30 Super Healthy Vegan Peruvian Recipes (2024)

These healthy vegan Peruvian recipes will take your tastebuds on a tour to the South American nation!

By Lora O’Brien

People, Peru is having a moment. Tourists are flocking there en masse to try ayahuasca, shop baby alpaca sweaters, see Machu Picchu, and of course, to eat tons of delicious Peruvian food.

Cuisine here is different from other Latin American countries, thanks to a culturally diverse population, an abundance of fresh, natural ingredients and of course, creative and talented chefs.

Speaking of which, we went all the way to the Sumaq Hotel, a stunning luxury property just at the base of the cloud forest surrounding Machu Picchu, to talk about food with their top rated chef, Carlos Pardo Figueroa.

The Sumaq takes Peruvian cuisine seriously, offering guests cooking courses and altering menus to suit vegan and vegetarian needs. Some of the drool-worthy dishes we tried there included avocado risotto, mushroom ‘cappuccino’ and vegan ceviche.

Interestingly, the hotel incorporates indigenous Peruvian traditions into the experiences of its guests. For example, the culinary tradition of the Incas called Pachamanca, demonstrates how a traditional Andean meal is prepared. Hot stones are placed to form an underground oven for local ingredients such as potatoes, fava beans and herbs. All the ingredients are capped with large leaves before the ‘oven’ is sealed up with earth, cooking the food with the heat of the stones. When the meal is finally ready, a memorable lunch is shared with the Andean natives, and an offering to Pachamama is given in thanks for the succulent meal.

We asked Chef Figueroa (pictured above) to tell us more about Peruvian food traditions.

Chef Figueroa Talks Traditional Peruvian Food

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How would you define Peruvian food?

To define Peruvian gastronomy, we need to understand the geography and climate of Peru. We have three main regions: the coast, sierra and the Amazon. In these regions, we have 16 different altitudes, each one crowded with many micro climates. As a result, Peru has one of the largest collections of flora, fauna and foods in the world.

Our country was even named for this exceptional abundance. Peru comes from the Aymara word Pirwa, which the Aymaras (native Peruvians long before the Incas) used to call these lands. In their language, Pirwa meant “land of abundance” or “the storage of life.”

Add to this cultural influences. First, there are the Inca and pre-Inca cultures, our legacy. Then the conquerors who brought Spanish influence. With the Spanish came the Africans as slaves, adding their culture. Later, Chinese labourers replaced the Africans, and then we had many immigrants fleeing the World Wars, especially Japanese and Italians. As a result, we have many different cultural influences that have shaped the cuisine of our country.

What are the essential herbs in Peruvian cooking?

We use native herbs including muña (a kind of mint), chincho, paico and huacatay. We refer to them as “Andean herbs” Another main herb is cilantro and, in some cases for beverages, lemongrass. A curious point: we give more importance to aji (chili) than herbs.

What are some classic vegetarian Peruvian dishes?

  • Ceviche
  • Pachamanca (veggies cooked in an earthen pot)
  • Stewed quinoa, as well quinoa in salads
  • Papa a la huancaina y ocopa arequipeña (potatoes in chili cream)

What exactly is ceviche?

Ceviche is normally fish “cooked” in a marinade of lime juice with salt, chili, cilantro, onion and often other ingredients. Since the marinade for ceviche is vegan, we can substitute fish with any tender vegetable. I prepare Andean mushrooms ceviche, artichoke ceviche, confit tomatoes ceviche and other versions.

The “sauce” or marinade for the ceviche is the result of the fish protein cured with lime juice and salt. We normally add to this sliced red onion, minced aji limo (chili) and chopped cilantro. The juice that results from this marinade has a strong salty-acid flavor, called “leche de tigre” (tiger’s milk). As the protein cures in the lime and salt, it starts to turn into a white milky colour. And when you taste it the flavour is so intense, it makes you “roar like a tiger.”

20+ Vegan Peruvian Recipes

If you’re not able to travel to the Sumaq yourself to indulge in Peru’s legendary fusion cuisine, at least try to make some vegan Peruvian recipes at home, using ingredients native to this mystical nation. Here, we’ve found some amazing vegan Peruvian recipes that will inspire you to book a ticket and hop on a plane to Cusco!

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1. Peruvian Hot Chocolate

So, what makes hot chocolate Peruvian, I hear you ask? Well, it’s infused with both allspice and cinnamon, giving it a wonderful flavour that kicks it up a gear from your typical hot chocolate recipe. To make it vegan, sub in any ‘mylk’ you like for milk, and instead of condensed milk, use condensed coconut milk (recipe here if you can’t find it). Yum!

Get the recipe here.

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2. Peruvian Chicha Morada

A drink made from…corn. Okay, so I was dubious at first, too. But not anymore! That gorgeous colour comes from Peruvian purple corn that has been dried out. The corn is then placed into a pot with water, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and the skin (yep, the skin) of a pineapple and left to simmer for 45 minutes. Once finished, simply add some fresh lime and sugar, and you’re left with a beverage that is subtly sweet and mighty refreshing.

Get the recipe here.

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3. Peruvian Quinoa Porridge

Amaranth is a superfood. It’s also one of the world’s oldest grains, so add a little bit of history into your bowl of porridge! You can keep it as simple as you wish or jazz it up a little. I’d definitely recommend adding in berries and pomegranate seeds. It looks great, but tastes even better. P.S. Switch out the honey for maple syrup or agave to make it fully vegan.

Get the recipe here.

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4. Maple & Orange Amaranth Granola

Once cooked, amaranth has a huge amount of nutritional value and is an excellent source of both protein and fiber, so using it to make granola is a great way to start your day and get your engine running. The amaranth is toasted in this granola and tastes similar to an oatmeal cookie, and it’s delicious! Enjoy with some coconut yogurt for a quick yet fueling go-to breakfast.

