These crispy Mexican Potato and Bean Cakes make the perfect starter or appetizer, but they are nutritious and filling enough to make an entire meal. Serve with a fresh tomato and onion sauce for maximum deliciousness.
These adult- and kid-friendly Mexican Potato and Bean Cakes are a delicious memory of time Desi and I spent in Morelia, a quiet city nestled high in the hills of the Michoacan state of Mexico, and lined wall-to-wall with historic cathedrals and colleges.
This was more than a decade ago, but I remember the city's distinctive and even eclectic charm. A grand aqueduct that looks like a procession of arches marched around the outskirts. The streets buzzed with students, stores crammed with charming artefacts, and tourists looking to just relax or worship.
The food was just as interesting and diverse. There were traditional bakeries churning out vast quantities of cakes, candy shops selling traditionally made dolce, including a fruit-based sweet said to have originated here, modern coffee shops and cafes, and rather good restaurants where you could dine al fresco while street singers serenaded you.
When we travel, our days are a huge blur of running breathlessly from place to place. But in places like Morelia, there is little to do other than go with the tranquil flow. One of our favorite things to do was to relax at a restaurant across the street from the huge and beautiful cathedral in the city's center. We'd order a big cup of coffee, sit back and watch the world go by.
Vegetarian and even vegan food was not hard to find, with a few adjustments, and I even discovered a vegetarian restaurant where I ate a delicious burger with a potato and bean patty stuffed inside of it. That's the dish that inspired this recipe, which I first shared with you many years ago on this blog.
Instead of serving it in a bun (it would be delicious that way too), I serve it with a fresh, salsa-like sauce of tomatoes and shallots. It is so divine, you'll eat it by the spoonful.
Cinco de Mayo is almost upon us, and this would be a great recipe to snack on or serve as an appetizer. It is even very kid-friendly, as Jay would agree wholeheartedly.
If you made this recipe, be sure to stop by and let me know. Or take a photo and share it on Instagram with the tag @holycowvegan. Happy cooking!
More Vegan Mexican recipes
Mexican Potato and Bean Cakes
For the potato and bean cakes:
- 1 pound potatoes (boiled, then mashed)
- 15 ounces canned or cooked kidney beans (mash coarsely until the beans are broken down by not pasty. Lima beans or pinto beans would work just as well)
- 2 teaspoon garlic (crushed)
- 1 shallot (minced). Red onion works too.
- 2 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
- 1 small jalapeno pepper (minced. Deseed for less heat)
- Salt to taste
- 1 lime (zest and juice)
- ¼ cup cornmeal or masa harina
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the tomato sauce:
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 shallot or small red onion
- 1 jalapeno pepper (use more of less depending on your preference)
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Make the cakes:
- Place all of the ingredients except the cornmeal and oil in a bowl and mix well with a fork or your clean hands.
- Pull off balls of the dough and shape into patties. I made patties that were about three inches in diameter and got nine of them. You can make yours smaller, if you wish.
- Place the cornmeal in a plate and dredge each patty in it, shaking off the excess flour. The patties are delicate at this stage, so keep patting them back into shape if they tend to lose their form.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet. You should have enough to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
- Place the patties in the hot skillet, at least an inch apart. Cook until the bottom is golden-brown, then flip over and cook the other side until golden-brown. Remove to a dish lined with paper towels.
Make the sauce:
- Place all the ingredients for the sauce except the oil into a blender and process into a coarse puree.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the tomato-onion sauce and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Check salt.
- Serve the cakes with the sauce on the side.
I’m making these tonight and can’t wait! Can these be baked or air fried?
Hi Briana, You can definitely do so. If you air-fry, make sure you do them in batches so they don't overlap and have some room between them for the air to circulate. Same with oven. I'd prob do around 20 minutes at 400 degrees in the oven, and 10 minutes at 400 in the air fryer.
Wonder if I could substitute mashed cauliflower for the potatoes?
Cauliflower rice might work. Mashed, cooked cauliflower would prob be a bit too watery.
can these be cooked in the oven? If so what temperature and for how long? Thank you so much!!!
Heat the oven to 400 degrees, bake the burgers on an oiled baking sheet for 10 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Perfect! Thank you!!
what a gorgeous cathedral! my dream is to visit mexico one day 🙂 i love the combination of bean and potatoes u have used here (well, what's not to like!!!?)
wishing u and ur loved ones a very happy Ugadi 🙂
Thats one pretty n spicy patties..yummm..:)
The place and the recipe sounds interesting. In our case I am the one trying to do much while my other half wants t take it easy :).
Another delicious recipe--I really enjoy how you combine cultures and cuisines to make amazing eclectic dishes.
Thank you for sharing!
The bean and potato cake sounds like fun. The pic of the cathedral looks lovely !
these are my fav!
Potatoes and lime beans in a cake, sounds delicious. yumm.
Hi Vaishali! Your energy dynamics on vacation sound soooo familiar..I once had a relationship like that.I wonder if most of the guys are like that..like a "conquering the territory thing"?
The patties look sooo comforting and delicious! Mia.
These look really yummy - and yes ragda patties are such a favourite street food!
That looks so delicious! I love cakes and croquettes of all kinds. Does the corn flour add to the flavor or texture?
Wow, these cakes look so mouth-watering Vaishali! I can imagine the taste! Yum!
At least somebody other than me is ready to leave out the cheese .. no , am not a vegan ... I just don't like it. 🙂
That pattie looks so crispand Beet greens sounds healthy. 🙂
That looks so yumm..Both my fav potatoes and Lima beans..
Thanks for sharing mouthwatering mexican recipes
Your posts are always so, so informative! Love it.
Love love potato..This seems to be so easy and delicious.Great one Vaishali!
I am waiting for the Mexican event roundup..
Those cakes look scrumptious...very tempting.
The cathedral is stunning Vaishu. Bean and potato sounds good in between bun!
Beans and Potatoes, what's not to like? YUM YUM!! Nice name for the dish! 🙂