Guatemala is another of the Central American countries where the Spanish conquest and evangelization left deep marks on customs, traditions and gastronomy.

Let us know in this article the 40 typical foods of Guatemala.

1. Jocon

One of the most popular typical foods of Guatemala is the jocón, a dish that can have hen, chicken or pork, accompanied by an exquisite sauce of green vegetables.

The meat is cooked in salted water and on the other hand onion stalks, green chilies, cilantro, green tomatoes, miltomate and bell peppers are boiled, which when ready are added French bread and taken to the blender.

The mixture is fried in oil and a little of the broth where the meat was boiled is added. Add some corn dough from making tortillas to thicken it.

Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and add the pieces of chicken, hen or pork. Let it boil for 10 minutes and after resting, it will be ready to serve.

2. Pepian

Typical Guatemalan food with which the combination of Guatemalan indigenous culture is manifested, with Spanish customs.

The pepián can be made with chicken, pork or beef. Also by combining pieces of the three animal sources.

While the meat is cooked in water with vegetables, onions, tomatoes, miltomate, sesame seeds, pepitoria, chili, garlic, cinnamon and banana peel are browned in a little oil.

When ready, the dressings are blended with some of the broth that remained from the meat and cooked with coriander branches until the sauce thickens; the pieces of meat and vegetables are added.

The preparation is boiled a little so that the meat and vegetables are integrated with the sauce and when this happens, the dish will be ready to serve accompanied by white rice, freshly made corn tortillas and a piece of avocado.

3. Patches

Tamale made with potatoes that is prepared and served at Easter, Christmas, New Year, birthdays or other special celebrations.

Paches are prepared just like tamales made with corn and are served with French bread or fresh corn tortillas.

4. Chuchitos

Another of the typical foods of Guatemala are the chuchitos, a national dish based on corn with which a dough is prepared that has tomato and a filling of beef, chicken, pork or a combination of the three.

The dough is wrapped in tusa leaves and cooked. When cooked, it is served and accompanied with tomato sauce and sprinkled hard cheese.

The chuchitos can be eaten alone or as a companion to another typical Guatemalan dish.

5. Chipilin tamales

Tamales made with corn dough and chipilín, a leaf that gives them their special taste. They are prepared like any other tamale and are served with a tomato sauce and topped with hard cheese or a hot chili sauce.

They eat at any time and without any pretext.

6. Enchiladas

The rich and colorful Guatemalan enchiladas are enjoyed at any time, day or celebration.

They are made with ground beef, julienned beets and various sauces, ingredients placed on a freshly made corn tortilla. The enchilada is garnished with a boiled egg and sprinkled with hard cheese.

7. lint

This typical Guatemalan food requires a little care when preparing the sauce where the beef that makes up the dish is drowned

Cook the meat until tender and can be shredded. Tomatoes, sweet peppers, guaque peppers, onion, thousand tomatoes and garlic are cooked with the broth obtained. When everything is ready, blend and fry in hot oil.

To the sauce is added the meat in shreds and cut potatoes, which are left on the fire until they soften. A little flour is added to the preparation to thicken the sauce, which is left to boil a little more. When removing from the heat, let it rest and when it is not so hot, it is served with white rice.

8. Cassava with pork rinds

To prepare this dish, boiled or fried yucca is cooked, placed on the plate, chopped tomatoes and onions are poured over it, seasoned with a little lemon juice, and the pieces of pork rind are spread over all of this.

The fat of the chicharrón combines very well with the yucca and with the flavors of the picadillo.

9. Covered seafood

Dish made up of a tasty and nutritious soup that includes shellfish from the salty waters of Guatemala. One of the best recipes originating from the department of Izabal.

It is prepared with crabs, oysters, clams, shrimp, crabs, squid and vegetables such as green plantains, green bananas and yucca. It also includes spices, condiments and coconut milk, which give it an exotic flavor.

The initial broth is prepared with fish heads and the fish meat also becomes part of the soup, which, when ready, is served with chopped coriander and lemon juice (optional).

