Home Recipe Roundup 25 Traditional Ecuadorian Foods to Try Today

25 Traditional Ecuadorian Foods to Try Today

These traditional Ecuadorian foods will have you booking your tickets to Quito in no time! 

They’re insanely tasty and easier to recreate than you think.

Homemade Fish and Rice with Coconut Sauce, Ecuadorian Food
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Top 25 Foods of Ecuador

If you’re unfamiliar with Ecuadorian foods, get ready to swoon because these recipes are totally drool-worthy.

They feature tasty ingredients like quinoa, corn, plantains, rice, chicken, and beef. And they’re loaded with incredible herbs and spices.

So if you’re on the hunt for something new, check out the recipes below!

1. Empanadas de Viento (Fried Cheese Empanadas)

One bite of these empanadas de viento, and you’ll soon fall in love.

This delicious deep-fried pocket of cheese is full of terrific flavor.

From the tender yet crispy dough to the gooey cheese and onions, every mouthful is better than the last.

And yes, there’s sugar in the dough and sprinkled on top. Just trust me and try them!

2. Bolón de Verde (Ecuadorian Green Plantain Fritters)

Ecuadorian green plantain fritters are my new favorite weekend snack.

The dough is made with cooked and mashed green plantains, butter, salt, and queso fresco. So it’s quite heavy and dense.

But after a spin in hot oil, the edges are crispy and golden, and the filling is surprisingly light.

3. Ecuadorian Fritada de Chancho (Pork Fritada)

Succulent pork seasoned with garlic and cumin is a dinner dream come true.

This popular weekend dish involves cooking the meat in water and orange juice with onions and garlic.

And since the meat is braised, it’s infused with flavor but also has a tasty crust from the wok.

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Serve with rice, hominy, and fried ripe plantains to balance out the garlicky flavors. Yum!

4. Ecuador Encebollado de Pescado (Fish Soup)

Encebollado de Pescado is a unique seafood soup from Ecuador that you don’t want to miss! 

There’s tangy pickled onion and juicy tomato salsa in the bowl. Plus tender, flaky fish.

Use tuna or mahi mahi, and don’t forget the avocado and lime juice for serving!

5. Humitas (Steamed Fresh Corn Cakes)

Humitas are a South American delicacy that many don’t know about – but you absolutely should.

Imagine the delicious flavors of sweet corn, savory cheese, and herby coriander, all mixed into a melt-in-your-mouth cake.

They’re almost like cheese and corn tamales, but still completely their own thing. And I know you’ll love them.

6. Llapingacho Recipe (Ecuadorian Potato Pancakes)

Forget corn fritters and bland potatoes because Llapingachos (yah-peen-GAH-chos) are the only side dish you’ll need this summer.

A blend of potatoes, cheese, onions, garlic, and spices, they’re super fluffy on the inside with the most delightful crispy crust,

I suggest using mature cheddar for the best flavor. But any decent cheese will do the trick.

And if you have the time, the peanut sauce is the perfect complement!

7. Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche (Ceviche de Camarón)

This simple and vibrant blend of shrimp, onion, tomato, orange juice, and cilantro creates a symphony of flavor in every bite! 

The acidity of the oranges is tempered by tomatoes and cilantro. At the same time, onions provide a crunchy sweetness that balances everything out. 

This exciting mix of tastes and textures is sure to have you coming back for more! 

And if you’re wondering what to serve with ceviche, try plantain or taro chips!

8. Vegan Locro De Papa (Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Soup)

This is Ecuador’s take on potato and cheese soup.

What makes it unique? Well, it’s vegan! 

You only need a few ingredients, but they create one helluva dish.

I’m talking hearty potatoes, creamy vegan cheese, savory onions, oregano, cumin, and punchy garlic.

Top your bowl with avocado and cotija cheese, and you’re all set.

9. Morocho (Ecuadorian Spiced Corn Pudding Drink)

Morocho is an Ecuadorian spiced corn pudding drink. Yes, drink.

