Whether you’re planning a trip to Argentina or trying a new Argentine restaurant down the street, you’re in for a treat. Aside from Malbec wine and dancing the tango, Argentina’s cuisine is guaranteed to rock your taste buds.
Between the barbecued meats and abundance of cheesy dishes, Argentine foods are absolutely scrumptious. Are we making you hungry yet? ¿Tienes hambre?
If the answer is yes, we’ve got a list of delicious and unique Argentine food you need to experience.
1. Asado: BBQ Everything
Fire up the grill!
In English, asado is known as barbecue. But in Argentina, the barbecue is a bit more extreme. Plus, it helps that Argentina has more cattle than people living in it.
Asado is a way of cooking as well as a social event. It combines delicious meat with fire and a grill. Popular meats for asado include pork, chicken, sausages, and churrasco (a beef sirloin).
Fine asado cooking uses a parilla. This is a large iron grill designed for optimal barbecuing.
These dishes are so tender, juicy, and delicious that vegetarians may be tempted to try some asado-style meat.
2. Empanadas: An Argentine Staple
Empanadas literally translate to “wrapped in bread.” How could that not be delicious?
Empanadas are stuffed dough pockets. They’re commonly baked or fried. Empanadas are stuffed with different meats and veggies.
If you’re looking to explore this Argentine food, there are a variety of delicious ways to stuff an empanada:
- Ground turkey or chicken
Empanadas are fun because they allow you to get creative. There’s an empanada for everyone!
3. Choripán: Quick and Casual
Hot dogs in Argentina? We call that choripán!
Choripán is a chorizo sandwich. Chorizo is grilled, split down the middle, and served on a baguette or marraqueta roll. You may find some choripáns served as at your asado!
If you want your taste buds to explode, slather your Choripán with chimichurri. This is a spicy sauce similar to pesto. Choripáns may also be served with salsa.
Choripáns are commonly found at sports venues and street festivals. They’re an easy-to-eat food on the go and popular lunchtime choice.
4. Chimichurri: The Go-To Condiment
Green salsa? No, it’s chimichurri!
Chimichurri is Argentina’s pesto. It’s served on grilled meats and used as a dipping sauce. It’s commonly found on choripáns and empanadas.
There isn’t a set recipe for chimichurri as every Argentinian likes to add his or her own flare to the sauce. Typically, it incorporates parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, vinegar, and chili pepper.
You’ll find chimichurri at an asado or served with your bread basket at a restaurant. Or you can buy chimichurri online. It’s Argentina’s go-to condiment.
5. Provoleta: Grilled Cheese 2.0
Argentinians are the masters of grilled cheese.
Provoleta is an Italian-inspired dish. It takes provolone cheese and slaps it on the grill. It’s topped with chili flakes and oregano for an extra burst of flavor.
As it simmers above the flames, the cheese softens and becomes a delicious melt.
Provoleta requires a specifically sized skillet or foil to cook. This is how the dish gets its creamy and smoky flavor. A perfect provoleta is melted on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.
Provoleta is often served with an olive oil drizzle to enhance its flavors. It’s a popular appetizer at restaurants or during an asado.
6. Milanesa: Delicious Many Ways
Take some meat, soak it in egg batter, then fry it up. What do you get? A delicious Argentine dish called Milanesa.
Inspired by the Milanese, this dish covers filets of meat in egg batter. It’s breaded and then fried or baked. Milanesa may be served on a sandwich or as an entree.
Milanesa is typically made from silverside. This is beef taken from a cow’s leg. It may also be made using a thin cut of chicken breast.
Alone, milanesa is delicious. But you can amp up the flavor by ordering it with special toppings.
Milanesa a Caballo
This translates to “on horseback.” A traditional milanesa dish is topped with two fried eggs. It’s served alongside crispy Argentinian French fries.
Take your milanesa to the next level by making it a sandwich. Top it with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and a hearty roll. Add french fries on the side, and you’ve got a delicious Argentinian lunch.