10. Kaq’ik

It is one of the most representative typical foods of the country, which has earned it the merit of being declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Guatemala in 2007.

The origin of the “red broth of turkey or chunto”, as the dish is also known, is in the Mayan Indians. Its name means red and chili, in the two syllables that make up the word kaq’ik in the Mayan language.

The main ingredients are turkey and achiote, which gives the broth its characteristic red color.

To serve the soup, rice is placed (which can be added to the broth) and it is accompanied with corn tamales called “blancos” or “pochitos”. It can also be eaten with fresh corn tortillas (optional).

11. Ceviche

The waters of Guatemala are rich in fish and shellfish, with which another of the country’s typical foods is prepared: ceviche, a dish that is usually eaten on Saturdays with soda crackers and a cold beer.

The most popular is the Guatemalan shrimp ceviche, but they are also prepared with other seafood and some fish.

12. Bananas in mole

Bananas in mole are a traditional Guatemalan dessert, a sweet for any occasion of the day.

Ripe plantains are cut into slices and fried. On the other hand, the mole is prepared with its corresponding ingredients, which, when ready, is poured over the bananas with sugar to taste and boiled for 5 minutes. Afterwards, they will be to eat.

13. Beans with pork rinds

Beans and grains in general are popular foods in many cuisines around the world for their vitamin, mineral and nutrient content.

One of the typical foods of Guatemala is beans with pork rinds, a simple dish but with a rich flavor provided by the mixture of beans with the fat of the pork rinds.

This stew is prepared with red beans cooked with dressings, to which the pork rinds are added. Some people substitute the chicharrón for meat and add a chili guaque to the dressings and condiments, which adds a touch of spice to the dish.

To serve them, rice is placed, fresh corn tortillas and a chiltepe sauce made with chiltepe chili can be added.

14. Wallow

One of the typical foods of Guatemala whose main ingredient is the pig’s head, which after being cooked and seasoned becomes a delicious stew for the palate.

Soften the cleaned pig’s head in water and when it is ready, remove all the meat it contains and fry it in a little oil.

The dressings and spices are roasted without burning and blended with water, the content of which is poured over the fried pieces of pig’s head. The salt is adjusted and a little tortilla dough is added to thicken the sauce.

The revolcado is served with rice and masa tamales. If you like, you can put chili guaque on them.

15. Cold cut

A traditional meal on the Day of the Dead. A specialty in which several types of meats and sausages are mixed, served with a pickle prepared with carrots, onions, green beans, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, pacayas, bay leaves and thyme.

Cook meats such as chicken, pork, longaniza, sausages, sausage, ham and any other and reserve them. Add the pickle when it is ready and mix everything very well.

To serve it, layers of lettuce are placed in a bowl and all the preparation is poured over them, which is bathed in a broth prepared with a little water, vinegar, wine, water from the olives and asparagus. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, a touch of sugar and olive oil.

The dish is garnished with sliced ​​olives, asparagus, cheese bits, sliced ​​hard-boiled eggs, chopped parsley, and a sprinkle of grated cheese.

For the cold meat to be more appetizing, it is recommended to prepare it a day in advance and refrigerate it so that all the flavors mix and enhance.

16. Bent

This simple typical Guatemalan meal is prepared with traditional corn tortillas, which for this dish are left to toast a little and beef or chicken, cooked potatoes, cheese and loroco are placed in the center.

When they are placed on the plate, they are covered with guacamole, tomato sauce, onion and chopped cilantro.

17. Tortillas with loroco and cheese

To prepare this typical Guatemalan food, corn tortillas are made thicker than usual, so that they can be filled with black beans, pork rinds, cheese, loroco or any other preferred filling. They are served with tomato sauce and chopped pickled cabbage.

18. Toast with chow mein

Traditional breakfast and typical Guatemalan food. A corn tortilla with radish, guacamole, tomato sauce and lots of chow mein (stir-fried Chinese noodles) prepared Guatemalan style.

