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15 Delicioso Recipes for Cuban Food

Learn how to make classic recipes for Cuban food (and some Cuban-inspired favorites, too)!

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Creamy Caramel Flan

A small slice of this impressively rich, creamy, caramel flan dessert goes a long way. What a delightful finish for a special meal or holiday celebration. —Pat Forete, Miami, Florida

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Cuban Ropa Vieja

I love having this as a go-to recipe for a weeknight meal. Its great authentic Cuban taste puts it at the top of my list. —Melissa Pelkey-Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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I grew up eating many dishes from the Caribbean but tostones have always been a favorite dish for me. I still make the fried snacks when I miss my family. —Leah Martin, Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania
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Easy Cuban Picadillo

My girlfriend gave me this delicious recipe years ago. I’ve made it ever since for family and friends, and they all love it. My daughter loves to take leftovers to school for lunch the next day. —Marie Wielgus, Wayne, New Jersey
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Cuban Coffee

Cuban coffee, known as cafe cubano or cafecito, is a staple in Cuban cuisine. Jamie from A Sassy Spoon enjoys her recipe after almost every meal. (and typically served after every meal). How is it different than other coffee drinks? Well, Cuban coffee combines strong espresso with a thick sugar foam—which gives it a sweet taste.

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Imperial Rice

A Sassy Spoon compares imperial rice, or arroz imperial, to lasagna. Imperial rice has layers chicken, rice, mayo and cheese making it the ultimate Cuban comfort food dish. It’s the perfect dish to serve for gatherings or parties—just bake and serve!

Check out these other comfort food recipes from around the world!

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No-Fuss Avocado Onion Salad

My mother, Nena, grew up in Cuba and learned many styles of cooking. She had a knack for making something incredibly simple taste amazing. This salad is proof. By itself, the dressing is really tart, but add the avocados and onions and it’s the perfect complement. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Cuban Fried Beef

Vaca frita, meaning “fried cow,” is prepared just the way you would think: Cook it up until it’s crispy! Traditional Cuban fried beef is shredded and seasoned with onions, lime juice and a variety of seasonings. This Cuban fried beef recipe from For the Love of Sazon, with the help of your trusty pressure cooker, can be whipped together in less than an hour.

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Air-Fryer Papas Rellenas

A Cuban classic, these satisfying, crispy-coated potato balls are filled with a savory ground beef mixture known as picadillo. We love this papas rellenas recipe! —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Cuban Black Beans

What makes Cuban black beans stand out is the sofrito, a sauce made of green peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes and herbs. It’s widely used throughout many Caribbean countries to enhance the flavor of many dishes—from black beans to rice dishes like this arroz con grandules recipe. This Cuban black bean recipe from Latina Mom Meals uses sofrito and just a handful of other simple ingredients.

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Pressure-Cooker Cuban Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I lived in Florida for a while and loved the pork served there, so I went about making it for myself! The flavorful meat makes amazing Cuban sandwiches, but you can use it in traditional pulled pork sandwiches and tacos, too. —Lacie Griffin, Austin, Texas
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Guava Cheese Pastries

Flaky, fruity guava cheese pastries (pastelitos de guayaba) are a traditional Cuban baked good that’s typically served at breakfast time or as an after-dinner treat. A Cozy Kitchen‘s recipe calls for storebought puff pastry which makes it even easier to make this classic Cuban sweet at home.

Try out these other puff pastry desserts next!

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Cuban Chicken and Rice

A Sassy Spoon shared her mom’s take on Cuban arroz con pollo (or Cuban chicken and rice) with us and you need this traditional one-pot meal in your life. Similar to imperial rice, Cuban chicken and rice is made with chicken, rice, tomatoes, peppers and an array of spices.

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Cuban Yuca

If you’ve never had yuca before, it’s similar to a potato in flavor, but a little lighter in texture. In Cuba, yuca is a common side dish served with other Cuban specialties. This oven-roasted yuca recipe from A Cuban American Kitchen uses garlic, onion, lime and spices to get its simple, yet savory flavor.

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Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork with Mojito Sauce

Growing up in South Florida, my culinary taste buds were influenced dramatically by the Cuban culture here. Infused with Cuban flavor, this twist on slow-cooked pulled pork is knock-your-socks-off good, whether you serve it up with rice and beans on the side or press it into a classic Cuban sandwich. — Kristina Wiley, Jupiter, Florida

Christina Herbst
Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.