Typical food of Ecuador

Ecuadorian cuisine is enriched by the different natural regions that make up the country: the coast, the mountains, the Galapagos Islands and the eastern region. Dishes and desserts are prepared with fish, seafood, meat, fruits and various aromatic herbs. The natives of Ecuador usually refer to their typical dishes as “Creole food.”

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Main courses

The main dishes of Ecuador are characterized by a strong presence of seafood and fish, mainly because the country has a wide coastline capable of providing the country with a large number of marine products.

Banana, as well as the different Ecuadorian corn are essential ingredients in Ecuadorian cuisine. Finally, as for meats, beef, chicken, lamb and guinea pig stand out. In the following we list the most popular main dishes of Ecuador.

Green bolon

The Bolón de Verde is considered a national dish of the Republic of Ecuador and has as its star ingredient the green banana, of which Ecuador is one of the largest producers worldwide.

As its own name indicates, the green bolon consists of a ball about the size of a fist that is prepared based on a dough made with green banana, which can either be roasted or pre-fried. Said dough is prepared manually until the mixture is homogeneous and salt and some additional ingredient, such as cheese or fried meat, are added.

Once kneaded, you can eat directly or fry in oil until the outside is golden and crispy.

Green bolon


In the coastal area of ​​Ecuador, up to fourteen different species of crabs are raised, although, nevertheless, not all are edible. The pangora, jaibas, blues and reds are those used in Ecuadorian cuisine, specifically for the preparation of the famous Ecuadorian crab.

For its preparation, it is necessary to boil the crustaceans previously together with the dressing, which is prepared with white onion, coriander, black pepper, oregano, cumin, salt, green bananas and ripe bananas. The crab, in addition, is usually taken accompanied by a salad that is prepared with onion, canguil and chifles.


The ceviche, which can also be written seviche, sebiche or cebiche It can be meat, fish or seafood. It is considered as the star dish in Ecuadorian cuisine.

When it is meat, it consists of meat marinated with citrus dressings, such as lemon, lime or sour orange, among others, as well as chili, coriander, avocado, tomato or jicama. If it is fish, countless types of seafood and fish can be used, including octopus, squid, lobster, shrimp, etc.

Ecuadorian shrimp ceviche


Churrasco is another of the most popular dishes both in Ecuador and throughout Latin America. It consists of a grilled or grilled beef cutlet and accompanied by eggs, rice, potatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil and other ingredients, as well as some sauces.

The secret to the preparation of a good Ecuadorian churrasco is that the meat is well seasoned with onion, garlic, salt, olive oil and a touch of cumin and pepper.

Ecuadorian Churrasco

Pumpkin cream

The pumpkin, also known as auyama It is a type of vegetable of American origin considered as a variant within the family of the same family as the pumpkin (scientific name: cucurbitaceae).

The squash is consumed throughout Latin America since the time of the Aztec Indians and was introduced in Europe after the conquest of America by the Spanish. Thus, the pumpkin cream is a puree made from boiled pumpkins and subsequently crushed together with chicken or vegetable broth.

Pumpkin cream

Roasted cuy

The guinea pig is a species of rodent that weighs about 1 kg and can be found in the Andean region of South America, especially in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. Therefore, roasted guinea pig is a very common dish also in the cuisine of the Peruvian Amazon.

This dish is usually taken during holidays or special events and there is even an association in the country called Association of Chefs of Ecuador, which organizes the Cuy International Festival, in which the culinary richness of this rodent mammal is exhibited.

Although the most popular dish is roasted guinea pig accompanied by potatoes, there are also other dishes in which the guinea pig is the star ingredient, namely: locote of guinea pig, soup of potatoes with guinea pig, chili pepper of guinea pig, guinea pig with mote, etc. If you want to know how to prepare it, we recommend this article: Recipe of roasted guinea pig with potatoes.

Roasted guinea pig with potatoes

Fish soup with onions

Onion is an original dish from the province of Guayas, in the southwest of the country, as well as from Manabí, hence the name of onions manabita or manaba. Like the crab, this dish is very popular in the coastal area in general, since it is a fish stew accompanied by cassava and pickled red onion.

