Cuban breakfast foods can range from sweet to savory, and can be as simple as toast with coffee!
As a dietitian, I know how important breakfast is to start your day! My clients who eat breakfast have better energy throughout the day, and fewer cravings later in the day.
And as a proud Cuban-American, I know how a traditional Cuban breakfast can start your day with a smile! So if you’re looking for breakfast ideas with your favorite Cuban flavors, keep reading.
I’ve rounded up 7 of the most common Cuban breakfast foods, shared some of my favorite recipes, and also included a few nutrition tips!
A batido is a shake or a smoothie. Batidos are typically made with milk and fruit. There are all sorts of fruit flavors of batidos, as well as the popular batido de trigo (wheat shake).
Is a batido enough for breakfast? That depends on your individual needs!
If you use cow’s milk or yogurt, your batido will have protein. This will help you stay full and make the batido more satisfying. If you’re lactose intolerant you could try soy milk, or add another protein on the side (like an egg). Note oat and almond milk are not high in protein.
Batido de trigo (wheat shake) by A Sassy Spoon
Batido de bomba (papaya shake) by iCuban
2. Rice and beans
Cuban black beans and rice is my all time favorite breakfast. Typically, you would have rice and beans for breakfast if they were leftovers from the previous day’s lunch or dinner. Leftovers can be for breakfast, too!
Nutrition tip: add avocado
Rice and beans make a great breakfast because the beans provide fiber and protein, helping you stay full and energized throughout the morning. Black beans are also high in antioxidants!
To make the meal last even longer, add a few slices of avocado. The extra fat and fiber will keep you full until lunch!
Congri by Stella n Spice
3. Basic Cuban Breakfast
There’s no formal name for this, but a very typical Cuban breakfast may consist of any combination of the following:
- Pan con mantequilla (bread with butter)
- Fresh tropical fruit like papaya, guava, and more
- Fresh fruit juice
Think of it as a continental breakfast–Cuban style!
Add a few bites of cheese for some extra protein.
4. Tortilla Española
Tortilla española is closer to a potato omelet than a Mexican tortilla.
This omelette makes a great breakfast. It can be eaten hot or cold, and is easy to meal prep. Need more veggies?
While tortilla española is traditionally made with potatoes, a common Cuban variation features plantains instead of potato.
Tortilla española pairs well with a simple side salad or avocado slices.
Spanish tortilla recipe by Spanish Sabores
Tortilla de plátano recipe by Qué Rica Vida
5. Huevos enchilados
There are plenty of egg dishes in Cuban food, all of which can be a great breakfast option (see tortilla española above).
Huevos enchilados can be a great option because they come in a sofrito sauce which can add extra veggies, vitamins and minerals to your breakfast.
This dish is fairly similar to shakshuka, or huevos ahogados!
Serve over a half-cup serving of rice for a complete meal.
Huevos enchilados by iCuban
6. Pastelito de guayaba
There are plenty of delicious pastries in Cuban culture. But perhaps one of the most iconic is the pastelito de guayaba, filled with guava paste. Some varieties also feature cream cheese!
While pastelito de guayaba is often served as a dessert or an afternoon treat, it’s not unheard of to see it at breakfast time with a café con leche (below).
I’m a believer in all foods can fit! To make a guava pastry into a balanced meal, pair with some protein like milk or an egg. My favorite combo? A veggie egg scramble, a café con leche, and a pastelito de guayaba.
Pastelito de guayaba recipe by Latina Mom Meals
7. Café con leche
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting café con leche on its own is enough for breakfast. But this is such an icon of Cuban culture it deserved its own spot.
Plus, a typical café con leche may have around 4-5 grams of protein. This can make it an easy way to get a little bit of extra protein at breakfast.
Serve with food! Café con leche on an empty stomach may not feel the best.
Café con leche recipe by My Big Fat Cuban Family
If you’re looking to start your day with a delicious Cuban breakfast, look no further than these 7 ideas! From savory egg dishes to sweet pastries, Cuban food has plenty of breakfast options.
As a dietitian, I help Latinos incorporate their favorite cultural foods into a healthy diet. Start your journey with my free 5-day Latino meal planner tool. Sign up below to get your copy!