30 Dishes From Argentine Cuisine You Shouldn’t Miss
Argentine cuisine is not only delicious, but it’s a cultural experience: every dish tells a story and brings unique combinations of flavors and textures. From the iconic empanadas and sizzling choripán to the heartwarming locro eaten in winter, Argentine cuisine has something to surprise you. That’s why today I want to share with you the […]
Argentine cuisine is not only delicious, but it’s a cultural experience: every dish tells a story and brings unique combinations of flavors and textures. From the iconic empanadas and sizzling choripán to the heartwarming locro eaten in winter, Argentine cuisine has something to surprise you.
That’s why today I want to share with you the most delicious 30 dishes from Argentine cuisine you shouldn’t miss. Step by step, you’ll learn to cook even the most challenging cazuela like a true Argentinian.
Appetizers and Starters
To prepare the best empanadas out there, you can follow this recipe:
Start with the best part of empanadas: the dough. Mix 1 kg of flour and salt in a bowl and 100 gr of butter cut into small pieces.
Gradually add water until the dough comes together. Then, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
Today we’ll go with a very easy filling: ham and cheese. Prepare around 200 gr of ham and 200 gr of cheese and put them aside.
Roll out the dough like it owes you money and then cut it into circles of around 5 cm diameter using a bowl.
Place the ham and cheese filling in the center of each dough circle. Fold it in half, sealing the edges. If you’re just a beginner with repulgue, you can just use a fork.
Bake at 375°F (190°C) until they're golden brown and serve with a smile.
Grate at least 6 ears of fresh corn to prepare your humita.
In a pan, sauté 2 diced onions with a little butter until they're soft and sweet. Then, add the grated corn, 1 cup of cornmeal, a bit of melted butter, and half a cup of milk. Stir it with enthusiasm!
Now place a spoonful of the corn mixture on a corn husk. Fold the sides in, like you're wrapping a tiny gift. Tie it up with a strip of corn husk to secure your masterpiece.
You can now steam your humitas in a large pot with a steamer basket for about 40-50 minutes. Sprinkle grated cheese and fresh basil on top!
Serve your humitas hot and watch the smiles light up the room. They taste even better when shared!
The protagonist of your provoleta will be a round of delicious provolone cheese:
In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add a bit of minced garlic and chopped red pepper and sauté them for a minute or two.
Now place the round of provolone cheese in this same cast-iron skillet. Make sure it’s hot!
Sprinkle dried oregano, smoked paprika), and freshly ground black pepper evenly over the cheese while it bakes for about 10-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready because it will become golden and bubbly.
Serve immediately while it's hot and gooey, with slices of crusty bread for dipping!
Crispy, doughy tortas fritas (also called chipá by some native Argentinian peoples like Guaraní) are the perfect option to eat on a rainy day.
In a large mixing bowl, mix 1 kg of flour (better if it’s 0000 flour) and salt in a powdery blend. Add lard to the dry mixture and blend it in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add this secret ingredient you won’t find in other recipes: an egg. It will make your tortas fritas soft and crusty at the same time.
Now it’s time to slowly add 2 cups of warm water, a little at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it's smooth and elastic.
Then, cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Don’t fry the dough immediately after kneading, or your tortas fritas will become hard instead of soft and delicious.
Divide the dough into small portions, about the size of a golf ball, and roll out each portion into a thin, flat circle, aiming for about 4-5 inches in diameter.
In a deep skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. There should be enough oil to submerge the tortas fritas.
Now comes the fun part: carefully slide each dough circle into the hot oil and fry until it puffs up and becomes golden brown. This shouldn’t take more than a minute or two on each side!
Finally, place the fried dough circles on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
Fire up your grill or stovetop griddle to medium-high heat to begin preparing your choripan! Then, follow these steps:
Place the chorizo sausages on the grill and cook them until they're nicely browned and have those alluring grill marks (around 20 minutes).
While your chorizos are grilling, take some crusty bread and slice it open. Add some chimichurri sauce for more flavor.