The broth that accompanies the fish is made from liquefied cassava and can be seasoned with chili powder, cumin or other spices to taste. The fish used to prepare this dish is usually the albacore, but it is also possible to use tuna or weevil. To accompany, you can serve rice, canguil, bread, lemon juice, chili, etc.


Together with the green bolon, the Creole guatita or guatita is considered a national dish in Ecuador, as well as in Chile. This dish consists of a stew made from pieces of beef stomach, which are what is called guatitas or also of Tripe.

The first step to prepare this stew is to boil the guatitas, which must previously be thoroughly washed and cleaned with lemon.

After boiling them, they are fried together with onion, tomato and peppers, in addition to other dressings to taste, such as potatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, beans, coriander and other spices. It is considered a very caloric dish. Let’s see the recipe step by step in the following video:

Ecuadorian Locro

Locro, potato locro or potato locro with cheese is a classic Ecuadorian dish consisting of a creamy soup made with potatoes and cheese. It is typical of the Ecuadorian Sierra and especially popular in the north of the country and Quito, where it is also known as locro Quito.

Although its main ingredients are, as already mentioned, potatoes and cheese, the following foods are also usually added: corn, cabbage, fresh corn, peanuts, shrimp …

There is another variant called yagualocro or llagualocrowhich literally means blood locro, since it is prepared with fried blood (a meal very similar to the popular blood sausage in Spain) and offal (guts). You can also add pieces of avocado.

Ecuadorian Locro

Ecuadorian corn

Corn constitutes a large part of Ecuador’s agricultural and food heritage, since it is grown throughout the country, except for the moors and areas of Andean forests that are degraded. It is grown especially in Azuay, Loja, Azuay, Bolívar and Chimborazo, among others.

There is a large number of corn species that move away from the yellow color we are used to when we talk about corn. Thus, there is purple, black, white and even red corn.

In short, corn is, along with bananas, a basic pillar in Ecuadorian cuisine. The best-known species of corn are those cited below: corn, canguil, chulpi or sweet corn, mote and morocho.

Ecuadorian corn


The patacones, also called Tostones or friedThey are another of the star foods in Ecuadorian cuisine, mainly because they are prepared with green plantain, one of the main native products of the country.

Thus, these are thick pieces of green or ripe banana that are fried in very hot olive oil for a few minutes until they are golden brown. Once fried, they are removed from the pan and crushed with a roller-like utensil that is known as pataconera or tostonera.

After crushing, they return to the pan and fry until they are completely golden and crispy. They are taken as an accompaniment to different dishes.



Ecuador is one of the main exporters of bananas worldwide, so much so that this fruit is considered representative of Ecuadorian cuisine. In total, it is estimated that Ecuador provides 10% of the world’s total banana production, as nearly 6 million tons of bananas are grown annually.

Banana plantation is favored by the equatorial climate, which is a subtype of the tropical climate, in which warm temperatures and humidity predominate throughout the year.

Banana production in Ecuador


Quinoa, also written quinoa It is a semi-cereal that can be found among the crops of most of the Andes, especially in countries such as Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador. In the latter, the quinoa crop stands out especially in the province of Chimborazo, in the central zone of the Interandina Region.

This semi-cereal has the eight essential amino acids for humans, which makes it a very healthy ingredient. As food, it is used for the production of flour and also for the preparation of the famous soup of Ecuadorian quionoa, as well as to obtain beer.

Quinoa plantation in Chimborazo, Ecuador

Catfish soup

The soup or broth of catfish is very rich in phosphorus, which makes it a very rich and nutritious dish in Ecuadorian cuisine. The catfish, known in Ecuador as camchimala fish it is a species of fish of the order of the Siluriformes, group that receives the common name of cat fish Because they have mustaches.

Cassava, coriander, garlic, a catfish head, sliced ​​catfish, tomato, oil, cumin, pepper and salt are needed for the preparation of this soup.

Catfish soup


Ecuador’s desserts and sweets stand out for including a large number of exotic fruits such as bananas, bananas, pineapples, guavas, papaya, mango, babaco, figs, coconut and much more.

