Homemade Carne Molida con Papas

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If you’re tired of the same old dinner options, it’s time to take your taste buds on a journey to the heart of Latin American cuisine with this delicious and hearty ground beef and potatoes dish. This recipe is a fantastic way to put a twist on the classic meat and potatoes combo, as it combines tender ground beef and chunks of potatoes in a rich, savory sauce that’s bursting with flavors from spices like cumin and paprika. Trust us, this is not your ordinary meatloaf and mashed potatoes kind of meal!

Not only is this dish an explosion of flavors, but it’s also a one-pot wonder that makes clean-up a breeze, plus it’s versatile enough to pair with rice, tortillas, or even a crusty loaf of bread. The best part? It’s incredibly easy to make, so even beginner chefs can impress their friends and family with this amazing recipe. So don’t wait any longer – let’s take a culinary adventure and whip up this delectable ground beef and potatoes dish in the next section!

Yield & Servings

4 servings


1 lb ground beef
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup beef broth or water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional, for garnish)

Notable Equipment & Tools

Large skillet with lid
Wooden spoon or spatula

Step-by-step instructions

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

2. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent.

3. Add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula, until it is browned and cooked through.

4. Stir in the diced potatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth (or water), cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper.

5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

6. Remove the skillet from the heat. If desired, garnish the carne molida con papas with chopped fresh cilantro.

7. Serve the dish warm, either on its own or with rice, tortillas, or your favorite side dish. Enjoy!

Substitutions & Alternatives

Fear not, intrepid home chefs! This delightful carne molida con papas recipe is as versatile as it is delicious. Go ahead and flex your culinary muscles with these substitutions and alternatives that’ll make your journey to flavor town even more exciting.

  • Meaty Matters: If ground beef isn’t your jam, try swapping it out for ground turkey, chicken, or even pork. For a vegetarian twist, go for a plant-based ground meat alternative or crumbled tofu. You’ll still get that hearty mouthfeel without moo-ving too far from the original recipe.
  • Spudtacular Subs: Don’t have potatoes on hand? No worries! Sweet potatoes or yams make an excellent substitute, adding a touch of natural sweetness to the dish. You can also opt for other root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or turnips. The world (or at least your pantry) is your tuber!
  • Onion Odyssey: Yellow onions are the standard choice here, but feel free to swap in red, white, or even green onions for a subtle shift in flavor. Want to get really wild? Try using shallots or leeks for a refined, mildly oniony bite.
  • Garlic Goodness: If you’re a vampire hunter (or just hate peeling garlic), you can use garlic powder in a pinch. Just replace the 2 cloves of minced garlic with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder for a fuss-free flavor infusion.
  • Tomato Tricks: Out of tomato sauce? Use your noggin and grab some canned crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, or even ketchup if you’re feeling saucy. Just remember, the sweetness and consistency may vary, so adjust other seasonings and liquids accordingly.
  • Broth Boost: While beef broth adds a rich flavor to the dish, you can go for chicken or vegetable broth if that’s what you have on hand. For an extra punch of umami, throw in a splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Your tastebuds will thank you!
  • Spice It Up: Cumin and paprika are the stars of this recipe, but if you’re looking to add a little global flair, experiment with other spices like curry powder, chili powder, or a blend like garam masala. Just remember, a little goes a long way!
  • Garnish Galore: We love the vibrant pop of color and flavor that fresh cilantro brings to the table, but if you’re part of the cilantro tastes like soap club, try substituting fresh parsley, green onions, or even a squeeze of lime for a bright, citrusy finish

Now that you’re armed with these substitutions and alternatives, go forth and create your own signature version of carne molida con papas. Happy cooking!

Storage & Reheating

Let’s face it – leftovers are a beautiful thing. Not only do they provide a delicious meal the next day, but they also save you time and effort in the kitchen. Carne molida con papas is no exception, and storing and reheating this scrumptious dish is a cinch!

When it comes to storing your carne molida con papas, embrace the power of airtight containers. Once your dish has cooled down to room temperature, transfer it into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. This method will help ensure that the flavors stay fresh and the dish remains safe to eat for up to 4 days. Plus, you’ll be showing off your eco-friendliness by reducing food waste (high five!).

