Each December, families in Colombia and around the world get together to celebrate Christmas. One of the most important parts of this holiday season is family members bringing food to share.
This blog will dive into Colombian Christmas food, from lasagna to sweet potato pies.
You’ll need to put some things in place to ensure that your Colombian Christmas party goes off without a hitch. And so you don’t accidentally offend your hosts, here’s a list of traditional Colombian Christmas foods!
1. Pineapple Coleslaw
Pineapple Coleslaw is the first on the list of traditional Colombian Christmas foods that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or as a side dish.
It’s made from shredded cabbage, carrots, jicama, green and red bell peppers, pineapple chunks, raisins, and mayonnaise.
The secret ingredient for this coleslaw is a healthy dose of freshly squeezed lime juice, which brings the whole dish together.
Plus, this coleslaw tastes great with just about any type of meat and goes especially well with pork and chicken.
However, it does contain raw vegetables, so if you’re worried about food safety, you should pair it with something. Something like a vegetarian soup or some baked sweet potatoes.
2. Gelatina de Colores o Mosaico
Gelatina de colores o Mosaico, as it is known in Colombia, is a colorful gelatin dessert that is served at most every family meal during the holidays.
This dish has many variations, but they all have one thing in common: they are all made with either clear or white gelatin and are topped with fruit preserves.
To make this Colombian Christmas food, you must combine water and sugar in a pot on the stove until it reaches boiling point.
Then, add a package of unflavored gelatin and stir vigorously until the mixture thickens. When removing from heat, be careful to keep any bubbles from forming at the top of your mixture, or else it will not set properly. Next, pour your mixture into individual serving bowls and refrigerate for two hours.
3. Pastel Borracho
Pastel Borracho is also on the list of traditional Colombian Christmas foods that are served on Christmas Eve.
It is made of mashed yuca, fried pork rinds, boiled eggs, and hard-boiled yolk. This may sound like an odd combination, but it’s surprisingly delicious.
First, you boil the yuca and then mash it with a fork. You fry the pork rinds until they are crispy and mix them with the mashed yuca and eggs. You then put the mixture in a pan to cook it on both sides, just like a hamburger patty.
Finally, top it off with some tomato sauce or ketchup. It doesn’t have any kind of seasoning, but since there are so many flavors in this dish already, you don’t need anything else!
Biscuits, also called bollos or bolillos in Colombia, are Colombian-style sweet rolls made with butter, milk, and flour.
They are usually baked until they are golden brown and then covered in an icing sugar mixture. This is one of the Colombian Christmas foods that can be eaten as a snack or dipped in hot chocolate for a more festive treat.
Meanwhile, Bolillos can be cut into slices, similar to the way American loaves of bread are sliced into sandwich rounds.
Many Colombians enjoy bolillos with their morning coffee or tea. Bolillos also make delicious treats for any time of the day!
5. Torta Negra Colombiana
The Torta Negra Colombiana is a type of bread found in Colombia and other Latin American countries. It has a dark, dense, and sweet taste.
The dough comprises brown sugar, eggs, yeast, butter, water, and flour. Some versions also include raisins.
Then, the bread is baked in the oven for about 30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of around 100 degrees Celsius.
The Torta Negra Colombiana is often eaten with cheese for breakfast or as a dessert with coffee or tea. Looking for Colombian Christmas foods that are simple to make and equally delicious? Torta Negra Colombiana is one!
6. Colombian Hot Chocolate
Colombian Hot Chocolate is the perfect drink for any time of the year, but it’s especially popular in winter. It combines hot milk, cocoa powder, and sugar.
First, the milk is heated on a stove with water and unsweetened cocoa powder until it reaches a frothy consistency. Once the milk starts to bubble, add a little sugar to taste. Lastly, top with whipped cream and enjoy!
Cocadas are traditional Colombian Christmas food made of shredded coconut and sugar syrup. Cocadas originate from Colombia’s Caribbean coast, but Colombians now enjoy them all around the country.
Cocadas are usually prepared in large quantities with many different flavors for everyone to enjoy on special occasions, such as Christmas.