Get the recipe here.

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5. Herb & Garlic Amaranth Crackers

This recipe calls for amaranth flour to create crackers that are crispy, have a slight nutty taste infused with both herbs and garlic, and I won’t lie to you – you’ll struggle to keep your hands off of these when they come out the oven. Use them to dip in some of the gorgeous recipes further below . . .

Get the recipe here.

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6. Lima Bean Hummus

I’m a huge hummus lover – but sometimes it’s nice to move away from the chickpeas. Here, the traditional Lima beans (named after Peru’s capital city, of course, and also known as fava beans) add a really buttery texture, making the hummus both smoother and creamier than you’d expect!

Get the recipe here.

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7. Quinoa Soup

This is one of the most common vegan Peruvian recipes! It’s packed with flavour, veggies and protein. It’s also pretty easy to make! What more could a hungry vegan ask for?

Get the recipe here.

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8. Tamalitos Verdes

Fresh corn and cilantro leaves are the base ingredients you’ll need to make this super comforting dish. In Peruvian cuisine, it’s enjoyed as either a light appetizer or side dish. I gotta tell you – it’s YUM! Green corn husks are used as a wrap in this recipe, but remember to clean them beforehand. DO NOT boil them. You want to maintain as much flavour as possible.

Get the recipe here.

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9. Charred Broccoli & Tofu Stuffed Avocados

I told you avocados would feature often in vegan Peruvian recipes, and we’re mighty glad they do! Charred avocados are next level. And stuffing them is a great way to turn an avo into a main dish. You’ll find plant-based protein in this recipe from the tofu alongside an abundance of veggies such as broccoli and red onions.

Get the recipe here.

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10. Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, called camote in Peru, are grown locally and used in tons of dishes. These are stuffed with so much goodness: quinoa, red onions, avocado cream, and more!

Get the recipe here.

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11. Avocado Risotto

Rice dishes are another of the most popular vegan Peruvian recipes. And this one is really interesting! It incorporates avocado instead of dairy to make the rice creamy. Garlic, lemon and herbs make this dish extra tasty.

Get the recipe here.

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12. ‘Cream’ of Mushroom Soup

Mushroom soup usually has tons of milk, cream and/or cheese. So when you think of making a vegan version is feels almost impossible. Until now! In fact, this mushroom soup is SO creamy you’ll even have those dairy-lovers among us disbelieving this is 100% vegan.

Get the recipe here.

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13. Peruvian Quinoa Stew

Many vegan Peruvian recipes use quinoa in innovative ways. And this one is no exception! It’s easy to make: once the prep is over, you can pretty much leave this to cook for around fifteen minutes, and when you go back it’s done. Magic! And just look at all that vibrant colour from those veggies….

Get the recipe here.

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14. Arroz Tapado

This elegant dish normally contains meat on a bed of rice, ‘topado’, or topped, with more rice, plus cilantro or shaved red onion. Here, mushrooms take the place of meat. There is a boiled egg in this recipe, but if you’re not ‘vegg-an,’ you can just eliminate it – no biggie.

Get the recipe here.

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15. Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Is there anything better than a wonderfully creamy, warming soup? No wonder one of the most popular vegan Peruvian recipes is fresh pumpkin soup. It’s often served up with chopped cilantro and sunflower seeds on top. You can use pretty much any kind of squash you like for this, but butternut would be my first choice.

Get the recipe here.

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16. ‘Lomo’ Saltado Risotto

Whilst a traditional lomo saltado (stir fried beef) would be served with french fries and fluffy white rice, Peruvian cuisine has become somewhat more refined over the years. So no surprise that this version features risotto. The creamy rice infuses the stir-fried veggies with an unexpected burst of flavour. Portobello mushrooms make the perfect ‘lomo’ meat substitute in this dish.

Get the recipe here.

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17. Raw Tallarines Verdes

This recipe is a raw take on a popular Peruvian dish. It’s essentially raw zucchini noodles with a pesto sauce. Making your own sauce from scratch is not only easier, but heaps healthier! Instead of cheese, cashew nuts add a wonderful texture.

Get the recipe here.

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18. Vegan Papa a la Huancaina

Papa a la Huancaina is a Peruvian dish of spicy creamy cheese sauce over boiled potatoes. In this recipe, the cheese is made from seeds, veggies and spices, making it 100% vegan friendly. And the creamy sauce goes oh so well with the potatoes! This is a dish you’ll want to make again and again, believe me.

Get the recipe here.

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19. Papa Rellena (A Thousand & One Stuffings)

This is a vegan take on the typical recipe that calls for meat and dairy. Papa rellena is a baked potato dough that’s stuffed with a filling and then deep fried. But of course, you can bake them if you prefer. This is another of those vegan Peruvian recipes that calls for lots of tasty ingredients, from tomatoes and peppers to mushrooms and avocados.

Get the recipe here.

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20. Ceviche de Mango (Mango Ceviche)

We couldn’t do a list of vegan Peruvian recipes without a ceviche! Here, fish is replaced by juicy mango! The fruit is then beckoned by the onion, spicy chilies, a little drizzle of lime juice and a fluttering of cilantro. This is a really light yet super delicious dish you’ll find yourself making into the foreseeable future.

Get the recipe here.

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Lora O'Brien

Food Editor at Eluxe Magazine

After graduating in Journalism from the University of Greenwich, Lora worked for Sugar and Healing Lifestyles magazines in London before being hired to write about food for Eluxe. She’s recently become a new mom to baby Lulla, and is writing a blog about the experience of being a new mom. See more about Lora here.

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30 Super Healthy Vegan Peruvian Recipes (2024)
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