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A darling dish of especially Chilean and Peruvian cuisine, our creamy and wholesome Peruvian-inspired stuffed avocado recipe, known as palta (a la) reina in Latin America, is perfect for a hearty lunch or snack that is filling, nutritious, and very easy to make.
Stuffed Avocado Recipe
Beautiful to observe with its vibrant colors, for such a simple dish the sheer number of textures and flavors that greet the tastebuds with every mouthful is quite something. The sweetness marries the earthiness, the crunch balances the creaminess, and the whole thing is brought together by arguably one of the world’s most beloved green fruits.
What is Palta a la Reina?
Largely known as palta reina, meaning ‘queen (of the) avocado’ in Chile, and palta a la reina or palta rellena, meaning ‘stuffed avocado’ in Peru, the plentiful nuances and variations of this dish due to regional differences mean it is incredibly difficult to claim an absolute traditional recipe for this dish.
What is uniform in nearly all palta (a la) reina/rellena dishes throughout Chile, Peru, and Latin America, is a peeled, halved avocado, presented on a bed of greens, with some type of filling, commonly chicken or tuna salad with mayo and various vegetables and seasonings, depending on region and preference.
Our recipe is closely inspired by the palta a la reina dishes we tried in Peru, and serves up a deeply satisfying combination of fresh, creamy, and crunchy, ideal for a quick lunch or a filling snack if you’re pushed for time.
Chile/Peru – As mentioned above, even with these countries, the differences will change depending on region. Both very much follow the composition of a halved avocado on a bed of salad or greens, with the filling resembling something of a chicken salad (and sometimes tuna), but not exclusively.
History, tradition, and geography will all play a role in the type/style of palta (a la) reina/rellena you will find. For example, sweetcorn is more common in Peruvian cuisine; hence you are more likely to find it used in stuffed avocado dishes compared to Chile, where chopped onion appears to be more common. Likewise, if you were to visit, say, a coastal town, the chances are the stuffed avocado dishes there would use tuna, because of how close the ocean is.
Tuna – Arguably, the most common variation of this dish is palta rellana con/de atún, meaning ‘with/of tuna’. Mashed tuna, as with shredded chicken, makes for an ideal protein to use in a mayo-based salad.
Prawn/Shrimp – Less common, but stuffed avocado dishes that use prawns or shrimp can be found in Latin America. However, the filling aspect of the dish is slightly different and is instead similar to that of, say, a prawn cocktail, where the shrimp/prawns are dressed and seasoned, and presented on top of the halved avocado, rather than mixed into a mayo-based salad.
Potato/Vegetable – The beauty of using a mayo-based salad is that potato salad can very easily be used instead of the protein-based salad, especially if you are vegetarian. However, such a dish may not be considered traditional.
To make our Peruvian-inspired stuffed avocado recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Avocado – 2 large avocados
- Chicken – 1 cup shredded roasted or poached chicken breast
- Mayonnaise – 3 tbsp regular mayo
- Salt – 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Pepper – 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Lemon – 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Cilantro – a handful of fresh cilantro (1 tbsp when finely chopped/minced)
- Lettuce (Gem Lettuce) – 1 small gem lettuce or 1/2 romaine lettuce or other lettuce
- Corn – 2 tbsp sweetcorn
- Peas – 2 tbsp peas (from a can or defrosted)
Step 1 – Mix the shredded chicken, mayo, salt, pepper, lemon juice, finely chopped cilantro, corn, and peas in a medium-sized bowl.
Step 2 – Place the washed and dried lettuce leaves on a serving plate or platter.
Step 3 – Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit, and peel the skin (either with a knife or you can also gently scoop out the avocado half with a spoon.
Step 4 – (Optional) Remove a thin slice of the bottom of each avocado half so that the base is flat.
Step 5 – Place the avocado halves on the bed of lettuce.
Step 6 – Fill the avocados with the shredded chicken mixture.
The composition of palta (a la) reina means it is designed to be eaten as it is. The salad filling cupped in a halved avocado on a bed of crunchy greens gives you everything you need for a dish that ticks all the boxes.
However, if you are looking to get a little more creative, consider some of the following serving suggestions. Bear in mind, however, that these will not be considered traditional:
Bread/Crackers – As with so many salads, a side of fresh crusty bread, or some salty crackers can really compliment the greens and the creamy filling.
Salad Additions – With the bed of greens already in place, you could build that out into more of a fresh salad, adding the likes of chopped tomato or sliced onion, on which to place your stuffed avocado. Again, however, be mindful that this would not be considered a traditional palta (a la) reina.
Side Dish – Stuffed avocado is very much a meal in its own right, but if you are entertaining a larger number of guests, or hosting, say, a summer barbecue, you could definitely prepare stuffed avocado as a side dish. Your guests could enjoy an avocado half on some greens with plenty of grilled meats, seafood, and even more of the chicken/tuna salad filling.
Diverse, filling, and utterly delicious, this Chilean and Peruvian staple could absolutely transform lunchtime for you!
Stuffed Avocado Recipe Card
Stuffed Avocado (Palta a la Reina/Palta Rellena)
- 2 large avocados
- 1 cup shredded roasted or poached chicken breast
- 3 tbsp regular mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- a handful of fresh cilantro (1 tbsp when finely chopped/minced)
- 1 small gem lettuce or 1/2 romaine lettuce or other lettuce
- 2 tbsp sweetcorn
- 2 tbsp peas (from a can or defrosted)
- Mix the shredded chicken, mayo, salt, pepper, lemon juice, finely chopped cilantro, corn, and peas in a medium-sized bowl.
- Place the washed and dried lettuce leaves on a serving plate or platter.
- Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit, and peel the skin (either with a knife or you can also gently scoop out the avocado half with a spoon.
- (Optional) Remove a thin slice of the bottom of each avocado half so that the base is flat.
- Place the avocado halves on the bed of lettuce.
- Fill the avocados with the shredded chicken mixture.
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