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McDonald’s Chile Papas Duquesas Treat

McDonald’s Chile has long been known for its innovative menu offerings that captivate the hearts and taste buds of its customers. One such offering, the Papas Duquesas, is a popular and delicious addition to meals. This essay takes a deep dive into the origin and history of Papas Duquesas in McDonald’s Chile, the process of its creation, the ingredients used in its preparation, and its nutritional value when compared to other menu options and traditional Chilean dishes.

History of Papas Duquesas in McDonald’s Chile

Introduction to Papas Duquesas

Papas Duquesas, also known as Duchess Potatoes, are a traditional Chilean dish made of mashed potatoes, butter, and egg yolk, which are then shaped into small balls or cylinders before being deep-fried. The combination of a crispy exterior and a creamy interior has made them a popular side dish in the country. In this context, we will explore the origin and history of Papas Duquesas at McDonald’s Chile, and how they made their way into the fast-food giant’s menu.

Origin of Papas Duquesas

Although the exact origin of Papas Duquesas remains ambiguous, it is believed that this dish originated in France during the 19th century under the name “Pommes Duchesse.” This dish was likely introduced to Chile through European immigration and culinary influences during the 20th century.

Introduction to McDonald’s Chile Menu

McDonald’s first entered the Chilean market in 1990, with its initial focus on standardizing its menu offerings in line with other global locations. However, over time, the fast-food giant recognized the importance of adapting to local tastes and preferences. McDonald’s has a history of introducing localized menu items in various countries to attract a wider customer base, and this strategy has been successful in Chile as well.

Inclusion of Papas Duquesas in McDonald’s Chile

It is not precisely known when McDonald’s Chile began serving Papas Duquesas, but it is believed to have been in the early 2000s. The decision to include this traditional Chilean side dish in their menu was likely driven by a desire to cater to the local palate while differentiating its offerings from competing fast-food chains.

In addition to regular fries, McDonald’s Chile offers Papas Duquesas in various sizes as a side dish option, which can be chosen with various meal combinations. They have remained as a popular choice among Chilean customers ever since their introduction.

Popularity of Papas Duquesas in McDonald’s Chile

Papas Duquesas quickly gained popularity among McDonald’s Chile customers, as they provided a taste of familiar and traditional Chilean cuisine within the fast-food setting. The combination of a well-loved dish with the global brand appeal of McDonald’s proved to be a winning formula. The success of adding Papas Duquesas has encouraged McDonald’s Chile to experiment with other localized menu items, such as the Churrasco Italiano, a sandwich inspired by Chilean flavors.


Since their introduction in the early 2000s, Papas Duquesas have become an integral part of McDonald’s Chile menu. This addition reflects McDonald’s strategy to adapt to local tastes and preferences by offering a mix of global and indigenous menu items. Over the years, Papas Duquesas have grown in popularity, making them a staple in the Chilean fast-food experience. In this article, we will explore the ingredients and the process of preparation of this delicious treat, as well as any unique variations of the recipe at McDonald’s Chile.

A plate of Papas Duquesas, deep-fried mashed potatoes shaped into small balls or cylinders, served on a white plate with a side of ketchup.

Ingredients and Preparation of Papas Duquesas

Papas Duquesas Recipe

Papas Duquesas is a popular potato dish in Chile, commonly known as croquettes in other parts of the world. At McDonald’s Chile, these small, golden bites are served as a side dish option or snack. Made from a blend of mashed potatoes, egg, and breadcrumbs, the Papas Duquesas are deep-fried to achieve their crunchy exterior.


The primary ingredients for Papas Duquesas include:

  • Potatoes
  • Egg
  • Breadcrumbs

Additional ingredients could involve salt, pepper, and spices to taste. The potatoes used are typically russet or any other variant with a high starch content. This ensures that the mashed potatoes have a fluffy and smooth texture.

At McDonald’s, the ingredients are likely to be standardized and pre-prepared to ensure consistency in taste and quality. While it is not confirmed, it is possible that McDonald’s may use some additives and preservatives in the potato mixture to maintain freshness during storage and transportation.


The process of preparing Papas Duquesas at McDonald’s Chile begins with cooking the potatoes. The potatoes are boiled in water until they are tender and then mashed until they have a smooth consistency. During this stage, salt, pepper, and any additional desired seasonings are added to the mashed potatoes to enhance their flavour.

