5 Side Dishes Only Found in Colombian Food

Colombia is known for its incredible and diverse cuisine. In fact, Colombian food and Gastronomy tours are one of the major reasons why tourists flock to Colombia as a popular tourist destination.

Colombian cuisine is a mix of Spanish influence mixed with native culinary practices, and it even varies depending on which region of the country you visit.

Traditionally, most Colombian food contains ingredients such as corn, plantain, various potatoes, yuca root, rice, and of course, meat.

As delicious as arepas are, consuming them every meal can get quite bland after a while, so it is important to mix up the side dishes and make something new.

So, with so many options with Colombian food, which are the best side dishes that represent Colombian food the best?

Keep on reading to learn all about delicious Colombian recipes that will impress all the guests at the table.

1. Arroz Con Coco

Bowl of Colombian Arroz con coco on wooden table
Colombian Arroz con Coco

Arroz con coco is a sweet and savory dish, and one of the most popular Colombian side dishes. It is so good that it is available all across the country in every region. It consists of coconut milk, rice, and usually raisins (or pasas in spanish).

This dish is easily made by cooking coconut milk in a pot for 30 minutes until it starts to brown a bit, which is called titoté. Then the rice, water, raisins, salt, and sugar is added. It is cooked until the rice becomes a delicious brown sweet concoction and then usually served alongside fried fish and plantains.

Once you taste it, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with Colombian coconut rice.

2. Patacones

Patacones Colombian Side Dish with green plantain and sauce

Colombia’s Patacones are incredibly delicious and very easy to make. Simply take a green plantain, fry it, then smash it into a pancake-like shape, fry it again in oil, then serve it amongst fruit or vegetable salsa. Or just sprinkle some salt to it for an excellent side dish. So simple yet so delicious!

This makes an excellent side dish for main recipes because you can use it in replacement of bread, and to hold other ingredients on top such as fish dishes, etc, and they work very well if you live a gluten-free lifestyle.

3. Buñuelos

Colombian Bunuelos with hot chocolate on a table

This might be stretching the side dish category a little bit but these are a great choice to enjoy with your favorite cup of Colombian coffee or Colombian hot chocolate.

Buñuelos are like little balls of fried heaven, similar to a donut ball, but even better. You can make them using Colombian cornstarch called fecula de maiz and a special Colombian cheese called queso costeño, rolled into a ball, then fried.

They are super popular during Christmas time yet commonly enjoyed throughout the year.

4. Yuca Frita

Colombian Yuca Frita with aioli sauce
Yuca Frita

Yet another delicious fried food served as a traditional Colombian side dish. Yuca Frita is cassava root that is cut up into big sticks and deep-fried. It is usually served with a dip such as chipotle aioli, or ketchup and mayo or salsa rosada.

Yuca is a popular staple in Colombia and other Latin American countries, there are so many delicious recipes you can make with yuca such as fritters, empanadas, and more.

If you want a healthy version of french fries give yuca frita a shot and you may never look back!

5. Pandebono

Colombian Side Dish Pandebono Baking

A true Colombian classic you’ll find sold on the streets, bars, restaurants and just about everywhere in Colombia. Pandebono or pan de bono is a delicious cheesy bread which is simply made from corn flour, eggs, and cheese.

Just like Buñuelos, Pandebono is best served fresh and does not need any dips or sauces. Although in some parts of Colombia it is common to use guava jam.

This traditional Colombian bread can be made in both a round and a ring shape.

Learn More About Colombian Food and Delicious Recipes

Colombian food is so diverse that there are so many delightful Colombian dishes to make, often with different variations of each.

Check out our article on how to find and pick the perfect plantains to ensure you have the best side dishes out on the table.

If you are ready to taste for yourself, shop for Colombian foods & drinks at our online store or visit us for authentic Colombian recipes too! Enjoy!


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