It is also usual to prepare jams and syrups from these canning ingredients. Nor is the dulce de leche, so popular throughout Latin America. Below is a list of the most popular desserts in Ecuador.

Eat and drink

The eats and drinks is a fruit salad that in Spain is known as Macedonia. It is an easy dessert to prepare and very refreshing for which exotic and very fresh fruits are used, such as papaya, banana, pineapple, mango, ripe bananas, blackberries, etc. and is accompanied by orange juice.

Having at the same time whole pieces of fruit and orange juice, this dessert can be eaten and, at the same time, drunk, hence its name. Although it depends on the natural sweetness of the fruits used, when eating and drinking, you may dream of adding sugar or honey, so that it acquires an additional sweet touch.

There are variants that add rum, cachaca or aguardiente, so that the eats and drinks becomes a cocktail.

Eat and drink

Tobacco Sweet

Babaco is an original fruit from South America, specifically from the province of Loja, in Ecuador. Actually, it is a natural hybrid resulting from the cross between toronche and chamburo. The cultivation of babaco, like that of papaya, is due to the fact that it is an edible fruit widely consumed in the country.

Thus, the sweet of babaco is a kind of syrup made from the cooking of a large-sized mature babaco, to which sugar, water and a little cinnamon are added. Depending on the amount of water we use, it will be more liquid or thicker.

Tobacco Sweet

Sweet figs

Figs are a low-fat and carbohydrate-rich fruit, so they are recommended to use as homemade jam. In fact, the fig candy can be a kind of jam or consist of cooked figs and dipped in canned syrup.

To prepare this sweet, we will need at least 1 kg of figs and 500 gr of sugar, since it is a very sweet dessert. In addition, you will need lemon juice.

Sweet figs


Foams, sighs or sighs are, in fact, a popular candy in South America, especially in Guatemala and El Salvador, as well as in Ecuador. They are a sweet similar to meringue that are colored, so that they are in different colors.

It is a kind of cinnamon and lemon flavored sugar clouds, which are prepared with egg, sugar, vanilla, lemon, guava pulp and ground cinnamon.

Coconut flan

Custard is a dessert that can be taken almost everywhere, mainly for its versatility and simple preparation. Although the egg custard is perhaps the most popular version internationally, the coconut flan is the most traditional within Ecuador.

For its preparation, the same steps should be followed as for the preparation of any of the flan versions, except that we will need grated coconut.

Coconut flan

Flan or pineapple cheese

Pineapple cheese is a cheesecake to which pineapple is added very common in Ecuador. For its preparation it is not necessary to bake it, since it is served cold, which is why it is a summer dessert. Among the necessary ingredients for its preparation, you need: flavored gelatin, pineapple jelly, ripe pineapple peeled and diced, curd, cooking cream and sugar.

Flan or pineapple cheese

Pineapple jam or sweet

Pineapple is another exotic fruit whose cultivation is very common throughout Ecuador, which is why it is used in a large number of desserts, such as the pineapple cheese or flan that we have talked about previously or the famous pineapple jam, dessert that It is also known as pineapple candy.

Similar to the fig candy, in this jam the pineapple pieces can be left whole or crushed, always to the taste of those who prepare it. In addition to pineapple, other ingredients such as water, sugar or grated brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cedar and lemon juice are used.

Pineapple marmalade

Dulce de dulce de leche

Dulce de leche is an original sweet from Latin America and also receives the following names: delicacy, blancmange, cajeta or arequipe.

It is a caramelized variant of milk that, currently, has crossed borders and has become popular outside Latin America in countries such as France, where it is called confiture de lait, in Spain and in the United States.

It is used in a large number of desserts, from pancakes and ice cream, to cakes and alfajores, among others. In Ecuador, the famous souffles filled with dulce de leche are prepared.

Dulce de dulce de leche

Cake of the three milks

The three milks cake or cake of the three milks is a wet cake popular throughout Latin America that, as its name indicates, is prepared with a cream made from four types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream of milk and liquid milk.

In addition, meringue is added, which is prepared with eggs and sugar, and sponge cake for the base. It is also very popular among desserts of Canadian cuisine.

Cake of the three milks

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