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31 Enriching Cuban Appetizers For A Perfect Party

Crispy croquettes like deviled crab croquettes, ham Croquettes, and nutritious empanadas such as Chicken Empanadas and Cuban Beef Empanadas are a way of Cuban Appetizers.

Mouth-watering sandwiches, including Cuban sliders, sandwich on a stick appetizer, sandwich dip, and sheet pan sandwiches, are culinary delights. Cuban plantain chips, Fried yucca balls, potato balls, and beef pastries are always the favorite with the guests.

Cuban cuisine thrives on diverse cultures and incorporates the best flavors from different people who settled there. Cuban appetizers use lots of tropical fruits, root veggies, and seafood.

Cuban Appetizer recipes use plantains, black beans, and many unexpected ingredient combinations for pleasant surprises to your taste buds. 

Cubans avoid using spicy ingredients, but the appetizers are always brimming with flavor. In addition, they are easy to prepare and quicker to eat.

These recipes include enough variety for everyone’s taste. You will find tasty soups, tempting sandwiches, delicious croquettes, cakes, kebabs, and much more.

Quick Table: Cuban Appetizers Recipes

RecipesCalories Per ServingPreparation Time
Easy Cuban Sliders32450  Minutes
Mojo Shrimp Kebabs10539  Minutes
Miami Cuban Dip22225  Minutes
Sheet Pan Cubano Sandwich36630  Minutes
Cuban Ham Spread15615  Minutes
Chicken Empanadas5082 Hrs 25 Minutes
Cream Of Malanga2101 Hr
Cuban Lentil Soup2491 Hr 15 Minutes
Cuban Sandwich Dip29527  Minutes
Cuban Sandwich on a Stick Appetizer5710  Minutes
Cuban Black Bean Soup2782 Hrs 15 Minutes
Papas Rellenas (Fried Stuffed Potatoes)16020  Minutes
Cuban Beef Empanadas 7022 Hrs 35 Minutes
Cuban Ham Roll-Ups 14510  Minutes
Fried Sweet Plantains15515  Minutes
Cheese Stuffed Fried Yuca Balls (Bolitas de Yuca) 24720  Minutes
Cuban Style Yuca35145  Minutes
Frituras de malanga (Malanga Fritters)25145  Minutes
Tostones 20030  Minutes
Ham Croquettes1361 Hr 30 Minutes
Cheese Fried Yucca Balls24720  Minutes
Cuban Plantain Chips15113  Minutes
Guava Cream Cheese Pastries29035  Minutes
Cuban Quesadillas 5458 Hrs 15 Minutes
Guava BBQ Glazed Chicken Wings4281 Hr 55 Minutes
Cuban Sandwich Pinwheel Recipe8610  Minutes
Cuban Deviled Eggs44040  Minutes
Cuban Beef Pastries (Pastelitos de Carne)3321 Hr 10 Minutes
Deviled Crab Croquettes40140  Minutes
Cuban Beef and Zucchini Kebabs with Mojo Sauce30835  Minutes
Sopa De Platano 2191 Hr 10 Minutes

1. Easy Cuban Sliders

It is one of the most loved Cuban appetizers. You can prepare this classic Cuban sandwich with delicious pork, cheese, and a tasty marinade.  

You can layer these delicious ingredients inside the golden brown sandwich and pack them into a sweet roll. The heavenly slider tastes good and provides many nutrients to help your family have a day full of energy.

They make a perfect appetizer for a memorable party.

Calories Per Serving: 324

Preparation Time: 50 Minutes

2. Mojo Shrimp Kebabs

This seafood combines familiar ingredients to give exceptional taste. Seafood lovers will savor these shrimp kebabs. Mixing mojo and spices with shrimps on the skewer creates the magic.

Include lime and a few essential spies to prepare incredible finger food.

The delightful marinade adds to the flavor and taste. You can grill or toss kebabs in the oven; the kebabs always pack the delicious taste of shrimp and the natural sweetness of vegetables. In addition, the rich flavor of the mojo gives a special feeling.

