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Latin American Stuffed Avocado (Palta a la Reina/Palta Rellena) Recipe

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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 avocados on a bed of lettuce

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.

Stuffed avocado on a bed of lettuce

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.

Variations

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.

Recipe Ingredients

To make our Peruvian-inspired stuffed avocado recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Stuffed avocado 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-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Mix the shredded chicken, mayo, salt, pepper, lemon juice, finely chopped cilantro, corn, and peas in a medium-sized bowl.

Stuffed avocado step-by-step recipe (mixing the shredded chicken, mayo, salt, pepper, lemon juice, finely chopped cilantro, corn, and peas).

Step 2 – Place the washed and dried lettuce leaves on a serving plate or platter.

Stuffed avocado step-by-step recipe (gem lettuce leaves on a plate)

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.

Stuffed avocado step-by-step (cutting the avocado in half).
Stuffed avocado step-by-step (removing the avocado pit).
Stuffed avocado step-by-step (peeling the avocado).

Step 4 – (Optional) Remove a thin slice of the bottom of each avocado half so that the base is flat.

Stuffed avocado step-by-step (removing a thin slice from the bottom of the avocado).

Step 5 – Place the avocado halves on the bed of lettuce.

Stuffed avocado step-by-step (avocado halves on lettuce leaves).

Step 6 – Fill the avocados with the shredded chicken mixture.

Stuffed avocados on a plate.

Serving Suggestions

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.

Stuffed avocados on a plate.

Diverse, filling, and utterly delicious, this Chilean and Peruvian staple could absolutely transform lunchtime for you!

Stuffed avocados on a plate.

Stuffed Avocado Recipe Card

Stuffed Avocado (Palta a la Reina/Palta Rellena)

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Author: Nomad Paradise
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Latin American
Servings: 4 stuffed avocado halves

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nomadparadisefood or tag #nomadparadisefood!

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Stuffed Avocado

Authors

  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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