Chicken and vegetables such as carrots, green and red bell peppers, güisquil and celery are added to the dish. The texture of the noodles and their flavor is typically Guatemalan.

19. Chapín breakfast

Traditional breakfast consisting of fried or scrambled eggs, black beans, soft cheese, avocado slices, fried plantains, sour cream, and corn tortillas or bread. It is a nutrient-rich first meal of the day.

20. Shucos

One of the typical Guatemalan meals that they prepare in any street food stall, consisting of bread stuffed with chorizo, roast beef, avocado, cabbage and some favorite sausage.

21. Beef broth

One of the typical foods of Guatemalans is beef broth, also called cocido de res. It is made with pieces of beef, bones and carrots, potatoes, corn, cassava, sweet potatoes and any other vegetables.

It can be eaten as a main meal or as a dish that precedes the main course. When serving it, chopped cilantro or chopped radish is added on top and can be accompanied with tortillas and white rice.

22. Omelets

Tortillas will always be present in Guatemalan gastronomy, since all their meals are accompanied by these thin “cakes” made of corn dough.

The best thing about them is that they can be eaten plain with a touch of salt or a little cheese, toasted or soft. Regardless, they are tasty and nutritious.

23. Guatemalan Chilaquiles

One of the ways to use tortillas is to prepare Guatemalan chilaquiles, one of the typical foods of Guatemala.

Shredded chicken is taken, grated mozzarella cheese, milk cream is added and everything is mixed well. Place a spoonful of this content on one side of the tortilla that is folded in half, dipped in a beaten egg and fried in plenty of oil until golden brown on both sides.

Take a baking tray and place the fried tortillas, bathe them with tomato sauce or another of preference and sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese. It is baked for 15 minutes.

Chilaquiles are served hot on fresh lettuce.

24. Chopped Radish

Refreshing recipe for hot days. The chopped radish is used as a salad or accompaniment to any dish such as a beef stew. It consists of grated radishes and seasoned with lemon juice, mint, onion, tomato and a touch of salt, all well mixed.

25. Biscayan fish

Recipe for Lent at Easter that is usually made with cod or other dried fish, although you can really use any fish, even fresh.

Fry without burning tomatoes, onions, chili peppers and garlic. Blend them with water when removing them from the heat, chop onions, put them to fry and add capers, olives and chopped parsley to this sauce. Also add the blended sauce, check the salt and let cook for 5 minutes.

If you use a salted fish, it may not be necessary to add more salt.

After 5 minutes, place the fish in the sauce and let it boil for 15 minutes. Serve it accompanied by potatoes or rice or both sides.

26. Chirmol

Sauce prepared with roasted tomatoes used as an accompaniment to bathe roast meat, chicken or roast pork.

The tomatoes are roasted, the skin is removed, they are crushed with a mallet or a fork, finely chopped onion and coriander are added and can be seasoned with a little salt and a few drops of lemon.

27. Pickled Salad

A delicious recipe to serve as an accompaniment to any dish. It is one of the typical foods of Guatemala: the pickled salad.

It is prepared with carrots, cauliflower, chili peppers and onions, all chopped and lightly fried. Add to the pan and over the vegetables a mixture of water and vinegar in equal parts. Add thyme, bay leaf, mustard, salt and sugar and cook until vegetables are al dente. Remove from heat, let stand, refrigerate and eat cold.

28. Rice with pig

It is one of the traditional dishes of the Xinca culture that in some areas is known as “coche miche”.

These are pieces of pork or pig bones covered with meat, prepared with rice and natural spices. A food that used to be prepared for wakes and the burial of a person.

29. Chubby

A traditional dessert among the typical foods of Guatemala are the rellenitos de plantains stuffed with beans.

Cook the bananas with shells that when ready are removed. With them make a dough or puree seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla.

Some cinnamon and vanilla are also added to the beans, as well as sugar, and they are cooked to thicken.

