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Costa Rican Recipes

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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!

  • 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…

  • Tamal de masa de Costa Rica con café

    Costa Rican Holy Week Foods

    In Costa Rica during the week before Easter, a lot of cooking happens. That's because most Costa Rica Easter traditions center around food- and sharing holiday dishes with family and friends. I…

  • Pan Casero Costa Rican Homemade Bread

    Pan casero is a strangely traditional Costa Rican recipe. I say this because everyone loves it but very few people actually make it.  Pan casero literally translates to homemade bread (casero/a…

  • Tamal Mudo Recipe Costa Rica

    The tamal mudo is a vegetarian and vegan version of the traditional Costa Rican pork tamal that is made during Lent and especially Holy Week. Most all Costa Ricans who stay…

  • Traditional Potato Empanada Recipe – Costa Rica

    Potato empanadas are made from a corn-based dough, and therefore gluten-free. The dough is formed into a circle, stuffed with a potato filling consisting of roughly mashed potatoes stir-fried in a…

  • Costa Rican Boiled Potato Recipe

    These potatoes are unique because after cooking, they are roughly mashed and then refired in a typical Costa Rican sofrito before serving with a meal (such as in picadillo), or using…

  • Dulce de Leche Empanada Recipe – Costa Rica

    Dessert empanadas are popular throughout Latin America, and Argentina and Chile are most well known for their sweet empanadas, but Costa Rican empanadas have a special place in my heart because…

  • Cheese Empanadas – Costa Rica

    Costa Rican cheese empanadas are half-moon shaped fried appetizers made from a corn-based dough. They are then filled with traditional white Costa Rican cheese and fried up until hot- and the…

  • Shredded Beef Empanada Recipe – Costa Rica

    These crispy deep-fried half-moon shaped empanadas are filled with shredded beef and then fried to golden perfection. This beef empanada recipe uses a traditional Costa Rican shredded beef filling. While many…

  • costa rican pineapple empanadas with large bowl of fresh pineapple

    Costa Rican Pineapple Empanadas

    These Costa Rican pineapple empanadas (empanadas de piña) combine a homemade pastry dough and sweet pineapple preserves baked to perfection for a delightful baked dessert. With just a few ingredients- flour,…

  • suspiros costa rican cookies with traditional costa rican ox cart in the background

    Costa Rican Suspiros Cookies (Espumilla)

    Costa Rican suspiros are little delicate meringue cookies popular year-round but especially at Christmas and Easter. With just three ingredients, they are easy to make with what you have on hand,…

  • yuca fries served with cabbage salad and chimichurri sauce

    Costa Rican Yuca Fries

    These yuca fries are made by boiling large chunks of yucca in saltwater, cutting the rounds into thick straw pieces, and then frying them in vegetable oil. The taste is very…

  • costa rican salad with lime, chicharron, chimichurri sauce and yuca

    Costa Rican Vigorón Recipe

    Like many popular Costa Rican dishes, the Costa Rican vigorón is an easy to prepare mix of several popular Costa Rican recipes combined to make a unique dish. Made from chicharrones…

  • bowl of freshly boiled yuca from costa rica

    Boiled Yuca Recipe – Costa Rica

    Yuca roots are large tubers endemic to Central America and much of the world. It's one of the oldest foods around- it's filling and inexpensive. Many Latin American countries use yucca in…

  • costa rican taco bowl chifrijo with chimichurri sauce

    Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

    The Costa Rican chifrijo, much like its name, is a mix of several Costa Rican recipes, and it's a beloved dish throughout the country. The word chi-frijo is a combination of…

  • lime juice with white onion, cilantro and onion chimichurri tico

    Easy Chimichurri Recipe From Costa Rica

    This Costa Rican chimichurri sauce recipe is served with almost every meal possible in Costa Rica. It's made from ingredients readily available year-round in Costa Rica (tomato, onion, cilantro, lime and…

  • costa rican pink sauce for dipping fried appetizers

    Costa Rican Salsa Rosada Recipe

    So let's get one thing straight- salsa rosada is decidedly not just a Costa Rican thing. It's a Latin America thing- and I actually suspect that back in the day McDonald's…

  • Costa Rican gallo pinto- the national dish and arguably the most memorable part of any Costa Rican vacation. Recreate the traditional Costa Rican gallo pinto recipe at home for the perfect breakfast or vegetarian side for any meal!

    Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe

    Lovingly called "pinto" for short, you can also find this dish on lunch and dinner menus alongside freshly braised meat. Sometimes we substitute gallo pinto for rice and beans in a…

  • Costa Rican tamal de masa with coffee

    Traditional Costa Rican Tamal de Masa Recipe

    It's Holy Week (Semana Santa), which means a unique type of tamal is traditionally made and served in Costa Rica. Depending on the region of Costa Rica, this sweet, vegetarian tamal…

  • This traditional Costa Rican black bean dip recipe is the perfect party food. Vegetarian, vegan and perfect for dipping plantain chips, tortilla chips, or making seven layer dip, you will love how easy this black bean dip recipe is to make!

    Costa Rican Black Bean Dip Recipe

    Every four years we gear up to celebrate the biggest soccer tournament in the world- and we are so excited to cheer on Costa Rica this year! We take game time…

  • milk cake garnished with mint

    Costa Rican Tres Leches Recipe

    I earned my street cred with this recipe a few years back. We had gone to a party to celebrate Costa Rican Independence day. The party was a potluck, and I…

  • bowl of costa rican candies.

    Melcochas de Natilla- Costa Rican Recipe

    Melcochas de natilla is the Spanish name for a traditional Costa Rican candy made from sour cream and sugar. How to make the two-ingredient homemade candy recipe unique to Costa Rica.…

children standing by cristalline lake

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