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Pambazos with Potatoes and Chorizo

Pambazos with Potatoes and Chorizo

This sandwich alone is worth the trip to this five-table restaurant in the western suburbs of Chicago.


  • 4 dried guajillo chiles, seeds removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 4-ounce link fresh chorizo, casing removed
  • 2 telera, bolillo, or large sub rolls
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco; plus more for serving (optional)
  • ⅓ cup crema or ¼ sour cream mixed with 1 tablespoon water; plus more for serving (optional)

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring chiles and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Purée in a blender until smooth; season with salt. Set aside.

  • Cook potatoes in a small pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 25–30 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Peel, transfer to a large bowl, and mash lightly into large pieces; season lightly with salt and pepper.

  • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Cook chorizo, breaking up with a spatula and stirring occasionally, until browned, 5–7 minutes. Transfer chorizo to bowl with potatoes with a slotted spoon.

  • Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium. Add potato mixture and cook, pressing down lightly with a spatula, until well browned underneath, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook, again pressing into an even layer, until second side is well browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium. Slice rolls in half lengthwise and spread mayonnaise over cut sides. Toast rolls, cut side down, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. While rolls are toasting, brush crust sides with reserved chile purée to coat. Transfer rolls to a plate.

  • Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to griddle, then return rolls to griddle and toast, crust side down, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to a cutting board.

  • Divide potato filling between bottom halves of rolls; top with lettuce, ½ cup queso fresco, and about ⅓ cup crema mixture. Close sandwiches and cut in half. Garnish with more queso fresco and crema, if desired.

Recipe by Tony Schmidt, La Cocina de Maria, Chicago, IL,

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 700 Fat (g) 46 Saturated Fat (g) 9 Cholesterol (mg) 30 Carbohydrates (g) 57 Dietary Fiber (g) 7 Total Sugars (g) 6 Protein (g) 16 Sodium (mg) 800Reviews SectionThis was insanely delicious! It ticked all the comfort food boxes, was fairly simple to make, and very adaptable. I used a veggie chorizo instead of meat and made a tomatillo sauce instead of the chile (the store didn't have a mild enough chile in stock). My meat eating dad who rarely gets excited about food and is certainly a veggie-meat skeptic exclaimed "I'd rather have this than a hamburger any day!" and my four year old said "this is the best food ever! Can we eat it every day mom?"LTC1002Silver Spring, MD08/04/20


Drenched in enchilada sauce and stuffed with potatoes, beans and chorizo, this Mexican sandwich relies on a sturdy, fried roll to hold its tempting fillings. Don't forget the cerveza to wash it all down!


  • 2 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, small diced
  • 2 Kaiser rolls
  • 1 cup Fresh to Market Enchilada Sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 ounces refried beans, warmed
  • 4 ounces chorizo, cooked
  • 3 tablespoons Crema Mexicana
  • 1 ounce queso fresco
  • 2&ndash3 pieces iceberg lettuce


Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the diced potatoes and cook until just tender. Drain the water and reserve potatoes.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip both sides of each half of the Kaiser rolls in the enchilada sauce until the buns are saturated. Add the olive oil to the skillet and then add the Kaiser rolls&mdashbe careful, as they may splatter. Sauté until the first side is golden brown and crispy, flip and repeat on the other side.

To assemble, spread the beans on the bottom bun, top with chorizo, potatoes, queso fresco and lettuce. Spread the Crema Mexicana on the top bun, then place it on top of the lettuce.

Recipe Details

Mexico City pambazos are sandwiches made with pambazo type bread. Typically, filling includes red chorizo and potatoes. Pambazos are soaked in chile guajillo adobo just before being put on a comal for a couple of minutes, until the bread is toasted.

This recipe was created for McCormick for Chefs by Chef Ricardo Mejía.

