Here you will find my most popular traditional Ecuadorian recipes, including recipes from the different regions of Ecuador and holiday recipes. These classic Ecuadorian recipes are easy to make and most include step by step photos. This list breaks out the recipes by category to make it easier to find the recipe you need.
Some of the most popular Ecuadorian drinks are fresh fruit juices and smoothies, called batidos. In the Ecuadorian highlands or Sierra region there are also several warm drinks that are perfect for a cold evening or morning. Chicha style drinks, the most traditional is called chicha de jora and is made from corn. There are also chicha drinks made using oats, rice, yuca or cassava, and fruit. Cocktails tend to use aguardiente, a sugar cane liquor similar to rum, as their main alcohol component. These days you can find a variety of different aguardientes, some are inexpensive mass produced and others are more artisanal/higher quality (ie less hangover).
We love snacking in Ecuador, it’s very common to arrive at a restaurant or bar and to be served a simple snack inmediately. Sometimes it’s something as simple as popcorn or crunchy Ecuadorian style corn nuts called maíz tostado. There are so many Ecuadorian dishes that made great appetizers. Some of these dishes can also be served as main entrees depending on the meal. Personally I love serving some of the traditional Ecuadorian street food dishes as appetizers. It’s a great way to sample a variety of different flavors in small bites. Other dishes like stuffed avocados and ceviches work great as a single appetizer for any standard three meal course.
Ceviches are very popular in the coastal region of Ecuador. There’s nothing more refreshing than having a bowl of freshly made ceviche by the beach. However, you can also find ceviche in the highlands. Ecuadorian ceviches are not limited to seafood. We have vegetarian/vegan ceviches made with chochos, a type of lupini bean, hearts of palm (palmito), mushrooms, and fruits like mango. In Quito you can also find chicken ceviche (made with fully cooked chicken). In Macara, a city in my province of Loja, you can also find a delicious ceviche made with cooked beef.
Salads in Ecuador are usually served as a side dish for a main meal or as an appetizer, though it is becoming more mainstream to have salads served on their own. Salads using seafood, avocado, potatoes, carrots, beans, corn, broccoli, etc are very common. The salad dressings are either lemon/vinegar based or mayonnaise based for potato/vegetable salads.
There are so many Ecuadorian soup recipes, even after years of blogging I still have a long list of soup recipes to share. Soups are usually served as the first course for most Ecuadorian lunches. The main lunch course is called “Segundo” which means second because it’s served after the soup.
Ecuadorian main meals can be very filling, especially lunch. There’s usually a protein component that could be meat, fish, seafood, poultry. Sides include rice, which could also be part of the dish, and additional starches like potatos, yuca or cassava, plantains, corn, beans. A small side salad might also be part of the main dish. For those who find that there’s an over-abundance of starches, you can choose the one(s) you want when cooking at home.