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Ecuadorian molo recipe

Molo or Ecuadorian mashed potatoes

Molo is an Ecuadorian version of mashed potatoes made with milk, cream, queso fresco and a refrito of onions, garlic, and achiote or annatto. Molo is served with lettuce leaves, hard boiled eggs, hot pepper slices, avocados, scallions, cilantro or parsley, tomato and onion curtido and aji or hot sauce.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Andean, Ecuadorian, Latin, South American
Keyword Mashed potatoes, Molo, Potatoes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 6


  • 6 medium sized potatoes ~ 3 lbs – I used Yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 tbs butter ½ stick
  • 1 cup finely diced white onions
  • 2 garlic cloves finely diced
  • ¼ tsp ground achiote or annatto
  • 1 ¼ cups milk add more if needed
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco about 4 oz + more to garnish
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Salt to taste



  • Peel the potatoes, cut them in half and boil until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain and save until the refrito is ready.
  • In the same pot that the potatoes were cooked, prepare a refrito by melting the butter over medium low heat and adding the diced white onions, diced garlic, achiote powder and some salt. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 7-10 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and milk to the refrito and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until they are smooth and creamy.
  • Mix in the crumbled queso fresco and cream, taste and add additional salt if needed
  • Serve immediately, can be served in individual plates or in a large serving bowl garnished with lettuce leaves, queso fresco cubes, quartered hard boiled eggs, avocado slices, slices of peppers, chopped scallions and chopped herbs. The tomato onion curtido and aji sauce can be served on the side and added according to each person’s preference.