Calories Per Serving: 105

Preparation Time: 39 Minutes

3. Miami Cuban Dip

A good dip makes an excellent appetizer, and this one falls in that category. This Recipe is the ultimate fusion of Cuban and American cuisine resulting in a mouth-watering appetizer.

It is easy to make with the rich flavor of melted cheese, and you can pour the dip into the bread bowl.

It is a good variation, and all the traditional flavors of Cuban cuisine come together. You have pickles, cheese, and ham. Enjoy them hot, eating right out of the oven.

Calories Per Serving: 222

Preparation Time: 25 Min

4. Sheet Pan Cubano Sandwich

It is a typical Cuban sandwich that uses only vital ingredients. The sandwich has crispy outside with fatty flavor and is loaded with tremendous flavor. It is a simple recipe to prepare that you will want to enjoy anytime. 

You can use Gruyere cheese for a surmising twist and the leftover pork to prepare a delicious appetizer. The sandwich retains all the moisture, is not dry, and tastes better. In addition, it is nutritious and will keep you fresh and energetic.

Calories Per Serving: 366

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

5. Cuban Ham Spread

Do you like Cuban spread with your sandwiches? 

This appetizer is worth trying! It combines deviled ham and cream cheese with some other flavoring seasonings. It is an excellent spread for your bread or crackers.

Combine it with mustard to enjoy a delectable appetizer. Mustard takes the flavor to the next level. In addition, this Recipe is suitable for those with a busy schedule as it only takes less than 20 minutes to make

Calories Per Serving: 156

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

6. Chicken Empanadas

Empanadas are enclosed sandwiches that are highly popular throughout Latin America. Spanish people introduced these simple sandwiches in its colonies. These empanadas sandwiches combine chicken and cheese with an impressive look that tastes better.

Prepare this Recipe with homemade dough! Use a rich, hearty, savory chicken filling to enjoy warm, crispy, and delightful empanadas. 

With these tasty bites, you can impress your friends and family at your next get-together.

Calories Per Serving: 508

Preparation Time: 2 Hrs 25 Minutes

7. Cream Of Malanga

Cream of malanga is a thick, creamy light soup that uses one of the most common Cuban ingredients: malangas. It is the best appetizer whose flavor profile is subtle and light. It is a satisfying appetizer that is not overpowering or too filling.

Cream of Malanga soup is made creamy by the texture of the malanga root rather than actual cream. Preparing malanga soup is a delicious way to try something different with simple ingredients. 

Calories Per Serving: 210

Preparation Time: 1 Hr

8. Cuban Lentil Soup

Are you looking for a high-fiber appetizer that is iron-rich and rich?

You can consider filling Cuban lentil soup that is loaded with antioxidants, potassium, and proteins. In addition, the vegetable broth makes thickness satisfying and is an excellent leftover dish

Add lentils to the base of vegetable broth with sautéed veggies, spices, tomato paste, and ham hock for a delicious taste. Cooking all the ingredients in one pot saves time and blends all tastes to perfection.

Calories Per Serving: 249

Preparation Time: 1 Hr 15 Minutes

9. Cuban Sandwich Dip

This dip is a cheesy sauce perfect for dipping bread. It combines critical flavorful ingredients and can be used in sandwiches or for dipping chips or vegetables.

The dip is a pride of Cuban cuisine with various ingredient combinations and processing methods. The filling varies as per the taste preference of each region, but it still uses essential Cuban flavors.

Relishing the crispy grilled sandwich with melted fatty cheese will make you love this Recipe. Add flavors you like to create a favorite appetizer.

Calories Per Serving: 295

Preparation Time: 27 Minutes

10. Cuban Sandwich On A Stick Appetizer

If you love gathering ingredients to prepare food, then this is the perfect and easy appetizer for you to try. In addition, this is an excellent option for those who love food on a stick.

It is low-carb Cuban appetizer on a stick recipe that is clean and mess-free you can enjoy with your dear ones. You can assemble Swiss cheese pieces, baby dill pickles, cooked ham, and pieces of cooked pork first and then arrange them on the skewers.

Use honey mustard sauce for dipping.

