Colombian Food: 28 Traditional Dishes to try in Colombia or at home

Colombian Food: 28 Traditional Dishes to try in Colombia or at home


Latin America is known for its scrumptious meals, and Colombia doesn’t disappoint. In truth, sampling Colombian meals is among the high causes to go to Colombia. Like its nation, Colombian delicacies is various and thrilling.

You could spot the odd Caribbean meals or Peruvian dish in these 28 finest dishes – Colombian delicacies is massively influenced by its surrounding areas and colonial historical past. The nation is break up into six areas, every of which has its personal regional specialties as properly. Remember that there are regional variations when touring round Colombia’s must-see cities – you don’t need to miss out on a specialty dish.

28 Traditional Colombian Dishes

Traditional Colombian Dishes

Ready to discover the perfect Colombian meals? Whether you need to try some Colombian delicacies at home or are visiting Colombia and are excited to try native dishes, this information will introduce you to the perfect. We’ll cowl all the pieces, from Empanadas to Frijoles Rojos. Let’s dive straight in.

1. Colombian Empanadas

colombian food embanadas

Colombian empanadas have been a favourite dish since colonial instances. Its look is very like a Cornish pasty, and the pastry is folded over with a filling inside. It’s simple to spot with its attribute semi-circle form and pinched edge.

You’ll discover floor meat, potatoes, cheese, and hogao (tomato salsa sauce) inside. Of course, there are some recipe variations – particularly for meat-free variations of the dish. Colombian empanadas are easy to make at home and scrumptious to eat in Colombia. If you desire a fast, simple snack, empanadas are top-of-the-line Colombian dishes.

If you need to try an empanada earlier than you journey to Colombia, you possibly can comply with this recipe to make your individual at home.

2. Pandebono

best colombian food Pandebono

The legend behind pandebono is that an Italian baker dwelling in Cali created the bread. When he bought it, he used to stroll the streets shouting ‘pane del buono’ (good bread); the title caught, and the bread turned one of the crucial fashionable Colombian meals.

So, what’s it precisely? The bread can be nicknamed Colombian cheese bread, which ought to provide you with an excellent trace. It is made with melted cheese, yuca flour, and eggs and formed into bagel or ball shapes. You can eat pandebono at breakfast, as avenue meals, or as a facet at dinner – it’s a versatile dish. Remember that it’s best eaten when it’s nonetheless heat out of the oven. Pandebono is a dish supposed to be eaten as contemporary as attainable.

To get in the temper in your Colombian travels, make your individual Pandebono at home with this recipe.

3. Bandeja Paisa

traditional colombian dishes bandeja Paisa

Bandeja paisa might be essentially the most iconic Colombian meals in this information. Some even go so far as to name it the nationwide dish. Bandeja paisa is a platter-styled meal with an assortment of meats, a fried egg, white rice, corn, plantain, pink beans, and an avocado. The meats embrace minced beef and chorizo sausage to chicharron. You’ll normally discover an Arepa on the plate, too (extra on that later).

Bandeja paisa is typical of Colombia’s Antioquia area and, like frijoles rojos, was good for employees spending lengthy days in the mountains and on farms. Bandeja paisa packs a nutritious punch and is full of protein and carbohydrates. It stays a preferred lunch alternative and is one to try if you happen to go to Colombia. Make your recipe at home by following this recipe.

4. Frijoles Rojos

colombian cuisine Frijoles Rojos

Frijoles Rojos is a particular Colombian dish that makes use of cargamento beans, additionally known as pink beans. This Colombian meals is especially wholesome, and pink beans are an amazing supply of iron, potassium, low-fat protein, and fiber. It is a stew-like concoction, and the pink beans are blended with tomatoes, onion, and garlic. It is then normally served on high of a portion of rice.

Frijoles rojos was initially a laborer’s meal. It is budget-friendly and full of power and vitamins – good for fueling a tough day at work. However, Frijoles Rojos have change into a broadly eaten dish in Colombian delicacies. Watch this simple video to make it your self.

