20 Recipe Ideas for Peruvian Food and Drinks

Chicken Empanadas Recipe

The Spruce

Peru's amazing cuisine has evolved from both indigenous and immigrant traditions. Some foods that originated from ancient civilizations still appear on menus today, while other typical Peruvian dishes also show the influence of European, African, and Asian cuisines. In Peru, Chinese food is called "chifa," a uniquely Peruvian term that finds its roots in the word for "cooked rice."

Peru's diverse geography yields an equally diverse array of delicious ingredients: fresh seafood from the coast, vibrant tropical fruits from the jungle, and a variety of grains and potatoes from the Andes. Many dishes don't typically require any special equipment, although you'll want to have a frying pan or nonstick pan on hand, along with a food processor for making some of the unique sauces.

  • 01 of 20

    Yuquitas Rellenas (Fried Yuca Balls)

    Yuca balls

    The Spruce / Bren Herrera

    Yuca is a type of starchy root vegetable that's a staple in many parts of South America. For this crunchy appetizer, mash and mold yuca around a cube of queso fresco, then fry until golden.

  • 02 of 20

    Empanadas de Pollo (Chicken Empanadas)

    Chicken Empanadas Recipe

    The Spruce

    Most countries in Latin America have their own take on empanadas, which often appear as street food, snacks, or part of a larger meal. And each one swears its version is the best. This recipe features a tender dough wrapped around shredded chicken, caramelized onions, olives, and pieces of hard-boiled egg.

  • 03 of 20

    Anticuchos de Carne (Grilled Beef Skewers)

    Anticuchos de Carne

    The Spruce / Nita West

    A popular street food in Peru, anticuchos often feature beef hearts, but marinated chicken or beef is also well-known. The meat gets seasoned with garlic, vinegar, cumin, and aji panca, a mild red chile pepper with a smoky flavor. You can find it at most Latin American markets or online.

  • 04 of 20

    Solterito (Corn and Vegetable Salad)

    Solterito Corn and Lima Bean Salad

    The Spruce / Marian Blazes


    A fresh vegetable salad made with corn, beans, red onion, spicy chile pepper, and queso fresco, solterito makes a great start to any meal. It's usually made with the large-kernel choclo corn, but sweet corn would also work in a pinch. If you can't find queso fresco, use farmer's cheese or some mozzarella mixed with feta instead.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Aji Amarillo Sauce

    Spicy and Versatile Aji Amarillo Sauce

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    Spicy, vibrant, and perfect for dipping yuca or potato fries, drizzling over roasted chicken, or just about anything, this versatile sauce starts with the assertive aji amarillo chili pepper. Most authentic recipes don't contain mayonnaise, but here, it gives this version a silky consistency.

  • 06 of 20

    Chaufa Rice

    Chaufa Rice

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

    A great way to use up leftover rice, veggies, and meat, chaufa  rice first appeared during the Chinese-Peruvian culinary fusion that started when the Chinese first arrived in South America as laborers during the 19th century. Chaufa comes from the Chinese chǎofàn, which means "fried rice."

  • 07 of 20

    Lomo Saltado (Beef and Potato Stir Fry)

    Lomo saltado recipe

    The Spruce

    A simple, succulent stir fry of strips of beef, peppers, onions, and French fries, lomo saltado makes a filling and unique meal, especially when served with rice, Soy sauce and aji chile pepper give it plenty of flavor.

  • 08 of 20


    Peruvian Ceviche

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

    Peru offers a wealth of seafood, and by combining a high-quality white fish in lime juice, salt, hot peppers, and onion, you can create a vibrant fresh ceviche that hits the spot on a hot day. Start with sushi-grade fish that's never been frozen for the best texture.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Papas Rellenas (Stuffed Potatoes)

    Papas rellenas recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    A satisfying comfort food, papas rellenas involves wrapping mashed potatoes around a savory filling of ground beef, aji pepper, hard-boiled egg, and olives. It's a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, but you can prepare them fresh, too.

