clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
mashed potatoes thanksgiving leftovers

Papas Rellenos with Turkey and Mashed Potatoes

  • Author: Bull Garlington


These are deep-fried, lightly breaded potato fritters, known in Cuban coffee shops and home kitchens as Papas Rellenas. They typically use a ground beef filling with the potatoes, but we use some of your abiding bird in this version.


  • 4 cups of leftover mashed potatoes (approximate)
  • 1 lb. leftover turkey
  • 1 T. warm milk
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 11/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup green bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Serrano peppers, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, sauté the onions until they’re clear; add the peppers. After a minute or so, add the garlic, turkey, and spices. Cook on medium until the turkey is well heated and some pieces are slightly browned. Remove from heat and drain.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment.
  3. Scoop a ball of mashed potatoes into the palm of your hand. It should be about the size of a golf ball. Make a deep indentation with your thumb.
  4. Fill the indentation with the filling, close it up by rubbing the mashed potatoes around the edges together.
  5. In your first bowl, combine the eggs with a dash of warm water.
  6. In your second bowl, place about a cup of gluten-free flour.
  7. In a third bowl, combine the gluten-free breadcrumbs and the remaining gluten-free flour
  8. Dip each ball in the egg wash, then in flour, then back in the egg wash, then in the breadcrumb mixture. Place your balls onto the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Refrigerate for one hour (you can also freeze some for later).
  10. Fill a deep fryer with enough oil to cover the balls; heat oil to about 375°.
  11. Fry a few balls at a time, giving them plenty of room to brown. Use a slotted spoon to retrieve the balls and then drain on a rack over paper towels.
  12. Serve warm.