Peruvian Causa Rellena (Layered Potato Casserole)


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.

Peruvian cuisine is definitely having a moment. It’s actually been named one of the top 20 food trends in 2022 ! To call Peruvian food a “trend” sort of makes it seem like it’s something new and undiscovered, but Peruvian cuisine has been evolving for thousands of years and is popular all over the world. A major component of Peruvian cuisine centers around potatoes. In fact, there are more than 3,800 types of potatoes grown in the region! How amazing is that?

Peruvian causa rellena is like a potato salad…on steroids. It’s so much prettier though, and looks way more complicated, but it’s actually deceptively simple to make. Causa takes its name from the old Incan Quechua word kausaq, which means “giver of life,” another name for the potato. Rellena is the Spanish word for “stuffed” or “filled.”  In our case, we’re stuffing this delicious layered potato salad

Causa rellena highlights a few ingredients, so you want make sure you’re using a delicious product from a brand you love and trust. StarKist Selects E.V.O.O. features wild-caught Albacore Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, and Salmon, packed in cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.

If you’ve never had tuna packed in E.V.O.O., you’re missing out!  Tuna is not traditionally eaten in olive oil in the U.S, but very common in other parts of the world. Tuna in EVOO pouches adds rich flavor, mellow taste and tender texture, and the StarKist Selects E.V.O.O Yellowfin variety is absolutely perfect in this causa rellena recipe.

Peruvian causa rellena is the perfect picnic recipe, and such a showstopper.  Lemony mashed potatoes are layered with avocado and tuna salad, then unmolded to show off the gorgeous layers. Make this dish next time you’re in the mood for potato salad, you’ll never go back to that other boring stuff again!

Peruvian Causa Rellena (Layered Potato Casserole)

Lemony mashed potatoes are layered with avocado and tuna salad, then unmolded to show off the gorgeous layers. 
Course Side Dish 

Prep Time 15 minutes 

Cook Time 20 minutes 

Total Time 35 minutes 

Servings 6


Potato Layer

  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1-2 tbsp aji amarillo paste
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • 2 pouches StarKist Selections EVOO Yellowfin Tuna
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced


  1. Prepare the tuna salad by combining the Starkist Selections EVOO Yellowfin Tuna, mayo, lime juice, onion, and parsley in a bowl. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate the tuna salad until needed.

2. To make the potato layer, boil the potatoes in salted water until fork tender.

3. Drain the potatoes, then pass them through a ricer. Cool the mashed potatoes to room temperature.

4. Once the potatoes are cooled, add the olive oil, lime juice and aji amarillo paste. Stir to combine, then season the potato mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

5. To make the causa rellena, line a casserole dish with plastic wrap.

6. Fill the dish 1/3 of the way up with the potato mixture.

7. Add a layer of sliced avocado, then a layer of tuna salad.

8. Finally, top the casserole dish with another layer of potato.

9. Wrap the causa rellena with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

10. To unmold the causa rellena, flip the causa onto a plate and remove the plastic wrap.

11. Serve the causa rellena with a sprig of parsley, or garnish with other traditional toppings, like sliced hardboiled eggs, black olives, or more avocado. Serve cold.

Recipe Notes

Aji amarillo paste is a traditional Peruvian chili paste that is bright yellow and medium-hot. It is found in many Latin supermarkets. If you’re unable to find it, add some of your favorite hot sauce to the potato mixture.