Take the banana dough, shape it into an oval cake with the palm of your hand, hollow it out and fry until golden brown. They are accompanied with cream and sugar.

30. Fritters

One of the traditional Christmas desserts and one of the typical foods of Guatemala are buñuelos.

They are balls of dough seasoned with anise that are fried in abundant oil until golden brown. They are bathed in honey when served and eaten hot.

31. Champurradas

Champurradas are the perfect companion in Guatemala for coffee. These are very toasted sweet cookies that are baked sprinkled with sesame seeds and eaten with a cup of coffee.

32. Muffins or torrejas

One of the most popular and traditional desserts tasted in Guatemala during the Easter season.

They are fried balls prepared with a dough made of cornstarch and flour. When they are ready, they are opened and filled with a cream based on cornstarch, milk, sugar, vanilla, raisins and fruit crystallized with sugar. Once filled, they are bathed in a slightly diluted honey.

33. Tamarind Balls

Tamarind balls are part of the typical desserts of Guatemala. They are made with tamarin pulp, red vegetable dye is added to give them their characteristic color, and they are sprinkled with sugar.

34. Marzipan

A popular typical Guatemalan dessert. A bar-shaped sweet made with almonds, sugar and cinnamon. Some people add lemon zest to it.

35. Guatemalan coffee

It is not a meal as such, but it is one of the typical drinks of Guatemala. This coffee is listed among the best in the world, one of the main products of the country’s economy.

36. Chocolate

Called by the indigenous Mayans, “food of the gods”, is also present in our list. Chocolate has had a presence in the lands of Guatemala since pre-Hispanic times.

37. Fruit Punch

Fruit punch is another typical Guatemalan drink. It is drunk between hot and warm during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

It is prepared with apples, pineapple, bananas, prunes, papaya and raisins, all peeled and chopped. They are boiled in water with cinnamon and sugar and left to cook for 20 minutes. When cooling, it is refrigerated to heat it at the time of serving. After a day of preparation and refrigeration, the flavor improves and is accentuated.

A little rum can be added to this fruit punch, which is why it is called: “punch with picket”.

38. Cusha

Typical and traditional drink from Guatemala prepared by fermenting fruits. It has a high degree of alcohol and is prepared by hand throughout the country.

39. Tiste

Craft drink prepared with cocoa, achiote, cinnamon and sugar. The best place to enjoy it is in the town of Chiquimula.

40. Atole of three concoctions

This typical Guatemalan preparation is a drink that owes its name to the times it is cooked. It is made from corn, which is first roasted, cooked and finally cooked again and then seasoned.

It is prepared during the Day of the Dead, in the patron saint festivities of the towns or to celebrate the obtaining of good harvests.

What is the most popular food in Guatemala?

There are many popular foods in Guatemala according to the preferences of diners, among them we have: kaq’ik, jocón, pepián, beef broth, hilachas, paches, enchiladas, folds, cold cuts, shucos and chipilín tamales.

What are the typical drinks of Guatemala?

There is a variety of typical Guatemalan drinks such as delicious Guatemalan coffee, fruit punch, three-cooked porridge, cusha, tiste, rompope, fresh chilacayote, corn porridge and horchata.

What is Xinka gastronomy?

It is a characteristic of the Xinca culture to which towns such as Chiquimulilla, Guazacapán, Taxisco, San Juan Tecuaco and Monjas Jalapa belong.

They are unique foods prepared by the grandmothers of these regions to celebrate specific days or simply to satisfy a craving.

Among these foods we can mention chipilín broth, rice with pig, chirmol, kamawa beans, tikukas, hulape, chilate, nuégados and cooked dough tamales.

Would you like to try Guatemalan flavors? Which of these 40 typical Guatemalan foods do you fancy the most?

Tell us in the comments!


See also:

  • Read our guide on the 40 best tourist places in Guatemala that you have to visit
  • Get to know the 35 typical foods of Honduras that you must try
  • We leave you our guide with the 50 best beaches in the Caribbean that you have to know

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