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Bandeja Paisa: Bring Colombia to Your Kitchen

By Katie Morgan

This hearty meal is a popular dish in Colombian cuisine. Traditionally served in a large tray to accommodate the amount of food, Bandeja Paisa is a perfect meal to share with friends and neighbors!  


Makes 4 servings

2 cups white rice   1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup oil  ½ teaspoon baking soda
 4 cups yellow onion, chopped (about 2 onions)  5 cups water
 1 large green bell pepper, chopped  1 cup corn flour
 1 tablespoon Achiote paste  4 ounces shredded asadero cheese or queso blanco
 5 cups plum tomato (about 4 tomatoes)  2 cups pinto beans (canned)
 5 garlic cloves, chopped  2 green plantains
 3 teaspoons ground cumin  4 chorizo sausages
 3 tablespoons salt  4 eggs
 ½ cup cilantro Pepper to taste
1 pound of ground chuck beef 2 avocados to garnish
2 pounds pork belly with meat 2 limes to garnish



  1. Cook white rice according to package instructions.
  2. Prepare the hogao: Heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add yellow onion, bell pepper, and Achiote paste. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Stir in plum tomatoes, garlic, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, and 1 ¾ teaspoons salt. Stir frequently until tomatoes break down and thicken. Remove from heat and add ¼ cup chopped cilantro.
  3. Cook the carne molida: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground chuck beef and cook until browned, stirring to break into pieces. Add in 1 cup of the Hogao previously prepared, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cumin. Stir often until beef is cooked throughout and well combined with Hogao.
  4. Prepare the chicharrones: Place washed pork belly skin side down on a work surface, cut into four even strips, and make light 1-inch crosswire cuts. Rub with baking powder and baking soda, making sure to cover evenly. Place pork belly in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook uncovered over medium-low heat until all the water evaporates. Once all the water has evaporated, increase heat to medium and cook the pork belly until it is golden brown and crispy.
  5. Make the arepas: Combine corn flour, asadero cheese or queso blanco, 1 cup warm water, ¾ tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough is smooth and soupy. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Shape dough into 4 balls and gently flatten each into a ½ inch thick disk. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook each disk until golden brown on each side.
  6. Drain and rinse pinto beans. Warm according to package instructions.
  7. Cook the plantains: Cut plantains diagonally into ½ inch thick slices. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook plantains in batches until golden brown. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with salt. Fry chorizo in a pan with ½  tablespoon oil on medium heat until cooked through.
  8. Fry the eggs: Grease large nonstick skillet and fry eggs over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until whites are set but yolk is still runny.
  9. Evenly divide eggs, chorizo, plantains, and carne molida among four plates. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, and lime. Serve arepas and remaining hogao on the side.


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