Home Appetizers 10 Traditional Peruvian Appetizers

10 Traditional Peruvian Appetizers

Get a true taste of Peru with these authentic Peruvian appetizers!

Although Peruvian food may not be as popular in the United States as Mexican, Italian, Chinese, or Greek food, Peruvian chefs take their cooking seriously.

As such, a proper Peruvian meal includes traditional appetizers, followed by the main course and usually dessert. 

Beef Tequeños with Dipping Sauce
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Peruvian food dates back to the year 6,000 B.C.

As such, many of the ingredients you’ll find in these Peruvian appetizers include some of the everyday staples of ancient Peru: corn, beans, and peppers. 

Many of these amazing appetizers will remind you of traditional Mexican or Chilean food in appearance and flavor.

So, if you’re a fan of peppers and heat, get ready to find a few new favorites with this list of 10 Peruvian appetizers. 

1. Tamales Verdes

As anyone who has ever made tamales can tell you – or as you may already know if you’ve made them yourself – tamales take quite a bit of work. 

So, the nearly 2-hour total prep and cook time for these tamales is nothing unusual. In fact, it’s a shorter total time than many other tamales recipes I’ve seen.

Once finished, the tamales have a delicate, complex, and slightly spicy taste; it’s somewhat Creole, somewhat Mexican, and 100% Peruvian deliciousness.

No matter what follows these tasty appetizers, you’ll have guests in the mood for it. 

2. Peruvian Stuffed Peppers

Peruvian stuffed peppers are a bit different from other stuffed peppers recipes you’ve tried.

For one thing, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, and raisins are incorporated into the recipe. 

For another, you’ll make them in a slow cooker, which isn’t standard practice for most stuffed peppers recipes. 

Depending on your preference, you can adjust the ingredients to make the peppers mild or spicy, but each one still features an ample helping of ground beef, peppers, onions, and more.

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Just don’t eat too many; otherwise, you’ll be too full to enjoy your main course. 

3. Solterito (Peruvian Chopped Salad)

If you love chopped salads with lots of small, dense, and filling ingredients, you’ll go nuts for this Peruvian chopped salad. There’s just so much great stuff in it! 

Between the corn, edamame, red onions, cherry tomatoes, feta, jalapeno, olives, salt, pepper, and cilantro, there’s just so much tasty garden freshness. 

The other ingredients – olive oil and white wine vinegar – add a zesty, hard-to-resist flavor to the already incredible salad.

You’ll have to cook the corn first, but after you’ve done that, it’s just a matter of throwing together ingredients.

If your corn is pre-cooked, you should be able to whip it up in 10 minutes tops.

It’s the ideal option for a quick, on-the-go lunch or light appetizer before a heavier meal.

4. Peruvian Chicken Soup

Remember how long Guy-I-Am resisted eating green eggs and ham and how much he loved them once he tried them? 

Keep that in mind when you see this green-tinted chicken soup because despite how you feel about green food, this stuff is phenomenal, at least if you like cilantro.

It’s a light, fresh soup with a chicken stock base and plenty of fresh veggies like carrots, onions, peppers, and more.

The addition of rice also makes it filling and comforting.

It takes 10 minutes to prepare and another 50 to cook, and it’s a wonderful thing to come home to on a cold winter’s night.

It’s also a great start to any two-, three-, or four-course meal.

5. Tequenos

These mess-free, easy-to-eat meaty snacks remind me of a mixture between taquitos and empanadas. 

They feature crunchy fried egg roll wraps around a filling of steak, onions, tomatoes, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and plenty of seasonings.

They’re great snacks, finger foods, or appetizers, especially if you follow them up with another equally flavorful South American dish. 

6. Anticuchos

If you love fat, juicy cuts of well-marinated steak, you’ll want to bookmark this recipe for anticuchos.

Traditionally served as appetizers, these things could be a meal in themselves!

They’re so good and unbelievably filling. They have a bold, garlicky flavor and just a hint of heat.

Serve them with or without rice, as an appetizer, or as the main course. 

No matter when or how you put them on the table, people will love them.

7. Mango Ceviche

Ceviche is always a popular appetizer. Of all the ceviche recipes out there, this is one of my favorites. 

Unlike most recipes, which include seafood or chicken, this one is 100% vegan-friendly.

All it has in it are onions, mangos, limes, orange juice, habaneros, avocado oil, cilantro, and salt. 

The taste is fresh and clean, with hints of herbs and earthiness.

You may not think habaneros and onions would work with all the tropical fruit, but I promise you that they do. 

8. Tacu Tacu

If you’re looking for a tasty appetizer that’ll also help you use up your leftover rice and beans, check out this recipe for tacu tacu. 

Don’t worry; you’ll add onions and plenty of herbs to the rice and beans. No one will know you’re feeding them leftovers.

You’ll also top them with fried plantains and a fried egg. 

Add a side of sarsa criolla (onion relish), and people will ask for more.

9. Papa a la Huancaina

Although it may look a little strange to someone who’s never seen it, papa a la huancaina is one of the most well-known Peruvian appetizers.

It consists of thick slices of boiled potatoes, olives, eggs, and the famous huancaina sauce. Huancaina sauce is creamy, spicy, and deliciously cheesy.   

The seemingly odd mix of ingredients turns some people off, but as my dad would say, “Don’t knock it till you try it!”

10. Aji De Gallina

Aji de gallina is a thick and chunky chicken stew, and it tastes great whether you serve it by itself, on top of a bed of rice, or with a thick, crusty piece of bread. 

It’s relatively simple to make, taking less than 30 minutes from start to finish. 

All you’ll need to make it is cooked chicken, bread, milk, onions, garlic, walnut, parmesan, oil, aji Amarillo chili paste, turmeric, and chicken stock. 

It’s cheesy and spicy, and although Peruvian chefs often serve it as an appetizer,

I like it so much that I could turn it into a complete meal with no regrets whatsoever. 

10 Traditional Peruvian Appetizers


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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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