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Soups, Appetizers, & First Courses

Meals are never rushed in South America, and there is always time for an entrada, or first course, in the main meal of the day. Bocaditos (“little bites”) are bite-size appetizers to enjoy with drinks while socializing or watching your favorite soccer team.
  1. Appetizers, Bocaditos, Tira-Gostos (1)
  2. Dips, Salsas, and Spreads (7)
  3. Soups - Sopa (4)

Recipes for South American Appetizers
A collection of South American appetizers, from entradas (first courses) to bocaditos (little bites).

South American-style Dips and Salsas
This collection of recipes for South American dips and salsas will in handy for those times when you have an excess of tortilla chips lying around, but these dips and salsas can be used in many other creative ways. Try serving them over chicken and rice, or with pasta, with vegetables, or as part of a filling for burritos or empanadas.

Chunky-style Guasacaca
A chunky-style guacamole from Venezuela to serve with grilled meats.

Tequenos - Venezuelan Cheese Sticks
Tequenos are a popular Venezuelan snack of fried cheese that is wrapped in a crispy dough.

Patacones - Twice Fried Green Plantain with Aji Dipping Sauce
Twice fried green plantain makes an outstanding appetizer, especially paired with aji amarillo sauce.

Crispy Yuca Fries
Deep frying yuca is one of the best ways to enjoy the starchy, crispy texture of this edible root.

Picada Argentina - A Sampler Tray of Cured Meats and Cheeses
Host an Argentinian-style gathering and serve a picada - a meal of cured meats and cheeses for everyone to share.

Fugazza - Argentinian-style Focaccia
This Argentinian favorite is a focaccia-like pizza topped with lots of onions.

Lime Chicken Empanadas with Mango Sauce
Tender shredded chicken seasoned with chile and lime fills these appetizer size empanandas.

Biche de Pescado - Ecuadorian Fish Stew
This hearty fish stew is made with plantains, yuca, and corn.

Mini Causa Bites - Spicy Yellow Potatoes with Chicken Salad
Little bites of creamy, spicy yellow potatoes with a surprise center of tasty chicken salad.

Tricolor Causa - Causa de Pollo Tres Colores
An elegant appetizer, causa is made of vividly colored potatoes layered with chicken salad.

Boliarepas - Bacon Cheddar Arepa Bites
These round "boliarepas" are made with a soft cornmeal dough and deep fried, similar to hush puppies.

White Bean Empanadas - Empanadas Blancas
The dough for these empanadas, which are stuffed with refried white beans and melted cheese, is made with the same cornmeal masa that is used to make arepas.

Arepas with Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens - Arepitas con Frijol Carita
These bite-size arepas are perfect for a New Years celebration, since they are topped with lucky black-eyed peas and sautéed collard greens.

Sweet Potato Tamales with Bacon - Tamales de Camote con Tocino y Cebolla
These tamales filled with sweet potatoes, bacon and caramelized onions are both savory and sweet.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
A creamy winter soup seasoned with cumin and smoky aji chile peppers.

Locro de Papa Ecuatoriano
A hearty, cheesy, traditional potato soup from Ecuador.

Chupe de Maní - Potato and Peanut Soup
This nourishing potato soup from Ecuador is quick to make from pantry staples.

Sopa de Mani - Bolivian Peanut and Potato Soup
A nourishing potato and peanut soup from Bolivia.

Caldo Verde
Caldo verde is a nourishing green soup made with potatoes, kale or collard greens, and sausage. Caldo verde comes from Portugal, and is quite popular in Brazil.

Turkey "Tortilla" Soup with Arepa Dumplings
A nourishing tex mex style soup, with arepa dumplings.

Shrimp Ceviche with Mango & Avocado - Cebiche de Langostinos
This shrimp ceviche with mango and avocado tastes cool, bright, and refresing. It's great as a appetizer or a light lunch.

Fanesca - Ecuadorian Easter Soup

Mushroom Ceviche - Cebiche de Champinones
The bold flavors of ceviche are paired with fresh vegetables in this delicious salad.

Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche with Tomato Sauce and Choclo - Ceviche de Langostinos
This Ecuadorian-style ceviche has a delicious Latin-style cocktail sauce with lots of fresh lime juice and large kernel Andean corn.

Pukacapas - Bolivian Cheese Empanadas
These round empanadas from Bolivia have a spicy cheese filling with olives and onions.

Empanadas with Mushrooms, Chorizo, and Cheese
Chorizo and mushroom empanadas with a rich cheese filling.

Spanish Tortilla with Sweet Potatoes and Bacon - Torta Espanola de Camote
This frittata-type dish from Spain is made with eggs and potatoes, and works well as an appetizer or main course.

Flatbread with Queso Fresco, Tomatoes, Rosemary, and Olives
Quick flatbreads with creamy queso fresco cheese, sundried tomatoes, rosemary, and olives.

Queso Fundido - Melted Cheese and Chorizo Dip
Chorizo sausage spices up this delicious and easy to make hot cheese dip.

Spanish Tortilla with Chorizo - Tortilla a la Espanola con Chorizo
A hearty Spanish omelette made with eggs, potatoes, and chorizo sausage.