Calories Per Serving: 57

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

RELATED: 23 Traditional Cuban Desserts

11. Cuban Black Bean Soup

You miss a fantastic recipe if you have not tried Cuban black bean soup. The thick, plant-based black bean soup is vegan-friendly and more like a stew. It is rich in protein, loaded with veggies, and has excellent abundant spices for an exquisite flavor.

The red onions, green bell pepper, and garlic with Cuban spices give bean soup a good flavor.

Top it with vegan sour cream, sliced avocado, and diced red onion. Some people like to top with pico de gallo and fresh corn salsa.

Calories Per Serving: 278

Preparation Time: 2 Hrs 15 Minutes

12. Papas Rellenas (Fried Stuffed Potatoes)

The rich beef filling and crispy fried potato skin make papas Rellenas an excellent appetizer for any party. The juicy, nutritious vegetables and the crunchy texture of these Cuban-style stuffed potato balls will make you eat more and more. 

These delicious golden-brown balls are simple to make with a filling of peppers, onions, ground sirloin, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. The balls are savory and the first to disappear from party tables.

Calories Per Serving: 160

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

13. Cuban Beef Empanadas 

The Cuban Beef Empanadas has many versions, and each Recipe will make you eat more. People also use it for breakfast and to enrich meals during festivals and momentous occasions.

Dough skin and the beef inside are the two main features of versatile Cuban beef empanadas. The rich and savory filling of these cakes depends on the preferences of the people in their regions.

The ease of preparing these semi-circle Empanadas makes them popular in many western countries. The savory Cuban pastry is a trendy appetizer for the guests

Calories Per Serving: 702

Preparation Time: 2 Hrs 35 Minutes

14. Cuban Ham Roll-Ups 

It is a healthy appetizer recipe that you can prepare only by assembling ingredients rather than cooking. It combines smoked ham slices, lettuce, and cheese rolls.

Layer the cheeses and hams on top of each other, roll them together and stick a tooth through them to prepare a quick appetizer.

It is a great option when you want to serve something fast that everyone can relish. But, of course, adding a little butter and pickle makes ham rolls even better.

Calories Per Serving: 145

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

15. Fried Sweet Plantains

Fried sweet plantains, called Maduro’s in Spanish, are trendy sides in Cuban culinary culture. The nearest rival is only the fried green plantains, called Tostones.

However, the most exciting feature of these two completely different dishes is plantain as a common ingredient. 

For the maduros, you use ripe plantains. You can fry the sliced ripe plantains until they are tender from the inside and get crispy at the edges.

Peeling, slicing, and frying the plantain is the only preparation you need to make to prepare this most popular Cuban appetizer. 

Calories Per Serving: 155

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

16. Cheese Stuffed Fried Yuca Balls (Bolitas de Yuca)

The simple and delicious cheese-stuffed fried yuca balls are an adorable and delicious appetizer. Crispy from the outside and soft cheesy inside, the stuffed yuca balls are a great choice to relish during a party.

The tangy cilantro dressing, lime, and vinegar add to the cheesy and nutty flavor and make them even more delectable. The Recipe is easy to prepare but delicious to the last bite.

Calories Per Serving: 247

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

17. Cuban Style Yuca

Yuca con mojo, or Cuban-style yuca, is an indispensable appetizer for Cubans. If you are interested in trying Cuban culinary recipes, never forget this Recipe that Cubans relish so much.

Yuca is a simple but yummy dish that consists of yuca and fragrant citrus sauce. You can tailor the Recipe by adding some favorite traditional spices and herbs for mouth-watering flavor.

Yuca is a great appetizer and a delicious start to any party. This healthy dish has boiled yuca that you can garnish with onions, garlic, and lemon juice and prepare in minutes.

Calories Per Serving: 351

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

18. Frituras de Malanga (Malanga Fritters)

The taste and texture of malanga are similar to potatoes and are quite popular in Cuba. Crush them and combine them with eggs and aromatic spices to prepare malanga fritters.

The crunch malanga cakes will delight your guests with their crispy texture and soft touch.

Malanga cakes make a great mid-day snack and a tempting appetizer to kick start the party. Add parsley, garlic, and vinegar for great flavor.