5. Bananos Calados

Bananos calados is one in all Colombia’s finest desserts and comes from the Quindio area, close to the Andes. It won’t look (or sound) appetizing, however it’s simply one of many tastiest meals you possibly can try from Colombian delicacies. The dessert consists of fried bananas blended with lime juice and served with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, making a candy but tangy deal with in your tastebuds. Occasionally, you might also discover the lime juice changed by orange juice and cinnamon – so maintain your eye out for any distinctive recipes.

Colombia has a number of native fruit, and you’ll simply see that this has impressed many conventional recipes. Bananos calados are one meals to try if you’d like to expertise Colombia’s dessert scene. Make this scrumptious candy at home to deliver again recollections of your travels to Colombia.

6. Chicharron Colombiano

colombian food Chicharron Colombiano

Chicharron Colombiano is fried pork stomach, a hearty dish coated in onions, bay leaves, and seasoning for a wonderful style. Chicharron is full of taste and served with a crisp texture that has been perfected over generations of cooking. It is a typical dinner dish and is related to household and custom.

The dish is typical of Colombia’s Andean area. However, it originated in Spain and was launched to Colombia by Spanish colonizers. The Spanish recipe varies drastically; rind or stomach cuts can be utilized, in contrast to the Colombian model. You’ll discover that almost all nations in Latin America have their very own model of chicharron. Get prepared to try as many various variations as attainable. Colombia has since taken a agency spin on the dish, although, and chicharron has properly and actually entered Colombian delicacies.

7. Coconut rice

Forget white rice; coconut rice is the tastiest. As its title could recommend, coconut rice is cooked with coconuts, giving it a yummy taste and getting it a spot on this checklist as a meal in its personal proper. There are two important methods coconut rice is ready: cooking it in coconut milk or mixing it with shredded coconut. Cooking it in coconut milk is the perfect, as you get a stronger coconut taste.

The historical past of coconut rice is a little bit of a thriller. The dish is scattered throughout the globe, particularly in Asia and South America. However, since coconuts are one in all Colombia’s commonest tropical fruits, it’s no thriller why they’re so prevalent in Colombian delicacies. If you get the prospect to try it, coconut rice is a tasty dish.

8. Pescado Frito

colombian food Pescado Frito

Pescado Frito is a basic, conventional Colombian meals. Pescado Frito interprets as fried fish and is served complete, with pores and skin and head intact. It generally is a little daunting if you happen to aren’t used to consuming fish like this. However, you’ll quickly be received over, as cooking the fish in its pores and skin boosts its taste and retains the fish meat moist. You can anticipate a lot juicer meat than you’d get consuming fillets and fish steaks.

In Colombia, the fried fish is normally mojarra or pink snapper. The fish is sliced after which flavored with lime and seasoning, typically sitting in the juice for some time to actually take in the flavour. It is served with rice, plantain, and salad – the proper lunch dish.

9. Arepa de Huevo

colombian food Arepa de Huevo

Arepa de huevo is a variation of normal arepas, that are fried corn truffles. Arepas are a massively fashionable breakfast meals and are additionally thought of considerably of a consolation meals. Arepa de huevo are one of many tastiest variations with egg. Preparing them entails frying a corn cake, splitting it, and filling it with an egg, then frying it once more to cook dinner the egg inside. The result’s a fried egg coated in fried bread.

It is not any shock that arepas de huevos are one of the crucial fashionable dishes – particularly for breakfast. They are served in stacks (like pancakes) as a standalone dish. Just decide your sauce to match, salsa and bitter cream are nice selections. See this recipe to get up with a style of Colombia.

10. Sopa de Pollo

Sopa de pollo interprets as rooster soup, and it’s one other comforting meal in Colombian delicacies. It is honest to say that it’s most likely the commonest Colombian soup and is broadly eaten throughout the nation. The rooster soup can be full of plantain, corn, potatoes, and yuca. In truth, it’s so filled with substances that it typically seems extra like a stew than a soup.

Of course, rooster soup is discovered worldwide, however Colombia’s model is especially scrumptious. The mix of substances like plantain and yuca is way more distinctive, and sometimes Colombian recipes use a whole rooster.

Sopa de pollo is a wonderful Colombian meals to try when visiting or to recreate at home. It is finest cooked slow-cooked and served piping sizzling and is a kind of one-pot dishes the entire household loves.

