Nicaraguan Food Guide
With its stunning lakes, grand volcanoes, and pristine beaches, Nicaragua is like no other! If the beautiful scenery, warm people, and rich culture aren’t enough, the food will turn you into a true fan. We reached out to our Nicaraguan guide, Jorge, to get a list of his favorite meals. Even if you don’t visit Nicaragua (although we highly recommend that you do at some point), you should head to your local Nicaraguan restaurant ASAP to give the cuisine a try.
We’ve also linked each dish with their respective recipe so you can make it at home.
Rondón is a Jamaican soup made with various seafood, coconut milk, root vegetables, peppers and spices. In Nicaragua it isn’t uncommon to add in beef, pork or even turtle meat.
And if you’re from southern U.S. you may be familiar with it’s close cousin, gumbo!
Caribbean Rice & Beans
Caribbean rice and beans are made a little differently than traditional Central American rice and beans. Because it is slowly cooked in coconut milk, this dish is creamy and slightly sweet. It will make you feel like you’re on an island vacation no matter where you are!
As the name suggests nacatamales are similar to Mexican tamales, but are larger, filled with meat and vegetables and steamed in banana leaves. They are special-occasion food and are mostly served on Sunday mornings. Feel free to whip these up anytime as a comforting meal at home.
The best street food is simple, delicious, and filling. Quesillo is all three.
Just note that the term “quesillo” means different things throughout Latin America. In Colombia it’s a double cream cheese wrapped in a plantain leaf, in Mexico it’s a type of string cheese, and in Venezuela you will get a desert made from eggs, condensed milk and caramel (with no cheese to be found).
Empanada de maduro
Ripe plantains and cheese, how can you go wrong? These empanadas have the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Make them as a snack, as a side dish, or as an appetizer for your next get-together. Your friends will love you for it!
Sopa de mariscos
With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east, seafood is fresh and delicious in Nicaragua! Seafood soup highlights the best that the country has to offer. Feel free to use the seafood that is local and in-season for you.
Tortas de malanga
I think we can all agree that taro is wildly underutilized. Tortas de malanga will make you fall in love with this humble root vegetable. Be careful though, these things are addictive!
Güirila is a corn pancake that is ridiculously easy to make. Seriously… it’s only one ingredient. Ok, maybe two if you include the banana leaf you cook it in. Give these a try and you will understand why it made the list!
Jorge hails from Managua, Nicaragua and has been a Global Works guide for three years.
He’s proud of his country and the traditional food that he grew up enjoying.