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Community Cocina: Colombian Bandeja Paisa

This past Thursday we had a great time cooking a big bandeja paisa together! We couldn't have cooked such a large dish without everyone's help. Thank you to everyone who came and supported us, and thank you to Chef Mira for guiding us through the process!

Thank you as well to the Orlando United Assistance Center for allowing us to use their space -- we are immensely grateful and we couldn't have these classes without the OUAC's generosity.

Here's the recipe so you can cook a delicious bandeja paisa too!


Colombian Bandeja Paisa

  • Prep time: 15 minutes

  • Cooking time: 70 minutes

Since bandeja paisa is a platter of different foods, I've arranged it for the different parts to go first, and then assembled last. Each component creates about 4-6 servings.

Frijoles Colombianos (Colombian-Style Beans)


  • 3 cups cranberry or pinto beans

  • ½ pound pork hocks

  • 6 cups water

  • 1 cup shredded carrots

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ green plantain, cut into ¼- inch

Guiso (Stew) Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chopped onions

  • 2 cups diced tomatoes

  • ¼ cup chopped scallions

  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Wash the beans and soak overnight in cold water. Drain the beans and place in a large pot and add the water and pork hocks. Over medium-high heat, bring the beans to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the beans to cook until almost tender, approximately 2 hours.

  2. When the beans are cooking, prepare the guiso. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat, add the tomatoes, onions, scallions, salt, garlic, cilantro and ground cumin and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. When the beans are almost tender, add the guiso, plantains, carrots and salt. Cover and cook for another hour or until the beans are fully cooked. (Add additional water as necessary).

  4. Add salt for taste and serve!

Arroz Blanco (White Rice)


  • 2 Cups long grain white rice, rinsed

  • 3/12 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon oil


  1. In a medium pot, place the rice and add the water, oil and salt.

  2. Bring to a boil for about 30 seconds, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes and serve.

Carne en Polvo (Powdered Beef)


  • 1 pound flank steak

  • 5 cups water

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 Scallions, chopped

  • ½ cup chopped onion

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • Salt

  • Pepper


  1. Place the flank steak in a plastic bag and add the garlic, scallions, onion cumin, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for about to 2 hours.

  2. In a medium pot, place the flank steak and water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat after reaching the boiling point to medium-low and cook the beef for about 1 hour or until the beef is fully cooked.

  3. Remove the beef from the water and set aside to let it cool (note: you can save the water used to cook the beef to make soup or just as a beef stock for other dishes).

  4. Cut the beef into chunks and place in a food processor. Process until the beef is of a powdered consistency and enjoy!

Chicharrón (Fried Pork Belly)


  • 1 ½ pounds pork belly with meat, washed and cut into 4 pieces

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups water


  1. Place the pork belly pieces, skin side down on a work surface and then make 1 ½ inch crosswise cuts on each piece, being careful not to cut through the skin.

  2. Rub the pork belly strips with baking soda and place in a medium saucepan. Add the water and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the water evaporates.

  3. When all the water is evaporated increase the heat to medium and cook the chicharrones for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden and crispy.

Hogao (Colombian Tomato and Onion Sauce)


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 cup chopped scallions

  • 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the tomatoes, scallions, garlic, ground cumin and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring until softened.

  2. Reduce the heat to low, add the salt and , cook for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened. Check and adjust the seasoning.

Once you've made all these parts, you're ready to assemble the platter:

Bandeja Paisa (Paisa Platter)


  • 1 serving Frijoles Colombianos

  • 1 serving Arroz Blanco

  • 1 serving Carne en Polvo

  • 1 serving (or more... nobody's watching!) Chicharrónes

  • 1 serving Hogao

  • 4 cooked chorizos (sausages)

  • 4 fried eggs sunny side up

  • 4 yellow plantains

  • Lime and avocado for serving


  1. Prepare the frijoles Colombianos, arroz blanco, carne en polvo, chicharrónes, and hogao (above).

  2. Fry the chorizos and eggs.

  3. Slice the yellow plantains into bite-size pieces and bake at 450°F for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Slice the avocado.

  5. To serve, put the hogao in a separate dish and all other ingredients on one big platter, or pour the hogao directly on the beans. Enjoy!

About Community Cocina Community Cocina is a multi-cultural education series that seeks to analyze the history and culture of the Latin American, Central American, and Caribbean regions by understanding their roots and exploring them through their cuisine, language, and music.

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