Papas Locas

Roasted Stuffed Potatoes


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

Every pueblo has intrepid potato vendors who heed the call for something different from the usual run of street food. For each order, the vendor cracks open a hot, foil-wrapped potato that has been baked in the coals of a wood fire. He mixes the steaming, fluffy insides with diced carne asada, pieces of butter, a good pinch of onions, and cubes of cheese—usually Jack, but queso fresco or cotixa are other choices. The potato, now almost completely loca, is rewrapped and popped back into the embers for several minutes, until it is piping hot. The diner finishes the papa loca with pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, and whatever else the stand might offer for garnishes—tasty bits like tart Mexican sour cream (crema), ground chiles, chicharrón (crispy pork rinds), cilantro, green onions, chipotle salsa . . . the list goes on and on.


  • 6 small russet baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Half recipe carne asada, cooked and diced
  • cups grated Jack cheese
  • 1 stick salted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and cut into small dice


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly scrub the potatoes with a stiff brush and dry them with a towel. Rub the outsides with olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt. Wrap each one in a foil square. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.
  2. Unwrap the potatoes carefully, split them open, and break up the insides slightly with a fork. Inside each potato, mix together some diced carne asada, 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, a cube of butter, and finally, a couple of tablespoons of onion. Sprinkle with salt. Close the potato up as best you can, rewrap it, and return it to the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Serve the potatoes with the jalapeños, the pico de gallo, and any other toppings that catch your fancy.

To Serve

Sliced pickled jalapeños, pico de gallo, assorted salsas and garnishes as desired