11 Great South American Appetizer Recipes

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    South American Appetizers

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    In South America, appetizers take two forms: as first courses (entradas) or as finger foods (bocaditos - "little bites").

    Most Latin American parties feature trays of bite-size  bocaditos, allowing guests to sample everything without feeling too full. This tradition came to Latin America from Spain (read more about Spanish tapas).

    The spread is followed up with a couple of plates of up with a couple of plates of bite-sized South American sweets.

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    Lime Chicken Empanadas Recipe

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    Shredded chile-lime chicken, carmelized onions, and goat cheese fill these delicious bite-size empanadas.

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    Twice-Fried Green Plantain with Aji Dipping Sauce (Patacones) Recipe

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    Patacones (known as tostones in Central America) are twice-fried rounds of green plantain. Fried green plantain (plátano verde) is starchy and sweet, and absolutely fantastic dipped in creamy aji amarillo sauce.

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    Baby Potatoes with Creamy Aji Amarillo Dipping Sauce Recipe

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    Potatoes are sweeter when they are small, and bite-size potatoes are perfect for dipping. Spear them with toothpicks and dip them in the rich cream ají sauce, made with aji amarillo chile pepper paste.

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    Mini Causa Bites Recipe

    In this appetizer version of causa rellena, little bite-size balls of mashed yellow potatoes have a hidden center of chicken salad.

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    Fried Cheese Wonton Sticks (Tequeños) Recipe

    Kids will have a blast helping you roll these crispy fried cheese sticks known as tequenos. They'll help you eat them too!

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    Brazilian Risoles Recipe

    Brazilian risoles (an import from Indonesia) are like breaded empanadas. The dough is rolled out and filled, breaded, then deep fried.

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  • 08 of 12

    Manchego Cheese and Quince Paste Hors d'Oeuvres Recipe

    Quince paste served with manchego or goat cheese is a popular appetizer or light dessert or breakfast.

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  • 09 of 12

    Argentinian Picada Recipe

    A picada is a wonderful Argentinian tradition of serving a tray of artfully arranged finger foods for everyone to share. It's a genius idea for entertaining. People simply "pick" at the foods (the name ​​picada comes from the Spanish verb picar) while they enjoy wine or beer and socialize.

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    Stuffed Fried Yuca (Yuquitas Rellenas) Recipe

    These crispy little balls are made by shaping the mashed yuca around a piece of queso fresco, then rolling them in bread crumbs and frying them until golden brown.

    The result is a crispy shell around a soft starchy filling, with melted cheese in the very middle. Fried yuca balls are excellent dipped in salsa a la huancaína, a spicy cheese sauce.

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  • 11 of 12

    Boliarepas Recipe

    Boliarepas are appetizer versions of the popular Venezuelan and Colombian corn cakes called ​arepas. Boilarepas are crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside and filled with bacon and cheddar cheese.

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    Pizza Empanadas Recipe

    Appetizer-size empanadas filled with pizza toppings like mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce, and pepperoni are always a hit with kids and adults.