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9 Christmas Latino Recipes: Abuela Approved!

Abuela Approved Badge coquito Puerto Rico

Which Christmas Latino recipes do you turn to this and every holiday season to add tradition and sabor to your familia and friends celebrations? Every November, the Familia Kitchen team starts our annual debate: Which holiday dish we will we each make to cook our way home for the holidays this year? Because in Latino culture, comida choices are so importante to how we create homey connection and seasonal spirit, we decided to ask our homecooks for their most trusted Christmas recipes.

Our editorial team came back with these 9 holiday-favorite recipes. We kick things off with everyone’s favorite holiday punch: coquito! And then continue to iconic sides like Puerto Rico’s arroz con gandules and Dominican moro de gandules. Next up are beloved mains—Mexican red pozole and chicken enchiladas de mole, Puerto Rican pasteles, and an almost-vegan taco bowl. And we wrap things up sweetly and in style with a festive Puerto Rican dessert: delectable pumpkin flan made two ways: classic y dairy-free. All 9 Christmas Latin recipes are time-tested, traditional and authentically sabroso.

Does tradition dictate making your family-famous roast-pork lechón or your abuela’s tamales recipe every Noche Buena or Christmas Eve? Don’t forget: There are a total of 42 days (if you count from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Dia de los tres Reyes on Jan. 6). Which means there are a possible 42 dinners and 42 lunches to be cooked and served to familia and friends as we gather for the season’s festivities. That’s a whole lot of memorable meal-making and opportunities to make Latino Christmas recipes. Don’t worry—Familia Kitchen is here to help keep things delicioso and authentic.

So check out Familia Kitchen’s 9 most delicioso, trusted, abuela-approved family favorite recipes to inspire your Latino-style food celebrations this season.

Feliz cooking and happy holidays, homecooks!

Toast the Season with Puerto Rico’s Famoso Coquito

El coquito navideño de Hillary

First things first. Get yourself and your guests into the holiday spirit by whipping up a batch of that frothy coconut and rum concoction that has helped make the holidays happy for generations of Puerto Ricans—and increasingly, the rest of the world. It’s just what Santa Claus ordered for merrymakers everywhere. In su receta de coquito, Familia Kitchen co-founder Kim’s sister offers her go-to spin on this Christmas classic punch, which has become their official family recipe. Hillary makes it in large batches every December and it’s one of the memorable highlights of the season, says Kim.

coquito sofrito
Familia Kitchen community members toast the season with homemade coquito. Wepa!

Guarniciones favoritas de las fiestas latinas

Arroz con Gandules puertorriqueño de Doña Felipa

Consider adding one of our favorite Latino Christmas recipes to your holiday mesa: the Puerto Rican classic arroz con gandules. It is sabroso with your pork lechón, jamón, mole or carne asada. Here, one of our favorite abuela cocineras, Doña Felipa Saez, offers a master class in making este plato de arroz favorito.

dona Felipa arroz con gandules Puerto Rico recipe
At many Puerto Rican holiday tables, the traditional arroz con gandules side is as popular as the main dish.

Naihomy’s Healthy Dominican Moro de Gandules

For your vegetarian or vegan famila and friends, or if you just want to make your feast nutritious y delicious, we got you. In this popular Familia Kitchen recipe, one of our go-to Dominican cooks and wellness expert Naihomy Jerez flips this classic recipe with esta versión saludable del clásico moro de gandules de su mamá. Naihomy ditches the pork and substitutes brown rice. It’s saludable and sabroso.

Moro de Gandules Dominican
This Dominican moro de guandules is made with no meat in this recipe flip.

Platos principales favoritos de las festividades latinas

Pasteles de Pork, Green Bananas, Plantains & Yautía con Achiote

Cuando yo era niño en Puerto Rico, antes de cada temporada navideña, las familias hacían sus pedidos de pasteles con una cocinera talentosa que vivía en el monte o en el campo. Se entregarían justo a tiempo para el fin de semana de Acción de Gracias o el festín de la semana de Navidad. No es así para la cocinera Michelle Ezratty Murphy, con sede en Arizona, Familia Kitchen, quien los prepara desde cero todos los años con su suegra puertorriqueña y la familia de su esposo. Si quieres ir a lo grande, sus sabrosos pasteles de cerdo son la manera de ganar las vacaciones.