11. Morcilla

colombian food morcilla

Morcilla is a blood sausage made with floor pork and pork blood. Morcillas are simply noticed due to their darkish, deep reddish-brown coloration. They are a really conventional dish throughout Latin America. You should not have any drawback discovering some to try if you happen to go to Colombia. And if you happen to like black pudding, you’re in for a deal with.

Morcillas are ready from scratch, and the method entails squeezing the combination into sausage casings. The floor meat is blended with pork blood, onions, and rice earlier than being put into casings. Colombian recipes have a tendency to add cilantro and infrequently inexperienced peas as properly. The sausages are then normally boiled to cook dinner.

12. Cazuela de Mariscos

Ready for a Colombian seafood dish? Cazuela de mariscos is among the hottest Colombian dishes in coastal areas, particularly alongside the Caribbean Coast and Cartegena. It is a typical meals and seafood casserole or seafood stew – full of all the pieces from prawns to mussels and lobster. The meats are cooked in coconut milk with a mix of greens. You may even have white wine and cheese added to the combination in case you are fortunate.

Cazuela de mariscos is an iconic dish when visiting Colombia’s shoreline. What is healthier than a contemporary seafood dish? Most of the time, the substances have been simply caught out of the Caribbean Sea. This is unquestionably one in your checklist once you go to Colombia. Or try making it at home with this yummy recipe.

13. Colombian Bunuelos

colombian food bunuelos

Bunuelos are deep-fried balls full of contemporary cheese – an ideal afternoon snack or breakfast chunk. Strangely sufficient, they’re typically served alongside sizzling chocolate and occasional, so you possibly can typically discover bunuelos at cafes in Colombia.

Bunuelos are one of the crucial fashionable Colombian meals. The recipe creates dough from yucca flour, cornstarch, eggs, milk, and sugar. The deep-fried dough is then made, with the bunuelos organized into their attribute appetizer-sized ball form and floated in a pan of boiling vegetable oil.

It is assumed that bunuelos had been launched to Colombia by Spanish invaders. The snack is now eaten throughout Colombia as avenue meals and cafe or restaurant deal with. Bunuelos are particularly fashionable at Christmas time. We discovered this simple to comply with recipe on YouTube

14. Obleas

best colombian food Obleas
Filling of Obleas ready for the second wafer (beneath) to create the sandwich

Obleas is not only a typical Colombian dish; it’s loved throughout Spain and Latin America. Obleas seems like a sandwich, and that’s exactly what it’s. The basic dessert consists of two wafers that sandwich a filling of dulce de leche and sometimes a mix of fruit, whipped cream, and jam. The Colombian model is nearly similar however provides one particular ingredient – Colombian caramel.

If you’ve acquired a candy tooth, obleas are top-of-the-line typical Colombian desserts to try. You’ll discover them all over the place, from cafes to avenue stalls.

15. Lechona

Lechona is a Colombian meals for particular events. The dish consists of a complete roasted pig filled with onions, peas, potatoes, pork fats, white rice, garlic, and spices like cumin. After the pig has had its bones eliminated and has been stuffed, it’s positioned in the oven and slow-cooked (typically for up to ten hours).

Needless to say, lechona is meant to be the culinary masterpiece of the desk. It is a dish designed to be shared with massive teams of individuals once you need to splash out on a elaborate meal. You will typically discover particular person servings of lechona at eating places round Colombia, although, so maintain your eyes peeled.

16. Cholado

traditional colombian food Cholado

Let’s set Colombian meals apart for a second. Cholado is among the finest drinks in Colombia, so let’s introduce you. The drink is a refreshing combination of shaved ice, contemporary fruit, and sweetened condensed milk. Depending on the place you get one, you might also discover the drink served with ice cream, wafers, and whipped cream.

Cholado originates from Jamundi in Valle de Cauca. It is a mixture between dessert, fruit cocktail, and drink – ticking all of the containers creatively and deliciously. If you like contemporary fruit and candy treats, it’s a nice drink to try when visiting Colombia, but easy sufficient to recreate at home.

