Argentina Traditional Food: 15 Famous Dishes You Should Try

Historically, Argentina has been renowned for eating more red meat than any other country in the world, and there’s no doubt that steak heavily features in many of the traditional dishes of the country. However, Argentinian cuisine is not just about beef, as there are 15 most famous foods that you should try.

1. Barbecue

In Argentina, traditional food consists of flame-roasted whole pigs or lambs in the Patagonian style. When attending an Asado, which is both a multi-step grilling method and a gathering of friends around a barbecue, expect to find a variety of meats such as sweetbreads, blood sausages, ribs, pork, and beef. This leisurely afternoon affair often lasts for several hours, allowing for feasting on plentiful grilled meats and enjoying the warmth of an open fire or grill. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this quintessential Argentinean tradition.

2. Chimichurri Sauce

Utilized as a marinade or traditionally accompanied by grilled meats, particularly beef, chimichurri is a green salsa with a strong herbal taste, created by finely minced parsley, oregano, onion, garlic, chili pepper flakes, olive oil, and a hint of lemon or vinegar.

3. Grilled Provolone Cheese

Served alongside crispy bread and commonly savored with chimichurri sauce on top, the cheese is grilled until it reaches a slightly melted consistency in the middle. It is seasoned with a substantial portion of oregano, perhaps a gentle dusting of dried red chili flakes, and cut into approximately one-inch thick slices for asado. Due to its dense and solid texture, the semi-hard provolone cheese is ideal for grilling. Grilled provoleta cheese is well-liked as a pre-meal snack or as a complement to barbecued meats.

4. Turnovers

Empanadas are dough pockets that are stuffed with a variety of fillings, which can be either savory or sweet, depending on the province. Common savory fillings include ground and spiced beef, blue cheese, ham, goat cheese, and chicken. Sweet fillings might include sweet potato paste, dulce de leche, quince jam, sweet raisins, or sugar, with cinnamon sprinkled on top. These empanadas are then baked or deep-fried, and they have hidden delights inside, with markings on the folded pastry.

5. Corn Husk Humita

Humita is the ultimate celebration of corn, serving as a savory snack or a main dish. It is made by boiling or steaming corn in corn husks, which are wrapped with goat cheese, spices, onion, and creamed corn.

6. Rolled Matambre

While everyone waits for the rest of the asado at the bay, keeping hunger at bay, the first item to be ready on the grill is matambre, which literally translates to “hunger” in English and “matar” means to “kill”. The meat is rolled around a filling of olives and herbs, hard-boiled eggs, and vegetables, and then grilled, baked, or boiled. Arrollado Matambre is a flavorful Argentinian flank steak stuffed with delicious ingredients.

7. Breaded Cutlet

Served with fries or a salad, and frequently offered during lunchtime, Milanesa is a dish influenced by Italian cuisine – an Argentinian version of escalope or schnitzel − crafted from tenderized beef or chicken, coated with breadcrumbs, as the name implies. The assortment of toppings is what sets this dish apart, with options including fried eggs, cheese, ham, and tomato sauce.

8. Llama Meat

The high altitude of the northwest makes it the perfect region for making llama steak, which is a popular choice. Llama stew is also a popular dish in this region, where the meat is combined with carrots and potatoes and cooked slowly. The meat has an earthy and rustic flavor. In Argentina’s northern region, llamas are more popular than cattle.

9. Choripán (a type of Argentinean sausage sandwich)

Other condiments are also included, such as a variety of green peppers, pickled eggplants, and caramelized onions. It is usually consumed on the go, depending on the province. Choripán is a sandwich consisting of chorizo sausage made from beef and pork, served in a crusty bun with a variety of condiments. It is the ultimate street food sold throughout Latin America, particularly in Argentine street markets.

10. Beef Stew

The carbonada is another famous Argentine food. This is a stew made with lots of vegetables including peppers, carrots, sweetcorn, and sweet potatoes, as well as various fruits ranging from green grapes and pears to dried raisins and apricots. It is usually served in a pumpkin that has been hollowed out and baked, serving as a bowl for the stew. The stew is hearty and appetizing, and it is typically topped with meat or bacon. However, it only serves diners inside the scrape can, not in a bowl.

11. Pizza and Fainâ

Each piece, which functions to soak up the fatty drippings from the additional cheese, is positioned on top of the pizza to create a crispy upper layer. Fainâ is a crispy, thin unleavened bread and it is crafted from chickpea flour. If you desire to enjoy your pizza in the same way as a local, you ought to request a piece of fainâ to accompany it. Toppings consist of green olives, oregano, and dried chili flakes. Argentinians have a strong fondness for pizza, which they prepare with a thick crust, light sauce, and an abundance of cheese, cascading along the side of each piece.

12. Croissants

Condiments, such as sweet or savory options, are typically served with coffee for breakfast. Medialunas, which are literally translated as half-moons, are gooey and dense Argentinian croissants.

13. Milk caramel

Cakes, truffles, and cookies are the places where dulche de leche can be found, a dense and sweet caramel-like sauce created by slowly heating and reducing condensed milk until it becomes sweet and sticky, loosely interpreted as “candy made from milk” or “milk jam”. It is also utilized as a garnish for ice cream, sweet pastry turnovers, or thin pancakes.

14. Alfajores

Despite originating in the Arab world and later being brought to southern Spain by the Moors, Argentina considers alfajores to be a national treasure, often referred to as leche de dulce or mousse, and are sandwich cookies filled with jam and made with a crumbly shortbread-like dough.

Mate yerba is a popular herbal tea made from the twigs and leaves of the mate plant, which is native to other South American countries and Argentina. It is commonly consumed as an energy booster and stimulates the nervous system, similar to other teas like yerba mate and coffee. Before sipping, it is often passed around in a group, with a metal straw fitted with a sieve doubling as a gourd. If you travel across the country, you will find hollowed-out squash gourds used for filling it. The leaves can be steeped in hot water whole or ground into a powder and chopped before being dried.

In many parts of Buenos Aires, even some of the world-famous steakhouses, visitors to Argentina can now thankfully expect to see options for a plant-based diet, as the country has been shifting towards healthier and more plant-based trends in recent years.

Can you nearly hear the sizzle of the steak on the parrilla (grill) already? Juicy steak and tango await!