Once your chorizos are grilled to juicy, smoky deliciousness, nestle them inside the sliced bread.
Serve your choripán hot and relish its delicious combination of flavors and textures.
Soups and Stews
Locro is quite easy to prepare, but you’ll need a lot of ingredients to make it truly tasty!
First, you’ll need to soak half a kilo of dried hominy corn in water overnight to soften it.
Drain and rinse the corn before putting it in a large pot. Put half a kilo of pork shoulder, half a kilo of smoked sausage, 1 large onion chopped, garlic, and paprika.
Cover everything with water and cook for about 2 hours.
Now it’s time to add a cup of diced pumpkin, potatoes, and chili flakes. Cook until they're tender! Season with salt and pepper.
Serve hot, garnished with green onions and cheese. Enjoy!
Puchero is another delicious dish from Argentine cuisine you should enjoy during winter (though I wouldn’t judge you if you prepare it in summer, too):
In a large pot, place around half a kilo of beef shank and chicken thighs. Cover with water and bring to a boil while you skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
Now add smoked sausage, onion, and garlic to bring some flavor into the puchero. Simmer for about 30 minutes, ensuring the meat is tender.
Add carrots, sweet potatoes, celery, and corn. Cook for another 20-30 minutes until they are cooked to perfection! Don’t forget to taste it to make sure it has the right flavor.
Season with salt and pepper, and add a bay leaf for extra flavor. Remove it before serving.
Guiso de Lentejas
Looking for yet another hearty Argentine dish to enjoy on cold winter days? Guiso de lentejas is your best choice: 1. You’ll need to heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat to cook 2 chopped onions together with one minced garlic, one diced red bell pepper and a carrot.
2. Once the vegetables start to soften, sprinkle some cumin, paprika, and dried oregano and add one chopped tomato and cook for 5-6 minutes.
3. Now comes the star of the recipe: pour in half a kilo of rinsed lentils and vegetable broth, and stir everything together. Some people also like to add one diced sweet potato for more flavor.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 30-35 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not mushy.
5. One important tip to make sure your guiso de lentejas turns up perfect: keep an eye on the liquid level during cooking so the stew doesn’t become too thick.
6. Serve the stew hot, and garnished with fresh parsley for more flavor!
Sopa de Mariscos
Argentina also has delicious recipes involving fish. Sopa de Mariscos is only one of them!
Grab a large pot and put inside some chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper, and diced tomato Sprinkle some paprika and saffron.
Pour in a cup of white wine and one of water and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes to cook off the alcohol.
Add the fish and boil until everything is cooked through, which should take about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the seafood.
Season the soup with salt and black pepper to taste!
With a medley of meats, vegetables, and spices, chicken cazuela is a taste of tradition that wil warm your body and soul.
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot (a cazuela, that’s why the stew is called in this way, too), heat some olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, half a kilo of diced chicken or beef, some paprika and dried thyme, diced red and green bell peppers, carrots, potatoes,and green beans. Sounds like a lot, but the result will be delicious!
Stir everything together while you pour in the diced tomatoes and their juice together with chicken or beef broth.
Bring the cazuela to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 30-35 minutes. Cazuela will be worth your wait.
Don’t forget to taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary before serving!
Main Course Meats
Believe it or not, bread and meat make an excellent combination in Argentine milanesas. Let’s take a look at how to prepare them:
Pound the Cutlets: Place each beef cutlet (in Argentina, they use nalga or peceto) between two sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound them with a meat mallet until they are about 1/4 inch thick. You want them thin but not paper-thin; we're making a milanesa, not confetti!
Season: Now comes the best part: season the mashed cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides. The best milanesas also include parsley and garlic. Be generous but don't overdo it!
Don’t forget to prepare a “breading” station so you don’t make a mess out of your kitchen. In one shallow dish, place the bread crumbs while you beat the eggs in another one.
Dip each cutlet first in the beaten eggs, and finally in the breadcrumbs, making sure they are well coated.
