Cuban cuisine is a magnificent blend of several cultures. Check out this incredible list of Cuban Appetizers!
The country was the first and last place in the Caribbean colonized by the Spanish, and thus, many Cuban appetizers resemble traditional Spanish tapas.
Other food influences stem from African, Taino, and Caribbean cultures.
Staple ingredients in Cuban cuisine include pork, chicken, fish, and root vegetables.
Sweet ingredients such as mangoes and bananas are common in otherwise salty and savory dishes. Cuban cuisine often uses citrus juice for denaturing seafood, giving these dishes a unique “raw” appearance, similar to ceviche.
Unlike in other parts of Latin America, Cuba abstains from using spicy ingredients in most dishes.
However, you’ll still find a fantastic combination of flavorful spices in the food.
You’re not going to miss out on flavor with Cuban cuisine!
Cheese is a crucial component in many Cuban dishes, and you will see several types in these recipes.
Does it surprise you to learn that they add cream cheese to both salty meat dishes and sweet ones?
Because agriculture isn’t one of the country’s strong points, many Cuban dishes creatively put together available resources.
The result is a vast array of unique combinations exclusive to Cuban culture.
Cuban finger food, in particular, is packed full of flavor and color.
This recipe list includes enough variety for everyone’s taste, such as Cheese Fried Yucca Balls, Ropa Vieja Sandwiches, and Cuban-Style Avocado Salad.
#24 is a yummy dessert, you’ll definitely want to try it!
Cuban food is versatile with sweet finger foods to savory seafood appetizers.
Whether you’re seeking to surprise your guests with an unexpected menu or you need the perfect Cuban snacks to take to a potluck, these authentic Cuban appetizers are a guaranteed hit.
Here are 24 delicious Cuban appetizer recipes to make your next social gathering a success.
One of the best things about this dish is that it works with leftovers.
It’s a classic Cuban sandwich filled with delicious, juicy pork, swiss cheese, and an excellent marinade.
Pack it into a sweet roll and prepare for a heavenly slider.
This is one of those incredible, sweet & salty combinations that are typical in Cuba.
These fried and breaded plantains will have your guests wanting more.
A crucial feature is using green plantains rather than yellow ones.
Croquetas de Jamón, or Ham Croquettes, is a Spanish-inspired Cuban dish.
Not only are these buttery and tasty, but they’re also easy to make.
Less than ten steps and you’ve got yourself one of the best traditional Cuban appetizers to impress your friends.
What is it?
Think shredded beef baked inside pastry drenched in a sweet syrup.
This dish is divine and balances meaty flavor with just enough sweetness without overwhelming the taste buds.
Baking also means you pop them into the oven, set your timer, and forget.
Who doesn’t love fried cheese balls?
Add a Cuban twist to your next dish by making this recipe that combines a classic cheese-filled ball with sweet Yuca flavor.
Topped with Cilantro sauce, these balls are sure to go fast at your next event.
The name alone makes your mouth water.
These amazing pastries are on the sweeter side and don’t include meat, so they make the perfect dessert.
The Guava is an unexpected, exotic component that will please your palate.
If you have trouble finding guava paste, you’re better off turning to the internet, like Amazon, to order some.
Seafood lovers will especially enjoy these shrimp kebabs.
Use orange juice, lime, and a few basic spices to create this incredible finger food.
The marinade is delightful.
You’ll want to use it again for other types of fish or seafood.
Whether you’re grilling these or tossing them in the oven to broil, you’ll have a dish packed with flavor.
When you hear the word Cuba, one of the first images that probably come to mind is plantains.
This traditional Cuban staple is perfect for making crispy chips to snack on.
The orange and lime complement the sweet flavor nicely to create a tangy snack.
Though it looks similar to Taro, malanga is closer to potatoes in flavor.
This traditional Cuban tuber is white on the inside and has a milder profile.
Just fry with a tad of red wine vinegar.
These fritters will satisfy your need for a fried snack.
10. Miami Cuban Dip
Everyone loves a good dip for an appetizer, and this one will become one of your favorites easily.
The best part of this recipe is that you can pour the dip into a bread bowl for the ultimate convenience.
This dish is a perfect marriage of American and Cuban cuisine, producing an appetizer that’s truly mouthwatering.
This recipe uses only key ingredients but is loaded with tremendous flavor.
Instead of Swiss cheese, the recipe calls for Gruyere for a surprising twist.
It’s also an easy sandwich to make and something you’ll want to snack on regardless of the occasion.
