Gluten Free Papas a la Huancaina

Papas a la Huancaina is a traditional Peruvian dish of cold sliced potatoes topped with a spicy, creamy cheese sauce that is made in a blender!Β Papas a la HuancainaThis recipe was has been updated with photos and a video! The recipe and post remain the same. This post also contains affiliate links, these help support My Gluten Free Miami at no cost to you.

Gluten Free Papas a la Huancaina

I remember the moment very clearly. Standing in the kitchen with my husband, contemplating what this new gluten-free lifestyle would mean when he looked at me and said,

This means you can’t have Huancaina Sauce anymore.

I broke into tears. Not pretty, one tear running down your cheek kind of tears. Ugly, heaving, my life is ending tears. Of course, I knew my life was not ending, but learning that I cannot eat the foods I love made it feel as though.

Gluten Free Papas a la Huancaina overhead shot

A Love for Peruvian Food

I love it all, but one of my favorites is Papas a la Huancaina, Potatoes in Huancaina Sauce. It is spicy, creamy, cheesy deliciousness. Rather than wallow in my tears, we set out to develop a gluten-free version that would allow me to continue to enjoy this Peruvian classic. What we came up with is just as good as the real thing, so good in fact, that rather than making two versions of sauce for family gatherings, our family now only makes the gluten-free version. No one can even tell the difference!

Quick and Easy Potatoes with Spicy Cheese Sauce

The major difference between our traditional family Huancaina Sauce recipe and this gluten free version is the type of crackers that are used to thicken the sauce. Below each ingredient, there are some notes, just in case you are not familiar. All of these ingredients are readily available in the South Florida area, but if you are creating this masterpiece and cannot find an ingredient, they are available on Amazon as well. Just click on the link!


  • 1/2 block (3 and 1/2- 4 ounces) Queso Blanco

We like Vendito brand, but any will work, just be sure it is not “para freir” or “for frying”.

  • 1/3 cup ground Saltine Style Crackers

We use Schar brand, they have amazing, consistent results. One sleeve is the amount you will need. In South Florida you can find them at Whole Foods or Milam’s Market. When all else fails, Amazon is your friend! We make this so often we order them by the case. If you are not gluten-free you can use regular saltine crackers. I would recommend the ones without the salt on top.

  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Onion
  • 1-3 Teaspoons Aji Amarillo Paste

Aji Amarillo Paste can vary greatly in concentration. Start with a small amount, you can always add more to increase the spice level. Currently I am using a jar of Inca Food’s Aji Amarillo Paste and 3 teaspoons was just the right amount for a little bit of heat without it being overwhelming. If I was making this just for my husband I would probably add more. I have used other brands that use a smaller amount for the same amount of heat and our family sometimes makes it as well.

  • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Add the salt last, some cheeses may vary in the amount of saltiness. I always add it, but if you are using a different brand of cheese, you may not need it.

  • 1 Cup Milk

I would not recommend using skim milk in this recipe. Your sauce will be runny. Whole milk would be best, but at least use 2%.

Papas a la Huncaina

(This picture is from the original post from September 4, 2015!)

You are going to love this traditional Peruvian Dish. It’s one of our family favorites and it will be one of yours as well!

Happy Gluten Free Eating!

Papas a la Huancaina, Gluten-Free

Papas a la Huancaina, Gluten-Free
Rate this recipe
4 ratings
Category: Appetizer
Cuisine: Peruvian

    For the Huancaina Sauce
  • 1/2 package Queso Blanco (3.5-4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup ground Scharr cracker crumbs or other saltine type gluten free cracker
  • 1 Tbs chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1-3 tsp aji amarillo paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
    For Serving
  • 4 baking potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • black olives

  1. Saute the Onion, Garlic and Aji Amarillo in a small pan, just until the onion is a bit soft.
  2. Break apart cheese.
  3. Place all ingredients into a blender (I use a Nutribullet).
  4. Blend until smooth. This may take a few minutes, you will be tempted to add more milk, but give it a few minutes. The cheese needs time to fully incorporate into the milk.
  5. Taste and adjust your seasonings, add more salt or more aji amarillo paste if needed.
  6. Serve over sliced, cold boiled potatoes with sliced hard boiled eggs and olives (or on whatever you wish, I also love it over rice).

Consider adding the salt last. Different cheeses have varying saltiness, so taste before adding. Aji Amarillo paste can vary in intensity. More can be added to achieve desired level of spiciness.

Prep Time: 5 minutes Yield: 4 Servings
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52 thoughts on “Gluten Free Papas a la Huancaina

  1. I love Peruvian food, I’m from Costa Rica and even though we have some nice dishes it doesn’t really compare to the flavor and variety of Peruvian cuisine! I live in Germany now and wouldn’t even know where to find queso blanco but I’d very curios to see what this sauce tastes like so I’ll have to hunt it down! Thanks you for the inspiration X

    • Quest Blanco is a salty white cheese, it is a bit crumbly…it might now be exactly the same but a white farmers cheese might work. Thanks for checking it out!

  2. I spent some time in Peru and Northern Chile (right on the Peruvian border). Peru has a reputation for being number 1 in South America (even according to Chileans). We loved the food in that region, as well as the people. Your recipe looks great so will definitely have to give this one a try out.

  3. I have never heard of Huancaina Sauce before and clearly I have been MISSING OUT!! This looks incredible! Gluten or no gluten – I bet this version is just as good if not better. This is the one I will try!!

  4. My father in law is on a gluten free diet and it is wonderful to have yummy recipes like these to make when he visits. Thank you for sharing with us on Welcome Home Wednesday! Please come back next week to share more of your fab recipes =)

  5. Oh my goodness, Amanda, my husband would faint if I made this for him. I’m going to have to try it. He’s also on a gluten free diet, so I’m always looking for different things to make for dinner. He’s not a picky eater like my daughter though, so I can try new things without worrying if he’ll eat it! πŸ˜‰

  6. Hi Amanda! Stopping by from the Sunday Blog Hop on Because I’m Cheap. This recipe looks like something I really need to try. I can’t imagine having to deal with Celiac disease and saying goodbye to my favorite recipes. But great job coming up with an alternative! We all need to be that committed to what we care about πŸ™‚

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