Fry It Up: In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat and then fry your cutlets until they turn crispy. This will take about 3-4 minutes per side. Keep an eye on it – things can go from golden to charred faster than you can say "milanesa."
This recipe is a bit more complicated than the other ones you’ll find here, but we promise - the effort pays off!
The first thing you’ll need to prepare is the pasta dough on a clean work surface.
Make a mound with half a kilo of flour, and create a well in the center. Crack 2 eggs into the well and add a pinch of salt while gradually incorporating the flour from the edges.
Knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic, adding water if needed (but not too much!). Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest for about 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, you can combine some shredded chicken, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and sautéed onions. Now comes the most difficult but rewarding part of the process:
Roll out your pasta dough into a thin sheet with a rolling pin. Be careful not to make it too thin or it will break with your filling inside -a tragedy.
Cut out circles using a round cutter (about 3 inches in diameter) and place a small amount of the filling in the center of each circle.
You can either fold the pasta circle in half to create a half-moon shape, and press the edges to seal. Or you can put another circle of pasta right on top to create a giant sorrentino. Your choice!
Now, your sorrentinos are ready to be boiled for about 3-5 minutes. You’ll know they are ready because they will float to the surface, so make sure there’s enough water in your pot.
Serve your sorrentinos with your favorite sauce. I strongly recommend carbonara - it will enhance the chicken flavor even more.
Sandwich de Lomito
This sandwich de lomito is a mouthwatering combination of tender beef and the unique flavor of chimichurri sauce. Perfect for a hearty meal!
First, prepare your steak:
Season a thinly sliced beef with salt and pepper while you heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook the beef slice for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
And now it’s time to assemble your sandwich:
Slice a big baguette in half and place a big portion of your cooked beef onto the bottom half of each roll.
Now you need to add all the extras: lettuce, tomato, onion slices, mozzarella cheese, bacon and even a fried egg. The sandwich may become a bit hard to eat but, trust me, it’s worth the effort!
And this is the star of this sandwich: drizzle Chimichurri sauce over the beef. Enjoy!
Pastel de Papa
Would you like to try a combination of creamy mashed potatoes, layers of tender meat, and a hint of spiciness? If this sounds like you, then Pastel de Papa is your recipe.
Slice 1 kg of potatoes and boil them in salted water until they are tender.
Drain and mash them with butter, milk, salt, and pepper until you have creamy mashed potatoes. Don’t add too much milk; you don’t want this preparation to be too liquid.
In a large skillet, sauteé some chopped onions together with minced garlic and 1 kg of ground beef sprinkled with paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. This will be the filling of your pastel!
Finally, In a big and deep baking dish, spread half of the creamy mashed potatoes evenly as the first layer. Next, add the spiced meat mixture as the second layer, spreading it out evenly.
Before adding the rest of the mashed potatoes, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese over the meat. Bake it for 20 minutes and voilá! The best pastel de papa you’ve ever tasted.
This is a tough one to explain because it involves so many secrets: how to choose the meat, even how to make your own parrillas… But I’ll try!
Choose high-quality beef: ribeye, sirloin, flank steak, and short ribs are great choices. Generously sprinkle coarse salt (no marinades or complex seasonings) over the meat and wait for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
Avoid excessive flipping or poking. This might be tempting, but it’s better to just let the meat cook. The goal is to achieve a perfect sear on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender.
Serve your asado with chimichurri sauce is an accompaniment (salsa criolla will also do!).
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
Choclo a la Plancha
Argentine cuisine is not without delicious vegetarian dishes either! For example, you can try out this delicious choclo a la parrilla, perfect for a barbecue or a simple outdoor gathering.
Soak the ears of corn, with their husks on, in cold water for about 30 minutes. This helps to prevent the husks from burning on the grill.
Place the corn on a hot grill and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the kernels are tender and have grill marks.
Remove the corn from the grill, peel back the husks and season the corn with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Butter or grated Parmesan cheese will make it even more delicious!
