Tex-Mex Mashed Potatoes (Papas con Chile) Recipe

Tex-Mex Mashed Potatoes, or “Papas con Chile,” is a deliciously spicy twist on the classic mashed potatoes. Infused with the vibrant flavors of green chiles, colorful bell peppers, jalapeño, and sharp cheddar cheese, this dish brings a warm, comforting Tex-Mex vibe to your table. Perfect as a side for grilled meats or as a standout dish for a potluck, here’s how to make it:


  • 3 pounds red or Yukon Gold potatoes: Roughly cut into 1-inch pieces. These varieties are great for mashing.
  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) butter: Divided, adds richness.
  • 1 small white onion: Peeled and diced, about 1 cup, for a sweet, aromatic base.
  • 1 small green bell pepper: Cored and diced, about 1 cup, adds a mild, sweet flavor.
  • 1 small red bell pepper: Cored and diced, about 1 cup, for sweetness and color.
  • 1 jalapeño: Seeded and finely diced, adds a spicy kick.
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans Old El Paso chopped green chiles: For a mild, tangy flavor.
  • 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese: For creaminess and a bold taste.
  • ¾ cup milk: Warmed, to achieve the perfect consistency (add more if needed).
  • 1 teaspoon salt: Or more, to taste.
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper: Or more, to taste.
  • Optional toppings: Thinly-sliced green onions, extra shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for garnish.
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  1. Cook the Potatoes:
    • Place the roughly cut potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Sauté the Vegetables:
    • While the potatoes are cooking, melt half of the butter (2 tablespoons) in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and jalapeño. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the canned green chiles and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Mash the Potatoes:
    • Return the drained potatoes to the pot (or a large bowl) and mash them to your preferred consistency. For smoother potatoes, use a potato ricer or masher.
  4. Combine:
    • To the mashed potatoes, add the sautéed vegetable mixture, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and warmed milk. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the potatoes are too thick, add a bit more milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Serve:
    • Transfer the mashed potatoes to a serving dish. If desired, garnish with thinly-sliced green onions and extra shredded sharp cheddar cheese for an additional layer of flavor and texture.
  6. Enjoy:
    • Serve hot as a flavorful side dish that pairs wonderfully with a variety of main courses, from grilled steak to roasted chicken.


  • Adjust the Heat: The jalapeño and green chiles add a mild to medium heat. For a spicier version, leave some seeds in the jalapeño or add more according to your heat preference.
  • Creaminess: For even creamier potatoes, consider using half-and-half or light cream instead of milk.

Enjoy your Tex-Mex Mashed Potatoes, a comfort food dish that’s sure to become a new favorite with its creamy texture and bold flavors!