  • 10 of 20

    Hot and Spicy Chicken Feet

    Hot and Spicy Chicken Feet

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

    Thanks to the arrival of Chinese immigrants in Peru, its cuisine, also known as "chifa," has become integral to Peruvian dining. If you haven't tried chicken feet before, this spicy, glazed preparation might remind you of Chinese-spiced chicken wings.

  • 11 of 20

    Aji de Gallina (Spicy Creamed Chicken)

    Spicy Creamed Chicken Aji de Gallina

    The Spruce

    For this classic Peruvian chicken dish, slather poached chicken in a spicy and creamy nut-based sauce then serve it over white rice with boiled potatoes, hard-boiled egg, and olives for color and texture. Its bright yellow color is thanks to the ají amarillo pepper, and offers a lovely richness from ground walnuts.

  • 12 of 20

    Jamon del Pais (Country Ham)

    jamon del pais
    Peruvian Country Ham - Jamón del País. Marian Blazes

    Use either a pork leg or pork loin for this juicy jamon del pais that makes amazing sandwiches. It consists of boiling and roasting ham that's seasoned with aji panca chile peppers, garlic, and spices until tender and perfectly flavorful.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Butifarra Sandwich

    Butifarra Sandwich

    Becky Lawton / Getty Images

    This hearty sandwich is stuffed with slices of savory jamon del país, a sweet onion relish called salsa criolla, as well as often radishes, lettuce, and chiles. Served on a crusty white roll, the meaty butifarra is ubiquitous in Peru. You can find them everywhere from parties to diners to school cafeterias, at just about any time.

  • 14 of 20

    Peruvian Roasted Chicken

    Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Yellow Potatoes

    Scaredykat / Flickr CC BY 2.0

    A flavorful way to prepare roast chicken that will satisfy everyone in your party, this typical Peruvian dish often appears alongside boiled potatoes for a filling meal. Cumin, paprika, garlic, white wine, and vinegar give it a succulent flavor.

  • 15 of 20

    Pan de Anis (Anise Bread)

    Anise Bread Rolls (Pan de Anis)

    The Spruce / Wanda Abraham

    The licorice-like spicy fragrance of anise gives these tender, lightly sweet little pan de anis a delicious flavor that goes perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea. They will fill your kitchen with an enticing aroma as they bake and taste great warm, right out of the oven.

  • 16 of 20

    Suspiro De Limeña (Caramel Meringue Parfait)

    Peruvian Caramel Meringue Parfait (Suspiro De Limeña)

    The Spruce / Marian Blazes

    With a name that means "the sigh of a woman," this sweet and multi-layered caramel parfait really tastes like something special. It starts with a layer of egg yolk-enriched dulce de leche, topped with a sweet, stiff meringue made with port wine. It perfectly caps off a meal.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Tres Leches Pastel (Three Milks Cake)

    Tres Leches Pastel

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Tres leches pastel, or "three milks cake," gets its name from just that, the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream that impart a rich, dense, and almost custard-like texture. It gained nearly a cult-like status in the United States in the 2000s, but it's been a South American favorite for generations.

  • 18 of 20

    Picarones (Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Donuts)


    Jean Pierre Pinochet / Getty Images

    With a sweet, lightly spicy flavor, crispy and dense texture, and a syrupy glaze, picarones are immensely popular for a reason. They taste similar to a spice cake, but they are deep-fried in rings similar to doughnuts. It can take some practice to get the technique just right, but even the ugly ones taste great.

  • 19 of 20

    Pisco Sour

    Pisco sour in a glass

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Sometimes called the national drink of Chile and Peru, you've likely seen the pisco sour on bar menus in the United States, too. Made with pisco, a clear spirit that can range from slightly sweet to herbal and bitter, capped off with a fluffy egg white foam, it complements just about any meal.

  • 20 of 20

    Chilcano de Pisco

    Chilcano de Pisco: A Peruvian Brandy Cocktail

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    A refreshing pisco cocktail that requires no mixology skills, chilcano de pisco consists of pisco brandy, lime, and ginger beer, The result tastes like a more complex Moscow Mule, with the pisco lending herbal and lightly bitter notes that play off the spicy ginger beer.