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Bandeja Paisa (Paisa Platter) Recipe

Bandeja Paisa Platter is like a big, delicious hug from Colombia. Families serve it during special times, and it’s a way of saying, “Come, sit, and enjoy life with us.” Each bite is like tasting a bit of Colombian history and tradition, passed down from one generation to the next. It’s not just a meal; it’s a celebration on a plate!

  1. Red Beans and Rice: Imagine a bowl of soft, tasty beans next to a pile of fluffy, white rice. They’re like best friends on the plate.
  2. Chicharrón (Fried Pork Belly): Think of crispy, salty bacon but on a whole new level. It’s pork belly cooked until it’s crunchy and delicious.
  3. Carne Molida (Ground Meat): Picture well-seasoned, juicy ground meat. It’s like the filling in your favorite tacos, only more Colombian.
  4. Fried Egg: Sunny-side-up eggs that are fried until the yolk is still a bit runny. The best part? When you cut into it, the golden yolk mixes with everything else.
  5. Colombian Chorizo: It’s a slice of flavorful sausage. A bit spicy, a bit smoky – it adds a kick to your taste buds.
  6. Fried Ripe Plantains: Think of banana, but sweeter and fried to perfection. They’re like a little bit of dessert on your plate.
  7. Avocado Slices: Creamy, green avocado slices. They’re cool and refreshing, balancing out the other bold flavors.
  8. Arepas or Cornbread: These are like little bread cakes. They’re there to scoop up all the tasty bits and add a bit of crunch.

Bandeja Paisa (Paisa Platter) Recipe



Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the Beans:
  • 1 cup dried red beans

  • Water for soaking

  • 4 cups water for cooking

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • For the Rice:

  • 1 cup white rice

  • 2 cups water

  • Salt to taste

  • For the Chicharrón (Fried Pork Belly):
  • 1 pound pork belly, skin-on

  • Salt to taste

  • For the Carne Molida (Ground Meat):
  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Additional Components:
  • 4 fried eggs

  • 4 slices of Colombian chorizo

  • 4 ripe plantains, fried

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • White corn arepas or cornbread

  • Optional Garnishes:
  • Chopped scallions

  • Chopped cilantro

  • Lime wedges


  • For the Beans:
  • Rinse the red beans and soak them in water overnight.
  • In a large pot, combine the soaked beans, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, about 1-2 hours. Drain any excess water.
  • For the Rice:
  • In a separate pot, combine rice, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
  • For the Chicharrón:
  • Score the pork belly skin with a sharp knife. Rub salt into the skin.
  • In a pan over medium heat, place the pork belly, skin-side down. Cook until the skin is crispy and the meat is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
  • For the Carne Molida:
  • In a skillet, sauté chopped onions until translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add ground beef, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through.
  • Assembling the Bandeja Paisa:
  • Arrange a portion of cooked red beans and rice on each plate.
  • Place a portion of carne molida (ground meat) next to the beans and rice.
  • Add a serving of chicharrón (fried pork belly).
  • Include a fried egg on top of the rice.
  • Place a slice of Colombian chorizo on the plate.
  • Add slices of fried ripe plantains.
  • Garnish with avocado slices.
  • Serve with white corn arepas or cornbread.
  • Optionally, garnish with chopped scallions, cilantro, and lime wedges.


  • Arepas or Cornbread: Traditionally, Bandeja Paisa is served with arepas or cornbread. You can make your own or purchase them from a store.
  • Chicharrón: Achieving crispy chicharrón requires scoring the pork belly skin and ensuring it cooks skin-side down initially.
  • Plantains: Fry the plantains until they are golden brown and slightly caramelized.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories1500
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 70g 108%
    • Saturated Fat 19g 95%
  • Sodium 1500mg 63%
  • Potassium 1200mg 35%
  • Total Carbohydrate 90g 30%
    • Dietary Fiber 15g 60%
    • Sugars 5g
  • Protein 50g 100%

  • Vitamin A 8000%
  • Vitamin C 30%
  • Calcium 200%
  • Iron 6%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Additional Information for Bandeja Paisa Platter:

  • The nutritional values are approximate and can vary based on specific ingredients and portion sizes.
  • Bandeja Paisa is a high-calorie dish, rich in protein and fats, making it a substantial and filling meal.
  • The high fiber content is mainly from beans and rice, contributing to digestive health.
  • The dish provides a significant amount of potassium, which is essential for maintaining proper heart and muscle function.
  • The vitamin A content is notable, especially from the avocado and plantains.
  • Iron content is contributed by the meats, particularly the chicharrón and chorizo.

Alterations and Modifications for Bandeja Paisa Platter:

1. Healthier Protein Options:

  • Change: Substitute traditional chicharrón (fried pork belly) with grilled or baked lean pork or turkey bacon.
  • How to Achieve: Marinate lean pork or turkey bacon with your preferred spices, then grill or bake until fully cooked. This reduces the saturated fat content.

2. Vegetarian Version:

  • Change: Omit the meat components or replace them with vegetarian alternatives.
  • How to Achieve: Use plant-based chorizo, grilled portobello mushrooms, or marinated tofu as protein alternatives. Forgo the traditional meat components to create a vegetarian-friendly version.

3. Whole Grain Option:

  • Change: Use brown rice instead of white rice for added fiber and nutrients.
  • How to Achieve: Substitute white rice with an equal amount of cooked brown rice. Adjust cooking times as needed.

4. Low-Carb Variation:

  • Change: Replace rice with cauliflower rice or a cauliflower mash.
  • How to Achieve: Grate cauliflower or use cauliflower rice as a base. Cook it briefly in a pan until tender. Season as desired.

5. Gluten-Free Version:

  • Change: Skip the arepas or use gluten-free cornbread.
  • How to Achieve: Choose gluten-free arepas or cornbread recipes using gluten-free flour or cornmeal.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Bandeja Paisa Platter:

1. Chicharrón (Fried Pork Belly):

  • Storage: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: While chicharrón is best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze leftovers. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag for up to 1 month.

2. Arepas or Cornbread:

  • Storage: Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate for longer shelf life.
  • Freezing: Wrap each arepa or slice of cornbread in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.

3. Colombian Chorizo:

  • Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Freezing: Portion chorizo into freezer-friendly bags. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

4. Red Beans and Rice:

  • Storage: Keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Divide into portions and store in airtight containers or freezer bags. Freeze for up to 2 months.

5. Fried Egg:

  • Storage: Best enjoyed fresh. If storing, keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
  • Freezing: Eggs do not freeze well on their own due to texture changes. It’s recommended to prepare fresh eggs when needed.

6. Avocado Slices:

  • Storage: Store sliced avocado in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day.
  • Freezing: Avocado texture changes when frozen. It’s best enjoyed fresh, but you can puree it and freeze in ice cube trays for later use in smoothies or sauces.

7. Fried Ripe Plantains:

  • Storage: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Freezing: Freeze individually on a tray and then transfer to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat in the oven for best results.


  • Ensure all components are completely cooled before storing or freezing.
  • Label containers with the date for easy tracking.
  • Reheat frozen components in the oven or on the stovetop for the best texture.
  • While freezing alters the texture of some components, it allows for convenient meal prep when done mindfully.

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