17. Carimanola

Carimanolas are simple to spot. The tiny fritters are formed into attribute torpedo shapes, normally served in bulk as bitesize appetizers. They are a conventional Colombian meals, though you’ll additionally discover carimanolas in different Southern American nations like Panama.

Inside, carimanolas are filled with floor beef or shredded rooster, cheese, and seasoning. The fritters are then deep-fried to create a form of meat pie. They are gentle and crispy on the surface but smooth on the within. More typically than not, carimanolas include aji sauce. This brilliant inexperienced sauce primarily consists of cilantro and is good and spicy – the proper facet. Want to try them earlier than your travels? Head over to comply with this recipe

18. Colombian Sopa de Mondongo

colombian Sopa de Mondongo

While mondongo typically has a stew-like consistency, it’s truly one other typical Colombian soup. The soup consists of onion, potato, beef tripe, chorizo, and pork, all served piping sizzling in a small bowl. It is a extremely conventional Colombian meals, and also you’ll discover mondongo at most eating places throughout the nation.

Like many Colombian dishes, sopa de mondongo is believed to have been launched by Spanish colonizers. The tomato-based soup has been firmly adopted into the Colombian culinary scene, although, and Colombian variations of the recipe have a particular twist.

19. Fritanga

colombian food Fritanga

Fritanga is a platter dish. The dish is broadly bought amongst avenue meals distributors and consists of a mix of meals heaped onto a big plate – normally barbecued on the road. So, what meals will you discover in fritanga? Usually, chorizo, sausage, plantain, and a mix of greens.

Fritanga is a Nicaraguan dish, though it has change into adopted into Colombian delicacies. The story behind its origin is a tragic one. The meal was first created after the 1931 earthquake, which hit Nicaragua, and other people cooked meals on the road with barbecues.

Now, you’ll discover fritanga cooked throughout Latin America and Colombia. It is a historic, tasty, and filling dish to try.

20. Bocadillo

colombian dishes Bocadillo

A bocadillo is a scrumptious Colombian meals made with guava paste – a product of a preferred tropical fruit. The dish is extraordinarily candy and a particular deal with and dessert. It has a melt-in-your-mouth texture however is in any other case not sticky to the contact. Bocadillos solely require a couple of substances, principally panela and guava pulp, so they’re easy to make if you’d like to recreate the dish at home.

You’ll typically discover bocadillos served at cafes, normally alongside a slice of salty white cheese. They come minimize into little rectangles or squares and are the proper bitesize treats.

21. Aborrajados

colombian food Aborrajados

Aborrajados are one dish that you just don’t discover as simply. It originated in the Valley de Cauca and is a regional specialty. The inventive (if barely bizarre-sounding) dish consists of deep-fried plantain filled with cheese to create a crispy, wholesome cheese chunk. The perfect place to try aborrajados is in the area of the Valley de Cauca itself, the place you’ll discover the dish most prevalently anyway.

Aborrajados are served as snacks or appetizers earlier than a big meal. Don’t rule out the dish at pudding time, although, as you possibly can add guava paste to the fried dish to create a candy deal with for dessert.

22. Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con pollo actually interprets as rice with rooster. It is a straightforward however staple Colombian meals and very like Spanish paella. The dish consists of rice, rooster, onion, and greens, with saffron tossed by means of the combination for added taste.

If you desire a filling dish, arroz con pollo is a superb alternative. Plus, it’s simple to discover and is broadly served at eating places and avenue vendor stalls throughout Colombia. It is believed that arroz con pollo originated in Spain whereas the nation was below Moorish affect. When Spanish colonizers arrived in Colombia, it’s presumed that the dish was launched to Colombian meals tradition.

23. Cocadas Blancas

colombian dishes Cocadas Blancas

We’ve coated heaps from Colombia’s coastal area. But what a couple of dessert from the Caribbean Coast? Cocadas blancas is a brilliant candy dessert in your checklist. The dish is made with a mixture of shredded coconut, sugar, milk, and coconut water. Depending on the place you try it, you might also discover further substances like cinnamon – most individuals have their very own twist on the basic recipe.

Cocadas blancas are normally bought on the road and alongside Colombia’s seashores. However, you will discover them on dessert menus in eating places too. They are scrumptious meals, sticky and candy. You are in for a deal with making an attempt one.

