Authentic Causa Recipe: Quick and Easy Peruvian Food

Authentic Causa Recipe: Quick and Easy Peruvian Food

Peruvian cuisine is best known for a few hallmark items: ceviche, pollo a la brasa, and pisco sours, among others. Additionally, though, there are many other dishes that constitute the heart of Peruvian food, despite being lesser known outside of the country. One of those is causa Limeña. Check out this Peruvian causa recipe.

What is Causa Rellena?

Causa is a best described as a sort of mini-casserole, with a top and bottom composed of mashed potato mixed with lime juice and aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow pepper), and a filling consisting of, well, virtually anything. Commonly the middle will be tuna, lobster, crab, octopus, shrimp, avocado, or chicken.

The history of causa is hotly debated. Some believe it goes back as far as the Inca — plausible, given the enormous diversity of diet that characterized Inca culture. Others claim it was a product of the Spanish colonial era in Peru.

Possibly the most interesting explanation is that it was made for Peruvian soldiers during the War of the Pacific against Chile in the 1880s — a way that women of the time sought to support the cause (hence the name).

Whatever the origins, what’s important is that causa is extremely Peruvian and extremely tasty.

Where can I buy aji amarillo?

Most recipes call for an aji amarillo paste, which can be store-bought or homemade from fresh or frozen aji amarillo. Aji amarillo paste is available at most Latino food markets in the United States, or you can order it online on Amazon here.

Causa Recipe: How to make Causa Rellena?

Here’s the recipe for causa limeña. It’s quick, easy, and delicious! Thanks to for the recipe (here’s the link to the original).


  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes (peeled)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1-2 tbsp aji amarillo paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • Filling of your choice (the recipe in the link uses tuna salad)


  1. Boil the potatoes, then drain. Pass boiled potatoes through ricer or masher and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Add potatoes to a large mixing bowl with olive oil, lime juice, aji amarillo paste. Stir to combine, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Tightly line a casserole dish with plastic wrap.
  4. Fill the bottom 1/3 of a casserole dish with half of the mashed potato mixture. Smooth over.
  5. Place a thin layer of sliced avocado on top of the bottom layer of the mashed potato mixture.
  6. Add the filling of your choice on top of the avocado, filling the casserole dish to about 2/3 full.
  7. Fill the casserole to the top with a second layer of the mashed potato mixture. Smooth over.
  8. Place plastic wrap over the top of the dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Flip casserole dish upside down on to plate to un-mold causa. Remove plastic wrap.
  10. Serve cold and enjoy!
Recommended reading: How to prepare Peruvian ceviche

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Authored by: Adam Foote

Adam is an avid traveler who is exploring Peru, far and wide, and sharing what he discovers with Fertur Peru Travel and its clients.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Kelli Tantalean at 4:38 pm

    My mother in law is from Peru and makes this dish. Unfortunately I don’t speak Spanish and she doesn’t speak English so it is difficult to exchange recipes. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks.

  2. Rick Vecchio at 11:11 am

    You’re very welcome, Kelli. Provecho!

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