Papas arrugadas, or Canarian wrinkled potatoes, are a staple of the diet across the Canary Islands in Spain. This Canarian potatoes recipe is easy to make at home with only 3 ingredients. If you are looking for a vegetarian tapas recipe, you’ll love this one, particularly when paired with a spicy mojo sauce.
**This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What Are Papas Arrugadas
One of the many things we loved about living in Spain is how regionalized food is. One of the many dishes that represent this are Papas Arrugadas or Canarian wrinkled potatoes.
A dish from the Canary Islands, you will have a difficult time finding them on menus in mainland Spain. Which makes a trip to the Canary Island even more worthwhile.
Papas Arrugadas also represents one of the foundations of Spanish cooking. Take a simple ingredient like potatoes and cook it simply by boiling it with salted water.
The result is a soft and tender potato unlike any other you’ve ever eaten. To add some excitement to this simple dish, these Canary Island potatoes are traditionally served with mojo, a sauce made with chili, garlic, and red peppers (check out our mojo recipe).
Learning How To Make A Papas Arrugadas Recipe
I love taking cooking classes when traveling. That’s how I learned to make papas arrugadas. We visited a winery in Tenerife where they made us work for our lunch!
We learned how to cook the potatoes and made a mojo sauce by hand with a mortar and pestle. Then, we paired the potatoes with a Canarian roasted pig.
This was one of the first Spanish recipes we tried to replicate at home after visiting Gran Canaria and Tenerife to learn about Canarian food recipes.
To this day this recipe for mojo potatoes is one we still make. It’s one of our favorite traditional Spanish tapas recipes and one we enjoy each and every time.
Check out some of our other Spanish tapas recipes:
Ingredients For This Canarian Potatoes Recipe
I love recipes with only a handful of ingredients and this papas arrugadas recipe has to take the cake. Spanish cuisine, in general, excels at turning simple, often rustic ingredients, and making them something special.
The potatoes should be baby potatoes or some other forms of small potatoes with thin skin. This is also an easy baby potato recipe when you have some leftovers.
The potatoes are cooked in boiling water and salt. That’s it! Only 3 ingredients.
I recommend about a ¼ cup of salt for every ½ pound of potatoes.
Don’t worry, this amount of salt won’t make the potatoes salty but does help to bring out the flavors and to make the potato skin dry and wrinkly.
How To Make Canarian Potatoes
Add the potatoes into a medium-sized saucepan of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add the salt and boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes start to soften. You should be able to easily pierce the potatoes with a fork.
Using a colander, drain the water carefully as it will be hot. Add the potatoes back into the same pot and place them over low to medium heat.
This step dries the potatoes and turns them into the famous Canarian wrinkled potatoes.
Carefully Drying The Potatoes
When drying the papas arrugadas don’t be surprised if you start hearing the potatoes sing to you.
As the moisture drains from the potatoes and the steam escapes from the skin, there will be a sound emanating from the pot. Also, don’t be afraid of the salt that cakes your pan.
Check on the Canarian potatoes frequently, stirring often so that they don’t burn. I generally just shake the pot a bit to get them to turn over every few minutes.
It normally takes about 10-15 minutes for them to dry out. Be careful and don’t leave them for too long in one spot or they will brown too much and possibly burn.
They are ready when the skins are dry and wrinkled, but before they start to darken.
Canarian Island Potatoes
- 1 pound baby potatoes
- 1/2 cup of rock salt
- Add the potatoes into a medium-sized saucepan of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the salt and boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes start to soften.
- Using a colander, drain the water carefully as it will be hot.
- Add the potatoes back into the same pot and place them over a low to medium heat.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning them every few minutes until the skin dries.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 14160mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
How To Serve Canarian Potatoes
One of the best, and most common ways to serve these wrinkled potatoes are as papas arrugadas con mojo.
Mojo is a spicy and tangy sauce from the Canary Islands. There are a lot of varieties, but red and green are the most common Canarian potato sauce.
After three years of living in Spain, mojo potatoes are absolutely one of our favorite Spanish food discoveries. Check out our mojo rojo recipe.
Canary potatoes can be served as a hearty part of a tapas night. Or, they make the perfect side dish to all sorts of roasted or grilled meats.
FAQs – Papas Arrugadas
Wrinkled potatoes are another name for papas arrugadas. These are traditional Canarian potatoes that are cooked with salt, drying them out and giving them their distinct look. They can be served alongside roasted or grilled meats or as part of a tapas night.
It’s best to use new or baby potatoes to make papas arrugadas. They should be smaller in size and with a thin skin. You cook the potatoes with the skin on. If the potatoes are larger or with thicker skins, they won’t cook right.
As much as this recipe is somewhat easy it does take a watchful eye. It’s the combination of salt and dry heat on the stovetop that makes the potatoes seem wrinkled. It’s important to keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn, which can happen quickly.