dishes are my favorite. No worrying about substitutions, no hard to find ingredients, plus I could pick up a causa at pretty much any Peruvian restaurant if I wasn’t in the mood for cooking. My other craving was sushi…my husband is Peruvian Japanese and he said my cravings were my daughter showing her heritage. She’s only 18 months, but she loves Peruvian and Japanese food. His genes must have been strong!

Peruvian Causa Spicy Mashed Potatoes

One Recipe, Infinite Possibilities

Causa has so many different serving options. Traditionally it is layered with chicken or tuna salad, but you can layer it with whatever you like! We also like to make little individual balls for appetizers or you can make mini ones and fill with avocado or a tuna tartar. These were a huge hit at my wedding. There is something about these little mashed potato balls with their kick from the aji amarillo and bite from the lime that makes them more addicting than potato chips.

Now, don’t let the fancy, layered look fool you.

I used fun mini cheesecake pans to create the layered look, but when we are making it for our family, we will just layer it all in a pyrex dish and serve it like lasanga.


Recipe Notes

Aji Amarillo is a traditional Peruvian Pepper that is made into a paste.

I use it in so many dishes- Papas a la Huancaina, Peruvian Deviled Eggs, Arroz con Pollo, it is very versatile. You should be able to find it in the international section of your grocery store, but if you can’t, you can always get it on Amazon (just click the picture).

Use whatever type of filling you like.

My personal favorite is with Chicken Salad. You can get my recipe for easy Chicken Salad here. Feel free to experiment with vegan options as well, you can easily fill it with sliced avocado and use a vegan mayonnaise.

Salt your potatoes.

I don’t know how many times my parents told me when I was learning to cook to always salt the water when boiling potatoes and pasta. It makes a huge difference in flavor.

I hope you enjoy this traditional Peruvian recipe as much as my family does.

Happy Gluten Free Eating!

Peruvian Causa, Spicy Mashed Potatoes
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3.85 from 40 votes

Peruvian Causa


  • 3 lbs peeled and chopped yellow potatoes
  • 1-3 teaspoon aji amarillo add slowly and to taste
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • salt
  • 2 cups filling of choice
  • mayonnaise
  • hard boiled eggs optional decoration


  • Boil potatoes in salted water until a fork inserts easily.
  • Mash potatoes aji, oil, and lime juice together until smooth.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Layer in a pyrex dish or mini pans with potato, filling and more potato.
  • Decorate with mayo and hard boiled egg.

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  • Reply
    Victoria Jackson
    March 20, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    After once having these at a Peruvian restaurant I was completely hooked. They served theirs with avacado and smoked salmon. At home I make them with smoked trout and boiled eggs. I didn’t know about the mayonnaise but I was adding mayo to some of the Aji Amarillo sauce and following it on the top. Also don’t be shy with the paste if you are good with spicy food. In 2 lbs. of potatoes I put 3-4 Tablespoons of the paste.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2016 at 2:41 am

    This looks amazing and I will be making this soon, love that it is GF and DF! Question – if the mashed potatoes are hot and the filling is chilled, how are you serving this – is this dish BEST hot, cold or room temp? Is it usually served as a stand alone main dish?

    • Reply
      October 15, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      We actually chill the whole thing! It is served cold :). Sometimes it is and appetizer, but other times we serve it as a main dish. it depends on the size.

  • Reply
    Igor @ Cooking The Globe
    August 5, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Oh wow, these potatoes look amazing. What a pity that I can’t find aji amarillo in my country. I already tried when I was making Peruvian chicken for my blog. Oh well, I will try to substitute them with simple chili peppers ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      August 10, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Chili peppers should work ๐Ÿ™‚ …it is sad that you can’t get aji amarillo though..

  • Reply
    Sharee @ Savory Spicerack
    August 5, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I love this dish! I have had this before and couldn’t stop thinking about for some days after! Your dish looks great!

