Traditional Ajiaco Cubano – Authentic Recipe

Greetings, my dear food enthusiasts! Today, I am delighted to share with you a delightful and hearty soup recipe straight from the heart of Cuba. This is a recipe for a traditional Cuban soup called “ajiaco.” This is a soup that is packed with flavor and deliciousness, and I guarantee that it will become one of your favorites.

When it comes to soups, ajiaco cubano is undoubtedly one of the most nutritious and fulfilling meals you could have. This soup has always been a staple in Cuban cuisine, passed down through generations by families who understand the importance of breaking bread together. With its unique blend of flavors, textures and aromas, there’s something about this recipe that transports you to Cuba’s stunning countryside – palm trees waving in the breeze as rhythms of salsa music float through the air.

I cannot overemphasize how much love goes into cooking a bowl of ajiaco cubano. The dish’s unique flavors and ingredients create memories that stay etched in your mind for years on end. What makes this recipe even more special is how versatile it is; It can be eaten in different ways, depending on what you prefer or what’s available to you.

As the sun sets on another beautiful day, join me on this culinary journey and let me guide you through the process of creating an authentic ajiaco cubano soup.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Ajiaco Cubano
Ajiaco Cubano

My friend, let me tell you about the Ajiaco Cubano recipe that will transport you to the beautiful country of Cuba. This dish is a flavorful and healthy Cuban soup that is brimming with root vegetables, chicken pieces, and corn. It’s a nourishing stew recipe that features fresh ingredients and spices like whole bay leaf, cumin, oregano, and garlic cloves.

You might be wondering what makes this Ajiaco Cubano so special? Well, let me give you a few reasons. For one, it’s a hearty soup that can easily feed a crowd. The recipe calls for 2 lbs of pork and 1 lb of beef jerky tasajo, cubed flank steak, which is enough to make four pounds of the Cuban country-style stew. So if you’re looking for a meal that will satisfy your hunger or want something to share with your family or friends, then this recipe is perfect for you.

Moreover, the Ajiaco Cubano recipe is incredibly versatile. You can easily adjust the ingredients or add in some of your favorite veggies for a unique twist on this healthy Cuban soup. It’s also great as a make-ahead dish which means you can prepare it in advance and store it in the fridge until it’s time to reheat and serve.

Most importantly, this dish holds a significant place in Cuban culture as it is traditional comida típica (typical food), often served during special occasions such as weddings and holidays. So not only are you enjoying an authentic dish from Cuba but also learning about their rich culinary history.

In conclusion, don’t settle for the same old boring soup recipes when you can learn how to make authentic Ajiaco Cubano soup from scratch. From its rich flavors and versatility to its cultural significance, this recipe has all the makings of a classic staple in your kitchen.

Ingredient List

 A bowl of warm and hearty ajiaco cubano, topped with a dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro.
A bowl of warm and hearty ajiaco cubano, topped with a dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Here’s a list of all the ingredients you will need to make this traditional Cuban soup, Ajiaco Cubano at home.


  • 1 lb fresh pumpkin, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 yucca root, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 ears corn, cut into fourths
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced


  • 2 lbs chicken pieces


  • 4 quarts water
  • Whole bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste


  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree

Toppings and Side

  • Cubed yellow plantains
  • Limes or oranges for squeezing over the top.

Note: You can find some of these ingredients at a Latin-American grocery store or depending on your location, they may be easily found in regular grocery stores.

The Recipe How-To

 This traditional Cuban dish is a perfect comfort food for chilly nights and cozy weekends.
This traditional Cuban dish is a perfect comfort food for chilly nights and cozy weekends.

This ajiaco cubano recipe is a hearty and delicious Cuban soup that’s perfect for cold winter nights. Made with root vegetables, chicken pieces, corn, and flavored with tomato puree, cumin, oregano, and green pepper, it’s a healthy twist on a popular Cuban country-style stew recipe. Here’s everything you need to know about making this quick and easy cubano recipe.**