Pasteles pork with yautia and achiote Puerto Rican
Puerto Rican pasteles are wrapped in banana or plantain leaves and boiled. Delicioso!

Carmen's Pozole Rojo con Chicharrón y Guajillo

Muchas celebraciones en las familias mexicanas se conmemoran con un plato de pozole, no importa si el tuyo es rojo, verde, blanco o vegetariano. Aquí está la editora de Familia Kitchen Karina receta de pozole rojo de su mamá El consejo de cocina de su mamá Carmen: Use maíz enlatado para pasar más tiempo con sus seres queridos: comiendo y celebrando.

Carmen Pozole rojo
Red pozole is a beloved staple at many Mexican tables during the holidays.

Abuelita Paz’s Secret Family Mole Recipe

”Abuelita only made this mole on special occasions, such as navidad para los tamales, tortas de camarón (shrimp) con nopal con mole for Passover, and only when asked she would make her costillas de puerco con nopales en mole—mole with pork ribs with nopales,” says Naomi Rodriguez. ”Nonetheless, we make this mole once a year, since we continue with the tamal Christmas tradition. It makes me proud that my kids LOVE this tradition and have promised to continue it to assure my grandkids experience this. It gives me so much joy that my children and grandchildren will continue to smell the mole that brings me beautiful memories as a child and it will continue to imprint generations to come.”

https://familiakitchen.com/our-secret-family-mole-recipe-from-abuelita-paz/
Abuelita Paz’s secret family mole recipe is made with California and mulato chiles, pork, tomatillos and cumin seeds.

Veronica’s Almost-Vegan Taco Bowl

Buscando un plato principal que sea vegetariano y auténticamente mexicana? Verificar El taco bowl actualizado casi vegano de Veronica. Su plato usa jaca (o yaca) y champiñones en lugar de carne y también deja de lado los lácteos. La entrenadora de cocina casera y bienestar Veronica Paige cuenta con estos tacos actualizados para ayudarla a ella y a su familia a "mantenerse conectados con nuestra verdad, nuestras raíces mexicanas, y vivir juntos una larga vida vital y saludable", durante las vacaciones y en el año nuevo, listos para resoluciones de Año Nuevo.

Veronia's almost vegan taco bowl with jackfruit
If your holiday guests are vegetarian, this almost-vegan taco bowl makes for a festive main meal.

Postres Festivos Latinos

Dominican Pumpkin Flan 2 Ways: Traditional & Dairy-free

¿Hay una forma más tradicional y deliciosa de terminar una comida latina que con flan de postre? Ofrecemos una delicia tradicional dominicana con un toque de temporada: pumpkin flan, in two versions por un dúo de madre e hija. Mamá Rosa comparte su receta tradicional, y su hija Naihomy hace la suya sin lácteos y reemplaza el azúcar procesada con jarabe de arce 100%. Ambas versiones son sabrosas y una forma inclusiva de asegurarse de que todos en su mesa terminen su comida festiva con una nota dulce.

Naihomy and her mom eating flan de calabaza
Naihomy Jerez and her mom, Rose, sample their mother-daughter versions of pumpkin recipes. Their receta offers both takes on this holiday table favorite: traditional with condensed milk y dairy-free.

Happy and Delicioso Holidays, Todos!

We hope these 9 festive recipes help you get ready for your Christmas season cooking. Want more holiday inspiration? Search FamiliaKitchen.com for more abuela-approved, authentic Latino dishes. You’ll find favorite festive family fare from all the Spanish-speaking places we came from in Latin and Central America and the Caribbean.

We wish you, your familia and dearest amigos the merriest of holiday seasonal celebrations, as we cook our way home these holidays, deliciosamente. Familia Kitchen is with you in and out of the kitchen. Happy Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas and Three Kings Day, everyone!

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