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Costa Rican Recipes

We love traditional Costa Rican food here at Casa Pura Vida, and we’ve spent countless hours recreating our favorite Costa Rican recipes to share with you!

 

Not familiar with the food of Costa Rica? Don’t worry, here’s a quick overview! The main staples of the Costa Rican diet are white rice, black beans, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

 

Costa Rican food (or tico food as we also call it!) is generally flavored with salt, garlic, onion, cilantro and Salsa Lizano.

 

We’ve got all kinds of recipes in every category- Costa Rican main dishes, Costa Rican desserts, Costa Rican traditional foods, breakfast foods, and more. Here are some of our most popular posts:

 

 

Don’t see a recipe here that you’re looking for? Contact me– I’ll add it to my list of recipes to post!

  • Bowl of Costa Rican chop suey next to a painted disc.

    Costa Rican Chop Suey

    Let me tell you a secret- Costa Rican chop suey is an actual thing. You can find it on almost any menu, and it's an insanely popular street food (along with…

  • Tortilla with a serving of potato hash in its center.

    Costa Rican Picadillo de Papa Recipe

    Costa Rica is well known for its picadillos, and with good reason! Traditionally made with diced vegetables, meat, and spices, picadillos are a beloved staple of Costa Rican cuisine. …

  • Pitcher of passion fruit juice beside halved yellow passion fruits.

    Costa Rican Passion Fruit Juice

    Let’s get passionate about this fruit! (Indulge me one pun, it was too easy to pass up!) Passion fruit hails from the tropics and can be recognized by its wrinkly exterior…

  • Pina colada in a hollowed out pineapple with the beach in the background.

    Costa Rican Piña Colada Recipe

    Sweet, cold, and refreshing, this iconic drink is not only the hook to a Rupert Holmes track, but a summer staple in its own right!…

  • Hot dog sections on a bed of french fries.

    Costa Rican Salchipapa

    “Salchipapa.” Yep, you read that correctly! Part salchicha (sausage) and part papa (potato) this french fry and hot dog medley is a favorite fast food all over Central and most South…

  • Bundles of carrots and green beans alongside a bowl of finely chopped carrots and beans.

    Costa Rican Vegan Picadillo de Vainica

    Picadillo is one of Costa Rica's most popular recipes… and with good reason! Coming from the verb picar (to cut), picadillos consist of diced vegetables that have been sauteed together with…

  • Close up of a jar of chicken broth on a grey mat with a yellow patterned napkin.

    Costa Rican Style Chicken Stock

    This is one of my best and most requested recipes. Since chicken broth is a staple of Costa Rican cuisine, I have worked for years to perfect this recipe. …

  • White platter with three grilled chicken breasts heaped on top.

    Costa Rican Pollo Asado

    Pollo asado, or grilled chicken, is just one part of the great Costa Rican carne asada. Literally translating to “grilled meat,” the carne asada is an EVENT, and certainly not one…

  • Costa Rican style taco on a bed of cabbage and drizzled with pink sauce.

    Costa Rican Taco Tico Recipe

    Tacos are a super controversial food! From the American-style "taco" with ground beef and taco seasoning to Native American tacos to the myriad of authentic Mexican tacos found in all regions…

  • Pineapple fruit, glass of pineapple juice, and carafe placed on a striped cloth.

    Fresh Pineapple Juice Recipe – Costa Rica

    Homemade Costa Rican pineapple juice (jugo de piña) is so healthy and delicious- all you need is a pineapple and a blender! Table of contents Recipe About This Recipe Substitutions Variations…

  • Aerial view of several glasses of mango juice and mango fruits.

    Costa Rican Mango Juice Recipe

    This three-ingredient Costa Rican jugo de mango (mango juice) recipe only requires two large mangos, water, and a bit of sugar. Naturally vegan and loaded with vitamins and minerals, this refreshing mango…

  • Aerial photo of pineapple popsicles on a plate ringed by whole slices of pineapple fruit.

    Pineapple Popsicle Recipe– Paletas de Piña

    Nothing says “summer” quite like a fresh popsicle! With its famously sunny climate and abundant tropical fruits, Costa Rica is a veritable popsicle paradise. Popsicles, or Paletas as they are known…

  • Four blackberry cream paletas arranged on a board with a glass bowl of blackberries.

    Creamy Blackberry Popsicle Recipe

    Nothing says “summer” quite like a fresh popsicle, and sunny Costa Rica is officially a popsicle paradise! Popsicles, or Paletas as they are known in Costa Rica, are a year-round favorite…

  • Close-up of a blackberry popsicle lying on a wooden board.

    Homemade Blackberry Popsicle Recipe

    In an earlier post, I talked about my deep and abiding love for homemade blackberry juice, so you can probably guess as to my feelings about blackberry paletas! I’m a little…

  • Shrimp ceviche piled in a green bowl.

    Costa Rican Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

    Ask any Costa Rican what food they most love to eat and most will rank ceviche in their top 5. There are many kinds of ceviche, and Costa Rica is definitely…

  • Chicken tortilla soup with tortilla chips, cheese, lime garnish and wooden spoon.

    Sopa Azteca- Costa Rican Tortilla Soup

    One of our favorite recipes here at Casa Pura Vida is Sopa Azteca - it tastes like home for my husband, I LOVE anything with melted cheese, and the girls have…

  • Black bean soup in a ceramic bowl beside a cloth napkin and spoon.

    Traditional Costa Rican Black Bean Soup Recipe

    This traditional Costa Rican black bean soup recipe is a delicious, healthy, and simple vegetarian/vegan meal that everyone loves!  Just black beans, veggies and water- too easy and too delicious! Table…

  • Yellow bowl of guacamole surrounded by tortilla chips.

    Homemade Guacamole Dip Recipe

    For some reason, every single person that tries my guacamole immediately falls in love with it. And people- this is the most unfussy, unpretentious, EASY guacamole recipe you will ever find.…

  • close up of chayote picadillo

    Beef Picadillo de Chayote- Costa Rica

    This recipe is a very popular recipe in the Central Valley of Costa Rica as part of a casado. If you visit small restaurants or roadside buffets (called sodas in Costa…

  • Glass bowl of shredded beef centered to the right and flanked by vegetables.

    Costa Rican Shredded Beef Recipe

    This shredded beef (carne mechada) is generally prepared in a pressure cooker, although I will include slow cooker instructions here too. This recipe is a staple in Costa Rica because it…

  • Close-up of tamarindo juice with ice floating on top.

    Fresh Tamarindo Juice From Costa Rica

    Tamarind juice is made from tamarind pods that grow on the tamarind tree throughout Costa Rica. Because they are so commonly found throughout the country, the fruit is used for both…

  • Fresh homemade bean and cheese empanadas.

    Costa Rican Bean and Cheese Empanadas

    Bean and cheese empanadas (empanada de frijol con queso) are a popular vegetarian type of empanada. Most other empanadas just have a single filling, but the bean and cheese are a…

  • Filling and coconut empanadas.

    Coconut Empanada Recipe – Costa Rica

    Coconut empanadas (empanadas de coco) are a popular Costa Rican sweet treat. Obviously, there are tons of coconuts in Costa Rica, so the basic ingredient is easy to find and abundant…

  • Bowl full of miel de coco on a yellow cloth.

    Miel de coco- Costa Rican Dessert Recipe

    Miel de coco literally translates to coconut honey in Spanish, but that is not exactly what this recipe is. In Costa Rica, "miel" refers to almost any sticky, sweet fruit concoction…