Cocada is derived from the word coco, which means coconut in Spanish. This makes sense because cocadas are traditionally made with shredded coconut and then dipped into a sweet sugar syrup that’s flavored with vanilla. There are many different variations of cocadas, so there will be something for everyone!
The traditional Colombian Christmas foods, one of which is Natilla, are often served as a dessert at Christmas.
It is a dairy-based pudding made from milk, eggs, sugar, and butter. Natilla is similar in texture to flan or crème brûlée.
Furthermore, the name comes from the Spanish word for cream (nata). Most people associate Natilla with Colombia.
This is because it was popularized by the country’s first female chef, Rosalia de Castillo y Gómez de la Torre.
9. Torta Negra
Torta Negra is a popular Colombian Christmas food. The cake has an intense coffee flavor that is balanced out by the sweetness of coconut and sugar.
This dessert is traditionally made with black beans, grated coconut, sugar, condensed milk, and dark chocolate.
However, many people substitute grated coconut for hazelnuts or almonds. Torta Negra can be eaten as is or warmed up in the oven to become gooier.
10. Rice Pudding
Rice pudding is a traditional dish in Colombia and many other Latin American countries. It is the perfect dessert for a cold winter night with family and friends. Rice pudding can be served with fruit or on its own.
Also, it can be made savory by adding ingredients such as green peas, raisins, or cheese. I hope you try this recipe at home! It is certainly one Colombian Christmas food that will wow you and your guests!
The lechona, one of the Colombian Christmas foods, is a large, whole pig stuffed with an assortment of spices and cooked for hours until it falls apart.
The stuffing usually consists of garlic, onions, parsley, salt, pepper, and hot peppers. The leftover meat from the pork is then boiled in water for about eight hours.
This, in turn, creates a broth that is used in soups and other dishes. Additionally, the tradition of cooking and eating a pig on December 25th dates back to colonial times.
This was when Spaniards would celebrate Christmas Eve by feasting on pork (a staple in their diet) while the native population would fast from meat.
It is common in Colombia for families to have tamales as one of their favorite Christmas foods. Tamales are made from corn dough wrapped in a banana leaf, then boiled or steamed.
Plus, the tamales can be savory with pork, chicken, or beef filling. This particular Colombian Christmas food can be topped with onion sauce or sweet with a fruit filling like pineapple. They can also be flavored with cheese.
Next up on our Colombian Christmas food list, we have Sancocho. One common dish served on Christmas is Sancocho, which is a soup.
The soup has potatoes, corn, yucca, and many other vegetables. It also has meat such as beef or pork. All these ingredients are boiled together for hours until they are soft enough to eat.
In Colombia’s culture, the family gathers around the table while eating this hot soup to celebrate their last meal before the fasting period starts. The soup is usually accompanied by rice and fried plantains called patacones.
Ajiaco is a traditional Colombian Christmas food. Ajiaco was made with European cuisine, but now it’s an all-Colombian dish. Many believe that Ajiaco’s origin originates from the Spanish word ajiaco, which means broth.
Besides, Ajiaco has a delicious flavor and can be served hot or cold. It usually includes root vegetables like potatoes, yuca, and ñame (a type of yam). You can find this special meal in many restaurants and homes during the holiday season.
15. Dulce de Nochebuena
Dulce de Nochebuena is a traditional dessert that is served on the eve of Christmas Day. It’s composed of an egg custard and dulce de leche, which is then baked until it’s set.
The word nochebuena means good night in Spanish. In essence, this sweet treat can be seen as a goodnight wish for all of those who eat it.
When eating, one must hold onto the tuerca or handle with one hand. And at the same time, hold onto a piece of candied fruit or some form of decoration with the other hand.
Tradition says if you hold onto both ends when you shake it back and forth three times, someone special will give you something very valuable in return. Overall, this is one of the delectable Colombian Christmas foods.
Hojuelas is a traditional Colombian Christmas food that is eaten around Christmas time. They can be made with different ingredients, but the most popular is corn flour.
This dish is served alongside gazpacho de la Casa (homemade gazpacho) and guacamole in some regions of Colombia.
The main ingredients are corn flour, water, salt, and oil; the dough may also be flavored with chopped onion or garlic.
