The Best Ever Canarian Potatoes Recipe

Papas arrugadas is a hugely popular dish in the Canaries served with the mouthwateringly-good red and green mojo sauces. And a small pot of creamy aioli, if you're lucky. Whether you eat them on their own with the previously mentioned sauces or use them as a crowd-pleasing side dish to go with something awesome like Adeje chicken, everyone loves Canarian potatoes. And when you find our just how quick, easy and cheap they are to make at home - you'll be eating them at every meal!

Pile of Canarian potatoes on a plate

Here's some fun trivia for you. "Papas arrugadas" literally translated into English as either "wrinkly potatoes" or "wrinkly popes". Since no sane person would order that in a restaurant, they're usually called "Canarian potatoes" instead. So in the extremely unlikely event that topic ever comes up in a pub quiz, you're sorted!

If you've ever had Canarian potatoes before, you probably think they're so simple to make that you don't need a recipe. Throw them in a pan with a bit of water and salt and you're good to go, right? Not really... The trick to making the best ever Canarian potatoes is to get the ideal water to salt ratio. this way the potatoes are wonderfully salty and almost crispy on the outside. While the insides are heavenly soft and almost fluffy.

Canarian potatoes with mojo sauces

After quite literally years of trial and error, I've found just the right amount of salt and water to make the perfect Canarian potatoes. This recipe serves 2 people generously, but you can easily decrease or increase the ingredients to suit you. Just remember that if you change how much water you use, you've got to change the amount of salt, too.

Have you ever visited the Canary Islands and fell in love with them so much you'd like to move there? Check out my Moving to Tenerife book! It's a detailed guide book full of everything you need to know about moving to Tenerife and the Canaries in general. It includes how to get a job in Tenerife, how to become a resident in Tenerife and some basic Canarian phrases to help you get by in everyday life.

📖 Recipe

Canarian potatoes on a plate with 2 bowls of mojo

Canarian potatoes

4.86 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Canarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 400kcal


  • 8 Canarian potatoes (you can substitute small new potatoes)
  • 500 ml water
  • 5 tablespoons sea salt


  • Thoroughly scrub each of the potatoes and place them into a large saucepan full of water over a high heat.
  • When the water comes to a boil, stir in the salt. Place a lid on the pan, reduce the heat to medium-high and leave the potatoes to boil for 20-25 minutes. Check on the potatoes every 5 minutes and stir.
  • When you think the potatoes are cooked, carefully prick one with the tip of a knife to make sure. If it's full cooked, there will be no resistance. 
  • Drain the water from the pan and turn off the heat. Return the pan to the hob and leave the potatoes to dry. When the skins are shrivelled and the potatoes are grey and covered in salt crystals, they're ready.


Calories: 400kcal

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  1. Lizzy

    Such a unique recipe! My salt loving family would love these 🙂 Have a lovely weekend~

  2. David Crichton

    Hi Nicky, I'm intrigued? Are you an American living in the Canary Islands? I've just been to Lanzarote for the last two days with work.

    On a work visit last year I discovered these Canarias Potatoes and absolutely loved them. Your results look perfect. Do you have recipes for the mojo sauces?


    • Nicky

      Hi Dave,
      I'm British and live in Tenerife - you almost got it! 🙂 I'm so happy you like my potatoes - they're one of my favourite side dishes. I made some mojo this weekend and plan on posting the recipes on Friday, so keep an eye out.

  3. phil mcguire

    hi from phil, i lived in tenerife a few years ago and fell in love with the canarian quisine,after coming back to uk we regularly have a tenerife night with home made sangria and usually roast shoulder of lamb done in the style of ristorante fortuna in los cristianos,i just arrived back from holiday there where my interest has been re kindled, your mojo and papas arrugadas recipes will be getting tried this week however the potatoes will have to be whats available here, i just wondered if you knew the recipe for adeje chicken as done by ristorante otelo, ive tried for years to recreate it, close but not good enough, anyway i just was told they marinade the chicken in mojo before frying in really hot oil hence me looking for a mojo recipe and finding yours, im sure loads of people would like to know how its done, anyway many thanks for the recipes and i look forward to your reply, cheers phil.

