Papas con chorizo, or potatoes with Mexican sausage, is a classic Mexican dish you can make when you crave a Mexican meal.
This recipe requires just a few ingredients, and it is super easy to make, especially when you have leftover cooked potatoes. Papas con chorizo are a staple in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, sopes, tortas and more.
What is papas con chorizo?
Papas con chorizo means, in English, potatoes with sausage. Mexican sausage, potatoes, and sometimes other ingredients cook together into a perfectly comforting dish.
Mexican chorizo is so rich in flavors and spices that the potatoes don't need any extras. And who doesn't like meat and potatoes?
What is chorizo?
Chorizo is a Mexican sausage and it is made all over Mexico. Each region has its balance of spices, chiles, and herbs. The legend says that the best chorizo you can find is the one made in Toluca, west of Mexico City.
However, there are over 100 varieties of chorizos in Mexico, which is not surprising to me when I think about how vast Mexican cuisine is.
You can buy pork or beef chorizo. The pork is the popular one, and the meat in this sausage is chopped, not ground. It is seasoned and stuffed into casings made from the pig's small intestines.
Most of the chorizo you will find in the stores is fresh, but some types are dried and preserved for later use.
When you cook the chorizo, you need to remove the skin, crumble the meat and cook it over low heat until the fat renders out.
Is Mexican chorizo the same as Spanish chorizo?
No, they are not the same. Spanish chorizo is a cured sausage, and the main ingredient besides pork meat is sweet or smoked paprika. This sausage doesn't need to cook too much.
You can serve it as an appetizer, next to other cured meats, like Jamon Serrano, or add it to soups and stews for its exquisite flavor.
Mexican chorizo has chopped, or ground pork or beef, and you have to cook it, as the meat inside is raw. It contains a variety of spices, chiles, and herbs. Some of the peppers used in making chorizo are chiles, ancho, and pasilla.
Cloves, coriander, oregano, cumin seeds, garlic, paprika, and vinegar are only some of the few ingredients used in chorizo recipes.
Where to buy chorizo
This note is for people living in the US, as in Mexico, you can find chorizo in any store and any market. First, try your local Latin/Mexican store, where you can find fresh and delicious sausage.
Otherwise, any large grocery store should carry at least one or two brands of pork chorizo.
Potatoes: The best potatoes for this dish are Russet or Yukon Gold. However, this dish should not be an expensive or fancy one, so any potato that holds its shape during cooking is a good choice.
Chorizo: We already talked about it.
Chipotle Chiles: In many parts of Mexico this dish also has chiles chipotle added to the meat and potatoes for extra heat and flavor.
While this is not mandatory, I encourage you to use them. Canned chipotles in adobo sauce are preferred. If you don't want the dish too spicy add only one chopped pepper to your dish.
How to make Papas con chorizo
Step 1. Start with the potatoes.
Wash, peel, and cube them. Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and boil them until tender. Drain and set aside.
Sometimes I skip boiling the potatoes and add them when chorizo is half way cooked. this way, I allow the potatoes to soak in the juices from the meat and get more flavor.
Step 2. Cook the Mexican chorizo:
Remove the casing from the chorizo and place it in a pan on medium-low heat. Cook the meat, stirring to break up any clumps. It should not take more than 10 minutes to cook the sausage.
Do not overcook the meat. Just cook it only until the fat has rendered out.
Step 3. Assemble the dish:
Add the potatoes and Chipotle chilies (these are optional) to the pan with the chorizo and cook everything over medium heat, stirring once in a while, until the potatoes brown a little.
Set the mixture aside to cool before serving it.
How to serve
Papas con chorizo is a versatile dish that makes a delicious filling for a variety of Mexican antojitos. It pairs perfectly with burritos, gorditas, tacos, enchiladas or empanadas, adding a burst of flavor to these traditional delights. Here are some ideas:
- Tacos: Warm corn or flour tortillas are filled with the cooked potatoes and chorizo mixture, often accompanied by toppings like diced onions, cilantro, salsa, or a squeeze of lime juice.
- Breakfast or Brunch: It can be served alongside eggs, such as scrambled eggs or fried eggs, providing a flavorful and satisfying combination.
- Burritos or Quesadillas: Spoons of papas con chorizo are wrapped in a flour tortilla along with other ingredients like cheese, beans, or vegetables, then heated until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.
- Sopes or Tostadas: Sopes are small thick tortillas topped with the chorizo and potato mixture, along with various toppings like refried beans, lettuce, cheese, and salsa. Tostadas are crispy tortillas topped with the papas con chorizo and garnished with ingredients like shredded lettuce, sour cream, and guacamole.
- Side Dish: Papas con chorizo can also be served as a flavorful side dish alongside main courses like grilled meats or roasted chicken or as an accompaniment to rice and beans.
For example, this recipe is enough for 12 quesadillas OR 12 tacos. If you want to serve this dish as a light main course, it should be enough for four servings.
How to store
In the refrigerator:
Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a maximum of 4-5 days. Leftovers can be reheated on the stove or in the microwave.
In the freezer:
Papas con chorizo can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. It's best to consume it within this timeframe for optimal taste and texture.
Place the dish into freezer-safe containers or sealable freezer bags. MAke sure that all excess air is removed from the bags before sealing to minimize freezer burn.
Clearly label each container or bag with the contents and the date of freezing. This will help you keep track of the storage time.
When you're ready to enjoy the frozen papas con chorizo, transfer a portion to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight.
Once thawed, reheat it in a skillet or microwave until heated through. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating. Adjust the seasoning if needed before serving.
Other optional ingredients
You can add chopped onion when you add the potatoes and some garlic powder, but it is not necessary. Mexican chorizo has lots of flavors, and the Chipotle chile brings smokiness to the dish.
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Check out the web story for this recipe: How to make Potatoes with Mexican Sausage (Papas Con Chorizo)
Papas Con Chorizo (Potatoes With Mexican Sausage)
- 1 pound about 4 medium-small Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked and diced (or a bag of frozen diced potatoes)
- 9 ounces Mexican chorizo or 3-4 links of chorizo, casing removed
- salt and pepper to your taste might not be necessary if chorizo is salty
- 2 canned chiles chipotles in adobo chopped small
- Boil the potatoes: Wash, peel, and cube the potatoes. Place them in a pot of salted water and boil them for 10-15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the Mexican chorizo: Place a pan on medium-low heat and add the sausage meat. Cook, stirring to break up any clumps. It should take about 10 minutes before the meat gets cooked through and the fat has rendered out. Do not let the meat become hard and overcooked.
- Assemble the dish: Add the potatoes and the chilies and let the mixture cook over medium flame, stirring it from time to time until the potato has browned a little. Set the mixture aside to cool off a little before serving it.