The mixture is kneaded and formed into small shapes before being fried in hot oil until they become golden brown. To sum up, Hojuelas taste best when they’re served hot and crunchy.
Empanada (plural empanadas) is a type of baked or fried filled pastry in Spanish cuisine. It may refer to either the pastry itself or the filling, which is typically savory.
Empanadas are made with dough that has been shaped into a half-circle. And then folded into a triangle before baking or frying.
Usually, they are stuffed with beef, chicken, cheese, shrimp, vegetables, or fruit. Colombian empanadas are usually served hot and can be eaten as an appetizer or main dish. Looking for all-around Colombian Christmas food? Here’s it, Empanadas!
18. Aguardiente Sour
In Colombia, Aguardiente Sour is a popular drink that is served during the holidays. It has long been served as a celebratory drink and can be ordered in many bars.
Additionally, this festive drink is typically made with aguardiente anise liqueur, lime juice, egg white, and sugar. Aguardiente sour, one of the favorite Colombian Christmas foods, is topped with ice cubes and a slice of lemon or lime.
19. Fritanga o Picada
Fritanga or Picada is a type of food that originates from Colombia. It is a mixture of meat, potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, and other vegetables with different types of sauce.
Further, the most common sauce for fritanga is ajo which can be made from garlic, onion, vinegar, and salt. Street vendors often sell Fritanga in Colombian cities during Christmas.
20. Pernil Asado Colombiano
Pernil Asado Colombiano is quintessential as Colombian Christmas food. It’s traditionally made with an oven-roasted pork shoulder, which is then pan-fried to crisp up the skin.
Moreso, the meat is served with rice and beans, avocado slices, fried plantains, and chicharrón (pork cracklings). In many parts of Colombia, these are staples on Christmas tables. But this should be on your menu this holiday season, even if you’re not from Colombia.
21. Pavo Asado Navideño
Pavo Asado Navideño is a recipe that is popular in Colombia at Christmastime. This dish is often prepared with turkey but can also be made with chicken or beef.
The meat is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, oregano, and vinegar overnight before being cooked on the grill with onions and potatoes.
Afterward, the potatoes are added and cooked until they’re crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. They’re then seasoned with salt and pepper before being served alongside the grilled meat.
This, on the list of Colombian Christmas foods, can be served as an entree for dinner or as a side dish for lunch or breakfast.
It’s traditionally eaten with patacones (fried green plantains), which are often sprinkled with salt for extra flavor.
22. Salted Potato
The most popular Colombian Christmas food is salted potatoes. This dish is prepared by cooking potatoes in a pot of water with salt added until the potatoes are cooked through.
Then, the potatoes are peeled and salted, sometimes with other spices as well. These are served hot or cold with butter or mayonnaise, depending on which part of Colombia you’re from.
23. Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad)
Ensalada Rusa is one of the traditional dishes of Colombian Christmas foods. It consists of potatoes, carrots, beets, mayonnaise, and other ingredients. The German community in Colombia originally made the dish.
They first introduced this dish when they arrived in the country during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Once it became popular among Colombians, it was renamed Salada Rusa (Russian Salad).
Buñuelos is a traditional Colombian Christmas food compared to other Colombian Christmas foods. The dish is originally from Spain but has been modified by Colombians over the years.
What’s more? Buñuelos are made by dipping a dough ball in an egg and sugar mixture. Next, fry it in oil, and roll it in sugar or cinnamon. They’re typically served with hot chocolate sauce.
Now that you know what traditional Colombian Christmas foods are, here are a few other things you can do to make the most of your holiday.
First, try not to eat too much! It’s easy to get carried away with all of the delicious food at this time of year, but we’re told that overeating is not good for your health. Second, don’t forget about your family and friends!
Also, Christmas in Colombia is much the same as in the rest of the world. However, there are some distinct differences in terms of what people eat during this special time of year.
Typical Colombian Christmas foods vary by region, but you can be sure that they will always be delicious and make your mouth water! We made a list of the most popular Colombian Christmas food.
We hope this guide has helped introduce you to some popular dishes at a Colombian Christmas celebration. We encourage you to try these dishes and find out what they taste.
If you need help finding any of the ingredients, please feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to help!