Latinos In Action Blog | 7 Latin American Comfort Foods to Make for Hispanic Heritage Month
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7 Latin American Comfort Foods to Make for Hispanic Heritage Month

7 Latin American Comfort Foods to Make for Hispanic Heritage Month

With Hispanic Heritage Month halfway over and the official first day of Fall behind us, now is the perfect time to cook up something that both celebrates the diversity of Latin America and combats the chilly weather settling in. Whether you’re Hispanic/Latino or not, these 7 delicious recipes are the perfect comfort foods.
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1. Pupusas from El Salvador.

Photo and recipe from mycolombianrecipes.com

In 2005, the pupusa was named the National Dish of El Salvador. Similar to gorditas from Mexico or arepas from Venezuela and Colombia, pupusas are made from masa harina and filled with any desired combination of cheese, beans, and/or meat. Cook up these stuffed corn cakes on the second Sunday of November to celebrate National Pupusas Day with El Salvadorans everywhere! Recipe HERE.
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2. Pozole from Mexico

Photo and recipe from mexicanfoodjournal.com

For many, the colder weather signals that it’s POZOLE SEASON. A beloved Mexican dish, pozole comes in three variations that match its flag: green, white, and red. This traditional red pozole recipe is made with pork and gets its deep red color from ancho and guajillo chiles. Settle in with a blanket and a bowl of this hearty soup or whip it up for your next familia get-together. Recipe HERE.

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3. Empanadas from Argentina

Photo and recipe from myrecipeconfessions.com

A staple in Argentine cuisine, empanadas can be customized however you like. This recipe calls for a traditional filling of ground beef, hard-boiled eggs, and olives with optional raisins; you’re not alone if you think that’s a strange combination, but the results are surprisingly delicious! While there’s no substitute for homemade pastry dough, you can substitute ready-made pie dough in a pinch. Pair these with some yerba mate to have the ultimate Argentine experience. Recipe HERE.
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4. Chicken Sancocho from Colombia

Photo and recipe from mycolombianrecipes.com

This dish may look like ‘everything but the kitchen sink’, but the combination of the ingredients with a very heavy hand on the cilantro makes this hearty stew sing. It’s little wonder that nearly every Latin American country has some version of sancocho! Yuca (or cassava), green plantains, AND potatoes will send you straight to Starch Heaven. Recipe HERE.
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5. Pao de Quijo from Brazil

Recipe by Ginny P on geniuskitchen.com; photo by Jonathan Melendez.

It wouldn’t be right to make a list of comfort foods without including BREAD. But here’s a bonus: these cheesy bread puffs are naturally gluten-free. Yep, you read that right! Manioc starch – made from cassava (or yuca) – is the star of the show here. If you can’t find manioc starch, tapioca starch is a common substitute. These delicious cheese breads are ridiculously easy to make. What are you waiting for? Recipe HERE.
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6. Ají de Gallina from Peru

Photo and recipe from amigofoods.com

Ají is a Peruvian pepper that’s mild on the spice but powerful in flavor, and popular in many traditional Peruvian dishes. Here’s another fun fact about Peru: there are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes that grow there! Ají de gallina is a winning combo of ají, potatoes, and chicken, with an added thickener from an unexpected source: torn up bread! Recipe HERE.
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7. Mofongo from Puerto Rico

Photo and recipe from dominicancooking.com

This recipe may be last but it’s DEFINITELY not least. Not to be confused with mondongo – a stew made from tripe – mofongo is made by mashing delicious pork cracklings with fried plantains and garlic. Variations of mofongo are eaten in both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, along with a similar dish fufu eaten in Cuba. Recipe HERE.