Recipe: Poor Man’s Potatoes (“Papas a lo Pobre”)

This blog post was originally posted on September 5th, 2015 and was updated on August 9th, 2017

Potatoes are one of those universal comfort foods. They are inexpensive, available at every farmer’s market or grocery store and delicious. Plus, there are so many ways to enjoy them!

Between fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato omelettes, roasted potatoes and potato salad – the list and variations are endless, but most of the recipes conjure up meals shared with friends and family.

One of our favorite Malaga style potato recipes has to be papas a lo pobre! Similar to the home fries we grew up eating at brunch in the United States, these thinly sliced potatoes are cooked with onion and green pepper to give it flavor.

Poor Man's Potatoes or Papas a lo Pobre is one of our favorite Malaga Recipes. Great as an easy side dish, it is sure to please!
Photo by Javier Lastras

The first time we tried papas a lo pobre, which translates into “poor man’s potatoes,” it was part of a menu del día with a strip steak and a fried egg. Needless to say, it was quite a filling plate. Years later we’ve perfected our recipe for papas a lo pobre and it’s one of the go to side dishes typical in Malaga (although you can find it throughout Spain.) The best part? Papas a lo pobre are easy to make and call for simple ingredients that you can find in any market!

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Poor Man's Potatoes "Papas a lo Pobre"
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 4-6 people
  • 4-6 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 green peppers
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Wash and peel your potatoes and chop them into thin slices.
  2. Chop up the onions, green peppers, and garlic
  3. In a large skillet add a good amount of olive oil and cook the potatoes over low heat until they begin to soften. Make sure to continue moving the potatoes carefully so they don't fry.
  4. When you see that the potatoes begin to soften, add the green peppers, onions and garlic
  5. Continue cooking until the potatoes, peppers and onions are all very soft.
  6. Drain the excess olive oil
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste
  8. Serve and enjoy as a side dish!

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  1. Apologies to Spain but these are rather heavy on the oil so I have developed a slightly lighter version .
    Slice and par boil the potatoes for five minutes until just softening put onions and peppers in to blanch for a couple of minutes. Drain the mixture well and drizzle with good olive oil and season to taste.Spread thickly on a good roasting tin and put in a hot oven for 30 to 40 mins.
    You might get a few crispy edges but same delicious flavour and kinder to the waistline .

  2. it is a typical dish in ALL of Andalucia….. the garlic cloves should be in the oil while it is heating…..before adding the potatoes remove the garlic… Almost everywhere here they fry a few eggs in the same oil and cur them through when served…. also sliced up in strips… ham (serrano). In almost every village in the south you´ll find it…. been here for 22 years,,,, you all must come back again…so much to see….Always use extra virgin olive oil (AOVE) no apologies needed as olive oil is the best and should not compare to any other oils…also before going to bed a good tablespoonfull is great….

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