It’s delightfully tasty and filled with texture – kind of like bubble tea.

The creamy, sweet flavors are loaded with warm, spicy notes of cinnamon. And the corn adds a fun texture.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find something as unique and delicious as Morocho.

10. Tigrillo

Tigrillo begins with sweet plantains lightly cooked in butter.

Add some chopped scallions for just the right amount of texture, flavor, and color. Then, top it off with eggs and melted cheese.

Sounds crazy delish, huh?

It’s a yummy breakfast dish with plenty of flavor. And you can totally make it your own with fried bacon!

11. Aguado de Gallina (Ecuadorian Chicken Rice Soup)

This is much more than a creamy bowl of comfort. It’s a symphony of spicy, savory flavors that leaves you begging for an encore.

When you take that first bite, you’ll get a wave of fragrant seasonings before anything hits your tongue.

Then comes the spicy (yet not overwhelming) goodness, succulent chicken, and tender potatoes.

Serve with white rice for a truly South American experience.

12. Ecuadorian Seco de Chivo (Braised Goat Stew)

Braised goat stew is one of the most interesting and delicious dishes to come out of Ecuador, in my opinion.

The recipe combines bone-in goat meat, garlic, bell peppers, and onions with a slew of fun spices and tomatoes.

Some ingredients, like the naranjillas, may be hard to track down. But the resulting dish is more than worth the effort.

13. Ecuadorian Churrasco

A mouthwatering combination of steak and spices – what could possibly be better? 

Churrasco is kind of like American steak and eggs meets a full English breakfast. And I’m so here for it!

It’s the kind of meal that’ll fuel you well beyond lunch. Though I prefer it on the weekend when I can relax and digest when I’m done.

But whenever you do make it, don’t forget the jalapeños.

14. Fried Sweet Plantains

Fried sweet plantains could be the answer to all your healthy eating problems. 

They’re naturally sweet and more firm than bananas. So they hold their shape after frying, unlike bananas that turn to mush.

Crispy, sweet, and topped with cinnamon sugar, it’s the kind of sweet snack you can feel good about devouring.

And it’s one you’ll crave again and again.

15. Fanesca (Ecuadorian Easter Soup)

Fanesca is a delicious and filling way to celebrate the Easter holidays. 

This traditional dish contains an interesting blend of ingredients, including squash, cod, corn, hard-boiled eggs, cannellini beans, and green peas. 

When combined with spices like cumin, parsley, and garlic, it quickly becomes a crave-worthy dish.

And I love how sunny it looks!

16. Mote Pillo (Hominy with Eggs)

This Ecuadorian recipe is sure to please everyone at your dinner table.

A tasty blend of hominy and eggs, it’s one of those simple meals you can turn to any night of the week. 

The hominy provides a hearty base that’s full of nutrition, while the eggs give it an extra kick of protein. 

Enjoy it with some chips and salsa or as a main course with your favorite veggies for added crunch.

17. Pescado Encocado (Fish in Coconut Sauce)

Fish in coconut milk is one of my favorite combinations. And this dish showcases those flavors so well.

The creamy sauce brings light sweetness, which complements the mild fish beautifully.

And while you may think the red color comes from tomatoes, it’s actually down to the achiote powder.

It’s a mild spice, so it won’t turn up the heat. And you can substitute sweet paprika if that’s all you have.

18. Pan de Yuca (Cheese Bread)

Although it’s called “cheese bread,” this traditional side dish is more like a muffin – fluffy and sweet on the inside, yet slightly crunchy on the outside. 

The star ingredients are yuca flour and cheese, combining to form a delightful medley of flavors and textures. 

Topped off with butter, this is one baking project you’ll want to save time for.

19. Corviches

Corviches are crunchy patties made from mashed plantains.

They’re filled with delicate tuna or shrimp and lightly seasoned with onion, garlic, and peanuts. 

The combination of crispy breading on the outside and succulent seafood on the inside makes for a delightful texture contrast.

Every bite is an explosion of deliciousness.