Now, let’s talk about reheating. You have a few options here, but we’ll focus on two: the stovetop and the microwave. The stovetop is the ideal choice as it allows you to maintain that delicate balance of flavor and texture while reheating your dish evenly. Simply transfer the carne molida con papas to a skillet and warm it over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of beef broth or water if needed to prevent the dish from drying out. Once heated through, you’re ready to dig in!

For those in a hurry (we’ve all been there), the microwave is a viable option. Place the desired portion of carne molida con papas in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plate (to avoid any potential explosions – safety first!), and heat it on high for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through. Stir it halfway through the heating process to ensure even reheating.

And there you have it! The fascinating science of storing and reheating carne molida con papas laid out for you. Whether you’re a culinary expert or a beginner chef, you can now enjoy this delightful dish multiple times, all while saving time, effort, and the planet. Now that’s what we call a recipe for success!

Serving Ideas

Now that you’ve mastered this mouthwatering carne molida con papas, let’s talk about some fantastic ways to serve and enjoy this dish! This versatile and flavorful meal will transport your taste buds to a culinary fiesta, so let’s get creative with our serving options.

  • Taco Night: Upgrade your typical taco night by using this delicious carne molida con papas as the filling. Set out an array of toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, and guacamole, and let everyone build their own tacos. This is a fun and interactive way to share this dish with friends and family!
  • Burrito Bowls: Go the extra mile and create a delectable burrito bowl using carne molida con papas as the base. Add a scoop of warm rice or quinoa, black or pinto beans, roasted corn, and your favorite salsa. Top it off with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, and sliced avocado for a truly satisfying meal.
  • Loaded Nachos: Take your nacho game to new heights by using carne molida con papas as the star ingredient. Layer crispy tortilla chips, juicy carne molida con papas, shredded cheese, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, and black olives on a baking sheet. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa for dipping. This crowd-pleasing platter is perfect for game day or movie night!
  • Stuffed Peppers: Give your classic stuffed peppers a global twist by using carne molida con papas as your filling. Simply cut the tops off some bell peppers, remove the seeds, and stuff them with the hearty mixture. Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is warmed through. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and a drizzle of your favorite sauce for an elegant and flavorful presentation.
  • Carne Molida Con Papas Sliders: For a fun and tasty appetizer, spoon the carne molida con papas onto small slider buns and top with a slice of your favorite cheese. Serve these little bites at your next get-together for a guaranteed hit!

The beauty of this dish is that it can be easily adapted to suit your preferences and those of your guests. Whether you’re creating a simple weeknight dinner or an elaborate feast, the possibilities are endless when it comes to serving carne molida con papas. So, put on your apron, unleash your inner chef, and let’s get cooking!

Variations & Customization 

Carne molida con papas is a versatile dish that can be easily adapted to suit various dietary preferences and restrictions. Here are some common variations to accommodate different diets:

  1. Vegan: Replace the ground beef with a plant-based alternative like lentils or a meat substitute like tempeh or soy crumbles. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. You could also add extra veggies like bell peppers or zucchini for a more colorful and nutrient-rich dish.
  2. Gluten-free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free, but if you’re serving it with tortillas, ensure they’re made with gluten-free ingredients like corn or rice flour.
  3. GAPS/AIP: To make this dish GAPS/AIP-friendly, omit the paprika, potatoes, and tomato sauce. You can substitute sweet potatoes or cauliflower for the potatoes and use a homemade AIP-compliant sauce made from pureed carrots and beetroot.
  4. Keto: Swap out the potatoes for a low-carb alternative like cauliflower or broccoli. You can also reduce the tomato sauce to limit the number of carbs further.
  5. Additional global culinary twists: Carne molida con papas can take on many different flavors depending on the spices and herbs you add. Try using curry powder for an Indian-inspired version or smoked paprika and chorizo for a Spanish flair. You could also experiment with other herbs like oregano, thyme, or basil for a Mediterranean touch.

Having fun with your culinary creativity is the secret ingredient to making any dish uniquely yours. Remember, the kitchen is your playground, and your palate is the ultimate judge. So don’t be afraid to put your own spin on this classic recipe and make it work for your lifestyle and taste preferences. Bon appétit!