Stuffed zucchini are other Argentine delights, similar to Kabocha Squash, and the best part is that you can customize the stuffing to your liking:
Cut the tops off the zucchini and scoop out the centers to create a hollow cavity. Note: you’ll need round zucchini, not the pear-shaped ones!
In a pan, sauté the chopped onion and garlic until they become translucent, and add other vegetables, like carrots or corn, and a bit of cream.
Season with oregano, salt, and pepper and fill each hollowed zucchini with the mixture.
You’re almost there! Now place the stuffed zucchini in a baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, with some cheese on top. Yummy!
These potatoes have just three ingredients, but I assure you they are packed with flavor. To prepare them, you just need to:
In a bowl, combine some potato wedges, minced garlic, chopped parsley, and olive oil. Toss to coat the potatoes evenly.
Spread the seasoned potato wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them for about 30-40 minutes, until they're golden and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
And that’s it! They are ready to be enjoyed.
This is the perfect thing to eat with some crisps:
In a food processor, combine cooked white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, ground cumin, and paprika. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
If you're using cilantro, add it to the hummus and pulse a few times until it's incorporated. Drizzle extra olive oil over the top and sprinkle with a pinch of paprika.
Serve your Hummus Criollo with pita bread or tortilla chips!
And yet another tricky dish name: while it’s called “soup”, it’s not liquid at all!
In a large pan, melt 30 gr of the unsalted butter over medium heat. Add one chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic to make the sopa paraguaya tasty.
Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, grated Paraguayan cheese, and mozzarella cheese in a bowl. Add some eggs, a cup of milk and mix everything together until it becomes a thick batter.
Pour this mixture into a greased baking dish together with the vegetables you cooked before.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 45-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Sides and Accompaniments
Bring all your dishes to life with this simple yet delicious chimichurri recipe:
In a glass container, toss some chopped parsley, minced garlic, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes (in Argentina it’s called aji molido).
Now you’ll need white vinegar (yes, the same one is used for cleaning). But make sure it’s fit for human consumption. You’ll know because it’s 95% water and 5% acetic acid.
Now fill half the container with vinegar and the other half with extra-virgin olive oil. You can also use sunflower oil if you prefer.
Now it’s time to add a bit of salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon juice.
If you want your chimichurri sauce to be the best you’ve ever tasted, let it rest for at least 30 minutes, so the flavors can truly mix. It’s even better if you can leave it in your fridge for a couple of days!
If you don’t like chimichurri or simply want another option to spice up your food, you should definitely try salsa criolla.
In a bowl, combine some finely chopped onion, diced red bell pepper, and minced garlic.
Add one chopped tomato and fresh parsley to the mixture, stirring them together.
Drizzle some white vinegar and olive oil over the ingredients. Give it all a good toss to ensure everything gets well coated, but it shouldn’t be as much as for the chimichurri.
A pinch of red pepper flakes will spice up your salsa criolla a lot!
Allow the flavors to mingle by letting the sauce sit for at least 30 minutes before serving with grilled meats, empanadas, or any dish that could use a vibrant twist.
Faina is a gluten-free chickpea cake that's popular in Argentina and Uruguay. I know, it doesn’t sound very tasty but believe me, it is! Especially when you try it out with pizza.
Preheat your oven to 425°F and grease a baking dish or a round pizza pan with a touch of olive oil.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine half a kilo of chickpea flour, half a cup of water, 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt, black pepper, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes. Mix until you have a smooth, runny batter. This consistency is key for your faina not to turn too hard!
Pour the batter into the greased pan, spreading it out evenly to cover the bottom and then bake it for 15-20 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready because it will turn gold.
This is optional but will take your faina to the next level: sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the top and bake it for an additional 5 minutes.
Cut the faina into slices, like you're slicing up a pizza, and serve warm!
The literal name of this dish is “Russian salad” but, believe me, it has nothing to do with Russia. Here’s how to prepare this delicious dish from Argentine cuisine:
Start by boiling some diced potatoes and carrots in a pot of salted water until they're tender but not mushy.
While they cool, mix some mayonnaise and mustard together that will be your dressing.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled potatoes and carrots and a can of peas. Pour the mayo-mustard dressing over the mixture and enjoy!
