Explore our collection of recipes for authentic Haitian appetizers and recreate classic favorites like Accra, Bannann Peze, Kwoket Pomdete, and more!
Haitian cuisine is a diverse Caribbean and Creole cuisine that reflects their indigenous and colonial history.
Their cuisine bears indigenous, Spanish, French, Arab, and African influences into their culinary traditions.
Haitian typical dishes are made from affordable food staples.
They feature the best Caribbean meals, ranging from main courses and sides to even desserts.
Moreover, Haiti also has its own appetizers that are equally enticing.
These include dishes made from fruits and vegetables, such as Accra, Bannann Peze, Kalalou, Kwoket Pomdete, and Lam Veritab.
Here are 30 of the best Haitian Appetizers you could create right from the comfort of your own home!
Accra is arguably the most famous appetizer dish in all of Haitian cuisine.
These fritters are made by frying malanga, a South American variant of the taro root crop.
You could experiment with sides, such as sweet sauces and cheese, to bring more flavors into these delicious starch fritters.
Many of Haiti’s dishes are heavy on bananas, particularly plantains that can be very sweet when cooked.
In this case, our featured plantain recipe involves boiling half-cuts of plantains and pouring them with lime juice for added taste!
Bannan Douce is a popular plantain dish with slices of banana fried in oil to achieve a sweet, caramel appearance, odor, and taste.
You could also sprinkle and roll some sugar into the plantains before cooking them to achieve a certain kind of caramel sweetness that you want from these banana slices.
Both the Bannann Peze and Bannann Douce are fried plantains.
However, this one results in a crispier finish than the other recipe and usually involves two rounds of frying to get its preferred texture.
Bannann Peze bears a resemblance to the Latin American tostones, as both of these are flattened before frying.
Boulèt is Haiti’s version of the classic meatball.
This recipe follows the classic formula using ground beef, hence the name “Boulèt Pomdete Ak Bef.”
However, their version is more saucy and spicy, with the latter achieving that flavor from bell peppers and chili spices.
Haiti’s Codfish Patties are small hors d’oeuvres akin to Jamaican fish patties.
These patties have a similar preparation to the Pâté.
Given the wide range of ingredients and seasonings in this recipe, expect your taste buds to be served with lots and lots of flavors in every bite.
Chiquetaille is a culinary process of marinating certain meats in a brine mixture of vinegar and other herbs.
This process results in a kind of salty yet savory fish meat that is best paired with many dishes.
In fact, this recipe makes use of brined codfish meat alongside other fruits, vegetables, and garnishes to make the salad.
Here’s an exotic appetizer for you!
A conch is a kind of edible sea snail that you can cook in a myriad of ways.
Indeed, it is presented as a special dish in seafood restaurants and local delis.
In Haiti, you could also cook conch as a fritter, which can be paired with this unique herbal dip from the Watercress plant.
Griot is the Haitian equivalent to fried pork cuts that we often do at home or order in local canteens.
However, what makes griot distinct is the use of epis, a kind of Haitian seasoning with lots of spices that bring a uniquely tangy herbal taste to every dish in their cuisine.
These fried pork cuts are often paired with Accra, and are also part of a bigger fritter dish known as Fritay.
Aside from salted codfish, you can also marinate herring meat in a chiquetaille brine!
In this case, smoked herrings are soaked in this brine mixture before serving them with bread or crackers.
You can never go wrong with smoked herring meats in your favorite meals.
We all knew okra or ladies’ fingers as that vegetable that we hated at some point.
However, you could create crispy Haitian okras and make them enjoyable as appetizers with a cream cheese dip.
Locally known as Kalalou, these crispy okra fingers will give you a fresh perspective on the underrated vegetable.
Cassava flatbread is a famed root bread staple in South America, including in Haiti, known as Kassav.
This flatbread is a highly popular appetizer staple in Haiti, borrowed from indigenous cuisines of the Tainos population in the country.
Haitian Kibi is a direct adaptation of the Lebanese kibbeh or spiced ground meatballs.
This is done by cooking ground meats (or fish, if you prefer) and other spices before molding them into a bite-sized ball.
This bite-sized ball will then be fried before serving it with lemon slices or other tasty sauces.
Do you want a taste of this unique spin on classic potato croquettes?
Haiti’s potato croquettes, locally known as Kwoket Pomdete, are very beloved for their crispy texture and savory taste.
However, you could add fillings to these snacks, such as this recipe with rum raisin fillings.
These fillings can bring a much-needed break from the typical croquettes and add a bit of tang to every piece of the Kwoket Pomdete.
Breadfruit is somewhat related to jackfruits and mulberries, but it has a starch, potato-like taste when cooked.
This makes breadfruit a prized ingredient in every Haitian dish you can think of.
For the Lam Veritab, chunks of breadfruit are deep-fried like other Haitian fritters, such as Accra.
Speaking of fritters, another popular Haitian fritter is the Marinad Ak Poul.
Marinad is the general term for certain fritters, while poul is a term used to refer to chicken.
These chicken fritters are paired with another classic Haitian appetizer staple, Pikliz.
Banana chips are worth trying as a snack and an appetizer before a huge meal.
In this case, the Papita is a somewhat similar dish to the Bannann Peze, except these chips are thinly sliced horizontally.
Depending on your preference, you can deep-fry or air-fry these chips to achieve a particular crisp you want for the Papita.
As Haitians love starchy foods, it is no wonder that they are fond of sweet potatoes, too.
For the most part, we know that sweet potatoes are best baked or boiled.
