Home Recipe Roundup 25 Classic Colombian Recipes

25 Classic Colombian Recipes

Time to put Colombian recipes under the spotlight because they deserve it! Hearty, rich, and comforting, Colombian cuisine will keep your tummy full and happy.

If you haven’t tried Colombian food before, it’s not that surprising.

Colombian Ajiaco Soup with Corn and Avocado
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Because unlike wildly popular food from Italy or France, you won’t find Colombian dishes in other countries.

But if you ever set foot in Colombia, you’ll notice that every corner of the country holds a gastronomic treat.

From Colombia’s favorite snack, arepas, to its national dish, bandeja paisa, you’ll learn about the local food loved by all Colombians. 

That said, here are 25 authentic Colombian recipes to get you started. Let’s dig in!

1. Colombian Style Powdered Beef

Carne de polvo, or Colombian style powdered beef, is a classic dish from the Andean region of Colombia. 

It’s made with flank steak that’s boiled, cut into chunks, and processed until it reaches a powdered consistency. 

While you can eat this dish as is, it’s best when included in bandeja paisa. 

Serving this powdered beef to the kids is also a great way to give them their dose of vitamins and protein.

2. Bandeja Paisa

Hailed from the Antioquia department, bandeja paisa isn’t for anyone on a strict diet. If you’re on a cheat day, this is a must-have high-calorie meal.

Bandeja translates to “platter” in English, so this recipe gives you a platter full of well-loved Colombian dishes.

These include carne de polvo, hogao, and arepas, to name a few.

In simpler terms, the platter invites you to a Colombian feast that features different but complementary flavors.

It takes time and effort to make, but is definitely worth your while.  

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3. Colombian Beans

Not a fan of beans? Here’s a dish will change your mind. This Colombian bean soup is delicious, tummy-warming, and filling when served over rice.

Hogao — a Colombian condiment — infuses so much flavor into the dish. Meanwhile, plantains and carrots increase the overall nutritional value.

Every Colombian family has its own recipe for this bean soup. Some like it meaty, while others prefer a vegetarian version.

As for the beans, you can use cranberry, pinto, or red beans.  

4. Colombian Chicharron

Pieces of pork belly with meat are fried until golden and crispy. The interesting part is you don’t need oil to cook this dish.

Two cups of water and the pork rinds’ own fat will do!

Chicharron is a favorite local dish in Colombia, and it’s served any time of the day. You can eat it for breakfast with a hot chocolate or at lunch and dinner as a side dish.

Colombian chicharron is also a popular component of bandeja paisa, adding a meaty flavor and crunchy texture to this heavy meal. 

5. Colombian Green Plantains

Green plantains are smashed into thin slices, lightly salted, and fried until brown. This is, hands-down, one of the easiest Colombian recipes out there.

For flavoring, you can use hogao, guacamole, or avocado slices as a topping. This creates savory bites that the entire family will love.

6. Hogao

I’ve already mentioned hogao in several previous recipes, so maybe you’re thinking it’s a staple of Colombian cuisine. In that case, you’re right! 

Hogao is a salsa used as a base seasoning or condiment for Colombian dishes. It’s made with various vegetables and spices and sauteed until soft and well-combined.

This fragrant and flavorful salsa only needs simple ingredients and a cook time of 20 minutes.

Learn how to make it, and you’ll be on your way to making great Colombian dishes.

7. Aguapanela

Auguapanela is a refreshing summer beverage made with water and panela. 

If you’re not familiar with the latter, it’s a solid block of sugarcane that tastes like brown sugar. India has a similar product, which is called jaggery.

For this classic drink, you’ll just need to boil the panela in water and simmer for 30 minutes. So easy, right?

Serve cold with lime juice for a thirst-quenching drink!  

8. Colombian Fried Fish

This Colombian recipe uses a small tropical fish called mojarra. It’s typically found in South America and the Caribbean.

So if you can’t get your hands on it, try tilapia or red snapper.