Calories Per Serving: 251

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

19. Tostones 

Tostones are widely relished appetizers in Cuban cuisine and are a unique variation from plantain. The twice-fried green plantains are a great side dish to a wide range of Cuban dishes.

Plantain has very little sugar and high starch content, making a very healthy meal or crunchy appetizer.

Combine the pressed pieces of plantain into a cake with cheese and salad to make a crispy delight. You can also enjoy Tostones with meat by replacing bread. Top them with cooked shrimp to Tostones, a great appetizer.

Calories Per Serving: 200

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

20. Ham Croquettes

The irresistible Cuban-style ham croquettes are a Cuban household staple. The crispy, bite-size logs of ground ham are coated in breadcrumbs, and fried makes them the choicest crowd pleaser.

Ham croquettes make a great appetizer and a perfect food you can enjoy during any part of the day.

The flavorful bite-size fritters are a harmonious combination of nutritious ingredients in the filling and crispy crust. The rich Jamon inside will make you try more. It creates a delicious taste when you dip it with your favorite sauce.

Calories Per Serving: 136

Preparation Time: 1 Hr 30 Minutes

21. Cheese Fried Yucca Balls

Are you looking for a delicious cheese appetizer with a twist?

Cheese-fried Yucca balls are cheese balls with a Cuban twist. It combines sweet yucca flavor with cheese-filled balls and cilantro sauce topping, making them a party favorite.

Yuca, another name for cassava, is a common ingredient in Cuban dishes. You can prepare these yummy fried yucca balls in 20 minutes.

Serve them with marinara or your favorite dipping sauce. The homemade cilantro dressing is a beautiful choice that complements the crispy balls.

Calories Per Serving: 247

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

22. Cuban Plantain Chips

Plantain and Cuba are synonymous. It is a traditional Cuban staple that is a perfect option for preparing crispy chips for a snack. To create a crunchy snack, Cubans use orange and lime to complement the plantain flavor.

The fried plantain chips are similar to the tostones but incredibly crispy. Bring them hot to the table and sprinkle with mojo to relish tasty chips. These are easy to make and a perfect appetizer for a party. 

To prepare them, slice the plantains, fry them up, and the chips are ready to enjoy. Fried plantain chips are a healthier alternative to potato chips. They

Calories Per Serving: 151

Preparation Time: 13 Minutes

23. Guava Cream Cheese Pastries

Who would not love to enjoy a pastry loaded with cream and cheese? These mouth-watering pastries also make a great desert. Guava is a unique ingredient that will be a pleasing surprise for your palate.

Buttery pastry with rich cream cheese and guava paste makes a delicious treat.

The pastries are on the sweeter side and an excellent choice for breakfast too. They are simple to make, combining sugar with egg, cream cheese, and guava paste.

Calories Per Serving: 290

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

24. Cuban Quesadillas 

Quesadillas, the famous Cuban street food, is the pride of Cuban cuisine that has spread worldwide. Bring home the Cuban flavor by preparing your quesadillas.

These delectable appetizers make a perfect starter for a great party or to enjoy a lovely meal with your family. The multiple layers of meat and cheese make quesadillas juicy and tasty. 

Quesadillas are tortillas loaded with a lot of cheese and whatever else you like. Pan Fry, until crisp outside and the inside, is oozing with melted cheese.

Calories Per Serving: 545

Preparation Time: 8 hrs 15 Minutes

25. Guava BBQ Glazed Chicken Wings

Crowd friendly and easy to make, these lovely and savory glazed chicken wings with crushed red peppers are a great snack to relish. 

You can bake them, fry them or grill them, but they still make a perfect appetizer that people love seeing at every party.

The crispy wings smothered in Guava BBQ sauces are addicting and a finger-licking favorite no matter which way you cook them. They are versatile and easy to make, and delicious.  

Calories Per Serving: 428

Preparation Time: 1 Hr 55 Minutes

26. Cuban Sandwiches Pinwheel Recipe

These are traditional Cuban sandwiches with flour tortillas, cream cheese, salami, and green onion wrapped to make a fun appetizer. The sandwiches are a great way to enjoy a picnic or relish lunch at the beach.