Once the potatoes are mashed and seasoned, they are shaped into small, cylindrical forms or round balls. Each Papas Duquesas is then dipped in a whisked egg mixture and coated with breadcrumbs, which helps give the croquette a crisp and golden exterior after being deep-fried.

Following the coating, the Papas Duquesas are deep-fried in oil for approximately 2-3 minutes at a high temperature. This helps achieve their signature crunchy exterior while the inside remains soft and fluffy. Once the Papas Duquesas are cooked, they are allowed to drain on a paper towel to remove any excess oil before being served as a delicious snack or side dish at McDonald’s.


While the conventional Papas Duquesas recipe is quite simple, McDonald’s Chile may incorporate unique variations of the dish to keep their menu interesting and cater to local taste preferences. This can include:

  • Adding cheese, herbs, or spices to the mashed potato mixture
  • Including a filling, such as shredded meat or vegetables, in the centre of the Papas Duquesas

In conclusion, the preparation of Papas Duquesas at McDonald’s Chile involves boiling and mashing potatoes, seasoning them, shaping them into small forms, and coating them in egg and breadcrumbs before deep-frying. The result is a delicious, crispy, and flavourful bite that is enjoyed by many. Although the traditional recipe is fairly simple, McDonald’s may experiment with different variations to suit local tastes and preferences, ensuring that the Papas Duquesas remain a popular menu item in Chile.

Golden and crispy Papas Duquesas with dipping sauce

Nutritional Information and Comparison with Alternatives

Nutritional Information of Papas Duquesas

After preparing and enjoying the tasty Papas Duquesas, it is essential to understand the nutritional content for informed consumption. Made with mashed potatoes, eggs, and seasoning, these potato croquettes are typically fried to give them a crispy exterior with a soft and creamy interior. They are known for their unique taste, texture, and stylish presentation.

Looking at the nutritional content of Papas Duquesas, a serving of 6 pieces provides approximately 260 calories. This includes 12g of fat (18% of the recommended daily value), 4g of saturated fat (20% of the recommended daily value), and 640mg of sodium (27% of the recommended daily value). Additionally, they offer 2g of dietary fibre and 6g of protein. This information is crucial for those conscious about their health and diet. It is also important to remember that variations in preparation, ingredients, and serving sizes may result in slight changes in nutritional values.

Comparison with Other McDonald’s Options

In comparison to other McDonald’s side dish options, Papas Duquesas have similar calorie and fat content to a small order of French fries. A small order of fries at McDonald’s has approximately 220 calories, with 10g of fat and 2g of saturated fat. However, French fries have 180mg more sodium than Papas Duquesas, with a total of 820mg of sodium per serving.

Another popular side dish option at McDonald’s is their side salad, which is a healthier alternative regarding calories and fat content. A side salad typically has about 20 calories, with no fat or saturated fat, and 10mg of sodium. However, it is important to note that these values do not take into account any salad dressings or additional toppings, which can significantly increase caloric and fat content.

Comparison with Traditional Chilean Dishes

Compared to traditional Chilean dishes, Papas Duquesas have a moderate calorie and fat content. For instance, a typical serving of empanadas de pino – a popular Chilean dish made with meat, onions, and potatoes – contains approximately 400 calories, 19g of fat, and 9g of saturated fat. Other Chilean dishes, like pastel de choclo or cazuela, also tend to have higher calories and fat content than Papas Duquesas.

In terms of healthier traditional Chilean alternatives, one could look at dishes like ensalada chilena, which is a salad consisting of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro with a light olive oil dressing. This dish is lower in calories and fat content and provides a fresh and nutritious side option.

Health Concerns and Benefits

When it comes to health concerns related to Papas Duquesas, it is essential to keep in mind their calorie, fat, and sodium content, as overconsumption of these items can lead to increased risks of weight gain, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It is always a good idea to balance high-calorie, high-fat foods with healthier options to maintain a balanced diet.

However, Papas Duquesas do have some benefits, as they contain protein and dietary fiber, which can help in maintaining fullness and support digestion. Additionally, they are less processed compared to other fast-food options, making them a potentially better choice.

Papas Duquesas, or Duchesse potatoes, are a popular side dish option at McDonald's in Chile

Through exploring the fascinating history, ingredients, and nutritional information of Papas Duquesas, it’s evident that this crispy, potato-based snack has left a lasting impact on McDonald’s Chile and its customers. While its nutritional content may not be ideal for those seeking a healthy alternative, its unique taste and representation of Chilean cuisine make it a popular and enjoyable item on the McDonald’s Chile menu.

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