Even when lightly seasoned, this recipe yields a deep-fried fish that’s full of flavor.

Serve with coconut rice and a salad on the side for a hearty and nutritious meal. 

9. Colombian Coffee

Coffee lovers, here comes Colombia’s version of the classic hot drink. Colombians like it sweet and light, with a nutty finish.

The recipe requires aguapanela for the brewing process, which brings a wonderfully sweet taste to the coffee.

For authenticity, be sure to use freshly ground Colombian coffee. 

Colombia is known to have rich soil that produces world-famous coffee beans. They’re mild, flavorful, and aromatic — what’s not to love? 

10. Arepas

Arepa is a Colombian street food made with sweet cornmeal dough that’s deep-fried until crispy.

It’s tender and fluffy on the inside, giving you a beautiful combination of textures.

Colombian arepas are usually filled with cheese, but you can stuff them with anything that you like, from rice to beans to scrambled eggs.

Plain arepas with butter and a drizzle of maple syrup is also an excellent alternative to your breakfast pancakes. 

11. Three-Milk Rice Pudding

This tres leches milk pudding takes out the difficulty of making a wonderfully rich dessert. All it takes is some heating and stirring, and you’ll be done in less than an hour.

Condensed milk, whole milk, and evaporated milk bring a fantastic creaminess to the pudding. Add some vanilla and cinnamon flavors, and you’ll get a decadent dessert.

Make this dish more appealing to the kids by adding whipped cream, candy sprinkles, and a cherry on top. Doing so isn’t traditional, but it’s irresistible!  

12. Roasted Potatoes

I’m a HUGE fan of potatoes, so this recipe is one of my favorites! It’s a cinch to make but so flavorful.

Part of the reason is the main ingredient: papas criollas, or Andean potatoes. 

They’re richer and creamier compared to white potatoes, so they’re used to achieve the unique taste of this Colombian dish.

These little balls of joy are mixed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toasted until perfectly brown and tender.

Sprinkle with a little more salt and serve. They’ll be gone in seconds!

13. Chuleta Valluna (Colombian Pork Milanese)

Now let’s try something crisp and meaty like this chuleta valluna. 

This traditional Colombian dish has its roots in Valle del Cauca but is served throughout Colombia.

It’s a crispy breaded pork chock full of flavors from spices and aromatics. 

Inside, the meat is tender and juicy, without a trace of bones. Serve with french fries, arepas, and a salad for a fancy and fulfilling meal.

14. Columbian Coconut Rice

Colombian coconut rice is a popular side dish for chicken and seafood dishes. It’s a local favorite that brings a lightly sweet and toasted finish to the meal.

Surprisingly, this recipe won’t instruct you to cook the rice in coconut milk. Instead, you’ll have to cook down the milk into a flavored coconut oil with chewy masses.

This mixture will then be added to the dry rice, creating a tasty side dish. 

If you prefer a bowl of sweeter coconut rice, feel free to add sugar, ginger, or golden raisins to the seasonings.

15. Colombian Aji

Aji picante is a spicy Colombian sauce from Antioquia, popularly used for Colombian empanadas. 

You can also add this hot sauce to just about anything, from stews to soups to rice. It’s so versatile, you’ll love to have it all year round! 

Using a food processor, creating this iconic sauce is super easy. Just mix everything, pulse a few times, and adjust the heat according to your taste.

16. Colombian Cassava Bread

This recipe creates a gluten-free breakfast or snack that’s cheesy and starchy. They look like donuts, but the difference is, they’re made with cheese and cassava starch.

For a more flavorful impact, some like to fill this cassava bread with a fruit paste.

To enjoy this delicacy traditionally, simply serve with a cup of hot coffee or chocolate. 

17. Colombian Empanadas

Empanadas are popular in Latin countries, and Colombia’s version isn’t one to miss. These empanadas are crunchy on the outside, flavorful on the inside, and aromatic overall.