However, Patat Fris also showcases that you could also fry sliced sweet potatoes, which is perfect for appetizers.
Pâté is the local term for patties, but every piece of these appears more as empanadas than patties.
Nonetheless, this classic Haitian recipe calls for scoops of ground beef with seasonings into the core of puff pastries before baking.
There are several variations of the Pâté, depending on the size, preparation, and ingredients used.
The following two recipes are some known variations of the Pâté.
Pâté Kòde is almost similar to the classic Pâté in terms of preparation.
However, old-fashioned Haitian patties are often baked, while this one is deep-fried.
Because of this, Pâté Kòde is crunchier and more savory when held.
Pâté Puffs are much closer to the original recipe.
However, as the name suggests, these patties are much smaller and are made with chicken picadillo as fillings.
These patty puffs are worth checking out as an appetizer.
Despite their relatively small size and appearance, every puff is loaded with various meaty flavors that will make you want more!
Pikliz is a popular appetizer and condiment to other appetizers and dishes.
For this recipe, vegetables such as carrots, peppers, cabbages, and onions are submerged in white vinegar.
For best results, store for at least two to three days before consuming.
Waiting a couple of days is worth it once you eat it raw or pair it with other appetizers.
Sea snail meat and watermelon are the main attraction of this Haitian salad.
As an appetizer, this salad dish’s flavors are just as colorful as its unique appearance.
It also has other spices and condiments, which brings the flavor up to another level of goodness.
We all want our potatoes fried, and so are our fellows from Haiti, too!
Pomdetè Fri is their version of fried potatoes.
In this case, this appetizer dish requires thinly sliced potatoes to be deep-fried before serving with sauces.
Haiti’s Potato & Beet Salad could give you a surprising impression at first glance.
Indeed, their potato salad is already different in its striking violet color, which is achieved by adding boiled beets to the recipe.
However, apart from the slight tang, this salad will still remind you of the classic potato salad recipe, albeit more fruity and tropical.
Haitians love beans in their meals, which is why recipes such as the Sos Pwa Rouge Ak Boy exist!
This recipe calls for beans and broth to be cooked before combining it with other ingredients such as epis to attain this dish’s earthy and savory flavor.
Doumbrey or Haitian dumplings are often added to bring more variety to this recipe.
Sos Ti-Malice is a Haitian spicy onion soup connected to folklore about Ti-Malice pranking his friend with his spicy soup, only to entice Boukri further into loving the soup more and making it a classic staple.
This Haitian soup recipe calls for tomato paste combined with bell peppers, onions, pikliz, and lime juice.
Expect a spicy and tangy indulgence in this soup!
28. Vegan Marinad
We tackled Marinad in this list a few numbers ago, but that was made from chicken.
Now, let us introduce you to Vegan Marinad!
Preparing this recipe is just the same as the typical marinade, but it is highly favorable for those who want a meatless alternative to this classic Haitian appetizer.
29. Vegan Pâté Kòde
Pâté Kòde is often made with beef meat.
However, you could also create a vegan variation of this appetizer pastry using red kidney beans or similar ingredients.
This vegan dish does not change its appeal, as it is just as scrumptious as the original.
Let’s end this list on a high note!
Fritay is less of a particular recipe, and a collective recipe of famous Haitian fritters served in one big feast.
In this case, Accra, Griot, and Tassot Boeuf are all part of this set of fritters.
Fritay is best served during potlucks and big gatherings where people can pick up one or more of these as appetizers.
The bottom line
Haiti’s cuisine is a product of its culinary traditions and necessities brought by certain conditions within the country.
As such, their dishes are much like the general cuisine of the whole Caribbean region – tropical, with a heavy emphasis on fruits and vegetables and unique ways of cooking and preparation.
If you want to get into Haitian cuisine, their appetizers would be a great entry point.
Their appetizers are fairly simple to recreate within the comforts of your home, but these can be just as impressive to everyone who wants a bite and a taste of their recipes!
- Accra (Malanga Fritters)
- Bannann Bouyi (Boiled Plantains)
- Bannann Douce (Sweet Plantains)
- Bannann Peze (Fried Plantains)
- Boulèt Pomdete Ak Bef (Beef Meatballs)
- Codfish Patties
- Codfish Chiquetaille Salad
- Conch Fritters With Watercress Dip
- Griot (Fried Pork Shoulders)
- Herring Chiquetaille (Salted Smoked Herring)
- Kalalou With Cream Cheese Dip
- Kassav (Cassava Flatbread)
- Kibi (Spiced Ground Meat Balls)
- Kwoket Pomdete (Potato Croquettes)
- Lam Veritab (Breadfruit Fritters)
- Marinad Ak Poul (Chicken Fritters)
- Papita (Fried Horizontal-Cut Plantain Chips)
- Patat Fris (Fried Sweet Potatoes)
- Pâté (Haitian Beef Patties)
- Pâté Kòde (Fried Patties)
- Pâté Puffs (Patty Packets)
- Pikliz (Spiced Pickled Vegetables)
- Pimentade De Lambi (Conch Salad With Watermelon)
- Pomdetè Fri (Fried Potatoes)
- Potato & Beet Salad
- Sos Pwa Rouge Ak Boy (Red Bean Sauce With Dumplings)
- Sos Ti-Malice (Spicy Onion Soup)
- Vegan Marinad
- Vegan Pâté Kòde
- Fritay (Assorted Fritters)
- Pick one or more options from our list of Haitian Appetizers here!
- Start creating your new favorite dish.
- Share and comment! Did you make any changes to make it even better?