  • 1 lb beef jerky (tasajo) or flank steak cubed
  • 2 lbs pork cubed
  • 2 ears corn cut into fourths
  • 1 yellow ajiaco cubano cut into large chunks
  • 3 yucca root peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 sweet potato peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 de cabeza de ajo (an entire head of garlic peeled)
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 4 cups of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a pressure cooker or large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil.
  2. Once hot, add the beef jerky (tasajo) or cubed flank steak and cook until browned. Remove and reserve.
  3. In the same pot, add the cubed pork and cook until browned. Remove and reserve with the beef.
  4. In the same pot, add the garlic head, chopped scallions, onion, green pepper, tomato puree, black pepper, salt, cumin, oregano leaves. Mix well and let simmer until fragrant.
  5. Add the water to the pot and bring to boil.
  6. Add the yucca root in first because it takes longer to cook than other vegetables. Let cook for about 10 minutes.
  7. Next, add the yellow ajiaco cubano, sweet potato, and corn. Let cook for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender.
  8. Return the cooked beef and pork back to the pot and mix well with the other ingredients.
  9. Cook for about 5 more minutes until everything is piping hot.
  10. Serve hot in a bowl with fresh lime or orange wedges on top and fried plantains on the side.

Tips for Perfect Results

  • For even more flavor, add a whole bay leaf while you’re simmering the onion, garlic, and green pepper mix.
  • This recipe can be prepared in slow cooker as well. Refer to keyword slow cooker for instructions.
  • Ajiaco cubano is traditionally made with a shredded chicken breast instead of beef or pork. Also, some recipes include Cuban chorizo or smoked sausage.
  • Don’t overcook the vegetables, they should be tender but not mushy.

Now that you have learned how to make an authentic a

Substitutions and Variations

 Sweet corn, tender chicken, and starchy potatoes all swimming together in a flavorful and spicy broth.
Sweet corn, tender chicken, and starchy potatoes all swimming together in a flavorful and spicy broth.

As a chef, I always encourage home cooks to experiment with their recipes and make them their own. The same goes for this Ajiaco Cubano recipe! While the ingredients list may seem long, don’t let that intimidate you. There are several substitutions and variations that can be made to suit your preferences or to work with what you have in your pantry.

Firstly, let’s talk about the root vegetables. While the recipe calls for fresh pumpkin, sweet potato, and yucca root, you can also use other starchy vegetables like potatoes or taro. In fact, you can also add other non-starchy vegetables like carrots or celery to the mix for added flavor and nutrients.

For the protein, chicken pieces are used in this recipe, but you can also use beef jerky (known as tasajo) or flank steak cubed. Pork is another option as it adds a tropical twist to the stew.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, skip the meat altogether and add more beans or legumes. While traditional Ajiaco Cubano doesn’t usually call for beans, it’s a great addition as it adds more protein and fiber to an already healthy soup.

Now let’s talk about the seasoning. The recipe calls for bay leaf, cumin, oregano, and tomato puree. If you don’t have those on hand, try using some other herbs like sage or thyme instead of oregano. You can also substitute tomato puree with tomato sauce or canned diced tomatoes.

Finally, for those who want more heat in their stew, add some yellow ajiaco cubano (Cuban chili pepper). You can also squeeze some lime juice on top of your soup to add some acidity or slice some sweet oranges to pair its sweetness with the soup’s savory taste.

Overall, feel free to experiment with this Ajiaco Cubano recipe and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 A blend of Caribbean and Spanish influences shine through in every bite of this aromatic soup.
A blend of Caribbean and Spanish influences shine through in every bite of this aromatic soup.

As soon as you take your first whiff of this ajiaco cubano, you’ll be whisked away to the vibrant and colorful streets of Cuba. With its rich history, unique culture, and diverse cuisine, Cuba has a culinary scene that’s as distinct as it is delicious. This Cuban soup is a healthy and hearty meal that calls for a perfect pairing.

For an authentic Cuban experience, pair this soup with sides like arroz con gandules, which is seasoned rice with pigeon peas or yucca con mojo, which are boiled cassava covered in garlic and citrus sauce. You can also serve it alongside plantains either fried or baked, pollo al horno (oven-baked chicken) or any sandwiches such as Cubano sandwich with roast pork.

The ideal drink to wash down this flavorful soup would be its classic companion and Cuba’s finest specialty drink – mojito. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making it at home using rum, lime juice, mint leaves, sugar syrup or even sugarcane juice.

With their sweet-tart flavor profile, limes and oranges are the perfect accompaniments for this vibrant soup. Simply slice them up and squeeze some fresh juice over your soup to add brightness and acidity to this hearty dish.

When serving the ajiaco cubano soup, slice up some extra scallions and onions to sprinkle over the top of each bowl for an added layer of flavor and freshness. The soup can also be garnished with some shredded cheese or even cilantro leaves.

