5 Salvadorian Holiday Appetizers to Please Any Crowd

The holidays are here, and that means holiday gathering season is about to kickoff. From friends to family, and even workplace gatherings, there’s no shortage of events this time of year. However, if you’re invited to attend one of these gatherings, it’s always good practice to arrive with your hands full! Here at California Burritos, our team is excited to share with you a few of our favorite Salvadorian cuisine appetizers bringing us back to traditions and memories of our childhood. We hope you enjoy them.


Yuca Frita (fried cassava)

Yuca is the edible root of the cassava plant and used in similar ways as the potato. Thus, fried yuca is a quick solution similar to a thick-cut french fry. However, that would be boring, and Salvadorian cuisine is anything but boring. These “fries” are traditionally topped with beans and cheese and served hot with aji chili pepper sauce.


Pupusa (tortilla dish)

As one of the most popular and authentic dishes among Salvadorian cuisine, one can’t go wrong with Pupusa. This thick corn or rice flatbread is stuffed with cheese, ground chicharron (pork), and fried loroco. However, customizing the ingredients allows Pupusa to become the perfect dish for anyone, including vegetarians. Resembling a small pancake, Pupusa can be made as bite-sized appetizers.

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This simple cabbage salad can be whipped up in a rush and will provide guests with plenty of flavor. The incorporation of white vinegar gives this salad the mouth-watering twist that pairs perfectly atop pupusa.



If you’re looking for an appetizer of substance, this one is for you. These deep fried half-moons are similar to an empanada and can easily be eaten without utensils. Although pasteles are traditionally filled with meat, native spices, and finely chopped vegetables, they can easily be customized to satisfy your crowd.


Empanadas de Leche

Since we mentioned them, this Salvadorian version of the empanada will have your sweet tooth thanking you. Ground plantain is shaped into oval balls and stuffed with vanilla custard before hitting the deep fryer. Rolled in sugar and served ware, these empanadas are sure to go down in history.

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Now most of us hear this word and think of a freshly chopped green salad. However, ensalada is El Salvador’s drink of choice. And the best part, you can make it ahead in party-sized containers. This refreshing blend of chopped pineapple, mango, and oranges is combined with pineapple juice, lemon, and water. Depending on the type of crowd, adult variations can quickly be created.


From all of us here at California Burritos, we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season. Be sure to make time to visit us for authentic Salvadorian cuisine sure to melt away the stresses of the day!



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