  4. Nicola Quinn

    Hi Phil,
    Thanks so much for stopping by. Your Tenerife night sounds amazing - what a great idea! I hope you enjoy my mojo recipes when you give them a go.

    The fact that you mentioned Adeje chicken from Otelo is a huge coincidence - I was just talking about it today. Believe it or not I've never experienced Adeje chicken first hand, but I've heard oodles of good things about it and plan to visit as soon as I can.

    I'll send you an email after I've been to the restaurant and let you know if I managed to persuade them to reveal their recipe! If not, I'll post my own version of it so you can give it a go.

    Sorry I couldn't give you an answer straight away!


  5. Alan

    Planned to go to Otelo`s in feb,But it`s such a long way up that hill lol .As by chance we found Otelo 2 on the beach by Fannbe.We just had to try it.
    Was very busy but the food was ok, Next time will make the trek up hill.
    I had a little peak through a window into the kitchen,They seem to boil the chicken in stock, Then when its done chuck in the deep fryer for a couple of mins .

    • Lauren Felipe

      Just came back from Lanzerote and had a craving for those delicious Canarian potatoes. Sad to say, mine came out entirely way too salty. When I drained and returned to pan, there was about a tablespoon of salt still in the pan. The potatoes, however, were cooked perfectly! I was able to brush off most of the salt to enjoy them. Next time, I’ll just add more water or less salt!

  6. Alan

    Love the canarian pots.
    Can we use small english pots ? I know we can but would they taste the same.

    • Nicola Quinn

      Hi Alan,
      I've made these Canarian Potatoes with new potatoes before and you can hardly taste the difference, so go right ahead! 🙂

  7. Lucy Tilney

    Hello, I've enjoyed your recipe for the mojo sauces very much. So delicious and so easy. As in so many dishes, it's the combination of vinegar, oil and garlic which is the secret, like gazpacho.

    In your Canadian potatoes recipe, there is this line "When the water begins to boil, add the salt and stir. Keep an eye on the potatoes and sit them every five minutes." Should it say 'stir them every five minutes'?

    • Nicola

      Hi Lucy! I'm so glad you like my recipe 🙂 And thanks so much for pointing out the misspelling in the Canarian potatoes post! You're 100% right - it should definitely stay "Stir them every five minutes." I'll fix that asap. Thanks again!

  8. Gail

    Made the green mojo sauce which was delicious thankyou, the Canarian potatoes tasted great but wearnt wrinkly I followed your recipe exactly, do I need to cook them longer?

    • Nicola

      I'm so glad you liked the mojo sauce, Gail! And I'm sorry the potatoes didn't come out wrinkly. It could be that your potatoes were slightly larger than the ones in the recipe and you needed more salt for the wrinkled effect. Next time, try adding a bit more salt and see how it goes 🙂

  9. Mick

    Hi Nicky,

    Thanks for the recipe. As I'm making them tonight I just wanted to check, when you say "Return the pan to the hob and leave the potatoes to dry." - should I have the potatoes left in the pan on the hob at this point with no heat until they're shriveled?



    • Nicola

      Hi Mick,
      No problem at all! I realise this reply is probably a bit late, but yes - that's exactly what I mean. Return the pan to the hob with the potatoes in so the skin dries out. 🙂

  10. TERRY

    Green Mojo Sauce
    2 large green bell peppers roughly chopped
    ½ cup fresh chopped coriander or parsley
    4 cloves of garlic minced
    2 teaspoons sea salt
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 slice of bread torn into small pieces
    Red Mojo Sauce
    2 large red bell peppers roughly chopped
    6 cloves of garlic minced
    4 small chillies chopped
    2 teaspoons sea salt
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 slice of bread torn into small pieces

  11. terry

    sorry blend till smooth and thick