Locro / Andean Squash Stew

Locro (ruqru in Quechua) is a pre-Colombian Incan meal that originated in the Andes Mountains. In Peru, it is a stew of pumpkin or squash, potatoes, corn and cheese (which was added after the Spanish conquest). It’s usually a winter dish; but I thought it would be perfect for this gloomy, rainy spell we’ve been enduring here in New York.

[In Ecuador, locro is a potato and cheese soup served with avocado. There is also a dish called locro in Argentina; but it is more of a meat-and-potatoes stew.]

I imagine some might turn up their noses at a “plain old squash” stew – I thought I would, too. But the hearty but clean, simple flavors shine through. I love this dish – I bet you will too!


Locro / Peruvian Pumpkin Stew
Olives, sliced                                              6 each
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Locro / Peruvian Pumpkin Stew
Olives, sliced                                              6 each
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
  • ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 pounds acorn squash, peeled, large dice (about 2 small squashes)
  • 1 medium yellow onion small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ají amarillo paste
  • 1 tsp. flour, all-purpose
  • 2 medium yellow potatoes peeled, quartered
  • 8 oz. peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted
  • 8 oz. queso fresco (for stew)
  • 4 oz. queso fresco (for garnish)
  • 2 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. huacatay paste (or fresh, if possible)
  • 6 large olives, Peruvian or kalamata, sliced
Servings: people
Mise en place:
  1. Gather / measure / prep all ingredients.
  1. Heat the oil; sauté the onion until translucent (4-5 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic and ají amarillo paste; cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the flour; stir to incorporate, and cook for one minute.
  4. Deglaze with stock, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a low boil. Reduce to a simmer; then add the squash. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add potatoes; cook for 20-25 minutes more (until potatoes are just tender).
  7. Add peas and corn; cook for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Stir in milk or cream and butter; blend. Gently fold in cheese. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  9. Serve with white rice; garnish with chopped oregano, sliced olives and cubes of cheese.
Recipe Notes

This recipe makes a pea-soupy consistency. For a thicker stew, use ½ the amount of stock and milk.

Butternut squash is particularly good substitution. Pumpkin can also be used.

This hearty stew is a great vegetarian meal option.

For a vegan locro: substitute vegan vegetable stock, tofu cheese, and almond milk; use olive or vegetable oil instead of butter.

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Copyright © 2011 la vida comida.
Recipe by Jennifer Ramos Lorson.