25 Traditional Latinx Dishes You Can Make Yourself

There’s nothing like Latinx food made from scratch at home, but most of us don’t have the luxury of relying on mami or abuelita’s homecooked meals. Sure, you could just ask them for recipes, but oftentimes because so many Latina cooks taste as they go without using measurements, it’s not always easy to reproduce their dishes

Photo: Unsplash/@louishansel

Photo: Unsplash/@louishansel

There’s nothing like Latinx food made from scratch at home, but most of us don’t have the luxury of relying on mami or abuelita’s homecooked meals. Sure, you could just ask them for recipes, but oftentimes because so many Latina cooks taste as they go without using measurements, it’s not always easy to reproduce their dishes and get them exactly the same. Searching for recipes online could take time too especially if you don’t even know where to start.

To make your life a tad bit easier, we thought we’d help you out by creating a roundup of some of the tastiest yet simplest Latinx recipes — all in one place! These recipes are not only easy to make but can help get you started on making meals that remind you of the food you ate growing up. In this roundup, we feature recipes from a variety of countries, so there is something for almost everyone. Let’s step into the kitchen, demystify the process of making the food our mothers, grandmothers, and past ancestors made, and have fun with it all. It’s a fun way to get in touch with our roots while eating healthier than if we ate out. We also will be saving money, since cooking at home is cheaper (and time-saving if you cook in bulk and eat several meals from one day’s worth of cooking). So, without further ado, here are 25 Latinx recipes you can learn how to make hoy!

Cuban Chicken Ropa Vieja

Recipe via Cuban Recipes and Food


2 large chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
1 qt low sodium chicken stock
1 T olive oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly=
1 small yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can low sodium tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 T white wine vinegar
1 bay leaf


Place the chicken breasts into a medium pot and pour chicken stock over them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until breasts are completely done. Remove the breasts from the stock and place on a cutting board. Allow to cool until you can comfortably handle the meat with your fingers.

Once the chicken is cooled, remove the skin and bones. With your fingers, shred the chicken along the grain so that you have long, fine slivers of meat. Set these aside.

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat for a full minute. Add the peppers and onions and sauté until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant for 1 minute. Add the shredded chicken and stir to combine.

Add the tomato sauce, sherry, vinegar, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow flavors to combine. Remove the bay leaf and serve over brown rice.


Salvadoran Pupusas Made By Curly And His Abuelita

Recipe via Tasty

 boiling water

  • 1 cup

     distilled white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon

     dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons

     kosher salt


     vegetable oil

  • 1 lb

     boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch (2-cm) cubes

  • 1 teaspoon


  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced

     masa harina

  • 2 teaspoons


  • 3 cups

     cold water


     grated mozzarella cheese

  • 1 cup

     refried bean, cooked

  • 1 tablespoon

     vegetable oil, for frying

  • Preparation

    Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto

    Recipe via Serious Eats


    • Rice should be prepared 1 day in advance for gallo pinto.
    • Goya sells “Central American Beans,” which are the small, red kidney beans that are standard issue in Nicaragua. If you can’t find them, use small black beans.
    • This recipe makes more beans than necessary for the gallo pinto, but leftovers may be reserved for other use.
    • Gallo pinto is served either soft or crisp—cook according to preference.
    • For the beans
    • 1 (16-ounce) bag dried small red or black beans
    • Salt
    • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
    • For the rice
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
    • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup), divided
    • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
    • 3 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1/2 green bell pepper, cored and seeded

    For the beans: Spread beans out in a rimmed baking sheet. Pick out any debris and broken beans. Transfer beans to colander and rinse under cold running water. Place rinsed beans in a large pot and cover with cold water; water should cover beans about 3 inches. Let soak for 30 minutes.

    Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer beans for 30 minutes. Turn off heat, cover beans, and let rest 1 hour. Bring beans back up to boil over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons salt and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until beans are tender for 30 to 60 minutes.

    If storing the beans, cool completely, transfer beans and some of the cooking liquid to quart-sized zipper-lock bags. When ready to use, thaw out in refrigerator and heat on the stovetop in saucepan or microwave.

    For the rice: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add 2/3 of onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add rice and cook, stirring, until grains are shiny and evenly coated with oil, 2 to 3 minutes. Add water or broth and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Place bell pepper on top of rice.

    Boil rice without stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated and you can see small bubbles bursting on the surface of the rice. Immediately reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook (do not stir, do not remove lid) for 15 minutes. Remove and discard bell pepper. Fluff rice with chopsticks or fork, then let cool and refrigerate for 1 day.

    For the gallopinto: Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add remaining onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add rice and 2 cups beans to skillet and cook, stirring, until rice is evenly coated. Continue to cook, stirring, to allow flavors to meld and mixture to become slightly crisp, about 10 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat an additional 10 minutes. (See note.)