  • Reply
    Marissa @ OMGfood
    August 5, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Okay, this is the second time I’ve read about aji amarillo this week and that is more than enough to convince me that I need to get some of that asap and try this dish. I love South American cuisines, but haven’t dived into many Peruvian dishes. Spicy food makes me swoon and I can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2016 at 11:29 am

    What a beautiful, elegant and exotic dish! I would love to try this. xo, Catherine

  • Reply
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    August 5, 2016 at 10:49 am

    I adore mashed potato but I’ve never had it like this before! So fun learning about how other cultures serve things ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    July 11, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I love Peruvian food! I’ve never had this dish but I can guarantee I’d love it!

    • Reply
      July 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      I’m sure you would! Classic Peruvian Dish!

  • Reply
    July 9, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Where would one find: aji amarillo? I’ve never heard of it before.

    • Reply
      July 10, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      Most grocery stores carry it now…my friend found it in Knoxville, TN…but you can also get it on amazon :).

  • Reply
    Elle @ Only Taste Matters
    July 8, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    I have never heard of Causa but now I can’t wait to get it in my mouth!

  • Reply
    Kelly // The Pretty Bee
    July 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Wow, what a stunning recipe! Just gorgeous.

  • Reply
    July 7, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    This looks magical!! *-* I need to try making it soon! Will have to get my hands on some aji amarillo! :O

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Yes! You do, it’s amazing in so many things!

  • Reply
    Alisa Fleming
    July 7, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    This recipe is on my bucket list! I love that you can use the hard boiled egg (for my husband) or omit it (for me!).

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Peruvian food is very adaptable! They also like to use olives, but I strongly dislike olives so I don’t :).

  • Reply
    Gluten Free With Emily
    July 7, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I have never had Peruvian food before but this looks delicious!

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      You’re missing out! You need to get some today!

  • Reply
    Linda @ 2 Cookin' Mamas
    July 7, 2016 at 9:32 am

    This dish sounds amazing! I love to cook foods from South America, especially since I also live in South Florida where they are plentiful, and this one sounds like one I just have to make. My husband will be saying ” i me acabas de hacer el hombre mรกs feliz del mundo!” (he learned Spanish within the last couple years) Did I get that right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      It’s close enough! Hope it really does make him the happiest guy in the world!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2016 at 3:00 am

    I love Peruvian food, so am really excited to see this ๐Ÿ˜€

    Will need to figure out some substitutes to make it vegan though…think I will try filling it with lentils! Will let you know how it goes ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Lentils would be great! I also sometimes just eat it with avocado and use a vegan mayo :).

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    This looks so interesting! I love that you can fill it with what you want

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    LOVE these!! Need to try ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    July 6, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Well anytime there’s potatoes….;) You know I’m in!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Culture us you have! So glad Peruvian cuisine includes mashed potatoes. I really like the idea of stacking and adding your filling of choice. Wonder if that leftover pulled pork BBQ I have in the fridge would work? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      It would be amazing…don’t be surprise if I do that and instagram it!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Yum, these look like a fun way to change up the dinner routine!

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Always good to try something different!

  • Reply
    Brian Jones
    July 5, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Love the sound of this, I think the Aji Amarillo may be a stretch for me to find in rural Hungary but after a bit of googling I think I have an idea of something I could use as a sub, not the same but in the same direction…

    Also thank you for mentioning the salting thing, you have no idea how many times I find myself screaming at the screen when looking at recipes when people neglect to mention the most simple thing that will make or break a dish!

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      It probably would be, but I’m sure another kind of pepper would give a similar result :)…and yes, the salting thing drives me crazy…it can make or break a dish!

  • Reply
    Kathy Hester
    July 4, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    I can’t wait to try this! I think I’ll stuff mine with a spicy avocado salad I’ve been eating lately.

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      OOO….I need the recipe for that!

  • Reply
    Debi at Life Currents
    July 4, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Wow this sounds great! I adore Peruvian food, and can’t wait to try this one! Thanks for the wonderful and pretty recipe.

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic + Zest
    July 4, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve never heard of Causa before, but I think it’s something that should be in my weekly repertoire! This looks gorgeous and sounds divine!

  • Reply
    Peter Block
    July 4, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I have had this dish once before from a Peruvian friend of mine. I love the look and flavors in your dish.

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks! I hope you enjoyed it!

    3.85 from 40 votes (40 ratings without comment)

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