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19 Flavorful Dominican Recipes That Deserve A Spot On Your Table

I know what I'm cooking this weekend.

Brooke Greenberg / BuzzFeed

Dominican cuisine is a flavorful reflection of the varied influences that make up the country's history. 🇩🇴

From versatile tostones (or fried plantains) to savory sancocho (or hearty meat stew), here's a selection of some of the best dishes, drinks, and desserts from the Dominican Republic. Let's eat!

1. Sancocho

A bowl of sancocho garnished with fresh cilantro.

What is it: This hearty and comforting stew is one of the most popular Dominican dishes out there — and packs protein and plenty of root vegetables. It's perfect as the weather gets colder.

Get the recipe: Sancocho

2. Pescado Con Coco

A plate of pescado con coco served with a side of white rice.

What is it: Fish — in creamy coconut sauce — that'll leave you dreaming about relaxing vacation days by the beach. This version is equally delicious with snapper or grouper.

Get the recipe: Pescado Con Coco

3. Tostones

A plate of tostones garnished with fresh lime.

What is it: Twice-fried plantain slices are cooked up by frying up plantain slices, mashing them, then frying them again. They're a big part of both Caribbean and Latin American cuisine, and can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a side dish. (Or solo!)

Get the recipe: Tostones

4. Pudín de Pan

A fresh loaf of pudín de pan on a cake stand.

What is it: This sweet and comforting bread pudding gets an upgrade with the help of warming spices like clove, ginger, and cinnamon powder, plus extra-sweet golden dark raisins. Use day-old bread for the best results.

Get the recipe: Pudín de Pan

5. Chicharrón

Chicharrón plated with tostones and fresh lime.

What is it: If you've never tried the fried pork belly pieces known as chicharrón, you're in for a serious treat. Enjoy them with rice and beans, or tostones — or just on their own.

Get the recipe: Chicharrón

6. Pasteles en Hoja

A plate of pasteles en hoja with sauce on top.

What is it: These meat pockets are made with a mix of plantains and root vegetables, and usually served for Christmas and New Year's Eve dinners. If you can't find plantain leaves, wrap them with parchment paper instead.

Get the recipe: Pasteles en Hoja

7. Pastelón de Plátano Maduro

A plate of pastelón de plátano maduro.

What is it: An American looking at this dish might call it a lasagna; but every Dominican (and Puerto Rican) knows that this is a pastelón — a glorious dish layered with plantain slices, cheese, and flavorful meat.

Get the recipe: Pastelón de Plátano Maduro

8. Mamajuana

The ingredients to make mamajuana, including rum, honey, and red wine.

What is it: While this rum, honey, and red wine-based drink is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages of the Dominican Republic today, it was originally created by the native Taíno people as a medicinal drink to cure various ailments. The only harder-to-find ingredients are the Dominican bark and herbs — but you can grab some on Amazon.

Get the recipe: Mamajuana

9. Pollo Guisado

A plate of Dominican chicken, or pollo guisado

What is it: This comforting chicken dish is known for its super tender braised meat and tomato-based sauce, and is a very common dish in Dominican households. Don't forget extra rice to soak up all the sauce!

Get the recipe:Pollo Guisado

10. Arroz Con Guandules

A pan of arroz con guandules with fresh cilantro to garnish.

What is it: Served around the holidays, this classic and all-purpose rice dish is packed with herbs, vegetables, and briny, salty olives. If you can't find brown pigeon peas, substitute with your bean of choice.

Get the recipe: Arroz Con Guandules

11. Yaniqueque

Yaniqueque stacked on a plate.

What is it: These perfectly flaky fritters are delicious at any size. Keep them larger for a grab-and-go option, or make them smaller so they can be easily dipped in chocolate de agua. 😍

Get the recipe: Yaniqueque

12. Mangú

A bowl of mangú topped with pickled red onions.

What is it: Like many parts of Dominican cuisine, mangú (or mashed plantains) is thought to be a result of the country's African influences, which, in turn, are a result of the African slave trade during the more than three centuries-long Spanish colonial rule. The more you know. ☝️

Get the recipe: Mangú

13. Los Tres Golpes

A plate of los tres golpes: salami, eggs, fried cheese, and mashed plantains.

What is it: Easily one of the most popular Dominican breakfast dishes, the tres golpes ("three punches") consists of salami, eggs, and fried cheese, and is traditionally served with mangú. There's honestly no tastier way to start the day.

Get the recipe: Los Tres Golpes

14. Pescado Frito

A plate of pescado frito served with rice, plantains, and tomatoes.

What is it: Popular across the Dominican Republic, this simple six-ingredient fish dish will have you dreaming of mid-afternoon hammock naps. As far as portion sizes go, aim for about one pound of fish per person.

Get the recipe: Pescado Frito

15. Mofongo

A plate of mofongo garnished with fresh herbs.

What is it: You can't talk about Dominican food without a mention of mofongo, the mashed plantain dish made with garlic and pork cracklings (chicharrón). Though some might say it has origins in Puerto Rico, no one can contest its delicious centrality in Dominican cuisine.

Get the recipe: Mofongo

16. La Bandera Dominicana (The Dominican Flag)

A full plate of la bandera — rice, red beans, chicken, tomatoes, and onions.

What is it: A staple of Dominican cuisine and life, this dish combines rice and red beans with chicken stewed in tomatoes and onions. There aren't too many more ingredients than that, meaning this dish is both tasty and simple to make.

Get the recipe: La Bandera

17. Morir Soñando

A tall glass of morir soñando.

What is it: Morir soñando, meaning "to die dreaming," is a dessert beverage that is as dulcet as it is poetically named. Made with evaporated milk, vanilla, oranges, and ice, it's the perfect after-dinner drink that'll refresh and lull you sweetly to sleep.

Get the recipe: Morir Soñando

18. Asopao de Pollo

A bowl of asopao de pollo served with plantains and fresh lime.

What is it: This chicken and rice soup-esque meal is a cure-all for winter blues, last-minute get togethers, or a bare bones pantry.

Get the recipe: Asopao de Pollo

19. Pan de Coco

A fresh-baked pan de coco being sliced.

What is it: Flaky, dense coconut bread with a subtle coconut flavor that's just sweet enough to make you want to reach for a second one. (And a third one! 😋)

Get the recipe: Pan de Coco

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