5 Meatless Salvadoran Meals

Vegetarian Salvadoran recipes for Lent

Carlos reminded me that yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Lent (“Cuaresma” in Spanish) is not something I grew up celebrating, but I know that many people do observe various traditions this time of year, such as eating meatless meals. I checked my recipe index and there are several options to choose from that fit this criteria, but I’ve chosen 5 of my favorites to recommend to you. Whether you’re celebrating La Cuaresma or just want to explore some vegetarian Salvadoran cuisine, these are some tasty meals to consider making and enjoying with your familia!

5 Meatless Salvadoran Recipes

casamiento1-302 Casamiento is a delicious marriage of beans and rice, best served with fried plantains and rich Salvadoran cream. Get the recipe here.

desayunouni1-302 Desayuno Universitario isn’t just for hungry university students on a budget. Beans spread on toasted french bread, topped with melted cheese and fresh salsa, make a satisfying and well-balanced meal for anyone. Get the recipe here.

latinaish_pupusas1-302 Pupusas are the national food of El Salvador and many varieties are completely vegetarian-friendly. Try pupusas de queso (cheese), pupusas de queso con frijoles (bean and cheese), or pupusas stuffed with cheese and shredded zucchini. Served with curtido, (the traditional pickled cabbage slaw), and a fresh salsa, even meat lovers will be begging for more. Get the recipe here.

platotipico-302 Plato típico is a traditional breakfast in El Salvador, but breakfast for dinner can be just as delicious. Fried sweet plantains, refried beans, scrambled eggs, Salvadoran cream, and warm, thick, corn tortillas fresh off the comal are perfect washed down with a cup of coffee. Get the recipe here.

rellenosdeejotes_latinaish3-302 Rellenos de Ejotes are a must for cheese lovers. Green beans are encased in slightly salty mozzarella, then dipped in a batter and fried to a golden brown. Serve with fresh salsa and rice and you’ve got yourself a complete meal, my friend. Get the recipe here.

Do you eat vegetarian meals once in awhile? What are your favorite meatless meals?


  1. Everything looks so good, Tracy! Although I’m not Catholic, I do celebrate La Cuaresma. I started to observe Cuaresma when we first moved to Mexico out of respect for my suegros’ beliefs, and now after 13 years it’s part of our family tradition.

    I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but the Desayuno Universitario looks and sounds like what we call Molletes. Love those for breakfast, especially on Fridays during Cuaresma. :) And those Rellenos de Ejotes are still on my list of recipes to try. Thanks for the reminder.

    Does Carlos observe La Cuaresma?

    • Hola Leslie! I’m not Catholic either but over the years I’ve come to celebrate some of the traditions as part of a family since Carlos and the boys are Catholic.

      Carlos isn’t super strict with most of his observances and eating meatless isn’t something he’s ever expressed an interest in doing, although his mother raised him to do this on certain days. He doesn’t have good memories of it – apparently his mother made a lot of fish and he got tired of it pretty quickly.

      As for Desayuno Universitario, yes, totally like Molletes :)

      When you make the Rellenos de Ejotes, let me know. Would love to know what you think!


  2. My mom also does this same recipe with guisquil aka chayotes. I like it better and it’s easier to hold together as the guisquil can be cut into flat round discs

  3. I picked out this sight to study for Christmas. Every year I study a different cuisine and cook the cuisine for my family of guys. My brother brought home pupusas the other day and they were delightful. I’m still trying to design a menu around them. Any suggestions on what Christmas dinner should be?

    • Hi Gina! What a unique and fun way to celebrate. The traditional Christmas meal for Salvadorans is tamales de pollo, or panes con pavo, or panes con pollo. If you want pupusas to be the main part of the meal instead, some good side dishes would be the salsa and curtido of course, but you could also serve frijoles molidos, yuca frita, and platanos fritos. To drink I’d serve horchata and/or sodas or coffee. For dessert either quesadilla or leche poleada.

      Hope that helps!

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