Broccoli Cheddar Sweet Potato Rellenas

Broccoli Cheddar Sweet Potato Rellenas

As you take your first bite of these broccoli cheddar sweet potato rellenas, the crispy outer edges give way to the creamy sweet potato, and then the even creamier cheesy broccoli filling. It’s appetizer perfection! All the flavors play so well together and the minimal ingredients do a lot of work creating something that feels complex and simple at the same time!

Inspiration for Broccoli Cheddar Sweet Potato Rellenas

I have been doing some housekeeping on this website, and I love coming across old recipes I forgot about. Many of these were quasi successful at the time, but with 15 years of experience cooking and blogging about it, I get excited to revisit them and come at it from a different direction.

I made a version of these a long time ago. The photos weren’t great, and the potato “dough” was a little starchy which made them taste a little dry. I also had some sausage and other fillings that confused the whole dish. I decided to simplify it and also draw on my travel experience of eating papas rellenas in Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, and Mexico City as inspiration.

Making the broccoli filling

There are only 6 ingredients in this whole dish so the filling is obviously easy to make. You just roast the broccoli for a few minutes to get some char on it, then blend it in a food processor with the cheese!

broccoli and cheddar in the food processor

This forms a nice solid consistency that is easy to work with when you are forming the broccoli cheddar sweet potato rellenas, but then will melt in a nice way when you cook it.

Making the Sweet Potato mixture

Step one is to peel and cut up the sweet potatoes, then slow roast them in the oven until tender. This will remove some moisture and make them nice and solid to create the balls with.

egg in the potato mixture

Papas rellenas are usually done with regular potatoes that have a lot more starch and less moisture than a sweet potato. The reason mine were too starchy and stiff the last time I made them was because I had to keep adding flour. This time I added an egg and some breadcrumbs and was good to go.

Forming and Frying the Broccoli Cheddar Sweet Potato Rellenas

Spread some sweet potato mixture on your palm, then add the broccoli mix to the center and wrap the sweet potato around it.

The broccoli cheddar sweet potato rellenas are ready to go into the fryer

More breadcrumbs on the outside. These are ready to go into the fryer.

frying the broccoli cheddar sweet potato rellenas

Then fry ’em up perfectly golden brown! I love how the sweet potatoes get a little daker than the breadcrumbs on the outside so it creates a nice look.

broccoli cheddar sweet potato rellenas

These broccoli cheddar sweet potato rellenas were incredible fresh out of the fryer, and they were also great when I air fried the leftovers a day later. A fantastic appetizer or side dish for a party!

Twists on this dish

You could do this more traditional with regular potatoes and a meaty filling. You could also swap the broccoli for cauliflower if you prefer.

A lot of people ask me about air frying, and I do think it would work for this recipe. I like to slightly toast the breadcrumbs first with some oil in a frying pan before adding them to the outside of the rellenas. Then use an avocado oil spray to coat the outsides after you bread them. This will gif you the oily crunch you are looking for when you take them out of the air fryer!

If you are looking for more tasty fried snacks check out these elote style corn dogs, or these sweet potato sausage spring rolls.

Broccoli Cheddar Sweet Potato Rellenas

Inspired by Cuban papas rellenas, these fried sweet potato dumplings are loaded with a cheesy broccoli mixture.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cuisine: American, Cuban
Keyword: fried, stuffed
Servings: 10 large rellenas
Calories: 272kcal


  • 3 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
  • 3 small heads of broccoli large stem removed, chopped
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs plus more
  • 1 egg
  • oil for frying


  • Toss the chunks of potato with some oil and salt and roast at 325 for about an hour until tender. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Turn the oven to broil on high. Toss the broccoli with some oil and salt and broil to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. transfer to a food processor.
  • Add the cheese to the food processor and pulse until combined.
  • Add the egg and half the breadcrumbs to the potato and mash and mix until smooth. If it feels too wet, add more breadcrumbs.
  • Pour the remaining breadcrumbs onto a plate.
  • Scoop up some potato and press it flat in your hand. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the broccoli mix in the center. Wrap the potato around the broccoli, then roll the ball in the breadcrumbs. Set aside and repeat with remaining potato and filling until you run out. Should be able to make about 8-10
  • Bring oil to 350. Fry in batches of 2 or 3 to brown on all sides. Remove from heat and serve. I had it with hot sauce.


Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 955mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 15857IU | Vitamin C: 165mg | Calcium: 290mg | Iron: 2mg

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