• Yield: Serves 8 to 10

  • Time: 25 minutes prep, 35 minutes cooking, 1 hour total

Guajillo-Soaked Crusty Bread Stuffed with Potatoes and Chorizo


Filling and salsa can be made up to 4 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.



  • 2 pounds red potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cubed

  • 1 pound raw Mexican-style chorizo, Latin-style chorizo, or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed, chopped

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped white onion

  • Kosher or coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 8 guajillo chiles, rinsed, stemmed, and seeded

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped white onion

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt


  • 1 head romaine lettuce, separated into leaves, rinsed, dried, and thinly sliced crosswise

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil 

  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar 

  • Kosher or coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

  • Pinch of sugar 

  • Vegetable oil

  • 8-10 sturdy buns, such as hard rolls, bolillos, teleras, Portuguese buns, or 3- to 4-inch-long pieces baguette

  • 1 cup refried beans, homemade or store-bought

  • 1 cup Mexican crema, crème fraîche, or sour cream

  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco, Cotija, farmer cheese, or mild feta (about 4 ounces)

To Prepare

1. To Make the Filling: Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. When it begins to brown, add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion has softened and the chorizo is cooked through and browned.

3. Add the potatoes and roughly crush them with a fork or potato masher until mashed but still somewhat chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

4. To Make the Sauce: Heat a comal or large skillet over medium heat until hot. Lay the chiles flat in the pan and toast them for 10 to 15 seconds per side, until they become fragrant and pliable and their color darkens.

5. Transfer the chiles to a medium saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cover with water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the chiles have rehydrated and softened.

6. Transfer the chiles, onion, and garlic to a blender, along with 1⁄4 cup of the cooking liquid and the salt; puree until smooth. Strain the sauce through a colander or strainer into a bowl and set aside.

7. Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Add the oil, vinegar, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and the sugar and toss until well combined.

8. To Assemble the Pambazos: Brush a 12-inch comal, skillet, or griddle liberally with oil and set over medium heat. Working in batches, dip each roll or piece of bread into the guajillo sauce, turning until completely covered; don't cut them open. Add to the hot pan and fry, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides and hot. Remove to individual plates and split each one in half. Spread the bottoms with a layer of refried beans, then cover with a generous amount of the potato-chorizo filling. Top with the dressed lettuce, a drizzle of cream, and a sprinkle of crumbled cheese, then cover with the other halves of the rolls (or bread). Serve with lots of napkins.

From Pati's Mexican Table by Pati Jinich, Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2013.

Patricia Jinich
Pati Jinich is a cooking teacher, food writer and chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. She hosts the public television series Pati’s Mexican Table broadcasted nationwide and released her first cookbook, also titled Pati’s Mexican Table, in March 2013.