Pastel de Papas (Potato and Cheese Casserole) Recipe

Marian Blazes
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
369 Calories
20g Fat
30g Carbs
18g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 369
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 107mg 36%
Sodium 648mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 18g
Calcium 456mg 35%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The city of Arequipa in southern Peru is known for this unique version of scalloped potatoes, which is prepared with a salty cheese called queso serrano (country cheese). Queso serrano is a key ingredient in other traditional recipes from Arequipa, including the corn and lima bean salad called solterito. The firm slices of cheese are layered with the sliced potatoes, and then a rich mixture of eggs and milk is poured over it all before baking.

This is a nice dish for holidays and family gatherings or paired with a salad for a simple, satisfying supper. It reheats well and even tastes good cold.


  • 3 pounds potatoes (white or yellow)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound queso blanco cheese (or other semi-firm, white, salty cheese)
  • 3/4 cup Monterey jack cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel the potatoes and slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices.

  3. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with water. Slice the onion into 4 pieces and add the pieces to the water, along with 1 teaspoon salt, the peeled garlic cloves, and the anise seeds. Bring the water to a simmer and cook the potato slices until they are just barely tender.

  4. Drain the potatoes in a colander and set them aside until cool enough to handle.

  5. Place the evaporated milk, corn starch, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  7. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and spread the butter with a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Slice the cheese into 1/4 inch thick slices.

  8. Place a layer of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the casserole, and cover them with a layer of sliced cheese. Repeat with more layers of potatoes and cheese until the casserole is full, pressing down on the layers to fit them in snugly. End with a layer of cheese slices.

  9. Pour the milk mixture over the layers of potatoes and cheese. Top the casserole with the grated Monterey jack cheese and the grated Parmesan cheese.

  10. Cover the casserole with a piece of foil and bake until the casserole is bubbly and hot, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more until the top of the casserole is golden brown.

  11. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.