Adobo Sauce

  1. In a sauce pot over medium heat combine guajillo pepper and water. Cook until soft.
  2. Transfer guajillo peppers and water to a blender. Add, salt, garlic and onion powders, oregano, cumin, allspice, and apple vinegar. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a sauce pot over medium heat add oil. Add the blended mixture and cook until sauce thickens. Cool and hold refrigerated for service.


  1. Heat oil in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add red chorizo and mashed potatoes. Season with onion powder and salt and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and hold hot for service.

Raw Green Salsa

  1. In a blender combine tomatillos, cilantro, serrano pepper, water, garlic and onion powders, and salt. Blend until pureed. Hold refrigerated for service.


  1. For each serving, in a comal or cast iron skillet heat pork fat over medium heat.
  2. Spread 1 pambazo with 1 cup of filling and close. Brush one side of pambazo with chilled adobo and place that side down in hot pork fat. Brush remaining side with adobo. Cook on each side until golden brown and toasted. Remove from heat.
  3. Place pambazo on desired dish, open it and place 1/2 cup iceberg lettuce, and 2 tablespoons each sour cream, raw green salsa and fresh cheese as toppings. Close and serve warm.


Substitute pork fat for vegetable oil if desired. The filling must be spreadable, use as much fat as needed. Substitute raw green salsa for chilaquiles green salsa.

Potato and Chorizo Pambazos (Sandwiches Dipped in Red Salsa and Stuffed with Potato & Chorizo)

You too can enjoy the best of Mexican street food at home. This vegetarian (with vegan option) sandwich will change your life — yep, it’s that good! Counted as among the best sandwiches and foods of Mexican cuisine pambazos are super easy to make at home. And for all of us that don’t eat meat, you’ll never miss it with this vegan chorizo.

Pambazo (pam-ba-so) are what you call this style of torta or Mexican sandwich. The original name comes from the specific type of bread roll, pan basso, that was used to make these sandwiches. Nowadays people also use bolillos or teleras (both types of Mexican bread rolls) to prepare the sandwich. The bread roll is sliced in half, a mild red chile sauce is made to dip the bread into before being lightly fried until the bread’s surface is crispy. Once that’s done a mixture of potato and chorizo is stuffed into the centre and topped with lettuce, crumbled queso fresco, sour cream, and salsa. The process is very simple!

Of course my version is made using veggie chorizo (or soyrizo) so the sandwich is actually vegan. But since I added crumbled cheese and Mexican sour cream, it of course becomes a vegetarian meal. If you are vegan you may swap the cheese for a salty crumbly nut cheese and also use a vegan cream.

All of the ingredients will be easy for you to find at either your Latin food isle or grocery store. As for the guajillo chilies (which are very mild) if you can’t find them there’s always Amazon. If you don’t have Mexican bread rolls available you can use baguettes — or really any bread roll that isn’t too soft and won’t get soggy. 🌟 One tip I’d like to give you, if you live in a humid place like I do then it’s best to buy your bread rolls the day you make the pambazos. Otherwise they may soften too much and become fragile to handle and eat.

  • 4 Telera Rolls
  • 8 dried Guajillo Chiles, de-seeded
  • 1/4 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 tbsp. Chicken Bouillon
  • 1 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 lb. Longaniza
  • 2 cups diced Potatoes, cooked
  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Shredded Queso Fresco
  • Sour Cream
  • Green Salsa to garnish
  1. Place the chiles on hot water and cover until are tender.
  2. Blend the chiles with onion, garlic and chicken bouillon.
  3. Put oil on a pan on medium heat, add the guajillo salsa and bring it to boil. Pour salsa on a bowl.
  4. Cook the longaniza on a pan, add the diced potatoes and mix well.
  5. Cut the telera rolls in half, dip it on the guajillo salsa on both sides, place it on a hot pan with oil, let the bread toast until brown.
  6. Fill the rolls with the longaniza and potatoes mix, garnish with lettuce, queso fresco and crema.
  7. Add green salsa if desired.