This tropical stew is versatile enough to be served any time of year but is particularly comforting during cooler months. Whether enjoyed as a family meal or for entertaining guests at your next gathering, this Cuban country-style stew is sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the heart of Cuba’s bustling food scene.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Garnish your ajiaco with some sliced jalapeños for an extra kick of heat and tang.
Garnish your ajiaco with some sliced jalapeños for an extra kick of heat and tang.

Ajiaco Cubano is a hearty stew that gets better with time, making it the perfect dish to prepare in advance. The flavors of this dish meld together beautifully when cooked low and slow for an extended period. If possible, make the soup a day ahead of time to allow the flavors to intensify.

To store your Ajiaco Cubano, transfer it to an airtight container once it has cooled completely. You can keep this tasty soup in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze it for up to three months. When reheating your soup, keep in mind that it will continue to thicken as it cools. Add a little broth or water when reheating if necessary.

To reheat on the stovetop, simply place desired amount of soup over low-to-medium heat in a pot and cook until hot, stirring occasionally. You may need to add more water or broth if the mixture becomes too thick.

Alternatively, you can reheat small portions in the microwave. Place your portion into a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a lid, leaving one corner open for steam release. Heat on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

With proper storage and reheating techniques, you can enjoy the delicious flavors of this Cuban soup at any time while keeping its rich texture and nutritious value intact.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Serve with a side of freshly made avocado salsa and some crispy plantain chips.
Serve with a side of freshly made avocado salsa and some crispy plantain chips.

If you’re looking to create the perfect ajiaco cubano, here are a few tips that will help you achieve the best version of this Cuban classic.

1. Use fresh, high-quality ingredients

The key to any good recipe is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients, and the same is true for making ajiaco cubano. Be sure to choose fresh and ripe ingredients such as plantains, sweet potatoes, yucca root, corn, chicken pieces and make your own tomato puree.

2. Season it right

Ajiaco cubano features a blend of savory spices including cumin, oregano and garlic cloves that work together to give the dish its signature flavor. When seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper, start with small amounts and adjust to your preference to avoid over-salting or over-peppering.

3. Slow cook it

For the best results when making this soup, let it cook low and slow. Cooking in a slow cooker or over low heat for at least 2 hours is recommended to ensure that all flavors develop properly.

4. Cut vegetables properly

When cutting the root vegetables such as sweet potato or yucca root be sure to cut them into same size chunks so that they cook evenly in the soup.

5. Make it ahead of time

Ajiaco cubano tastes even better if you prepare it ahead of time! This tasty soup has complex flavors that will deepen even more if you let it sit for a day or two.

By following these tips for preparing your ajiaco cubano, you’ll be able to enjoy its wholesome and delectable taste without any hitches.


Now that you have learned how to make this hearty and healthy Ajiaco Cubano recipe, it’s time to tackle some commonly asked questions about this Cuban country-style stew. Here are some answers to help you troubleshoot any potential issues and ensure that your Ajiaco Cubano turns out perfect every time.

What is the history of ajiaco cubano?

The dish of ajiaco has a debated origin, with some attributing it to the Taino people, an indigenous tribe from the Caribbean. Ajiaco is known to have been served in Cuba as early as the 16th century, which predates its recorded origins in Peru and Colombia.

How many calories are in a Cubano ajiaco?

Health assessment customized for User’s submission: ajiaco cubano with 767 calories, undetermined nutrition grade, presence of questionable ingredients, and additional nutritional information.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, ajiaco cubano is not just any soup. It is a comforting and nourishing dish that has remained a staple in Cuban cuisine for centuries. With its healthy blend of root vegetables, chicken and beef or pork, this soup is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, protein and fuel for the body.

By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this recipe article, anyone can finally make their very own delicious and healthy bowl of ajiaco cubano at home. Whether you’re homesick for Cuban cuisine or simply wanting to experiment with new flavors in your kitchen, this dish is sure to delight your senses.

So why not take a culinary adventure to Cuba without leaving your home? I hope this recipe has given you the inspiration and confidence to try something new in your cooking repertoire. Trust me; once you taste this flavorful soup with its subtle hints of cumin, oregano and garlic, you will be hooked for life!

As the famous Cuban saying goes: “Así es como lo hace el jamaliche” – “This is how Jamaliche makes it”. So go ahead and give it a try! Your taste buds will thank you later.

