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Papas Locas with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I thought I'd give you all a break from the abundance of skinny recipes and share with you one of my all-time favourite Canarian recipes - Papas Locas. There's not much too them, but they make an awesome snack or casual appetizer.

For those of you who haven't been following Pink Recipe Box for a long time, I'm a British native but I've lived in Tenerife in the Canary Islands (Spain) for over half my life. Apart from two recipes for Papas Arrugadas and Mojo sauces, as well as some posts on Perrito Caliente Especial and Papa Asada, there are hardly any Canarian-inspired posts on this blog - something which I'm determined to change!

Papas Locas with Sweet Poato Fries |

Papas Locas is a dish commonly served in cafes throughout Tenerife and Spain in general. It's not a fancy dish by all means, but it's fun, fast and cheap - what's not to love? Papas Locas are normally served with bought-in fries - always made with regular potatoes - but if you're really lucky, the bar or cafe will have assembled the dish with their own hand-cut fries - this makes the dish even more fabulous than it already is.

Papas Locas with Sweet Poato Fries |

I decided to switch out the regular fries for sweet potato fries because, c'mon, everything is better with sweet potatoes, right? Unfortunately, when I peeled my perfectly ordinary looking sweet potato, I was greeted with a shocking white interior. Do you ever get this?

Papas Locas with Sweet Poato Fries |

In Tenerife we get two different types of sweet potato - they're both labelled as 'Batata' and have the same purple/red skin on the outside, but until you peel them you never know whether you're going to get a wonderfully vibrant orange centre or a sparkling white one. Fortunately, they both have the same taste and texture - or so I think, anyway - so it doesn't really make much of a difference which one you get.

Papas Locas with Sweet Poato Fries |

Don't feel that you have to use sweet potatoes to make these Papas Locas - that's not the case at all! You can use hand-cut fries made from regular potatoes or even shop-bought frozen fries - whatever you prefer or have time for. It's just occurred to me that I'm 350+ words into this blog post and I haven't even told you what Papas Locas means!

Papas Locas with Sweet Poato Fries |

For those of you who aren't fluent in the lingo, Papas Locas literally means Crazy Potatoes (or Crazy Popes, depending on which translator you use!) I've never asked anyone, but I assume that the 'craziness' is the abundance of ham and cheese which smothers the fries. For a nation which regularly fires fireworks from tiny wooden boats and drags camels into the sea so they can be blessed, this seems a pretty timid use of the word crazy, don't you think?

📖 Recipe

Papas Locas with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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Servings: 1 portion


  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato/regular potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 handful of your favourite cheese grated
  • 1 slice large of ham finely chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 400F/200C and line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper.
  • Peel the potato and slice into thin fries.
  • Combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a bowl. Add in the fries and toss until well coated.
  • Evenly spread out the fries on the baking tray - making sure they're not touching or overlapping - and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, turning half way through.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the grated cheese and finely chopped ham.
  • When the fries are baked, remove them from the tray and pile them up on a plate. Cover them with the cheesy ham mixture and return to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the ham has been warmed through.


If you're using frozen fries, you can skip steps 2, 3 and 4 and skip directly from step 1 to step 5. Feel free to season your frozen fries with olive oil and the seasonings listed in the ingredients - I'm just not sure how well that will work out, having never done it myself before.

Papas Locas made with Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries - healthy homemade sweet potato fries topped with gooey melted cheese and chunks of ham. Gluten-free and perfect for lunch or a snack! |

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About Nicola

I’m Nicola, the face behind Happy Healthy Motivated – your go-to guide to becoming your best you!
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  1. Pam@over50feeling40

    Yum yum, yum...thanks for sharing in the blog hop!

  2. Deepi Joshi

    Hi Nicky...thanks for sharing the recipe.I am going to try it soon.Thanks for sharing in the blog hop.

  3. Carolyn ~ homework

    This looks so yummy! Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic project on The Inspiration Board at homework. I featured you in the spotlight!
    homework &

  4. Katherines Corner

    I am not a fan of sweet potatoes. Do you think I could use regular potatoes? Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop . Big Hugs

  5. Innkeeper Seely

    I would so love this for breakfast. Heck, I bet my guests would love this for breakfast. Thanks for the inspiration