Healthy South American Recipes

Find healthy, delicious South American recipes including Brazilian and Argentinian recipes. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Bacalao Guisado (Puerto Rican Fish Stew)

Rating: 5 stars 10
Bacalao, salted dried codfish, is the defining ingredient in traditional Puerto Rican fish stew, but salt cod requires overnight soaking and several rinses in cool water before it can be used, so we opt for fresh fish in this quick version. Serve with crusty rolls to soak up the juices.
By Scott Rosenbaum

Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Rating: 5 stars 33
This chipotle-flavored burrito bowl comes together almost as quickly as at the restaurant, plus, you don't have to wait in line. Loading it with vegetables and using quinoa in place of rice adds nutrition for a healthier dinner.
A portrait of Breana Killeen, M.P.H., RD
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Basic Quinoa

This foolproof recipe for perfectly cooked quinoa is fast and easy! Use cooked quinoa as a simple healthy side dish, in a salad or as a base for a delicious main dish.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Arepas with Spicy Black Beans

Rating: 5 stars 1
These corncakes are a common style of flatbread in Colombia and Venezuela. Arepas are made with precooked cornmeal and served warmed with butter or cheese, or split open and filled, or topped, as we've done here. Our arepas filling is loaded with fragrant spices and vegetables to elevate the dish.
By Devon O'Brien

Roast Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce

Rating: 5 stars 6
Chimichurri--a bright, herby sauce served across Argentina--is the perfect healthy sauce for an easy salmon dinner. This recipe uses parsley but feel free to try your favorite combination of herbs, such as basil, mint or cilantro. Serve with mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli.
By Katie Workman

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Rating: 4.5 stars 14
This healthy vegetarian bean soup recipe draws inspiration from Brazil's feijoada, a pork and black bean stew. Blackened jalapeños, fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika give it plenty of flavor.
By Danielle Centoni

Shrimp Paulista

Rating: 5 stars 5
Residents of Sao Paulo call themselves Paulistas and this simple shrimp dish is a regional favorite. Traditionally, the shrimp are cooked in their shells; however, we've removed them to make for easier eating.
By Victoria Abbott Riccardi

Chimichurri Chicken

Rating: 4 stars 1
Chimichurri is a no-cook herby-garlicky sauce from Argentina and Uruguay. It's delicious on grilled proteins and vegetables. Here, we use it to double the flavor of basic grilled chicken breasts. The chicken is both baked with and topped with this flavor-packed sauce.
By Carolyn Casner

Ajiaco Bogotano (Potato Soup with Corn, Chicken & Capers)

Ajiaco Bogotano features three kinds of potatoes, which add body, color and flavor to the soup.
By Mariana Velasquez

Arroz con Pollo

Rating: 4 stars 12
Arroz con pollo, or chicken cooked with rice, is a common dish in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean. We use quick-cooking brown rice here to help you get this on the table in just 40 minutes. Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with cilantro-lime vinaigrette.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Empanadas with Chorizo & Potato

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
A staple in South American cuisine, homemade empanadas can be served as a main dish or a side. We keep this simple by focusing on the empanada filling and instead of making the dough from scratch, we achieve flaky empanadas with the help of refrigerated pie crust.
By Devon O'Brien

Chicken Empanadas

Empanadas usually are served hot and blistered from the deep fryer, but home cooks will be glad that these baked healthier handpies offer similar pleasures without a trip into a vat of bubbling oil. The simple dough, similar to pie crust, comes together in a jiffy in the food processor. For a fun tweak, make the recipe into mini empanadas with 3-inch, rather than 6-inch, rounds of dough.
By JJ Goode
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

Chicken Saute with Mango Sauce
Rating: Unrated 2
Here is one simple technique that guarantees juicy results every time. First, pound the chicken: making it thinner ensures quick and even cooking. Next, dredge the chicken lightly in seasoned flour, which helps it turn deep golden brown when sauteed. After the chicken is cooked, deglaze the skillet with broth, wine or a little water to make a pan sauce. The liquid loosens the flavor-boosting browned bits from the bottom of the pan, making a tastier sauce.
Steak and Chimichurri Salad
Rating: Unrated 1
Chimichurri sauce is an essential part of Argentinean cuisine and goes great with grilled beef or chicken. This recipe takes advantage of the great flavor combination of Chimichurri sauce with steak and dressed greens, making it the perfect summer meal.
Steak & Vegetables with Chimichurri Sauce
Rating: 5 stars 1

Originally from Uruguay and Argentina, chimichurri is a sauce or marinade with the main ingredients being fresh parsley and garlic. In this recipe it is paired with grilled steak, zucchini and tomato skewers.