Argentina food recipes are not readily available in the U.S. We spent many months in Argentina and brought them back from our trip. Hope you love them as well.
Argentina is surging up in the travel bucket list for young as well as old alike. The country is famous for producing some of the best soccer players, from the late Diego Maradona to Lionel Messi. In addition to football, Argentina is renowned for its incredible cuisine. If you love trying various cuisines across the globe, you will definitely fall in love with Argentinian cuisine.
If you are into travel and food, then this article will be perfect for you. In this article, we shall be taking you through Argentinian food from its history to the national dish of the country. The wide variety of Argentina traditional food recipes will amaze you.
History of Argentina Food Recipes
Before the arrival of European explorers, Argentina was inhabited by the Native Indians. The members of the Native Indians who lived in the northern part of Argentina were farmers who were known for growing sweet potatoes, squash, and melons.
In 1536, the Spanish arrived in Argentina, and between the 1880s and 1890s, there were approximately a million immigrants from Europe who lived in Argentina. Most of them were from Spain and Italy. Italians introduced pizza along with other types of dishes such as pasta dishes like lasagna and spaghetti during this period.
The Germans, British as well as Jewish, among other immigrants, came to settle in Argentina, bringing with them various styles of cooking and their favorite foods. British brought tea with them, which started the tradition of teatime in Argentina. All of these new cultures had a significant influence on Argentina’s food.
The Argentinian Cuisine
The first thing you will notice about Argentina food is that it is very rich in grilling and it involves a lot of cooking meat and beef. Argentina food is famous for being relatively high in protein, especially beef. Furthermore, grilled meat is often considered the mainstay of Argentinian food.
Consuming grilled meat is a tradition that started in Argentina back in the 19th century, and it is said to have been derived from Gaucho, an original Argentinian cowboy. It is said that most of the Argentinians consume beef more than once per day; as a result, they are known for producing the best beef in today’s world.
By understanding the Argentinian food history, you will come to learn that Argentinian food is European influenced, and it similar to foods of other South American countries. The citizens of Argentina are said to eat different foods at different times; however, some are reported to consume the same type of food in every meal.
Furthermore, Argentina is said to have four different meals; however, this often differs significantly with regions. The first meal is breakfast, which often consists of rolls, croissants along with breakfast pastries with jam. in addition to that, they consume strong coffee and milk; some consume yerba mate, which is an herbal tea that is made using leaves of holly-like plants in a well-decorated container.
The second meal of the day is lunch, which is often a big meal that consists of two or sometimes more meals made up of grilled meat or steaks, empanadas, pasta, and cooked potatoes. They also have a decadent snack in the late afternoon, and it often consists of coffee or tea along with sweet pastry, cheese, sandwiches, ham, peanuts, and olive nibbles.
The afternoon snack is often used to hold an individual between the period of lunchtime and dinner, which is often very late at 10 p.m. Their dinner is often late at night, and it is often the biggest meal of the day.
Their dinner consists of two to three courses along with a dessert, which is often included in every meal throughout the day. Dinner is made up of foods such as grilled meat, large steaks, pizzas, pasta, trout or salmon, potatoes, salad, empanadas, vegetables, and fruits. It also includes some traditional Argentina food as well.
Desserts often consist of ice cream, fruit salad, and flan. Usually, Argentinian food is a lot to consume. However, as a foodie, there is no doubt it is the best country to visit and explore some of the best cuisines in South America.
Top Foods to Try While In Argentina
A trip to Argentina is by far the perfect opportunity for you to indulge in some of the best foods on the South American continent. While in this country, you should try and seek out this incredible Argentina food;
Asado: They say that the best way to get to an Argentinian heart is through asedo, which is a form of barbecue that is also called parrillada. It would be best if you didn’t leave Argentina without spending your leisure afternoon beside a warm grill or open fire while feasting on copious grilled meats.
Asado is said to have originated from Gauchos or the Argentinian cowboys who often existed on the abundant cows that dotted the country. You can find a whole lamb being roasted in an open flame; it is often lightly salted and topped with chimichurri and then paired with Malbec. This is what you should expect in Argentina.
Chimichurri: This is a green salsa that is made of finely chopped oregano, parsley, chili pepper flakes, garlic, olive oil, along with a touch of acid like vinegar or lemon. The tangy and garlic salsa is often used in margination or used in blanketing some of the grilled meat and heaps of savory food in Argentina.