    Mexican Tacos Dorados

    Recipe via America’s Test Kitchen


    Arrange the tacos so they face the same direction in the skillet to make them easy to fit and flip. To ensure crispy tacos, cook the tortillas until they are deeply browned. To garnish, open each taco like a book and load it with your preferred toppings; close it to eat.

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine water and baking soda in large bowl. Add beef and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook until paste is rust-colored 1 to 2 minutes. Add beef mixture and cook, using a wooden spoon to break meat into pieces no larger than ¼ inch, until beef is no longer pink 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer beef mixture to bowl; stir in cheddar until cheese has melted and the mixture is homogeneous. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.

    Thoroughly brush both sides of tortillas with 2 tablespoons oil. Arrange tortillas, overlapping, on a rimmed baking sheet in 2 rows (6 tortillas each). Bake until tortillas are warm and pliable, about 5 minutes. Remove tortillas from oven and reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees.

    Place 2 tablespoons filling on 1 side of 1 tortilla. Fold and press to close tortilla (edges will be open, but tortilla will remain folded). Repeat with remaining tortillas and remaining filling. (At this point, filled tortillas can be covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours.)

    Set wire rack in a second rimmed baking sheet and line rack with a double layer of paper towels. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Arrange 6 tacos in a skillet with open sides facing away from you. Cook, adjusting the heat so oil actively sizzles and bubbles appear around edges of tacos, until tacos are crispy and deeply browned on 1 side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs and thin spatula, carefully flip tacos. Cook until deeply browned on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary.

    Remove skillet from heat and transfer tacos to prepared wire rack. Blot tops of tacos with a double layer of paper towels. Place sheet with fried tacos in the oven to keep warm. Return skillet to medium-high heat and cook remaining tacos. Serve tacos immediately, passing extra cheddar, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, jalapeños, and hot sauce separately.

    Platano Maduro Frito

    Recipe via Fine Cooking

    • Vegetable or canola oil
    • 4 very ripe, dark-brown plantains (2 lb.), ends removed, peeled, and sliced 1/2 inch thick on a sharp diagonal
    • Fill a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet with 1/4 inch of oil (about 1-1/2 cups) and heat over medium heat until the tip of a plantain slice dipped in the oil sizzles vigorously.
    • Working in batches of about 12, slide the plantain slices in one at a time, making sure they’re not touching. Fry, flipping once with tongs or a fork, until golden-brown on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining plantains, reheating the oil as needed between batches. Serve hot.

    Peruvian Lomo Saltado

    Recipe via Allrecipes.com


    Prepare the bag of French fries according to package directions.

    While the French fries are cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Season the sliced meat with salt and pepper to taste. Fry the meat until just cooked, and the juices begin to release. Remove the meat from the frying pan, then cook the onions, with additional oil if needed, until they are transparent. Stir in the tomato and aji amarillo; cook until the tomato softens. Pour in the vinegar and soy sauce, add the French fries, cover, and cook until the beef is done about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.

    Arroz Con Leche For Beginners

    Photo: ISABEL EATS


    Colombian Arroz con Pollo


    Recipe via My Colombian Recipes

    (4 Servings)

    Chicken and Stock
    2 whole chicken breast, bone in and skin removed
    1 scallion
    ½ white onion
    2 garlic cloves
    ½ tablespoon ground cumin
    ½ tablespoon sazon Goya with azafran
    1 bay leaf
    Salt and Pepper
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    ¼ cup chopped onion
    1 garlic clove, minced
    ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
    ¼ cup chopped green pepper
    1 cup long- grain white rice
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1 chicken bouillon tablet
    2 ½ cups chicken stock
    ½ tablespoon sazon goya with azafran
    ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
    ½ cup frozen peas
    ½ cup frozen diced carrots
    ½ cup frozen diced green beans


    Place the chicken breast, 5 cups water and the remaining ingredients for the stock in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the chicken rest in the pot for about 15 minutes covered. Let it cool, shred and set aside. Strain stock and measure 2 ½ cups and set aside.

    In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, green peppers, garlic, and red bell pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.

    Add the rice, tomato paste, chicken bouillon, and sazon goya. Stir until the rice is well coated about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the peas, carrots and green beans and cook for an additional 7 minutes, add the shredded chicken and cilantro, mix well with a fork, cover and cook for 5 minutes more.

    Serve and Enjoy!