12. Cuban Ceviche
The fish in this Cuban dish is prepared only by using citrus juices to denature it.
It isn’t cooked in the traditional sense, but that’s what gives it such a fresh flavor.
Add in some cilantro and tomatoes and prepare for a refreshing delicacy.
These cheesy eggs are mouth-watering.
They lack the hot spices you would expect in many deviled egg recipes but make up for it with other fresh ingredients.
These are perfect for spring or summer.
You’ll use a French baguette for making these savory sandwiches.
The beef stew and tomato sauce combination pairs perfectly in these tapas-style Cuban appetizers.
Get ready to transform plantain into a savory delight.
Enclosed sandwiches, or empanadas, are highly popular throughout Latin America.
Empanadas originated in Spain.
Spanish settlers introduced them to several colonies, including Cuba.
These chicken and cheese empanadas are a simple appetizer with an impressive look and an even better taste.
16. Cream Of Malanga
This is a light soup that uses one of the most Cuban ingredients: malangas.
Its flavor profile is subtle and light.
This is one of the best appetizers to start with because it’s satisfying but not overpowering or too filling.
Though this recipe uses pork and chicken broth, you can easily make it vegan by leaving the meat out and substituting chicken broth with vegetable broth.
It’s a delicious treat either way.
The thickness is very satisfying, and it makes an excellent leftover dish.
18. Ham Roll-Ups
Ham Roll-Ups are some of the easiest snacks to make any day of the week.
They’re also a low-carb option as they use ham as a wrap.
The mustard, dill pickles, and lettuce create a fresh combination that the whole family will love.
Avocado salad is a light and refreshing appetizer for any occasion.
The Cuban take on this easy salad makes it a little tangy.
It uses another Cuban staple ingredient: lime juice.
This dish is lovely in the summer.
These are crispy potato balls packed with a beautifully seasoned filling.
They traditionally include ground meat and vegetables, but you can tweak these and leave out the meat if you wish.
This dip is a cheesy sauce with key but flavorful ingredients.
It’s perfect for dipping bread in or using it in sandwiches.
You can also use chips or vegetables for dipping.
These Cubanos look like tiny, exotic hot dogs.
All you need are cocktail franks, deli ham, and crescent rolls.
Add yellow mustard and pickles, and you will be all set.
23. Cuban Pinwheels
Pinwheels are simple wraps filled with tasty ingredients.
These use flour tortillas and take only minutes to roll up and pin with a toothpick.
You can enjoy these with your favorite Cuban dip as well.
These are also great for picnics or outdoor events because they’re easy to pack up.
When fall season starts, we’re all looking for something to do with pumpkin puree.
If you’ve got extra pumpkin puree cans on hand, why not create this unique recipe?
The cream cheese, caramel, and condensed milk give this treat a highly addictive taste.
The bottom line
Despite only a few key ingredients, Cuban cuisine is far from bland.
All the Cuban appetizers on our list are brimming with flavor, easy to prepare, quick to make, and even quicker to eat.
Infused with Mediterranean, African, and Spanish inspiration, they are as healthy as they are delicious.
Many of the Cuban appetizer recipes use unexpected ingredient combinations that lend these dishes an exotic feel that pleasantly surprises our taste buds.
Pumpkin, citrus fruits, and bananas or plantains are regulars in Cuban cuisine.
But they also combine sweet with savory, giving it its unique Cuban-style character.
Why not surprise your guests with these 24 appetizers that use stunning combinations and authentic Cuban ingredients?
They will remember this party for a long time.
- Easy Cuban Sliders
- Little Plantain Balls
- Ham Croquettes
- Cuban Beef Pastries
- Cheese Fried Yucca Balls
- Guava Cream Cheese Pastries
- Mojo Shrimp Kebabs
- Cuban Plantain Chips
- Malanga Fritters
- Miami Cuban Dip
- Sheet Pan Sandwich
- Cuban Ceviche
- Cuban Deviled Eggs
- Ropa Vieja Sandwiches
- Chicken Empanadas
- Cream Of Malanga
- Cuban Lentil Soup
- Ham Roll-Ups
- Cuban-Style Avocado Salad
- Cuban Potato Balls
- Cuban Sandwich Dip
- Cubanos In A Blanket
- Cuban Pinwheels
- Cuban Pumpkin Flan
- Have a look at our list of Cuban Appetizers.
- Choose the dish you want to recreate.
- Start cooking your newly found recipe!
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