Goat Cheese Fritters - Bolitas de Queso
These tasty fried cheese bolitas are served with a sweet/savory guava sauce for dipping.

Croquetas de Frijol y Queso - Black Bean and Cheese Corn Fritters
These cornmeal croquetas are crisp on the outside but soft and savory on the inside.

Blue Potato Tartlets - Tartitas de Papa Azul
These savory appetizers get their striking color from blue potatoes.

Muchines de Yuca - Ecuadorian Yuca Fritters
Muchines de yuca are fried yuca fritters, in this case stuffed with seasoned pork.

Cheesy Quinoa Poppers - Croquetas de Quinoa y Queso
Tasty yet nutritious: fried quinoa croquettes filled with cheese.

Vegetarian Ceviche Salad - Ceviche de Verduras
The flavors of ceviche in salad form, with fresh mozzarella cheese in place of seafood.

Spicy Deviled Eggs with Aji Chile Peppers
Truly devilish deviled eggs, thanks to spicy aji amarillo chile pepper.

Black-eyed Pea Salsa - Salsa de Frijol de Carita
This spicy and slightly sweet bean salsa is great with tortilla chips.

Garden Produce Tamales
These vegetarian tamales have a savory filling of corn, vegetables, and cheese.

Grilled Fresh Corn Tamales - Tamales a la Parilla
These tamales are easy to cook on the grill, right alongside grilled meats.

Humitas Verdes - Fresh Corn Tamales with Cilantro - Recipe for Humitas Verdes
Tamales made with fresh ground corn and cilantro.

Sweet Potato Empanadas - Empanadas de Camote
These savory sweet potato empanadas are stuffed with caramelized onions, bacon, and queso fresco cheese.

Brazilian Risoles - Chicken and Cheese Croquettes -
Risoles - breaded empanadas filled with chicken and cheese - are popular street food snack in Brazil.

Quinoa Croquettes - Croquetas de Quinua
This crispy ham and cheese quinoa croquettes make a great appetizer.

Savory Butternut Squash Sopaipillas with Chancho en Piedra
A typical Chilean fry bread made with butternut squash, served with a spicy tomato sauce for dipping.

Sweet Potato Causa - Causa de Camote
This attractive Peruvian-style causa made with sweet potatoes is perfect for a fancy holiday meal.

Guasacaca - Guacamole from Venezuela
Guasacaca is a popular relish in Venezuela, served with grilled meats and fried foods.

Quinoa Crackers - Galletas Saladas de Quinoa
These slightly spicy crackers had lots of flavor and are made with nutritious quinoa.

Fugazza - Onion Pizza
Fugazza is a foccacia-like pizza popular in South America that does not have tomato sauce and is often topped with onions.

"Stuffed" Ham & Cheese Garbanzo Flatbread - Fainá Rellena con Jamón y Queso
Fainá is an Italian pizza-like flatbread made with garbanzo bean flour, and is often served with pizza in Argentina and Uruguay.

Fried Plantain with Spicy Peanut Sauce - Bakabana from Suriname
A Surinamese dish with Indonesian influence, baka bana is battered, fried plantian served with a spicy peanut sauce for dipping.

Spicy Potato Pancakes with Queso Fresco Sauce
These potato pancakes have a little kick from jalepeño peppers, and some sweet potato in the mix adds nice flavor. The cheesy queso fresco sauce can be mild or spicy, depending on the amount of pepper.

Cheddar Potato Frittata - Torta Espanola con Queso
Potatoes, eggs, and cheese come together in this one-skillet comfort food dish from Spain.

Quick Empanadas with Seasoned Pork and Cheese
These tasty empanadas are quick to make, thanks to the convenience of frozen puff pastry dough.

Pizza Empanadas - Empanadas de Pizza
Pizza empanadas make a great snack for kids, as well as fun party appetizers.

Savory Cheese Empanadas with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower
Small, tender empanadas with a flaky, cheesy crust, are filled with mashed potatoes and roasted cauliflower.

Ajiaco is a hearty chicken stew made with potatoes and corn on the cob.

Traditional Acarajé - Brazilian Black Eyed Pea Fritters
Acaraje are fritters made with black eyed peas, and are a popular street food snack in Brazil.

Avocado Egg Rolls - Rollos de Huevo
Southwestern-style chicken and black bean egg rolls.

Corn Sticks with Chimichurri - Palitos de Maíz con Chimichurri
These crispy cornsticks are excellent for dipping into chimichurri sauce.

Fainá - Garbanzo Flatbread
Fainá is an flatbread made with chickpea (garbanzo) flour. It's very popular in both Argentina and Uruguay, and often served with pizza.

Black Quinoa Beef Stew with Potatoes - Sopa de Quinoa
This hearty stew of black quinoa, beef, and potatoes will keep you going all day long.

Queso Fundido - Spicy Cheese and Chorizo Dip
Chorizo sausage, onions, and salsa spice up this melted cheese dip.