    Slow Cooker Honduran Bean Soup

    Photo: Photo by Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDN/Hispanic Kitchen

    Recipe via Hispanic Kitchen

    Ecuadorian Fritada de Chancho

    Recipe via Laylita’s Recipes

    An alternative for those who don’t eat pork:

    Recipe for Chicken fritada {Fritada de gallina}

    Peruvian Ceviche

    Photo: Marcus Nilsson/Bon Appétit

    Recipe by Gast N Acurio Of La Mar In Lima Peru, via Bon Appétit

    Honduran Baleadas

    Recipe via Allrecipes.com

    • Cook’s Note:
    • Substitute lukewarm milk for the water if desired.

    Venezuelan Pabellon Criollo


    Recipe via The Spruce Eats

    Place the flank steak in a pot with the bouillon and cover with water.

    Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Remove from heat and let the meat cool in the pot with the juices.

    Saute 2 teaspoons minced garlic in 4 tablespoons vegetable oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.

    Add the rice to the boiling water, lower the heat, and simmer the rice, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice covered for 5 minutes more.

    Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to a skillet, and saute half the chopped onions with the rest of the minced garlic until soft.

    Add the can of black beans (undrained), 1/2 cup water, chicken bouillon, cumin, garlic powder, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced.

    Slice the cooled steak against the grain into thin slices. The meat should be very tender and falling apart. Shred the larger pieces into bite-size pieces with your fingers.

    Add 2 tablespoons butter to a skillet and cook the rest of the chopped onions until soft. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of the steak pan juices, and the sliced steak and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

    Arrange the meat and tomatoes on 1/3 of a serving platter. Place the rice next to the meat, and then place the beans on the other side of the rice, to resemble the stripes of a tri-color flag.

    Serve with fried plantains on the side and enjoy!

    Brazilian Coxinhas

    Recipe via Tasty


    For 9 Servings


    1 tablespoon olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 white onion, diced
    2 cups chicken, cooked, shredded
    ½ teaspoon paprika, or cayenne pepper
    salt, to taste
    4 oz cream cheese
    3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


    In a medium pot, heat olive oil, then sauté garlic and onions until soft and brown. Add shredded chicken, salt, and paprika (or cayenne pepper). Stir to incorporate.

    Transfer mixture into a bowl, add cream cheese and parsley. Mix well.

    In the same pot, add butter, chicken broth, and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in flour until dough is formed.

    Transfer dough to a flat surface. Knead the dough while it is warm, but not hot.

    Pinch a piece of dough, about the size of a large egg, and roll into a ball. Using your hands, flatten the dough and spoon filling into the center. Wrap the dough into a pear shape and make sure there aren’t any holes.

    While heating a pot of oil to 350˚F/180˚C, dredge the dough in egg and panko, then deep-fry till golden brown and cooked through.

    Drain on a towel, or wire rack and serve immediately.


    Creamy Caramel Flan

    Recipe via Taste of Home


    Test Kitchen Tips

    • Sweetened condensed milk is milk with most of the water cooked off, to which sugar has been added. It’s generally used in candy and dessert recipes. Evaporated milk is concentrated in the same way, but doesn’t contain added sugar. It lends rich texture to foods without the fat. This recipe uses both types of milk.
    • A reliable way to test cheesecake and baked custard for doneness is to gently thump the side of the pan. If the custard wobbles as one unit (instead of rippling like a stone’s been tossed in the pool), it’s ready.

    Puerto Rican Arroz con Gadules

    Recipe via Immaculate Bites

    Wash rice until water runs clear. Drain water.

    In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté bacon until brown and crisp. This may take about 5-5 minutes.

    Remove bacon from skillet and transfer to a plate. There will be some bacon drippings left in the pan (about 1-2 tablespoons).

    Pour about 1-2 tablespoons oil to the pan then add sofrito to the skillet, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

    Throw onion, garlic, and cumin to the pan. Sauté for about a minute.

    Stir in rice and continue stirring for about 1-2 minutes.

    Then add gandules, tomato sauce, olives, sazon and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; cover with a lid and simmer until rice is cooked, about 18 minutes or more. Stir occasionally from the sides to prevent burns, add more water if needed.

    Adjust for salt and pepper.

    Dominican Chicharron de Pollo

    Recipe via Dominican Cooking


    2 lb [0.91 kg] of chicken thighs
    1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1/4 teaspoon of pepper
    A pinch of oregano
    1 teaspoon of garlic powder
    2 cups of vegetable oil for frying (canola, soy or corn)
    2 limes cut into wedges


    Remove meat from bones. Cut chicken into small pieces (about 2″). Leave the skin on the chicken.
    Mix flour, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder.
    Coat the chicken strips with this mixture. Shake excess off.
    Heat oil in a deep pan over medium heat.
    Deep fry the chicken until it turns golden brown.
    Put on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
    Garnish with lime wedges and serve with tostones.

    Colombian Arepas

    Chilean Curanto

    Recipe via International Cuisine

    Salvadorian Panes con Pavo

    Recipe via Saveur

    Bolivian Salteña de Carne

    The filling of salteñas is also different from other empanadas. It’s much juicier with lots of stewing liquid accompanying the meat and vegetables.