Dulce de leche: This is best for people with a sweet tooth. The cows in Argentina haven’t only been used as a source of phenomenal beef but also with abundant milk. Argentinians use the condensed milk from their cows and make one other culinary treasure; the dulce de leche. It is loosely translated as the milk jam.
Dulce de leche is a thick caramel which is as a result of condensed milk being reduced slowly until it is sweetened as well as sticky. You will find it in almost everything from alfajores to dessert empanadas and helado, where it liberally drizzled and then downed by kilos.
Yerba mate: The yerba mate was first cultivated and used by the indigenous tribes of South American before being colonized by the Europeans. Yerba mate is an herbal as well as caffeine-infused drink. While Argentina, you will find it filled in everything from to-go mugs to shallow squash gourds throughout the country.
The leaves from the plant of yerba mate are dried before being chopped and then grounded into a powder. Sometimes it is steep as a whole leaf in hot water. It is considered a social practice to drink yerba mate using a gourd that is fitted with a metal straw that also acts as a sieve. The beverage is often passed around in a group with individual sipping before passing it to the next person.
Carbonada: In Argentina, carbonada is the staple dish during cold seasons. If it happens that you are in Argentina during cooler months, you should give this dish a try. Carbonada consists of meat, sweet and white potatoes, carrots, corn on a cob, bacon, peppers, along with fruits such as raisins and apricots. This stew is a spoon in a hollowed-out pumpkin, which is then placed on cooking on a barbecue. You can find various types of carbonada throughout Argentina.
The National Food of Argentina
With some of the best foods in the South American continent, Argentina’s food is among the things the citizens of Argentina are proud of. If you have tried Argentinian cuisine, you do understand that there is nothing that can beat the taste of empanadas.
The savory empanada is considered the national food of Argentina. So, what is the empanada, and why is it such a big deal in Argentina? An empanada is a turnover or pastry full of savory ingredients, and it often served while hot.
Empanada is a name that comes from the verb empanar, which translates to – to coat or wrap in dough or bread. Usually, empanadas come fried or baked and feature triangle or half-moon shapes. Furthermore, the recipes of empanadas tend to vary significantly on elegance as well as the simplicity of the dish; however, its basic ingredients always remain the same.
If you have ever been on a trip to England, you might be familiar with empanadas. Its basic ingredients are dough, fillings, and the cooking method. Some of the famous filling in empanadas include minced chicken, beef, or ham and cheese combo. You might as well purchase one that is filled with fruits or vegetables. You can always find endless variety when you visit an empanada restaurant.
Empanadas can be found throughout the South American continent. However, Argentinians love boasting the recipe as their own, and every province in Argentina has its own recipe.
History of Empanadas in Argentina
Argentinians love empanadas; however, where did this pocket-sized meal originate from? Well, the origin of the empanada is said to be unclear; nonetheless, its first mention goes back to medieval times. Recently, historians found a Catalan cooking book with the earliest recipe for empanadas. It is said to have been published by Ruperto De Nelo back in 1520.
The early Spanish immigrants are believed to have carried the recipe with them to Argentina in the 16th century. Medieval Spain’s diet consisted of legumes, bread, alongside other various types of meats. These are the same ingredients used in making traditional empanadas.
As time progressed, the ingredients used in empanadas have changed significantly. Back then, the empanada was nothing much more than a simple bread dough that was filled with pork, oxen meat, or beef. However, today, empanadas have different types of fillings, which often depend on what is in the season and fresh.
In the history of Argentina, the empanada was known as the meal for working men. This was because it was full of meat that was relatively easy to carry to work. Despite the fact that it isn’t called that way in today’s society, the ease of empanada isn’t lost upon the recent generation. The food still remains to be a staple item in Argentinian cuisine.
Several families in Argentina will still cook empanadas as party food or easy dinner meal. Fairs, along with street corners, features fresh empanadas as street food for pedestrians. Furthermore, it is popular among restaurants, and they often focus on uniqueness and some extravagant recipes for their empanadas.
Well, an empanada is an Argentinian famous and nation dish and it often renowned as the Argentinian’s cookie. If you ever happen to be in Argentina, you should empanada is a must-try delicacy. You will fall in love with this food, and you will never regret giving it a try.