Ajiaco Cubano

Ajiaco Cubano Recipe

Ajiaco is a Cuban stew consisting of different indiginous root vegetables. It is incredibly tasty and nutritious. A native dish that symbolizes who Cubans are as a people and how diverse their ethnic backgrounds came to be formed. According to famed Cuban scholar Fernando Ortiz, the Amerindians gave us the maiz (corn), papa(potato), malanga (arum), boniato(sweet potato), yuca (cassava),and aji(pepper). The Spaniards added calabaza(pumpkin) and nabo (turnip), while the Chinese added spices. The Africans contributed name(yams). He says, that Cubans are " a mestizaje(mixture) of kitchens, a mestisaje of races, a mestisaje of cultures, a dense broth of civilization that bubbles on the stove of the Caribbean." The Cuban ajiaco retains the unique flavors of its diverse ingredients, which enrich one another. Some ingredients may dissolve completely, while others may remain more distinct. Yet all provide flavor to this hearty simmering stew, which by its very nature is always in a state of flux. The cuts of meat all have something in common aside from being "Cuban-style-cut" they are cheaper cuts, as this is the dish of the "common man." I have used many sources to come up with this recipe for you, from books published in 1925 to ones that I found on the internet. Also, used A Taste of Cuba recipe by Sonia Martinez, from El,Ms Ramona V. Abella's "The Cuban Food Fairy", and Srta Maria Antonieta Reyes Gavilan y Moenk's "Delicias del la Mesa - Manual de Cocina y Reposteria". All you need with this dish is some good Cuban bread, a French baguette or even Foccaccia and some sliced fresh fruit, if you aren't too stuffed by this point! Cuban food is highly seasoned but never HOT! The ajiaco is/was made every Saturday(Before Castro)and was served as a noon meal which would have a longer lasting effect and in the evening they would have something light. This is very good and appetizing. Hope you will enjoy!
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Prep Time 1 hr 40 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Calories 767 kcal



  • 5 quarts water
  • 1/2 lb beef jerky (tasajo, found in Latin grocery stores)
  • 1 lb flank steak, cubed
  • 1 lb pork spareribs, separated
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken pieces


  • 2 ears corn, cut in fourths
  • 1 lb yellow taro root, peeled, cut in chunks (malanga, found in Latin grocery stores)
  • 1 lb yucca root, cut in chunks (cassave, fresh or frozen)
  • 1 lb sweet potato, peeled & cut in chunks (boniato, not yam)
  • 1 lb fresh pumpkin, peeled & cut in chunks (calabaza)
  • 1/2 lb white taro root, peeled & cut in chunks (name, found in Latin grocery stores)
  • 1/2 lb grey taro root, peeled, cut in chunks (guaqui)
  • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 2 fresh limes (for soaking the green plantains) or 2 fresh sour oranges (for soaking the green plantains)
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh coarse ground black pepper, to taste


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 scallions, sliced in 2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large green pepper, sliced in 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 cup tomato puree (Glen Muir)
  • 1 -2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 -2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 -2 whole bay leaf


  • Cut the beef jerky in large pieces and soak in water to cover.
  • Soak overnight.
  • SOUP:
  • Now drain jerky and place in a very large and deep stockpot.
  • Add the 5 quarts of water and the cut up hen or chicken.
  • Boil for one hour.
  • Add the flank steak and pork pieces.
  • Add the spare ribs.
  • Boil for one more hour.
  • Remove fat and froth that will rise to top.
  • While meats are cooking, make the "sofrito", peel and cut the "viandas" (vegetables).
  • Add all ingredients, except for seasonings, to sauté pan and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Then add seasonings and simmer about 5 minutes longer.
  • Discard the bay leaves.
  • When meats are tender, add the viandas, except ripe plantains and pumpkin.
  • Cook about one hour more.
  • Add the sofrito and cook another 20-30 minutes.
  • Add the ripe plantains and pumpkin and cook 30 more minutes or until pumpkin and plantains are tender.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • If broth is too thin, thicken by mashing some of the viandas in a little broth and adding it back to the pot.
  • Serve in a large soup tureen and give each guest a large, flat rimmed soup bowl.
  • You can place lime slices in little dishes along the table.
  • The ajiaco tastes really good with freshly squeezed lime juice, but let each guest decide if they would like to squirt their own.
  • This is so versatile, it can be served as a stew with rice and a salad of lettuce, tomatoe and cucumbers, or served with just the broth or served as is; meats and vegetables in a deep soup bowl.
  • Buen Provecho!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 824gCalories: 767kcalCarbohydrates: 88.5gProtein: 39.1gFat: 31.8gSaturated Fat: 10.9gCholesterol: 95.9mgSodium: 891.2mgFiber: 13.9gSugar: 14.2g
Keyword Caribbean, Cuban, Meat, Pork, Savory, Vegetable
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.