Chicken Soup with Root Vegetables - Sancocho de Gallina
Sancocho has many forms in South American cooking, but it's usually a clear broth soup made with chicken and root vegetables. This version has sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, onions, carrots and leeks.

Black Bean Soup with Lime
A quick, low-fat black bean soup with the refreshing flavors of cumin and lime.

Navy Bean and Corn Soup from Argentina - Locro de Argentina
Locro is the Spanish word for stew, or thick soup. This navy bean soup is a version of locro from Argentina. It's similar to corn chowder, and is made with beans, chorizo, beef, smoked bacon, and squash, and served with a spicy salsa.

Black-eyed Pea Soup with Ham - Sopa de Jamon y Frijoles de Ojo Negro
This flavorful soup is easy to make and will warm you up on a winter night.

Green Soup with Chiles - Recipe for Spinach and Kale Soup
A delicious vegetarian soup packed with nutrition from dark leafy greens.

Lentil Soup with Chorizo - Sopa de Lentejas
This hearty lentil soup will warm you up on a cold day.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup - Crema de Zapallo
A creamy, flavorful soup with pumpkin, chile peppers, and queso fresco cheese.

Coconut Butternut Squash Soup - Sopa de Abóbora e Coco
This rich butternut squash soup gets a taste of the tropics thanks from coconut milk.

Avocado Soup - Sopa de Palta
A creamy, savory soup made with avocados, chorizo, and chicken broth.

Tropical Sushi Roll - Japanese/South American Fusion Roll
An exotic sushi roll with the tropical flavors of passionfruit, mango and avocado.

Stuffed Yuca Balls - Yuquitas Rellenas
Mashed yuca (also known as cassava or manioc root) is shaped into bite-size balls with a piece of queso fresco in the center, then rolled in bread crumbs and fried until crispy. Serve them with salsa huancaína, a spicy cheese dipping sauce.

Brazilian Black-Eyed Pea and Shrimp Fritters - Acarajé
Traditional street food from Brazil, these deep-fried black-eyed pea fritters are split and stuffed with caramelized onions and shrimp.

Causa Rellena con Pollo - Yellow Potatoes with Chicken
Causa is made with papas amarillas, yellow potatoes that resemble yukon golds. The potatoes are mashed and seasoned with lime juice and aji amarillo (yellow chile pepper), layered with chicken or tuna salad and slices of avocado, and garnished with parsley and black olives.

Brazilian Fried Rice Balls - Bolinhos de Arroz
These Brazilian fried rice croquettes are an excellent way to enjoy leftover rice.

Ham and Potato Croquettes - Croquetas de Jamon y Queso
This croquettes are made of mashed potatoes, ham and cheese. Make them bite-size and serve as an appetizer, or make larger ones as a main course.

Quick Provoleta - Provoleta a la Plancha
Provolone cheese is often cooked on the grill in Argentina, but it can also be prepared in a skillet.

Savory Quince Tart with Queso Freso - Pastel de Membrillo y Queso
The beloved flavor combination of sweet quince and salty cheese all dressed up in a puff pastry tart.

Torta Espanola - Potato and Onion Frittata
This hearty one-skillet dish is simple yet satisfying.

Manchego Cheese and Quince Paste Hors d'Oeuvres
This famous little combination of aged cheese and sweet quince paste makes a quick and elegant appetizer for any occasion.

Quince Paste - Dulce de Membrillo
Quince paste is a sweet candy made from the delicious apple-like quince fruit. Quince paste is delicious served with cheese.

Salmon and Pineapple Skewers - Brochetas de Salmon y Piña
These salmon and pineapple skewers are sweet, salty, and savory all at the same time.

Chifles - Fried Plantain Chips
Chifles are a popular snack in South America. They are made by frying thin slices of the starchy yellow fruit called plantain, a firmer, less sweet cousin of the banana.

Humitas - South American Corn Tamales
Humitas are made by steaming seasoned fresh ground corn inside the husks. They are lovely to look at and delicious to eat.

Queso de Cabra con Pimienta Molle - Goat Cheese with Pink Peppercorns
Serve this beautiful goat cheese log with crackers and quince jelly.

Tequeños - Fried Cheese Wonton Sticks
Tequeños are a Venezuelan treat, best enjoyed with guacamole. These crispy cheesy treats are fun and easy to make.

Argentinian Grilled Provolone Cheese
Provoleta is grilled provolone cheese, and Argentinian specialty.

Tequenos - Venezuelan Fried Cheese Sticks
These fried cheese pastries are always a hit.

Lima Bean Dip - Pure de Pallares
A zesty dip of lima beans, cilantro, lime juice, and cumin.

Refried Bean Dip
This cheesy refried bean dip is perfect for a big gathering.

Peruvian Shrimp and Potato Chowder - Chupe de Camarones
A thick and hearty shrimp chowder with yellow potatoes and corn.

Papas Bravas - Steak Fries with Spicy Tomato Sauce
These thick cut steak fries are served with a spicy tomato "ketchup" and a creamy aji sauce.

Cheese Crackers with Guava - Galletas de Queso con Guayaba
These cheesy homemade crackers pair very well with sweet guava paste.

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