Traditional Argentinian Recipes

Explore Argentinian Cuisine, From Appetizers to Dessert

Argentina is a large and very developed country that produces and exports many different foods, including beef and wine, which the country is particularly famous for. The asado, an elaborate meal of grilled meat, is one of the most important culinary traditions in this country.

Argentina's cuisine is highly influenced by Europe and includes many Spanish-style dishes, Italian pasta and pizzas, and French pastries. The Argentinians add their unique style to these recipes, making them their own. The food ranges from gourmet to rustic: In Buenos Aires, one can find a very sophisticated restaurant culture with foods from around the world. In the more rural parts of Argentina, people still eat a more traditional South American diet. Bring a little Argentinian flavor into your kitchen with traditional appetizers, sauces, side dishes, main courses, desserts, and drinks.

  • 01 of 17

    Empanadas Tucumanas

    Empanadas
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    Empanadas are small, handheld pies made with a filling of meat, vegetables, cheese, and/or beans that is encased in a slightly sweet pastry. In Argentina, you will find empanadas Tucumanas, a recipe from the Tucumán province. They are often made with meat and boiled eggs, along with onion and spices. You can also try filling them with chorizo sausage and potatoes.

  • 02 of 17

    Pizza a Caballo (Pizza Sandwich)

    Pizza a caballo is a "pizza sandwich" made with two very different kinds of dough. A slice of thick-crusted cheese pizza is topped with a thin slice of fainá, a chickpea flatbread, and then enjoyed. It is a unique and delicious appetizer.

  • 03 of 17

    Fainá (Chickpea Flatbread Pizza)

    Fainá with chorizo, blue cheese, and spinach is similar to a flatbread pizza—but with a twist. The flatbread portion of the dish is made with flour derived from chickpeas instead of wheat flour. It is also gluten free, making it a great pizza alternative for those on a gluten-free diet. The topping of spicy sausage, tangy blue cheese, and fresh spinach is a complex combination that works beautifully together.

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    Argentinian-Style Chimichurri Sauce

    Chimichurri In a Blue Bowl
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    Argentinian-style chimichurri sauce is a bright green, chunky sauce starring garlic and parsley. It is a traditional component of an Argentinian mixed grill, which features a variety of meats. Although a ubiquitous accompaniment to steak, the classic sauce is also delicious with chicken and fish.

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  • 05 of 17

    Provoleta (Grilled Provolone Cheese)

    Grilled provolone cheese is a smoky, delicious treat and a wonderful appetizer or side dish to accompany a full meal. Thick slices of provolone cheese are drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and then placed in the freezer to firm up. The cheese is grilled for a few minutes until nicely browned and served with grilled bread and olives.

  • 06 of 17

    Picada Argentina (Meat and Cheese Platter)

    Picada Argentina is a plate of tasty meats, cheeses, and other savory treats such as olives, nuts, and sauces. It is an ideal party appetizer as it is intended to be shared and eaten with the fingers. Feel free to include your preferred cured meats and cheeses, as well as other favorites like pizza that has been cut into small pieces.

  • 07 of 17

    Fugazza (Focaccia)

    Fugazza is Argentinian-style focaccia—and like all flatbreads, it is an extremely versatile dish. No matter what ingredients are arranged on the dough, however, the fugazza is always topped with sweet onions. Try it with mozzarella cheese, or experiment with the stuffed variety called fugazzeta.

  • 08 of 17

    Tira de Asado (Grilled Beef Ribs)

    Asado is a quintessential Argentinian grilled feast featuring a wide range of meat and vegetable dishes as well as side dishes and desserts—all served with a variety of sauces. Specific grilled meat dishes are also referred to as asado, such as tira de asado, which is grilled beef ribs. The ribs are simply seasoned with salt, placed on the grill, and then served with chimichurri sauce on the side.

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  • 09 of 17

    Carbonada Criolla (Beef Stew)

    Carbonada criolla is a beef stew with a unique twist. In addition to the usual white potatoes and onions, this recipe features sweet dried fruits, sweet potato, and winter squash. In combination with onion, garlic, and tomatoes, along with the savory beef and beef broth, the stew takes on a complex flavor, perfect for a chilly evening.

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    Dulce de Leche

    Alfajores
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    Dulce de leche translates to "sugar of milk" but it is actually a delicious and popular caramel sauce used to sweeten many Argentinian desserts. Although a slow-cooking process, making dulce de leche is not difficult. Evaporated and condensed milks, along with corn syrup, cinnamon sticks, and baking soda, are cooked until golden and very thick. The sweet sauce is then drizzled over cakes, cookies, ice cream, and pastries.

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    Alfajores (Sandwich Cookies)

    Alfajores are layered cookies with crisp exteriors and soft, creamy interiors. They come in many flavors, including caramel. This version calls for spreading dulce de leche between two cookies and then coating the edges with shredded toasted coconut. It also includes a bit of South American brandy called Pisco, which adds a special taste.

  • 12 of 17

    Pasta Frola de Dulce de Membrillo (Dessert Tart)


    Pasta frola de dulce de membrillo
     is a wonderful dessert made with a cookie-like shortbread crust and sweet filling. The name comes from the Italian shortbread crust (pasta frolla) that is used to make jam pies (crostate). This Argentinian rendition includes quince paste, called dulce de membrillo, but a dulce de leche filling is also common.

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  • 13 of 17

    Torta Negra Galesa (Welsh Fruitcake)


    Torta negra galesa
     is Patagonian black Welsh cake, a rich, delicious variety of fruitcake. The cake was born out of resourcefulness, where the female Welsh settlers combined the few provisions they had, including candied fruit, nuts, spices, molasses, and alcohol, to create a dessert that would be tasty as well as keep for a few months.

  • 14 of 17

    Tortas Fritas (Fry Bread)

    Tortas fritas may resemble Native American fry bread, but they are more like fried biscuits. However, they are made with more fat than a traditional biscuit would be. Tortas fritas are often enjoyed as an afternoon snack with yerba mate tea, and also make their way to the weekend breakfast table. Serve with jam or dulce de leche.

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    Yerba Mate Tea

    Yerba Mate Tea
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    One of the most important Argentinian beverages is yerba mate tea and drinking it is a very social activity throughout the country. Tea drinkers brew the mate in beautiful gourd cups and sip it with a silver straw called a bombilla. This version turns the tea into a late by adding whole milk and sugar.

  • 16 of 17

    El Submarino (Special Hot Chocolate)

    El submarino is an Argentinian hot chocolate that is especially favored by children. The drink is served as a mug of hot milk with a piece of dark chocolate on the side. This chocolate is then plunged into the hot milk (hence the name "the submarine") where it melts, creating a delicious, creamy drink, with a tasty bit of chocolate "sludge" on the bottom.

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    Malbec Wine

    Malbec is Argentina's signature grape, and has made a name for itself with red wine lovers. It is a medium- to full-bodied wine that has hints of black cherry, plum, and blackberry. This red wine has high levels of alcohol and tannins, and pairs well with red meat and spicy foods.