Argentina Food Recipes and Traditions
One of the best traditions in Argentinian is Criolla. Usually, this food often consists of large grills and barbecues known as parrillas or asados, where copious amounts of meat (often beef) are flung from kidney to chorizo and morcilla. Criolla food tastes hot and fills with stew such as locro made from white beans, pork, and sweetcorn or variations of a similar idea such as the carbonado stew or the Cazuela Gaucho.
While in Argentina, you will be able to see and understand how European had influenced the country’s cuisine significantly. Spanish made paella, traditional stews, alfajores, and churros some of the staples in Argentina food. Similarly, the Germans made a significant influence with threw medialunas or croissants, and the sauerkraut was renamed chukrut.
Argentina is considered food heaven for food enthusiasts in South America. There is plenty of food to taste and enjoy in this country. Furthermore, it is known for having a deep and rich history worth learning while visiting the country.
If you are looking for a reason to travel to this South American country, their food should be your top reason. You can never go wrong with their incredible dishes, which are by far the best in the South American continent. As we conclude, we hope that you have found this article beneficial as you plan your trip to this lovely country.
25 Unbelievable Argentina Food Recipes
Argentine Lasagna, or “lasagna criolla,” is a classic dish that puts a unique spin on the traditional Italian recipe. It features layers of pasta sheets, ground beef, onions, bell peppers, and hard-boiled eggs. The filling is seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices, such as oregano and cumin, which gives it a distinct Argentine flavor. The lasagna is then baked in the oven until the cheese on top is golden and bubbly. It’s a comforting and flavorful dish that reflects the fusion of Italian and Argentine influences in Argentine cuisine.
Argentinian Beef Empanadas are a beloved traditional dish in Argentina. These savory pastries are filled with a flavorful mixture of ground beef, onions, garlic, spices, and sometimes additional ingredients like olives or raisins. The dough is typically made from flour, butter, and water, rolled out into circles, filled with the beef mixture, and then folded and crimped to create a half-moon shape. The empanadas are baked until golden brown and crispy, making them a delicious and portable snack or meal option in Argentine cuisine.
Authentic Chimichurri is a vibrant and zesty sauce that is synonymous with Argentine cuisine. This traditional recipe combines fresh parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and spices such as oregano and red pepper flakes. The ingredients are finely chopped or blended together to create a thick and aromatic sauce. Chimichurri is typically used as a marinade or condiment for grilled meats, adding a burst of tangy and herbaceous flavor. It’s a versatile and essential element of Argentine culinary culture.
Carbonada Criolla is a hearty and flavorful stew that is a cherished dish in Argentina. This traditional recipe features a combination of beef, vegetables, and fruit, such as potatoes, carrots, squash, corn, and peaches. The stew is simmered in a rich broth seasoned with herbs and spices, resulting in a savory and slightly sweet flavor profile. Carbonada Criolla is a comforting and satisfying meal, perfect for cold winter days, and it represents the diversity of ingredients and flavors found in Argentine cuisine.
Argentinian Choripan is a popular street food in Argentina that combines grilled chorizo sausage and crusty bread. This simple yet delicious recipe starts by grilling the chorizo until it’s juicy and flavorful. The sausage is then placed inside a crusty bread roll, and it’s often accompanied by chimichurri sauce or other condiments like salsa criolla. The combination of the smoky, savory chorizo with the soft bread and tangy condiments creates a mouthwatering flavor experience. Choripan is a beloved street snack and a staple at barbecues and events in Argentina.
The Argentine Burger with Chimichurri is a mouthwatering recipe that showcases the flavors of Argentina. This juicy and flavorful burger starts with a patty made from ground beef seasoned with spices and grilled to perfection. It is then topped with a generous dollop of chimichurri sauce, a zesty blend of parsley, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. The burger is typically served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and other condiments. The combination of the juicy beef patty and the vibrant chimichurri sauce creates a delicious and uniquely Argentine burger experience.
Argentinian-Inspired Veggie Chili with Chimichurri is a delightful twist on traditional chili with a touch of Argentine flavors. This vegetarian recipe features a medley of vegetables such as beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, and corn, cooked in a rich and flavorful tomato-based sauce. The chili is seasoned with a blend of spices and herbs, giving it a robust taste. To add an Argentine touch, it is served with a generous drizzle of homemade chimichurri sauce, adding a vibrant and zesty element to the dish. It’s a hearty and satisfying meal that showcases the fusion of flavors in Argentine cuisine.
