Recipes from Nicaragua, Food, Cuisine

The Nicaraguan diet consists mainly of corn, beans and rice, flavored with a variety of spices and cooked in a number of interesting ways. Experience the tantalizing taste experience of Nicaraguan cuisine with these food recipes from Nicaragua. We are certain you will have a good time cooking and savoring these delicious Nicaraguan recipes.


Nacatamales are corncakes, similar to Mexican tamales, stuffed with rice, vegetables and meats. The dough is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.

  • 2 cups Cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup Lard
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of Sour Orange Juice or Lime
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth (or other broth you prefer)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Green Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh Mint to taste
  • Paprika to taste
  • 1 pound Pork, cooked and cubed
  • 2 Tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups Potatoes, mashed
  • 1/2 cup Rice, cooked
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 10 Banana Leaves

Just cover the cornmeal with water, adding the orange juice and then cooking it at a low heat so that the hulls begin to separate. Then rinse with cold water, placing it in a pot and again covering it with water. Allow it to sit for 3 days, being sure to change the water every day. Once it has stood for 3 days, drain the corn and mash it. Now add half of the lard, plus some salt. Knead the mixture whilst slowly adding the broth until the dough is soft.

In a pan, place the rest of the lard, along with the peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper, mint and parsley. Then add the pork and other ingredients.
Wash the banana leaves and cut into 16 inch squares. Place a spoonful of dough in the center of each leaf square, then top with pork mixture. Carefully wrap and tie with string. Place the nacatamales in boiling water for about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto is Nicaragua’s most popular dish, eaten at any time of the day.

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 lrg onions – thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cooked red beans
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup cooked white rice

Beans: cook 1 cup of dry red beans with 6 crushed cloves of garlic and water in a pressure cooker for 15 to 20 minutes.
Sauté the onion in a pot. Add in the cooked beans and water. Cook for 5 minutes at a low heat whilst stirring. The beans must remain whole. Now add the cooked rice and simmer for a further 10 minutes, still stirring.


A tasty banana dessert.

  • 4 maduros (sweet bananas) peeled
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Place maduros and milk in a bowl and boil until tender. Add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, boiling for another 5 minutes. Place it in a dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350°F.

Refried Beans

A popular dish, served as part of a variety of meals.

  • Uncooked black beans
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Vegetable oil
  • salt
  • chopped tomato
  • lemon juice
  • seasonings

Boil washed beans in a pressure cooker until soft. Add salt, garlic and onion during the cooking process. Sauté onions in a pan. Quickly add beans and left over water. Continuously add more water as it cooks down. This will ensure that the beans get a sweeter and smooth texture. On the last round add the chopped tomato, lemon juice and seasoning. Mash it up.

Fresco De Pina y Arroz

No meal is complete without some refreshment. This chilled pineapple rice drink will definitely cool you down.

  • Pineapple peel/rind
  • ½ cup uncooked white rice
  • Water

Boil pineapple rind for 10 minutes in sufficient water to cover the rinds half-way. Add the rice and boil until it splits or puffs. Allow to cool and then strain. Dilute with twice the amount of water. Add sugar as needed.

back to Cuisine