Ensalada rusa is typically eaten during Christmas but it’s also a great side dish to asado you can enjoy anytime!
Mandioca frita, or yucca fries, are Argentina's irresistible answer to the craving for crispy delights. And you can prepare them on your own in a very simple way:
Begin by peeling your mandioca and then cut them into manageable sticks, similar in size to French fries.
Carefully place the sticks into a pot with boiling water and cook them for about 10-15 minutes. Make sure they don’t become overly soft: you should be able to pierce them with a fork without them falling apart.
Remove them from the pot and let them cool for a few minutes before placing them in a deep frying plan with hot oil.
Fry them until they turn golden brown and crispy, which should take about 3-5 minutes. Season the crispy mandioca frita with salt while they're still hot!
Get ready to infuse your meals with yet another Argentine delicious sauce: provenzal.
In a bowl, combine some finely minced garlic and freshly chopped parsley.
Then start drizzling in +extra-virgin olive oil while stirring the garlic and parsley mixture.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Allow the flavors to meld by letting the Provenzal sauce sit for at least 15-20 minutes before using it for grilled meats, seafood, or vegetables.
Dulce de Leche
If you’re in Argentina, you can easily buy dulce de leche. But if you’re not, then your best chance to enjoy it is by making your own! It’s simple, look:
Pour 1 liter of milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 300 gr of sugar, some vanilla extract and then and place the saucepan over low heat, and stir the mixture continuously.
The key here is to avoid scorching the milk and never, ever stop stirring! This will take at least half an hour, so patience is the key.
As the mixture heats and thickens, you'll notice it gradually transforming into the rich, caramelized delight that is Dulce de Leche.
Remove it from the heat and let it cool for a bit before transferring it to a clean jar or container. It will continue to thicken as it cools!
The best part about dulce de leche is that it can be stored for a few weeks (even a month!), though it's unlikely to last that long.
Want to put your homemade dulce de leche to good use? Make a chocotorta!
In a mixing bowl, combine equal parts of dulce de leche and cream cheese. Mix until they are well incorporated, creating a smooth and creamy filling.
In a shallow dish, pour some coffee or milk. Quickly dip square chocolate cookies into it but be careful not to soak them for too long, or they will become too soggy.
Start assembling the Chocotorta by placing a layer of the dipped cookies in the bottom of your serving dish and then spread a layer of the dulce de leche and cream cheese mixture over the cookies.
Repeat the process, layering cookies and filling until you've used up all the cookies and filling. The final layer should be the cream mixture!
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but overnight is even better.
Flan is a classic Argentine dessert that's beloved for its velvety texture and rich caramel flavor. The recipe is a bit more complicated than chocotorta, but the creamy result will be worth the effort!
Begin by making the caramel. In a saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water and cook it over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
It will gradually change color and become a deep amber caramel. Be patient; this can take around 10-15 minutes.
Once the caramel reaches your desired color, quickly pour it into the bottom of a flan mold (make sure it’s heatproof as it will need to go in the oven later).
Now prepare the flan itself:
In a bowl, whisk the eggs until well beaten and add some sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract to the beaten eggs. Stir until everything is thoroughly combined.
Pour the custard mixture into the caramel-coated flan mold and then bake it for approximately 45-60 minutes. The flan is ready when a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Slice and serve your Argentine Flan (even better if you serve it with dulce de leche!).
Dulce de Batata y Queso
We’d like to finish this list with the simpler recipe of all: fresco y bata, a dessert made of sweet potato jelly and cheese. It may sound strange, but it offers you a unique and delicious contrast of flavors and textures.
Preparation: There's virtually no cooking involved in this dessert, making it incredibly easy. Simply gather your ingredients and make sure you have a quality dulce de batata and cheese.
Take the cheese and slice it into thin pieces while you scoop out some dulce de batata and place it in a small bowl or on a serving plate.
To enjoy this dessert even more, you can eat it with crackers or crusty bread on the side.
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