Nicaraguan Cuisine

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Nicaraguan cuisine is a combination of Spanish and Creole cuisines blended together with the foods of the indigenous Miskito people. By the time the Spaniards arrived in Nicaragua, in the early 16th century, the country’s cuisine had already been influenced by the Creole people. It didn’t take long before the Spanish influence took hold, and made Nicaraguan cuisine pretty much what we know it as today.

Nicaraguan Cuisine Public Domain

Vigorón is a very popular Nicaraguan national dish.

There are, however, regional differences in Nicaraguan cuisine. The cuisine on the Caribbean coastal region uses more coconut and seafoods. Traveling inland, the dishes are more centered around corn and local fruits.

Whether in coastal or inland regions, corn is a main staple, much like most other Central American countries. Nationally popular dishes, such as nacatamal, and indio viejo have corn as a primary ingredient. Not only is corn central to many dishes, it is also used to make sweets and desserts, as well as drinks like pinolillo and chicha.

Two more staples in Nicaraguan cuisine are beans and rice. Beans are a source of cheap protein, and therefore

Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto (Photo Attributed to Author: Legendre17)

the common (majority) people of little means consume them when meat is not in the budget – which is often. Rice is most often served in place of corn, and is a popular and common part of a Nicaraguan breakfast. Gallo Pinto is a good example, often served as breakfast, a tasty mound of rice, sometimes with eggs.

Many Nicaraguans love to garden. They supplement their diets lots of home grown vegetables, to supplement the staples of beans, corn and rice. Also grown and eaten are edible flowers and herbs, like oregano, achiote and cilantro. Some of the many exotic tropical fruits found on Nicaraguan dining tables include tamarind, pipian, mimbro, mango, jocote, grosella, papaya, and quequisque. 

But enough of background, let’s get right into the real reason you came here – the recipes!

Click on the dish of your choice in the list below, and you will be taken to a print-friendly page with that recipe on it. Off you go now, into the savory and delicious world of …

Nicaraguan Cuisine!

Churrasco (Nicaraguan style grilled meats)


Salpicón de Res


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