24. Colombian Hot Chocolate

colombian hot chocolate

Speaking of desserts, sizzling chocolate is one other candy deal with that Colombia excels at. The Colombian model of sizzling chocolate is named Santafereno. It may be very totally different from the European and American variations of the drink. Instead of candy milk chocolate, the Colombian model makes use of darkish, unsweetened chocolate. Santafereno is usually made in water, not milk, with cinnamon or cloves typically added to counteract any bitterness. It could sound unusual, however Colombians are additionally well-known for dipping cheese in their sizzling chocolate – which you’ll or could not need to try.

Another factor that’s necessary to know is that Colombia has been utilizing chocolate for hundreds of years. Chocolate is created from cacao bushes, that are discovered in areas of Colombia and the Amazon basin. Colombia isn’t alone both; cacao has been used all throughout Latin America way back to the Aztecs and Mayans.

25. Calentado

Calentado is a staple in Colombian gastronomy and is a dish rooted in recycling leftovers from the night time earlier than – its title actually interprets as ‘heated’. The dish was born out of poverty to restrict waste, however now it is among the most conventional meals in Colombia.

The commonest substances in a calentado dish are white rice, plantain, and steak. It is then typically topped with a fried egg and arepas, maybe even served with a sizzling chocolate or espresso. By the character of the dish, calentado was primarily cooked at home. Of course, now you’ll discover it on menus throughout the nation. At eating places, you have a tendency to additionally discover avocado and sausage served alongside the usual substances.

26. Fried Plantain

colombian dishes fried plantains

Fried plantain is yummy Colombian meals. To the untrained eye, you might be forgiven for mistaking them for bananas. They look similar, besides plantains are a lot bigger, much less candy, and solely change into ripe as soon as they flip black. In their yellow phases, plantains are good for frying, which is the place deep-fried plantain comes in.

The neatest thing about fried plantain is its versatility. You might have it savory with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or you would caramelize it and have it as a dessert. You might pair it with an egg, or you would pair it with ice cream.

Fried plantain tastes like a potato, and the crisp outer layer provides method to a smooth, squishy inside. You received’t have any points discovering fried plantain in Colombia (or Latin America), so try it your self.

28. Colombian espresso

If you like espresso, you’re in for a deal with. This conventional Colombian drink is world-famous, and the quantity of espresso beans grown in Colombia is thrilling for any caffeine fanatic. For essentially the most half, Colombia grows Arabica beans, that are gentle and candy to style, in contrast to the extraordinary Robusta. The incontrovertible fact that Arabica is a bit weaker than Robusta might be an excellent factor, although, since, in Colombian espresso tradition, it’s drunk most from late afternoon to early night. Not from the morning to early afternoons like in the US and Europe.

An effective way to expertise Colombian is to go espresso tasting. And if you’d like to go espresso tasting in Colombia, prioritize visiting Medellin or Manizales. These areas are famed for his or her espresso beans and have varieties named after them. You can e-book excursions round native espresso plantations or go to native cafes.

27. Maracuya

colombian food Maracuya

Maracuya may sound unfamiliar, however the chances are high excessive that you just’ve seen one earlier than. Passion fruit won’t be a dish as such. Still, tropical fruits are such a longtime a part of Colombian gastronomy that we had to embrace them on this checklist. Passion fruits are a deep purple on the surface, with a waxy, protecting outer pores and skin. Cut open, they reveal a tangy, scrumptious mattress of yellow seeds. These seeds might be eaten straight from the eagerness fruit or used as an ingredient for merchandise like ice cream or juice.

Passion fruits develop throughout South America and are believed to have initially come from the Northern Argentina area earlier than spreading out in reputation throughout the continent. Not planning a go to to Colombia? No drawback. You can try ardour fruit worldwide since it’s a important export product.

Colombian meals is among the finest cuisines in the world. There is a lot to try, so get began as quickly as attainable. Luckily, in case you are visiting Colombia, there are many meals excursions to pattern conventional Colombian delicacies – main you round the perfect spots. You can take a look at our greatest journey suggestions right here as properly.

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