Pambazos (Mexican Salsa-Dunked Sandwiches)

I can’t help but pronounce “Pambazos” with a very exaggerated, stereotypical Italian-American accent. Pam-BAAAH-zos! Even though I know that Pambazos are not Italian. Even though I know that they’re named after “pan basso”. Still, it’s pam-BAAAH-zos every time.

But what is a Pambazo? It’s a guajillo salsa-dunked sandwich that’s traditionally filled with spicy chorizo and potatoes. In other words, it’s a Mexican sandwich that is right up my alley.

The salsa– a guajillo pepper sauce– is made from scratch, but it’s really quite simple. Dried chiles, diced onions, garlic, a bit of salt, and water is all it takes to make a delicious, vibrant sauce to bathe the bread in.

The potato and chorizo filling is a popular one in Mexico, and you’ll find in everything from tacos to breakfast bakes. The potatoes soak up a lot of the spicy chorizo sausage flavor as they crisp up, which is great because chorizo is one of the most delicious things ever created. Or at least I think so. (For further proof, see here, or here, or here, or here… and so on.)

But while the potato-chorizo filling is delicious, the refried beans are creamy, the lettuce is fresh and crisp, the cheese is salty, and the sour cream is cooling, the real star of the show is not the filling. It’s the bread.

Typically, Pambazos use pan basso, a tough and chewy white bread that keeps its shape and texture after it’s soaked in the sauce. Pan basso can be difficult to find the further away from Mexico you go, but other sturdy rolls such as Portuguese rolls can be substituted.

After the rolls are dunked, they’re griddled or fried in a bit of oil until crisp, and then stuffed with a generous amount of the fillings. James and I like to wash ours down with a few cold cervezas.

Make these Mexican sandwiches and share a photo for them on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #hostthetoast!

What is a Pambazo?

Pambazos are also known as Mexican salsa-dunked sandwiches or pambazos Mexicanos. It’s often filled with chorizo and potatoes, creating a flavor-filled and hunger-inducing sandwich that you’ll still be craving long after it’s finished. The combination of potato and chorizo filling is common in Mexico, but the main star of this sandwich is the bread.

It’s made from a chewy white bread that’s the perfect balance with the rest of the flavorful ingredients and varied textures. Even better, it’s able to keep its shape when you soak it in sauce or salsa. If you’ve ever had a French dip sandwich,

Pambazos with Potatoes and Chorizo - Recipes

Pambazos de Papa (Potato Pambazos) are a delicious meatless take on a classic Mexican sandwich made with crusty bolillo rolls bathed in a spicy guajillo salsa then filled with refried beans, cooked potatoes, shredded lettuce, crumbled queso fresco, and Mexican crema.

Pambazos are a traditional Mexican torta (sandwich) made by splitting open telera or bolillo rolls, dipping them in a spicy guajillo salsa, then frying them in manteca (or vegetable oil). The fried bread rolls are then stuffed with potatoes and chorizo, and topped with garnishes like shredded lettuce, crumbled queso fresco, Mexican crema, chiles en escabeche (pickled chiles) and/or a spicy tomatillo salsa.

While telera rolls are the more popular bread to use for pambazos, I prefer to use crustier bread like bolillo rolls that won't fall apart once they are bathed in the guajillo salsa. I also like to switch up my pambazo fillings using shredded chicken, Pork Carnitas, leftover Shredded Beef Picadillo, papas con chorizo (potatoes w/ chorizo), or just Refried Beans. But the filling my family loves the most is a combination of refried beans and potatoes. If you're looking for more delicious meatless Mexican meals to add to your menu, give these Potato Pambazos a try!

Potato Pambazos

For the guajillo salsa:

  • 8 dried guajillos chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 dried chipotle chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 6 bolillo rolls, split open lengthwise
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 cups Refried Beans(homemade or canned)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • Red & Green Salsa Taquera

Bring the dried guajillo, chipotle, and ancho chiles to a boil in the 4 cups of water over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until the chiles have softened completely. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree the chiles and the water they were cooked in with the garlic until smooth. Pour into a wide saucepan or bowl season with salt to taste.