Milanesa a La Napolitana
Add an Italian flair to your milanesa by topping it with prosciutto and fresh Mozzarella. Add a hearty helping of tomato sauce and let the dish broil until the cheese turns golden brown.
Is your mouth watering yet?
7. Dulce De Leche: For Your Sweet Tooth
This Argentinian food is for dessert lovers. Dulce de leche translates to “candy of milk” and is a must-try dessert.
Dulce de leche slowly reduces condensed milk. Combined with sugar, it creates a thick caramel. Add a little bit of vanilla to really enhance the flavor.
Dulce de leche is a popular ice cream topping. It’s often added to alfajores and dessert empanadas as an extra layer of sweetness.
Whether you’re drizzling it over ice cream or licking it from a spoon, there’s no wrong way to enjoy dulce de leche.
8. Alfajores: The Most Consumed Cookie in Argentina
Alfajores are Argentina’s version of French macarons. They are small sandwich cookies stuffed different flavorings. The cookies are made from crumbly shortbread.
Alfajores originated from Arab culture. When the Moors traveled to Spain, they brought delicious alfajore recipes with them. As Spaniards explored Argentina, so did the cookies.
Alfajores can have various fillings; sweet jams, mousse, but they are usually dulce de leche filled cookies. Argentinians like eating alfajores for breakfast, dessert, and as a tasty snack throughout the day.
Argentina consumes the most alfajores in the world. And Havanna alfajores are arguably the most famous brand of alfajores in the world. They are not just a snack, but a large part of the Argentine culture.
9. Medialuna: Your Go-To Light Bite
If you head to an Argentinian coffee shop, be sure to pick up a light and delicious medialuna.
Based on its shape, medialuna means “half moon.” It’s a buttery puff pastry similar to a French croissant. However, an Argentinian medialuna is sweeter and smaller than typical croissants.
Argentinians love eating medialunas for breakfast or as a light snack alongside a cup of coffee or tea. Most bakeries and cafes sell them.
10. Matambre Arrollado: The Hunger Killer
Translated to a rolled up hunger killer, this hearty Argentine food packs a punch.
Matambre beef cuts come from the bottom of a cow’s ribs. It’s difficult to find this type of cut outside of Argentina, so flank steak is a common substitute. Flank steak is lean and ideal for grilling.
The dish combines thinly sliced matambre with a variety of ingredients. It typically includes mixed veggies, hard-boiled eggs, red peppers, and olives. Matambre arrollado is seasoned with garlic, cilantro, and olive oil.
The ingredients are wrapped into the beef and cooked together asado-style.
Matambre arrollado creates a flavorful and beautiful entree. It’s a filling meal that kills all of your hunger.
11. Argentinian-Style Pizza: Say Cheese!
Argentinian-style pizza, or una muzza, may look like your average pie, but it definitely isn’t.
Warning: if you’re lactose intolerant, this style of pizza definitely isn’t for you.
The crust tends to be about one inch thick with airy dough.
You can ask for your pizza de molde, which is extra thick. You may also request your pizza media masa. This is less thick, but still not you’re typical Italian thin-crust.
Traditional Argentine-pizza is light on the sauce and heavy on the cheese. If it’s not dripping in cheese, it’s not una muzza.
Like American pies, Argentine pizza comes with a variety of topping selections. Popular ones include:
- Calabresa (spicy pork sausage)
- Jamón y morrones (ham and bell peppers)
- Pizza con verdura y salsa blanca (spinach and bechamel)
Muzza Argentine Pizza
This is the classic Argentinian pizza style. It’s loaded with cheese and a small amount of tomato sauce. The pizza is finished with olives and oregano.
Fugazzeta Argentine Pizza
Where are the onion lovers at? This pizza is loaded with onions, grated cheese, and filled with fresh Mozzarella.
Pizza a La Piedra
This type of pie is baked on a stone in a wood-fired oven. Unlike traditional Argentine pizza, it has a thinner crust and ample tomato sauce. It’s a modern version of Argentine pizza.
