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Breakfasts with Latin Flavor

Ideas for when you're tired of cereal & toast...


In South America, breakfast tends to be light, in anticipation of the big midday meal. A sandwich or bread with coffee and fruit is typical. Sweeter things like doughnuts, pancakes, bagels, muffins are more likely to be enjoyed in the late afternoon, as a snack with coffee. 

Traditional Latin American breakfast and midmorning snack fare - empanadas, arepas, cheese breads, quinoa breads, and creative combinations of ham, cheese and bread  - tend to have protein and will give you energy for a busy morning. 

1. Empanadas - Portable Pocket Sandwiches

Marian Blazes

Empanadas are very convenient for a breakfast in a hurry. Make them ahead and keep them frozen. A few minutes in the toaster oven or a quick zap in the microwave and you have a delicious breakfast to go.

Ham and Cheese Empanadas - Empanadas de Jamon y Queso
Bacon and Egg Empanadas
More About Empanadas

2. Arepas - Quick Griddle Corncakes

Marian Blazes

Arepas are a type of corncake, cooked on a griddle, popular in Colombia and Venezuela. Arepas can be filled with cheese, made into sandwiches, or just enjoyed plain. The batter mixes up quickly - you can even make it the night before. Cook the arepas a few minutes on each side and you have a delicious treat: crispy on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside.

Basic Arepa Recipe
Arepas de Queso - Cheese Arepas
Bacon Cheddar Arepas

Arepas con huevo are a special breakfast treat: the arepa is fried in oil, then split and filled with an egg and fried again until the egg is just cooked.

Arepas Con Huevo

3. Savory Sausage Bread Pudding - Pudin de Pan Salado

Marian Blazes

This bread pudding is great for breakfast - the sausage, cheese, egg, and toasted bread combination is warm, filling, and delicious. You can assemble this casserole the night before and just heat it in the oven before serving.

Sausage & Cheese Bread Pudding

4. Quinoa Breads

Marian Blazes

Quinoa is a high protein grain that has been grown in the Andes mountain regions of South America for hundreds of years. Recently 'redisovered' for it's nutritional properties, quinoa is exceptionally high in protein and will help keep you energized until lunchtime.

Quinoa Bagels
Honey Quinoa Bread
Bread Machine Quinoa Oatmeal Bread

5. Dulce de Leche Cinnamon Rolls

Marian Blazes

These cinnamon rolls are made with a tender sweet potato dough, and filled with cinnamon, melted butter and dulce de leche. A caramel glaze gives them extra flavor and shine. The final touch is a drizzle of dulce de leche frosting when they come out of the oven.

Cinnamon Rolls with Dulce de Leche

6. Venezuelan Perico - Scrambled Eggs with Onions and Tomatoes

Marian Blazes

Perico is a savory Venezuelan breakfast dish of scrambled eggs seasoned with sautéed onions, tomatoes, and peppers. It's often served inside arepas (a Venezuelan egg mcmuffin of sorts).

Recipe for Perico

8. Pandebono - Colombian Cheese Bread

Marian Blazes

These may look like bagels, but they are actually something called pandebono. Pandebono is a delicious cheese bread, perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack with coffee. It's a simple recipe made with cheese, eggs, tapioca flour (cassava or yuca starch) and precooked cornmeal, or masarepa.

Recipe for Pandebono

9. Coconut Biscuits with Guava Jelly

Marian Blazes

Guava jelly is the perfect accompaniment to these buttery coconut biscuits.

Recipe for Coconut Biscuits

10. Cachitos - Venezuelan Ham Croissants

Marian Blazes

Cachitos are little ham-filled, crescent-shaped rolls.  They are sometimes called Venezuelan croissants, but they have the rich texture of a dinner roll rather than the flaky texture of a true croissant, and are much easier to make.

Recipe for Cachitos

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