Argentina Grilled Steak, or “Asado,” is a quintessential dish in Argentine cuisine. This recipe highlights the simplicity and deliciousness of a perfectly grilled steak. The steak, usually a thick cut like a ribeye or sirloin, is generously seasoned with salt and grilled over an open fire or charcoal grill. The cooking method emphasizes the natural flavors of the beef, resulting in a juicy and tender steak with a smoky charred exterior. Asado is often served with chimichurri sauce and accompanied by various sides, making it a true delight for meat lovers in Argentina.
Argentine-Spiced Steak is a tantalizing recipe that showcases the bold flavors of Argentina. This dish starts with a high-quality steak, such as a ribeye or strip steak, which is seasoned with a blend of spices including garlic, paprika, cumin, and oregano. The steak is then grilled to perfection, allowing the spices to infuse into the meat and create a savory and aromatic crust. The result is a tender and flavorful steak that captures the essence of Argentine cuisine. It’s a fantastic choice for steak enthusiasts looking to experience the unique flavors of Argentina.
10. Argentine Asado
Argentine Asado is a time-honored culinary tradition in Argentina, showcasing the art of grilling and the appreciation of high-quality meats. This recipe involves a variety of cuts, such as ribs, sausages, and beef short ribs, which are seasoned with salt and cooked slowly over an open fire or charcoal grill. The slow cooking process allows the meat to develop a smoky flavor and a tender texture. Asado is often enjoyed with chimichurri sauce, salads, and other accompaniments, creating a festive and communal dining experience that represents the heart of Argentine gastronomy.
Argentinian Pancakes, known as “Panqueques,” are a delightful treat enjoyed throughout Argentina. This recipe features thin and delicate pancakes made from a batter of flour, eggs, milk, and a touch of sugar. The pancakes are cooked until golden brown and can be filled with various sweet or savory fillings. Popular fillings include dulce de leche, fresh fruits, Nutella, or even ham and cheese. Topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, these pancakes are a delicious and versatile option for breakfast or dessert in Argentina.
Locro is a traditional and hearty stew that holds a special place in Argentine cuisine. This recipe combines ingredients such as corn, beans, meat (typically beef or pork), and a variety of vegetables and spices. The stew is slow-cooked to perfection, allowing the flavors to meld together and create a rich and satisfying dish. Locro is often enjoyed during special occasions and national holidays, representing the warmth and comfort of Argentine home cooking. It’s a delicious and nourishing meal that showcases the country’s culinary heritage.
Argentinian Medialunas are a delectable pastry that is an iconic part of Argentine cuisine. These sweet and buttery crescent-shaped treats are similar to croissants but with a unique Argentine twist. The dough is made with flour, butter, sugar, and yeast, resulting in a flaky and tender texture. Medialunas are typically enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack, accompanied by a cup of coffee or mate. Their irresistible taste and delicate layers make them a beloved pastry in Argentina and a must-try for anyone exploring Argentine cuisine.
Argentine Grilled Provolone is a simple yet delightful appetizer that showcases the delicious flavors of melted cheese. This recipe features provolone cheese slices that are grilled until golden and bubbly, creating a delightful combination of gooey and crispy textures. The grilled provolone is often drizzled with a tangy chimichurri sauce, adding a burst of freshness and herbal notes to complement the rich and savory cheese. It’s a popular dish in Argentina, enjoyed as a starter or part of a traditional asado (barbecue) meal.
Steaks Pan-Grilled Argentine-Style is a mouthwatering recipe that captures the essence of Argentine cuisine. This method involves cooking thick cuts of beef, such as ribeye or sirloin, in a hot skillet with minimal seasoning, allowing the natural flavors of the meat to shine. The steaks are seared to perfection, creating a caramelized crust while keeping the interior juicy and tender. Served with a side of chimichurri sauce and traditional accompaniments like grilled vegetables or potatoes, this dish showcases the Argentine love for high-quality grilled meats.
