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Vegan Llapingachos with Salsa de Maní (Ecuadorian Stuffed Potato Patties with Peanut Sauce)

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Yield: ~8 patties


These Ecuadorian potato patties are filled with vegan mozzarella cheese, pan-fried to golden perfection and served with a savory, flavor-packed peanut sauce to take it to the next level. They are perfect for any meal of the day, are naturally gluten-free, and SO easy to make!


Llapingachos (Potato Patties)

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons achiote (anatto) oil * (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced white onion
  • 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese * (see notes)
  • Avocado oil, for cooking (or oil of choice)

Salsa de Maní (Peanut Sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon achiote (anatto) oil * (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced white onion
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened creamy peanut butter
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups almond milk (plus more as needed to thin)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely diced white onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper, as needed to taste

Tomato and Onion Curtido

  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large lime
  • 1 large tomato, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Serve with



  1. Prepare the potato patties. Place the potatoes into a medium pot along with a large pinch of salt and 2 inches of water. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, set a medium pan over medium heat and add in the achiote oil and white onion. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and transfer them into a large bowl. Using a potato masher or ricer, mash the potatoes until very smooth.
  4. Add the cooked onions, salt, and black pepper to potatoes and mix until well combined. Scoop about a 1/2 cup-sized amount of the potato mixture and using your hands, roll it into a ball and then flatten it out into a thin patty. Add in about 1 tablespoon of vegan mozzarella cheese, or as much as desired, and then seal the dough around the cheese. Shape it into a thick patty (about 1/2-inch). Set it onto a large tray or plate and then continue with the remaining dough. Once you have made all of the patties, place them into the refrigerator for 1 hour or until firm.
  5. Once the potato patties have firmed up, heat a teaspoon or two of avocado oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once warmed, add a few of the patties to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side,  or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with the salsa de mani, curtido, and any other ingredients of choice, such as black beans and tofu scramble.

Peanut Sauce

  1. Set a medium pan over medium heat and add in the achiote oil and 1/2 cup white onion. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat and add in the peanut butter and 1 cup of almond milk to start. Mix until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add in the additional 1/2 cup almond milk as needed. Add in the cooked onions along with the cilantro, raw white onion, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper, and mix together until well combined. Set aside.

Tomato and Onion Curtido

  1. Place the onions in a large bowl and sprinkle them generously with about 1 tablespoon of salt. Toss to combine and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Cover the onions with warm water and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, and then rinse and drain.
  3. To the onions, add in the lime juice, an additional sprinkle of salt. Allow this mixture for at least 30 minutes or until serving.
  4. Right before serving, add the tomatoes and cilantro into the mixture and stir until well combined. Season with black pepper plus additional salt if needed, to taste.


  • The peanut sauce and curtido recipes are based on original recipes from Laylita.
  • The amount of cheese that you need will vary depending on the size of your patties and how much you desire. We add about 1 tablespoon to each patty. 
  • This recipe uses achiote (anatto) oil, which is an ingredient that can be found at Hispanic markets. It can sometimes be hard to locate, so here are a few tips/substitutions that you can try out for this recipe. If all else fails, you can just leave it out and use regular oil.
    • The achiote (anatto) oil can be substituted with any cooking oil of your choice plus a pinch of paprika and turmeric. A blend of the two would be ideal as it will prevent them from interfering with the flavors in the dish.
    • If you can get your hands on achiote seeds but not oil, you can easily make your own oil at home by following this recipe here.
    • You can make achiote oil with ground achiote by combining 1/2 teaspoon of the powder with 2 tablespoons of your preferred oil (we like avocado).
  • Category: Breakfast, Entree, Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Ecuadorian