    Gelatin is added to the filling while it is still hot. The mixture is then chilled until it thickens, which makes it easier to handle when shaping the salteñas. As the salteñas bake, the gelatin melts and the broth becomes a liquid again. It’s a nice trick that keeps the salteñas from getting soggy.

    Peel the potatoes and dice them into 1/2-inch cubes.

    In a saucepan, bring the chicken or beef stock to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes, reserving the cooking broth, and set aside.

    Cut the beef into small 1/2-inch cubes.

    In a large, heavy skillet, add 2 tablespoons oil and sauté the beef until browned on all sides. Remove beef from the skillet and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat remaining in the skillet.

    Add the aji panca, onions, and bell peppers to the skillet and sauté until the onions have softened (about 3 to 4 minutes).

    Add the cumin, paprika, and oregano and sauté for several minutes.

    Add the beef back to the skillet and cook while stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Add the reserved broth (from cooking the potatoes) to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Simmer beef and vegetables over low heat until the beef is tender (about 30 to 40 minutes). Add a bit more broth if needed.

    Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked potatoes and peas and stir until heated through.

    Dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 cup water. Add the water to the beef mixture and stir well.

    Remove from heat and transfer to a casserole dish. Refrigerate until cooled completely.

    Prepare the Dough

    While the filling is cooling, you can prepare the dough. Do this right away because it does need to rest for a while.

    Place the flour in a large bowl.

    In a small saucepan, combine the vegetable shortening, butter, and achiote. Heat over medium until hot.

    Add the hot fat mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Use your fingers to distribute the fat evenly through the flour until it is crumbly.

    In a small saucepan, stir the sugar and salt into the water and heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot. Stir this hot water mix into the flour mixture, along with the egg.

    Knead the mixture until it forms a smooth dough, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the dough seems dry. Set the dough aside for 30 minutes to an hour.

    With both elements of the salteñas ready, it’s now time to assemble and bake them.

    Divide the dough into 2-ounce balls (about the size of a golf ball). Press each ball into a flat round and let rest for 5 minutes.

    With a rolling pin, roll each round of dough into a larger oval shape that is about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

    Preheat oven to 375 F.

    Place 2 tablespoons of the chilled filling in the middle of a dough round. Add an olive to the filling. Fold the dough in half over the filling and pinch the edges together to seal dough all the way around. If you want a shinier crust, brush a mixture of 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons milk onto each salteña.

    Place salteñas on a baking sheet, braid up, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Argentinian Milanesa de Res

    Photo: Latino Foodie

    Recipe via Latino Foodie

    In a large bowl or deep baking dish, season your beef with salt and pepper.

    In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the eggs.

    Using your hands or kitchen tongs, place the beef one-by-one into breadcrumbs, turning to coat both sides. Next, dip the beef into the whisked eggs and finally into the breadcrumbs. Lightly pat the steaks so the coating sticks. Place the breaded beef aside on a plate.

    In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil over medium-high heat. Make sure the oil is hot before placing the steaks. Fry about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown (this will happen faster than you think so don’t walk away) on both sides and cooked through. Place the steaks on paper towels to drain any excess oil before serving

    Uruguayan Chivito Sandwich

    Recipe via NYT Cooking 



    Guatemalan Pepian

    Photo: Whole Planet Foundation

    Recipe via Whole Planet Foundation


    • 3-pound chicken cut into pieces
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 large tomatoes, chopped or 1-14 ounce can
    • 5 medium tomatillos, chopped
    • 1 pasilla chile, chopped
    • 1 guajillo chile, chopped
    • ½ cup chicken broth
    • ½ cup sesame seeds
    • 1 tablespoon of pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 3 corn tortillas cut into pieces
    • ¼ teaspoon achiote paste


    1. Place chicken, broth, and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
    2. Bring tomatoes, tomatillos, and both chiles to a boil in ½ cup of chicken broth; reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while doing the next 2 steps.
    3. Toast sesame seeds, pepitas, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes in a dry skillet over low heat. Once you start to smell them toasting remove from the heat.
    4. Place toasted ingredients in a blender and pulse to a powder, then add to the tomato mixture and pour back into the blender and puree.
    5. Soften achiote paste in a ¼ cup of the hot chicken broth and blend with a fork.
    6. Add tortillas, achiote paste, and 2 cups of chicken broth to the blender and process until smooth.
    7. Pour the contents of the blender into the chicken pan, stir and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
    8. Serve with warmed corn tortillas and rice
    9. Enjoy!

    Mexican Chilaquiles

    Photo: Mexico in My Kitchen

    Recipe via Mexico in My Kitchen

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