Ecuadorian breakfasts can be small and quick, for example some bread with cheese or dulce (jam) and coffee/juice. However breakfast in Ecuadori can also mean a complete satisfying meal like mote pillo or hominy with scrambled eggs in the Andean highlands, or a bowl of delicious encebollado (tuna) soup in the Coast. Savory seafood breakfasts, from ceviche to fried fish with rice and plantains, are very popular in beach towns and coastal cities. Breakfasts dishes using plantains, both green and ripe, are also very popular, both in the coast and also in the Sierra (Highlands). Breakfast dishes with grains and vegetables like habas or fava beans, corn, yuca or cassava are also very common in the Highlands, especially in the more rural areas where people need a hearty breakfast to start a long work day.
Panaderías or bakeries can be found everywhere from large cities to small towns. People will usually send the kids to buy freshly baked bread in the mornings for breakfast. You can find a variety of savory bread (pan de sal) or sweet bread (pan de dulce), some come with cheese fillings or sweet fillings, like guava jam. The type of breads also vary from one city to another, and some have very distinct and well-known types of breads. In the Sierra most people will drink coffee with their breakfast. Freshly made fruit juices are also popular all around the country, but especially in the coast. Other popular breakfast drinks include a fruity oatmeal drink called colada de avena and herbal teas. In my hometown of Loja, we have a very well-known tea drink called horchata (very different than the Mexican or Spanish horchata drinks), it is made with a variety of herbs and flowers, and is served already sweetened and with a dash of lemon juice.
I can’t talk about breakfast options in Ecuador without mentioning the delicious variety of Ecuadorian fruits. Ecuador has an amazing variety of fresh fruit and its very common to have fresh papaya, melon, pineapple, berries, plums, as well as lesser known fruits like babaco, chirimoya, zapote, granadilla, and others for breakfast. The fruits are sometimes used to make juices or fruit salads, and other times are simply served on the side.
These are some of the most popular Ecuadorian breakfast dishes. These traditional Ecuadorian dishes are great for breakfast or brunch, as well as for the afternoon coffee break. Most of these Ecuadorian classic breakfast dishes go really well with a hot cup of cafecito or black coffee.
Bolon de verde: Bolon de verde are green plantain dumplings stuffed with cheese, chorizo or chicharrones and fried until crispy.
Empanadas de verde: Empanadas made from green plantain dough and stuffed with cheese and onions.
Empanadas de viento: Empanadas de viento are Ecuadorian empanadas stuffed with cheese and onion, then fried and sprinkled with sugar.
Humitas: Ecuadorian humitas are savory steamed corn cakes made from a mixture of freshly ground corn, onion, garlic, cheese, eggs, and cream, which is placed inside corn husks and steamed.
Majado de verde: Majado de verde is a green plantain mash made with green plantains, onions, garlic, and achiote. Majado is served with fried eggs and cheese slices.
Encebollado or tuna fish soup: Encebollado de pescado is an Ecuadorian fish soup made with fresh tuna, yuca or cassava, tomato, onions, cilantro, cumin, hot pepper and topped with pickled onions.
Fried plantains with cheese or platanos maduros con queso: Easy recipe for fried plantains with melted cheese, made with sweet ripe plantains topped with grated quesillo or grated mozzarella.
Come y bebe fruit salad: Ecuadorian drinkable fruit salad made with papaya, bananas, pineapple and orange juice
Colada de avena or Ecuadorian oatmeal drink: Colada de avena is a traditional Ecuadorian fruity oatmeal drink, it is made with oats, naranjilla fruit, panela or brown sugar, water and cinnamon. Colada can be served cold on warm days or warm during cold winter days.
Jugo de piña: Easy to make homemade pineapple juice, you can also make any other fruit juice with this recipe.
Horchata lojana: Horchata lojana is a tea type drink made from a variety of herbs and flowers including escancel or bloodleaf, lemon verbena, lemon grass, mint, chamomile, lemon balm, rose geranium, among others.
Mote pillo: Mote pillo consists of hominy sautéed with onions, garlic, achiote, eggs, milk, chives and cilantro or parsley, and served with hot black coffee and slices of fresh cheese
Pan de yuca: Pan de yuca or cheese breads are yummy melt in your mouth warm breads made with cheese and yuca or cassava starch