The best flavors of a classic Cuban sandwich with all the ingredients are layered in crescent pinwheels for a tasty crowd favorite.

The slow-cooked pork with mojo marinade makes it extra juicy, tender, and flavorful. They give these roll-ups the authentic taste that makes them so tasty.

Serve these with a side of spicy maple-mustard sauce for dipping.

Calories Per Serving: 86

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

27. Cuban Deviled Eggs

The mouths watering cheesy eggs are fit for spring or summer. Unlike many deviled egg recipes, they do not combine hot spices but use other fresh ingredients to create a creamy, flavorful, healthy appetizer.

With simple ingredients, these deviled eggs are a family favorite and are always a welcome addition to any party spread.

Flavor the creamy yolk filling with dry mustard, onion powder, turmeric, paprika, and pepper. The filling will blend beautifully with the egg yolk for a delicious snack. People love to include these in their party menu for a tasty start to the evening.

Calories Per Serving: 440

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

28. Cuban Beef Pastries (Pastelitos de Carne)

The perfect Cuban savory Pastelitos de Carne or the beef pastries are sweet pastries for a special occasion. Fill them with beef peccadillo puff pastry, brush them with simple syrup, cook them in a sofrito of peppers and onions, and tuck them into the pastry.

You can easily make it at home with puff pastry dough. Add raisins, capers, and olives to a simmering pot of ground beef. Cut into smaller rounds and let the crowd enjoy it!

Calories Per Serving: 332

Preparation Time: 1 Hr 10 Minutes

29. Deviled Crab Croquettes

Are you aware that deviled crab recipes have been around for generations?

This appetizer is a delicious way to enjoy the Blue crab. You can sauté the crab meat with seasoning, make small rugby football-type rolls, cover with bread crumbs, and fry deep.

You can top the mixture with buttery breadcrumbs instead of including them in the mixture. Then, bake them to get a delicious appetizer for a perfect evening.

Deviled crab also makes a beautiful first course. Serve it with a green salad or green vegetables.

Calories Per Serving: 401

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

RELATED: 25 Cuban Breakfast Recipes for classic times!

30. Cuban Beef And Zucchini Kebabs With Mojo Sauce

The kebabs are a nice mix of meat and vegetables. You can quickly grill them with other ingredients to prepare a tasty appetizer.

Whisk the garlic paste with orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and oregano in a bowl and preheat. Arrange the beef pieces on the skewers, put them on the baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Thread zucchini onto skewers to grill the slices and transfer them to the baking sheet. Brush the beef and zucchini with oil and grill them. When done, transfer to a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Apply the sauce to beef and zucchini and serve.

Calories Per Serving: 308

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

31. Sopa De Platano

Plantains are versatile and a staple in Hispanic cuisine. 

The thick and starchy Sopa de platano soup is famous in Caribbean cuisine. Each island has its Recipe, but the primary ingredient is green plantains and broth from beef or chicken.

In some places, people chop the plantains into chunks to boil them in the broth while others grate them.

The ingredients are few and simple, making plantains fill the soup with flavor and shine. Garnish the soup with chopped cilantro and crushed plantain chips. Serve it with lime wedges and lime juice. 

Calories Per Serving: 219

Preparation Time: 1 Hr 10 Minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Unique About Cuban Appetizers?

Diverse cultures influence Cuban appetizers. The main influences are from Spanish, African, and Caribbean cultures.

This combination of various flavors and simple recipes that include indigenous tropical vegetables and foods is the most precious treasure of Cuban food. Each Cuban appetizer unfolds a unique and unforgettable flavor and story with it.

What Is The Main Spice In Cuban Appetizers?

Cuba is a land of many unique dishes, including Cuban appetizers. The main ingredients of Cuban appetizers are spices like cilantro, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. These ingredients are an essential feature of savory Cuban cooking.

You can find these spices in every Cuban kitchen. Onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, beans, and rice are the most common vegetables, legumes, and grains.

31 Enriching Cuban Appetizers For A Perfect Party

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Recipe Video

Jess Smith