Notes & Tips

  • Here’s the beef: For a leaner dish, opt for a lower fat content ground beef or even switch to ground turkey or chicken. Just remember that leaner meats may need a bit more oil to prevent sticking to the skillet, and you might lose a tad of flavor (but hey, who’s counting calories?).
  • Spud-tacular: Feel free to experiment with different types of potatoes. Yukon gold or red potatoes offer a creamier texture, while russet potatoes provide a more classic, fluffy bite. And if you’re looking to cut carbs, sweet potatoes can be a deliciously unexpected swap.
  • The great onion debate: If you’re not a fan of onions, use a shallot or a couple of green onions for a milder flavor. Or, if you’re that one person who absolutely despises onions (we see you), just leave ’em out. No judgment here!
  • Give peas a chance: Want to amp up the veggie factor? Throw in some peas or chopped carrots during the last 10 minutes of cooking for a heartier, more colorful dish.
  • Time-saving tip: If you’re in a rush, microwave the diced potatoes for 2-3 minutes before adding them to the skillet. This will give them a head start on cooking and help you shave off a few minutes from the total cook time. Now you can impress your dinner guests even faster!
  • Spice up your life: For those who crave a little extra heat, toss in some diced jalapeño or a dash of cayenne pepper. And for a true taste of global culinary heritage, experiment with other spices like a pinch of cinnamon and ground coriander. Oh, the places your taste buds will go!
  • To serve or not to serve: Carne molida con papas is delicious on its own, but if you’re looking to round out the meal, try it with warm tortillas, fluffy rice, or a simple green salad. If you’re feeling extra creative, use the mixture as a filling for tacos, burritos, or empanadas. The possibilities are endless!

So now that you’re armed with these handy tips and tricks, it’s time to don your apron and get cooking. We have no doubt that you’ll master this delicious dish in no time. And remember, as the great Julia Child once said, The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude. So go forth, fearless home chefs, and conquer the kitchen!

Common Mistakes

While our Carne Molida con Papas recipe is simple and approachable, we understand that even the most experienced home chefs can encounter a few bumps in the road. Fear not, dear reader, for we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid, ensuring that your dish is a flavorful fiesta, rather than a culinary catastrophe.

  • Overcrowding the skillet: When browning the ground beef, be sure not to overcrowd the skillet, as this can lead to uneven cooking and steaming rather than browning. If needed, cook the beef in batches to achieve that perfect sear.
  • Undercooking the onions and garlic: Don’t rush the onion and garlic cooking process. Remember, patience is a virtue! Giving them enough time to become translucent releases their natural sweetness and adds depth to the dish.
  • Skimping on spices: The spices are the soul of this recipe, so don’t be shy with the cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not explore the world of chili powders and add a pinch of your favorite to the mix?
  • Using the wrong potatoes: While all potatoes are beautiful in their own way, not all of them are ideal for this recipe. Stick with waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or red potatoes for a creamy, tender texture that holds up well during cooking.
  • Not simmering long enough: The key to tender, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes is a nice, low simmer. Make sure to give them the time they need to soak up all the flavors of the sauce while becoming perfectly cooked.
  • Skipping the cilantro: While cilantro might be a love-it-or-hate-it herb, it does add a fresh, vibrant touch to the dish. If you’re not a fan, consider substituting parsley or green onions for a still-delicious and visually appealing garnish.
  • Forgetting the sides: Carne Molida con Papas is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of sides. Don’t forget to serve it with rice, tortillas, or your favorite side dish to create a well-rounded, satisfying meal.

By keeping these common mistakes in mind and embracing your inner culinary explorer, you’ll be well on your way to creating a Carne Molida con Papas masterpiece that’s sure to impress your family and friends. Happy cooking!

Health Risks & Benefits

Ah, carne molida con papas, a hearty, flavorful dish that brings all the satisfaction of a home-cooked meal. But what about the health risks and benefits? Fear not, dear reader, for we’ve got you covered with the facts!

Let’s start with the benefits. This dish is a source of high-quality protein, thanks to the ground beef. Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, as well as keeping your immune system strong. Potatoes, our other main ingredient, are a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re especially rich in potassium, which is great for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and proper muscle function.

