Savor Nicaragua: Nacatamal Recipe

Dish recipes: Nacatamal

Embark on a culinary adventure to Nicaragua with our Nacatamal recipe. This traditional dish, a hallmark of Nicaraguan cuisine, is a flavorful combination of masa, pork, and aromatic spices. Join us in crafting this authentic Nacatamal that encapsulates the richness of Nicaraguan flavors.


2 lbs (0.9 kg) Masa (corn dough)

1 lb (0.45 kg) Pork, diced

1 cup Rice, cooked

1 cup Potatoes, diced

1 cup Tomatoes, chopped

1 cup Bell Peppers, chopped

1 cup Onion, finely chopped

1 cup Olives, sliced

1 cup Raisins

1/2 cup Achiote Oil (annatto seed-infused oil)

2 tsp Ground Cumin

2 tsp Dried Oregano

Banana Leaves (for wrapping)

Salt and Pepper to taste


In a large bowl, mix masa with achiote oil, ground cumin, dried oregano, salt, and pepper, creating a smooth dough. In a separate pan, sauté diced pork until browned. Combine cooked rice, diced potatoes, chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, finely chopped onions, olives, and raisins in a mixing bowl. Lay out banana leaves and spread a portion of masa dough on each leaf. Add a generous amount of the rice and vegetable mixture, as well as the sautéed pork, onto the masa dough. Fold the banana leaves over the filling, creating a rectangular packet. Secure the Nacatamal with kitchen twine or additional banana leaves. Steam the Nacatamales for 2-3 hours until the masa is firm and fully cooked.


Serve the Nacatamales warm, unwrapping the banana leaves to reveal the savory filling. Enjoy with a side of Nicaraguan salsa or pickled onions.

Nacatamal is a celebration of Nicaraguan culinary heritage, bringing together masa, pork, and vibrant spices in a harmonious blend. It's a dish that resonates with the heart and soul of Nicaragua.