Colombian empanadas combine potatoes, beef, and classic Latin spices.

Each empanada can be finished in a couple of bites, so make an extra batch! They’re that delicious!

18. Colombian Potato Salad

This tasty and nutritious salad is a great alternative to a mayo-based potato salad. Plus, it’s colorful, too. Even picky eaters will be enticed to have some!

The recipe calls for a dressing with a wine vinegar base, so you’ll get refreshing and tangy flavors.

Red potatoes, carrots, onions, cilantro, and tomatoes all go into the mix.

Toss everything together until well-combined. Go heavy on the cilantro for the most flavorful salad!  

19. Colombian Cheese Fritters

As soon as the Christmas season starts in Colombia, families get ready to make these iconic cheese fritters. 

Chewy and cheesy with a hint of sweetness, these snacks are always a hit during the holidays. The best part is that this recipe requires only a handful of pantry ingredients.

Even if it’s not Christmas, you can go ahead and make these treats! Serve with a creamy cinnamon custard for a true Colombian experience.

20. Columbian Style Stuffed Pork

Tolima department of Colombia takes pride in its very own stuffed pork or lechona tolimense.

This recipe is not for daily use because you’ll need whole pork cooked in a brick oven.

Stuff it with rice, peas, and Latin spices, and you’ll get one of the tastiest Colombian dishes out there.  

For most Colombians, the important part is to make the pork skin very crispy. I agree, though. Don’t you love some crispy goodness in every bite? 

21. Columbian Pico De Gallo

A Colombian recipe that demands a few ingredients but is bursting with flavors? That’s pico de gallo!

Tomatoes, onions, and cilantro are soaked in lime and lemon juices. That’s all you need to make this easy-peasy recipe.

This salsa goes well with tortilla chips or fried plantains, giving them an explosive and refreshing taste.

22. Colombian Pizza

I’m such a huge pizza eater, and Colombia’s version goes into my list of the most interesting-looking pizzas.

Its toppings include corn, chorizo, diced avocados, red pepper flakes, and cilantro. It’s brimming with unique flavors that’ll have you drooling in seconds.

Chorizo and avocado are already a perfect combination. Throw them onto a pizza with a delicious sauce and melted mozzarella cheese, and voila! You’ll get a delightful treat. 

23. Colombian Griddled Corn Cakes

These fluffy corn cakes are a popular variety of arepas made with special pre-cooked corn flour, masarepa. 

Corn kernels and cheese create a perfect harmony of sweet and salty flavors. It’s a hearty breakfast when served with a fried egg on top and chorizo on the side.

Want your corn cakes extra cheesy? Simply serve with white cheese on top or stuff them with a slice of mozzarella.

24. Colombian Seafood Stew

This warm, savory, and filling Colombian stew is packed with seafood goodness from mussels, shrimp, and white fish.

Coconut milk and white wine balance the flavors coming from seasonings and chopped veggies. So the result is creamy Colombian comfort food at its best.

Not a fan of mussels or shrimp? Feel free to substitute your favorite seafood ingredients.

As for the fish, some of the ideal options are cod, red snapper, and sea bass.

25. Colombian Chicken and Potato Stew

Also known as ajiaco, this chicken and potato stew is a beloved Colombian dish from Bogota City, and for good reason. It offers a warm, comforting hug in a bowl!

Different flavors meld in this dish, mainly from chicken, Andean potatoes, corn, and classic spices.

It gets better when you add sour cream, avocados, cilantro, and capers as toppings.

While this recipe calls for several ingredients, it offers a perfectly balanced flavor.

Bonus points for all the nutrients coming from this dish and the crunchy bite from corn on the cob!

25 Classic Colombian Foods (+ Recipe Collection)

These traditional Columbian recipes are hearty and so tasty! From meats to fish to beverages, spice up your meals with these easy Columbian dishes.


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Columbian dish in 30 minutes or less!
Colombian Recipes

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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