The addition of garlic and onion not only brings a flavor punch but also adds a dose of health benefits. Both are known for their potential to improve heart health, support the immune system, and even reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Now, let’s talk about the potential health risks. The primary concern here is the ground beef. While it’s a great source of protein, it can also be high in saturated fat, which could contribute to higher cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease. However, you can mitigate this by choosing lean ground beef or even swapping it out for ground turkey or chicken.

The vegetable oil used in the recipe might also be a concern for those watching their fat intake. Switching to a healthier cooking oil, like olive oil, can help reduce the overall fat content and provide you with additional health benefits.

In conclusion, our beloved carne molida con papas can be a nutritious meal when made with smart ingredient choices. Remember, moderation is key, and when you’re armed with these facts, you can confidently enjoy this delicious dish without the guilt. So, grab your skillet, and let’s get cooking!

Recipe History & Context

Carne molida con papas, a flavorful and comforting dish, has a rich history rooted in the diverse culinary traditions of Latin America. This recipe has been passed down through generations, with each family adding their own special touch. It’s a beautiful blend of simple ingredients with a depth of flavor that showcases the beauty of Latin American cuisine.

The origin can be traced back to the culinary practices of indigenous people of Latin America, who relied heavily on locally available ingredients such as corn, potatoes, and various meats. With the arrival of Spanish colonizers, new ingredients and cooking techniques were introduced and melded with existing ones, giving birth to an array of mouth-watering dishes like carne molida con papas.

The key to the dish lies in its simplicity and versatility. Ground beef, potatoes, and spices are the main ingredients, making it accessible to many households. The addition of tomato sauce and beef broth gives it a rich, savory flavor, while the cumin and paprika lend a warm, earthy aroma. The dish can be easily adjusted to personal taste, and it’s a fantastic way to explore the various spices and herbs that make Latin American cuisine so unique.

One essential component of carne molida con papas is the use of a large skillet with a lid, allowing the flavors to meld together as it simmers. This cooking technique dates back centuries and is a testament to the wisdom and ingenuity of our culinary ancestors.

Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or a seasoned home chef, carne molida con papas is a delightful dish to add to your repertoire. It’s a fantastic way to connect with the rich culinary heritage of Latin America, and it’s guaranteed to impress your friends and family. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll be the one to add a new twist to this beloved recipe, ensuring its continued evolution and enjoyment for generations to come. So, grab your skillet, gather your ingredients, and let’s embark on a delicious journey through the flavors of Latin America!

Common Questions

Can I substitute the ground beef with another type of meat?

Absolutely! Feel free to swap out the ground beef for ground turkey, chicken, or even pork. Just make sure you’re cooking the meat until it’s no longer pink and reaches a safe internal temperature. Embrace the global culinary heritage and try different types of protein to find your favorite version of this dish.

What if I don’t have all the spices on hand?

Don’t worry! While the cumin and paprika give this dish its distinct flavor, you can still whip up a tasty carne molida con papas without them. Experiment with other spices you have in your pantry, such as chili powder or oregano, and see what delicious concoctions you can create. Cooking is all about trying new things!

Can I make this recipe vegetarian or vegan?

Of course! To make this dish vegetarian, simply replace the ground beef with a meat substitute, like crumbled tempeh or tofu. For a vegan version, swap out the beef for a plant-based meat alternative and make sure to use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. You can still achieve a hearty and flavorful meal without the use of animal products.

How can I make this recipe spicier?

If you’re looking to add some heat to your carne molida con papas, try incorporating some diced jalapeños or habaneros into the dish. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to give it a kick. Remember, it’s easier to add spice than to take it away, so start small and adjust to your taste buds.

Any tips for serving carne molida con papas?

This versatile dish can be enjoyed in various ways! Serve it over rice, alongside warm tortillas, or even stuff it into some bell peppers or burritos. Don’t forget to garnish with fresh cilantro for that extra pop of flavor and color. The possibilities are endless, so get creative and enjoy the culinary journey!

Carne Molida con Papas

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 450kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup beef broth or water
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Fresh cilantro chopped (optional, for garnish)


  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onion and minced garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent.
  • Add ground beef, cook and break it up until browned and cooked through.
  • Stir in diced potatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth (or water), cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  • Remove skillet from heat and garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
  • Serve warm with rice, tortillas, or your favorite side dish.



Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 631mg | Potassium: 903mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 4mg

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