Canarian Papas Arrugadas Recipe - Spanish Sabores

Canarian Papas Arrugadas Recipe

papas arrugadas recipe
A classic in the Canaries!

Is there any dish more representative of the Canary Islands than papas arrugadas? These tiny wrinkled potatoes are a must try when visiting the Canaries, and when done the right way are truly delightful.

You can find these little guys anywhere in the Canaries, whether enjoying Tenerife holidays for the family, or a solo escape to the more rugged and undiscovered La Gomera. 

But how did salted potatoes become so famous? Potatoes aren’t even native to the islands!

That’s right– we actually have the Incas to thank for the most famous dish of the Canary Islands. Around the 1550s potatoes arrived to the Canary Islands for the first time, brought by explorers to the Andes.

At first the potatoes were for show, cultivated in botanical gardens. No one imagined how delicious they could be when cooked.

In the 17th century potato cultivation began on the island, and locals still call the potatoes papas (they’re patatas in mainland Spanish), just as they do in the majority of Latin America.

What potatoes do you use?

This is the tricky part. You most likely don’t have access to the ideal potatoes to make papas arrugadas. The best of the best are:

  • Papa Negra from Tenerife
  • Papa Bonita from Gran Canaria

You should look for any small, quick cooking potatoes and you’ll likely be just fine.

papas arrugadas recipe
Papas arrugadas are found on most traditional Canarian plates!

But how do they get so salty?

The best part of papas arrugadas is the salty crust that forms on their skin. The salt is barely visible, but definitely there.

The truly authentic way to make papas arrugadas is by boiling the potatoes in seawater. This is a recipe that came from necessity, as fresh water was often short on the islands, and locals had to make due with what they had. Luckily, their resourcefulness resulted in Spain’s best potatoes!

Here is an easy recipe for papas arrugadas, but unless you are on the island and using seawater, they might not taste exactly as you remember from your last Tenerife getaway! Experiment with different potato varieties and salt/water ratios and you should eventually get it right!

Pair these delicious potatoes with the most famous sauces from the Canary Islands, the mojos. Mojo picón is red and slightly spicy, while mojo verde is refreshing and bright green.

Get the recipes! Mojo Picón and Mojo Verde

papas arrugadas recipe

Canarian Papas Arrugadas Recipe

Lauren Aloise
Papas arrugadas are one of the most famous foods from the Canary Islands. Whether visiting Tenerife, Gran Canaria, or any of the other islands, you'll be sure to taste them!
4 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 109.14 kcal


  • 1 1/4 pounds about 1 kg of small, quick cooking potatoes
  • 1/4 cup of coarse sea salt


  • Wash the potatoes well and place them in a large stock pot.
  • Just cover with cold water and add the sea salt.
  • Boil the potatoes until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Add water if too much evaporates.
  • Pour off the water and rest the potatoes on the stove on a very low heat until all water has evaporated and the potatoes are covered in a layer of sea salt.
  • Serve with your favorite mojo sauce.


Calories: 109.14kcalCarbohydrates: 24.76gProtein: 2.86gFat: 0.13gSaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 7081.84mgPotassium: 596.76mgFiber: 3.12gSugar: 1.1gVitamin C: 27.93mgCalcium: 21.39mgIron: 1.17mg
Keyword Canarian Papas Arrugadas, salted potatoes, spanish potatoes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Best papas arrugadas in the Canaries

  • Tenerife: They tell me that the ones from Arcon Tapas in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife are to die for! I’ve also heard Bodeguita Canaria in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is worthwhile.
  • Gran Canaria: La Marinera in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is said to be excellent.
  • Lanzarote: The small town of Yaiza is famous for the traditional bars in its main square.

Have you visited any of the Canary Islands? Where did you try papas arrugadas?


  1. You are absolutely right about these delightful potatoes…The ones at Arcon Tapas in Puerto are truly delicious and come with both red and green dipping sauces.

  2. 4 stars
    Having lived in Tenerife for 8 years I absolutely love the papas arrugadas at El Cine in Los Cristianos port. Also their sardines are fantastic!

  3. Lived in Canary Islands (Las Palmas) for 5 years and loved all the Spanish food. Especially the papas arrugados!

  4. 5 stars
    We visited Gran Canaria a couple of years ago, and had papas arrugadas multiple times with different mojos each time, all either red or green but a wide range of tastes and textures, and all great! I also came home with a Canarian cook book, “Los mejores recetas del Diccionario de Cocina Canaria” that covers a lot of the dishes we had there. It’s available on Amazon now too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Subscribe for free Spanish recipes weekly!

Subscribe here to get free Spanish recipes weekly!