50 Recipes to Celebrate Latin American Heritage Month

Take a culinary tour of Latin America with these inspired recipes

From Argentina to Venezuela, the food and drink of Latin America has had an undeniable influence on cuisines from all over the world. In Canada, Latin American Heritage Month takes place throughout the month of October. As of 2018, celebrations are held across the country, “in recognition of the significant contribution that the Latin American community has made to the social, economic, political, and cultural fabric of Canada.” While options will vary from location to location, recognition is typically held through musical performances, panel discussions, workshops, book readings, craft fairs, and lots of food-centric events. To celebrate Latin American Heritage Month, we’ve compiled 50 of our favourite meals inspired by beloved recipes from Latin American countries in North and South America.

Beverages

Whether you’re a fan of Cuban Mojitos, Puerto Rican Piña Coladas or Peruvian Pisco Sours, when it comes to cocktails, Latin American countries have plenty of expertise on the matter. Agua fresca, a delightfully cooling non-alcoholic beverage made from water blended with fruits, seeds or flowers, is near-endlessly adaptable in its choice of ingredients and variations.

Sides and Condiments

Brightly flavoured salsas, classic guacamole and easy refried beans are just some of the Latin American sides and condiments you’ll find in this section. If you’re a fan of sauerkraut or kimchi, be sure to try our recipe for quick curtido, a Salvadoran cabbage relish that’s right at home served with red salsa, grilled meats and fish.

Main Dishes

When it comes to the main event, you’ll want to try these satisfying recipes for traditional and Latin American-inspired dishes. Flank steak, a tasty and economical cut of beef used in several of these recipes, is best when thinly sliced across the grain — a technique that tenderizes the steak as it's being cut into easily managed pieces. The chimichurri sauce served alongside the steak in the recipe below is equally delicious when paired with chicken breasts, seafood or grilled tofu.

Plant-Based Mains

On the lookout for meatless meals? You’ll definitely want to try these recipes for Salvadoran bean and cheese-stuffed pupusas, Puerto Rican arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas), Mexican huevos rancheros, and Brazilian-style collard greens. Eggs, beans, and rice are staple ingredients in Latin American vegetarian cooking, and go hand-in-hand with salsa, avocado and other fresh ingredients and condiments.

*substitute chicken broth for veggie broth in Mexican Vegetable Soup with Salsa Verde to make this recipe meatless.

Desserts

From empanadas to flan, when it comes to dessert recipes inspired by Latin America we’ve got you covered. The pairing of chocolate and chile couldn’t be tastier — the intensity of the spicy chile peppers highlights the sweetness of the chocolate instead of obscuring it, making for a heavenly combination of flavours and aromas. For best results, use the highest quality chocolate you can find when making any of the following chocolate-based desserts.