While the chiles are cooking, bring the potatoes to a boil in 3 to 4 cups of water over high heat. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Transfer cooked potatoes (using a slotted spoon) to a heatproof bowl lightly mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher season with salt set aside.

Heat refried beans over low heat, and heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat to fry the pambazos.

For each pambazo, dip 2 bolillo roll halves in the guajillo salsa. Carefully fry the bread in oil for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer rolls to a paper-towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Spread 3 to 4 tablespoons of refried beans on bottom half of the bolillo roll. Top with desired amounts of mashed potato, chopped onion, and crumbled queso fresco. Garnish with a dollop of Mexican crema. Serve with your favorite salsa and/or pickled chiles. Repeat with remaining bolillo rolls. Enjoy!


Make a lengthwise cut on 1 side of the guajillo chiles and remove seeds. Put chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water, letting soak for 20 minutes or until soft. Place chiles and some of the soaking water in a blender, puree with garlic and onion, strain and set aside.

Cook the potatoes whole with skin on in salted water for about 25 minutes or until they feel soft. Then remove the skin and cut into small dice.

In a medium-size non-stick skillet cook the chorizo at low heat and remove all the excess oil, add the diced potatoes and mix season with salt.

Stuff the bread with the potato-chorizo mixture. Dip the stuffed bread in the guajillo sauce and saute in the hot oil on both sides.

Right before serving mix the cabbage with the vinegar, divide and insert into the sandwich.

Chef Pati Jinich's Recipes From Cookbook, "Pati's Mexican Table"

The traditional pambazo is made with pan basso, a bread that's been made since Mexico was a Spanish colony. It is toothier than the typical Mexican bolillo or telera (the Mexican-style baguette). Pan bassos can be hard to find, but pambazos are just as wonderful when made with any bread that can stand up to being soaked, crisped, and stuffed.

Jamaica Water- "Agua de Jamaica"

Serves 4 to 6 Preparation Time 5 Minutes Can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated (stir before serving). One of Mexico's most famous aguas frescas, this beautiful, ruby-red drink beguiles with its flowery, cranberry-like tartness. It's a wonderfully refreshing foil to any Mexican dish. When I think of Jamaica flowers, I remember my mother when she was exactly my age in Mexico City. She would be busy cooking enormous, elaborate meals on the weekends and would set out a huge blanket in the yard for my sisters and me to play on, along with a big pitcher of agua de Jamaica. While she was indoors, we'd be outdoors with sticks and stones and spoons and pots, mixing those same bright red hibiscus flowers into magical elixirs for fairies and elves. I'm still charmed by Jamaica and as an adult I appreciate it even more, since its packed with Vitamin C. For a grown-up twist, try it Guatemalan-style and add a splash of rum.
Mexican Cook's Trick:

If you'd like an even cooler version of agua de Jamaica, freeze it into ice pops. My kids love them with chunks of mango, and we sometimes toss in chocolate chips and shredded coconut as well.

  • 2 cups Jamaica Flower Concentrate (see below)
  • 6 cups water
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 orange, tangerine, or grapefruit, cut into sections for garnish, optional
  1. In a large pitcher, stir the Jamaica Concentrate together with the water.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator before serving or serve right away. Either way, pour into glasses filled with the sections of citrus fruit, if desired.

Jamaica Flower Concentrate- "Concentrado de Jamaica"

Makes about 5 cups Preparation Time: 5 Minutes, plus steeping time Cooking Time: 10 Minutes Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 month. The most traditional way to use Jamaica flowers is to make a concentrate and use it as the base for an agua fresco. But, don't stop there. You can use it in myriad of other ways: consider it an exotic flavoring for Jell-O or ice pops, reduce it to a syrup to drizzle over cheesecake or brownies, or as a marinade for a modern spin on tacos.