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South America is a continent in the Southern Hemisphere consisting of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela! From empanadas to potato croquettes, you will fall in love with South American food! These 15 dishes are some of the most popular, and delicious dishes to try from around the continent, that you will not want to miss!
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy!
1. Black Bean Empanadas
Source: Black Bean Empanadas
2. Papas Rellenas: Eggplant and Potato Croquettes
Papas Rellenas are a type of croquette popular in many Latin American countries. In this recipe by Cruelty Free Family, the crispy potato croquettes have a savory, sweet, and spicy eggplant filling that’s surrounded by creamy mashed potatoes. They’re then paired with a creamy and irresistible avocado sauce for dipping. These are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, but it’s also worth making mashed potatoes just to experience this flavorful appetizer.
3. Colombian Black Bean Stew
Source: Colombian Black Bean Stew
This Colombian black bean stew by Kimberly Espinel is not only super easy to make and utterly delicious but also extremely healthy. Full of plant-based protein and fiber, it’s proof that plant-based food does not need to be complicated. Also, the main ingredients (black beans, onions, and garlic) are all inexpensive. This Colombian black bean stew is a delicious, budget-friendly, and hearty meal, especially when served with a side of grains and sliced avocado.
4. Moqueca (Brazilian Stew)
Source: Moqueca (Brazilian Stew)
Thick, luscious, comforting, and almost too good to share, this vegan Moqueca recipe by Compassionate Cuisine was inspired by a Brazilian seafood stew. Their compassionate version uses fried plantains, tofu, hearts of palm, and diced potatoes to create a gorgeous and uniquely flavorful dish. Since this was originally a seafood stew, they used wakame, a sea vegetable, to create a mild broth that lends a subtle taste of the sea.
5. Tres Leches Flan
Source: Tres Leches Flan
Tres leches flan is a Mexican sweet that is traditionally made using milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and eggs. In this simple recipe by Alejandra Olmedo, three kinds of non-dairy milk are used and cornstarch takes the place of eggs. Served with syrup and fresh fruit, this treat has a rich, custard-like texture that just melts in your mouth!
6. Pastel de Choclo: Chilean Shepherd’s Pie
Simply put, this is a Chilean dish very similar to shepherd’s pie. Typically, this dish has big juicy chunks of beef, but we find eggplant is the best substitute as it doesn’t have much flavor of its own and carries all the flavors of the dish while still retaining its shape. This Pastel de Choclo: Chilean Shepherd’s Pie by Smith and Daughters is fantastic served with a green salad dressed with our lemon and cumin vinaigrette.
7. Brazilian Style Black Beans
Source: Brazilian Style Black Beans
These Brazilian Style Black Beans by Elsa Brobbey are intensely savory, perfectly spiced, and cooked until tender, rich and fragrant with deepened flavors. It’s also hearty and nutritious, and highly adaptable if you want to use your favorite spices or toss in some wholesome greens and vegetables. For a creamier texture, blend a cup of stew (just before it’s done cooking) until it’s smooth, and add it back in. It makes an awesome meal on its own, with a hunk of good bread, or you could serve it like it’s traditionally done with white rice.
8. Plantain Sweet Potato Tacos With Guacamole
These Plantain Sweet Potato Tacos With Guacamole by Erin Druga are exactly as they sound – stuffed with plantains, sweet potatoes, and black beans and topped with a simple guacamole. They’re vegan, gluten-free, and an excellent lunch or dinner option!
9. Cheesy Roasted Corn and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
These cheesy roasted corn and sweet potato enchiladas by Danielle Clark are the perfect cozy dinner! They’re made with minimal ingredients, come together in under an hour, and are incredibly easy to make.
10. Black Bean Tamales
Source: Black Bean Tamales
A corn-reduced version is used to make these Black Bean Tamales by Amy Height! Corn, black beans, tomatoes, and fiery spices, all cooked in a little corn husk pocket. Voila! A super simple meal. Plus, the tamale filling makes an uber-fueling breakfast (over kale) if you have any leftovers. I’ve taken to baking it in muffin tins for 20 minutes at 350F to firm up: it makes little beany-corn bites that are awesome to pre-fuel your day.
11. Cuban Lentil Soup With Baked Plantains and Lemon Crema
Comfort in a bowl – chock full of vegetables and classic Cuban onion and garlic essence with a kick. This is a robust soup with plenty of vegetables and spiced up with traditional Cuban flavors. Garnished with a lemon crema and irresistible baked plantains, this Cuban Lentil Soup With Baked Plantains and Lemon Crema by Karen Sheer is warming and full of nutrition!
12. Cauliflower Ceviche
Source: Cauliflower Ceviche
Ceviche differs from country to country. This cauliflower ceviche by Dora Stone is closest to the Mexican version which contains onions, tomatoes, and peppers. Onion, cilantro, and lime juice have also been added to create a spicy, tangy, and refreshing appetizer. Serve in an avocado for a fun presentation and with plenty of tostadas or chips!
13. Salsa de Palmito: Brazilian Hearts of Palm Salad
This simple and refreshing Salsa de Palmito: Brazilian Hearts of Palm Salad by Christine Pittman is perfect for your summer barbecue. Hearts of palm are tossed with tomatoes, onion, and spring onion in a simple dressing made from olive oil, lime, salt, and pepper, to give it a little bit of spice. If you’ve never tried hearts of palm before, this salad is a great place to start.
14. Black Bean Potato Pupusas
Source: Black Bean Potato Pupusas
A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish consisting of a thick corn tortilla filled with a blend of meat, cheese, and beans. However, these Black Bean Potato Pupusas by Jasmine Briones are vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free! Oh yeah, and they’re just as good as any pupusa you can find at a street cart.
15. Roasted Poblano Cilantro Empanadas
These roasted poblano cilantro empanadas by Stephanie McKinnie are full of flavorful goodness! The poblano adds the yummiest roasted pepper flavor and the combination of poblano, cilantro, and melty vegan cheese cannot be beaten. The slaw becomes a beautiful bright pink and adds the much-needed fresh crunchy quality to the mix. The beauty of empanadas is that they are easy to reheat, which makes them great for when you’re on the go.
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