20. Carne en Palito/Chuzos/Pinchos (Thin Beef Skewers)

This delicious dish will have your taste buds popping!

Thin strips of beef marinated in orange juice, achiote powder, garlic, and cumin – wow, right? 

To ensure the fullest flavor experience and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, quickly sear each piece on a hot skewer over an open flame. 

Serve with lightly charred peppers for an added hint of smoky sweetness.

21. Menestra de Porotos (Ecuadorian Bean Stew)

This soul-satisfying meal incorporates an array of savory ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, chili powder, and of course, beans. 

Warming cilantro and cumin are key in creating the perfect balance of spices that give this dish its delightfully rich flavor. 

The combination of textures within the stew makes it truly stand out. So you’d be crazy not to give it a try!

22. Espumilla (Ecuadorian Meringue Cream Dessert)

Espumilla is an Ecuadorian dessert that’s a mix of light and fluffy meringue and soft fruit pulp. 

When combined, the flavors almost blend into one another – they’re heavenly! 

You’ll get hints of guava and passion fruit mixed in for a mild sweetness. It feels like you’ve just taken a bite out of summer!

23. Muchines de Yuca (Cassava Ball)

Get ready for the tastiest, most incredible experience of your life with this fantastic recipe! 

The flavors of yucca and cheese blend together perfectly to create a texture that’s both creamy and crunchy. 

The best way to serve these cassava balls is with some lightly seasoned beef. Though they’re great as a snack on their own.

If you’re feeling adventurous, sprinkle some hot pepper flakes for another layer of flavor goodness.

24. Dulce de Higos (Fig Preserves in Syrup)

Here’s a unique yet stunning dessert you can make for your next dinner party.

It’s pretty straightforward, but it’ll blow your guests away!

Caramelized figs are insanely sweet, sticky, and fruity. And you don’t even need to peel them.

Just pop them in a pot to soak, then add baking soda. Dump out the water, then soak them again with brown sugar.

Best served warm on a thick slice of mozzarella, they’re impossible to resist.

25. Tres Leches Cake

Tres leches cake is hugely popular in South America.

Made with three kinds of milk – evaporated, condensed, and regular – the cake is so moist, you’ll swoon at just one bite. 

It’s creamy, rich, and wonderfully sweet. Plus, it’ll last for a solid few days in the fridge, thanks to all the milk!

25 Traditional Ecuadorian Foods to Try Today

These traditional Ecuadorian foods will have you booking your tickets to Quito in no time! They’re insanely tasty and easier to recreate than you think.


  • Empanadas de Viento (Fried Cheese Empanadas)

  • Bolón de Verde (Ecuadorian Green Plantain Fritters)

  • Ecuadorian Fritada de Chancho (Pork Fritada)

  • Ecuador Encebollado de Pescado (Fish Soup)

  • Humitas (Steamed Fresh Corn Cakes)

  • Llapingacho Recipe (Ecuadorian Potato Pancakes)

  • Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche (Ceviche de Camarón)

  • Vegan Locro De Papa (Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Soup)

  • Morocho (Ecuadorian Spiced Corn Pudding Drink)

  • Tigrillo

  • Aguado de Gallina (Ecuadorian Chicken Rice Soup)

  • Ecuadorian Seco de Chivo (Braised Goat Stew)

  • Ecuadorian Churrasco

  • Fried Sweet Plantains

  • Fanesca (Ecuadorian Easter Soup)

  • Mote Pillo (Hominy with Eggs)

  • Pescado Encocado (Fish in Coconut Sauce)

  • Pan de Yuca (Cheese Bread)

  • Corviches

  • Carne en Palito/Chuzos/Pinchos (Thin Beef Skewers)

  • Menestra de Porotos (Ecuadorian Bean Stew)

  • Espumilla (Ecuadorian Meringue Cream Dessert)

  • Muchines de Yuca (Cassava Ball)

  • Dulce de Higos (Fig Preserves in Syrup)

  • Tres Leches Cake


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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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