Of course, it’s still loaded with cheese.
12. Llama Steak: The Healthy Steak Choice
In northern Argentina, llamas are more popular than cattle. The northwest’s high altitude is perfect for the animal, making llama steak a popular choice for this region.
Llama has a rustic and earthy flavor. It’s healthier than your traditional beef sirloin. Llama steak has high protein levels and significantly less fat than beef.
The most popular llama dish is cazuela de llama or llama stew. Llama steak is slowly cooked and combined with potatoes (papas andinas) and carrots.
Llama can also be cooked into empanadas or grilled and served solo. Restaurants may include it in carpaccio appetizers.
Not only do llamas provide delicious meat, but their fur can be used for socks, gloves, and scarves.
13. Locro: A National Argentine Food
Locro is a national Argentine dish. If you’re in Argentina on May 25, also known as Argentina’s May Revolution, you’re eating locro.
Locro is a hearty and flavorful stew. It’s made using white corn, beef or pork, tripe, and red chorizo. Vegetables like beans, squash, and pumpkin are added.
Some locro recipes add a sprinkle of quiquirimichi. This hot paprika and chili salsa incorporates a spicy kick to the stew.
14. Humita: Made for Corn Lovers
If you love corn, then humita is for you.
Corn and milk create a delicious dough. It’s combined with onions, spices and goat cheese for extra flavor. The mixture gets folded into a corn leaf and steamed or boiled.
Humita could be a snack or a main dish. It’s a common empanada filling. Humita is very popular around the Andean region of South America.
15. Fideos: Please Pass the Pasta
The Italian flare in Argentina makes pasta, or fideos, an especially popular dish. In Buenos Aires, freshly made pasta and home-made tomato sauce are everywhere.
Restaurants serve a variety of unique Argentine pasta dishes. Menus typically list various pasta and sauce flavors and allow the customer to create their own pairing.
Some of the most popular Argentine pasta dishes include:
- Ham and Mozzarella Sorrentino
- Ricotta Agnolotti
- Spinach Ravioli
Lasagna and cannelloni are also common in Argentina. However, they’re not usually stuffed with meat. Instead, these Argentine foods are filled with cheese or vegetables.
16. Carbonada: Your Winter Stew
Carbonada is a popular stew during Argentina’s winter months.
Carbonada combines meat, potatoes, corn on the cob, carrots, peppers, and bacon. It’s topped with fruits like peaches, raisins, and pears.
Once the mixture is prepared, carbonada is poured into a hollowed-out pumpkin. It’s then barbecued. Sometimes, the stew is used for empanadas.
Its warm flavor and heartiness make carbonada a delicious Argentine food during the cold season.
17. Yerba Mate: Drinking With Friends
You can’t enjoy Argentine cuisine without finishing your meal with a round of yerba mate!
Yerba mate is a bitter herb that comes from the holly genus plant. It’s a small tree that grows about 50 feet (or 15 meters).
The drink has high caffeine levels and is brewed like tea. Its leaves are dried, chopped, ground into a fine powder and mixed with hot water. Yerba mate may also come as whole leaves.
Traditionally, yerba mate is served in a gourd. The drink is sipped through a metal straw.
It’s common to share yerba mate with friends and pass the drink around the table. It’s a social drink meant to be enjoyed with loved ones.
Still Hungry? Discover More
Argentine cuisine is delicious and hearty. It combines Italian and Spanish flares to create food like any other. If you haven’t let your taste buds experience a delicious Argentine dish, now’s the time.
Discover more of our interesting and unique Argentine food on our website. Try some of our recommended Argentinian recipes and let us know what you think. Enjoy your creation, or as the Argentines would say, mmm!
Our blog is all about sharing our love of Latin American foods & drinks. We will bring you articles and recipes of the very best Latin American & Spanish cuisine. Amigofoods was founded in 2003 and is the largest online grocery store offering a wide variety of hard to find freshly imported foods & drinks from all over Latin America and Spain.