Canastitas are delightful appetizers that originate from Argentina. These bite-sized treats consist of small pastry shells filled with a variety of savory fillings. Common fillings include ham and cheese, spinach and ricotta, or beef with onions. The pastry shells are made with a buttery dough that bakes to a golden brown and provides a delicate and crispy texture. Canastitas are perfect for parties and gatherings, allowing guests to enjoy a taste of Argentina in a single bite.
Argentinian Milanesa is a beloved dish that showcases the influence of Italian cuisine in Argentina. This recipe features thin slices of beef or chicken that are breaded and fried until golden and crispy. The breading consists of breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings, which give the meat a delicious crunch. Milanesa is often served with a side of mashed potatoes or a fresh salad. It’s a popular comfort food in Argentina, enjoyed by families and loved for its satisfying texture and flavor.
Chocotorta is a classic dessert that is adored in Argentina. This no-bake treat features alternating layers of chocolate biscuits soaked in coffee and a creamy mixture made from dulce de leche and cream cheese. The layers are stacked to form a luscious and indulgent cake-like dessert. Chocotorta is chilled, allowing the flavors to meld together and the biscuits to soften. It’s a decadent and easy-to-make dessert that is loved by all ages in Argentina, perfect for satisfying sweet cravings.
Argentinian Alfajores are irresistible sandwich cookies that are a beloved treat in Argentina. These delicate and buttery cookies are typically filled with dulce de leche, a caramel-like spread made from condensed milk. The cookies can be dusted with powdered sugar or dipped in chocolate for added indulgence. Alfajores are often enjoyed with a cup of mate, Argentina’s traditional herbal tea. With their delicate texture and luscious filling, these cookies are a delightful representation of Argentina’s sweet culinary traditions.
Argentine Asado Burgers capture the essence of traditional Argentine grilling in a delicious burger form. This recipe combines flavorful ground beef with a blend of spices, such as garlic, paprika, and cumin, to create a mouthwatering patty. The burgers are then grilled to perfection, resulting in a juicy and smoky flavor. Served on a toasted bun with classic toppings like lettuce, tomato, and chimichurri sauce, these burgers pay homage to Argentina’s love for grilled meats and are a tasty twist on the classic American burger.
No-Bake Chocotorta is a delightful and easy-to-make dessert that is loved in Argentina. This recipe layers chocolate biscuits with a creamy filling made from dulce de leche and cream cheese. The layers are stacked and chilled to allow the flavors to meld together. The result is a decadent and indulgent dessert that requires no baking. It’s perfect for warm weather or when you want a quick and delicious treat. Serve chilled and enjoy the rich flavors of chocolate and caramel in every bite.
Argentinian Chipas are delightful cheese bread rolls that are popular in Argentina. Made with cassava flour, cheese, eggs, and a touch of butter, these gluten-free rolls have a unique and satisfying texture. They are typically seasoned with herbs and spices like oregano and paprika, which give them a flavorful kick. Chipas are best enjoyed fresh from the oven when they are warm and cheesy. They make a great snack or accompaniment to meals and are a beloved staple in Argentinian cuisine.
Carbonada Criolla is a hearty and flavorful stew that is a true gem of Argentinian cuisine. This recipe combines tender beef, seasonal vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and squash, and sweet ingredients like peaches and raisins. The stew is simmered in a rich broth flavored with spices like cumin and paprika, creating a comforting and aromatic dish. Carbonada Criolla is traditionally served in a hollowed-out pumpkin, adding an extra touch of rustic charm to this delicious and satisfying meal.
Argentine-Style Sausage Sandwiches, known as “choripan,” are a beloved street food in Argentina. This recipe features grilled sausages, typically chorizo, nestled inside a crusty baguette and topped with tangy chimichurri sauce. The sausages are cooked until juicy and flavorful, offering a smoky and robust taste. The sandwich is completed with a generous drizzle of chimichurri, a vibrant herb and garlic sauce that adds a burst of freshness. Argentine-Style Sausage Sandwiches are a perfect combination of flavors and textures, making them a favorite among meat lovers in Argentina.
Empanadas Mendocinas are a traditional Argentinian delight hailing from the region of Mendoza. These delicious handheld pastries are filled with a savory mixture of ground beef, onions, spices, and sometimes olives and raisins. The dough is typically made with flour, lard, and warm water, resulting in a flaky and golden crust. Empanadas Mendocinas are baked to perfection and can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or main course. They showcase the rich flavors and culinary heritage of Argentina in every bite.
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