What Is Recao Verde

Recao Verde is a flavorful and versatile sauce that originates from Panama and is widely used in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine. This unique sauce adds a burst of distinctive flavors to a variety of dishes, enhancing the culinary experience in delightful ways.

Made with a combination of ingredients including culantro, cilantro, parsley, thyme, basil, garlic, onions, and optional tomatoes, Recao Verde brings a vibrant and aromatic taste to the table. It’s the culantro leaf, which gives the sauce its name and is the star ingredient, that truly sets Recao Verde apart.

Whether you choose to make Recao Verde at home with fresh ingredients or purchase it pre-made, you’ll discover that it is a vital component in traditional Panamanian recipes. The preparation process can be easily adjusted to suit your personal preferences, allowing you to create a sauce that perfectly complements your dishes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Recao Verde is a flavorful and versatile sauce used in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine.
  • It is made with ingredients like culantro, cilantro, parsley, thyme, basil, garlic, onions, and optional tomatoes.
  • The culantro leaf is the main ingredient that gives Recao Verde its unique taste.
  • Recao Verde can be made at home or purchased pre-made.
  • It is a vital component in traditional Panamanian recipes and can be adapted to suit individual preferences.

The Distinction Between Recao Verde, Chimichurri, and Sofrito

Recao Verde, Chimichurri, and Sofrito are three popular green sauces that add a burst of flavor to dishes. While they share similarities in terms of ingredients, each sauce has its own origins and unique characteristics.

Origins and Culinary Uses

Sofrito is a Puerto Rican sauce that serves as a flavor base in many traditional dishes. It is made by sautéing a combination of onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, and herbs in oil. Sofrito is versatile and adds depth of flavor to soups, stews, rice dishes, and more.

Chimichurri, on the other hand, is of Argentinian origin and is commonly used as a marinade or sauce for grilled meats. It is made with a blend of parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and spices. Chimichurri adds a tangy and herby flavor to grilled steaks, chicken, or vegetables.

Recao Verde, also known as Culantro Sauce, is the flavoring base of many Panamanian dishes. It is made with culantro (a herb similar to cilantro but with a stronger and more distinct flavor), cilantro, parsley, garlic, onions, and other herbs and spices. Recao Verde enhances the taste of meat, poultry, fish, rice, beans, and other traditional Panamanian recipes.

Similarities and Differences

While these three green sauces share common ingredients like herbs and garlic, there are notable differences in their preparation and flavor profiles.

Green Sauce Origin Main Ingredients Culinary Uses
Recao Verde Panamanian Culantro, cilantro, parsley, garlic, onions Enhances Panamanian dishes, such as rice and beans, poultry, and fish
Chimichurri Argentinian Parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and spices Marinade for grilled meats, sauce for roasted vegetables
Sofrito Puerto Rican Onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and spices Flavor base for soups, stews, rice dishes, and more

While the specific ingredients and proportions may vary, these green sauces aim to enhance the flavors of the dishes they are used in. Some chefs use the names interchangeably, while others argue that certain ingredients are exclusive to one sauce. Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference and adherence to the traditional recipes.


Recao Verde

The Significance of Culantro in Recao Verde

In the world of culinary delights, the key ingredient that sets Recao Verde apart is culantro. While often mistaken for cilantro, culantro is an essential component that cannot be substituted. This flavorful herb, also known as recao leaf, holds immense significance in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine.

Unlike cilantro, culantro boasts longer and thicker leaves, making it easily distinguishable. But its divergence from cilantro goes beyond appearances. Culantro possesses a unique flavor profile that adds depth and character to Recao Verde, making it an indispensable element in this traditional sauce.

The heat resistance of culantro makes it particularly suitable for cooking. It can withstand high temperatures without compromising its flavor, allowing it to infuse dishes with its distinctive taste.


While cilantro is often used as an optional ingredient, culantro is the secret to achieving the authentic and robust taste of Recao Verde. Its presence enhances the overall flavor profile, giving the sauce a stronger and more defined taste.

Culantro Cilantro
Thicker and longer leaves Smaller and delicate leaves
Can withstand heat better Heat-sensitive
Unique and robust flavor Fresher and milder flavor

When preparing Recao Verde, it is essential to include culantro to achieve the intended flavor. Its unmistakable taste and heat resistance make it an irreplaceable ingredient in this beloved sauce.

Recao Verde Recipe

Looking to add some vibrant flavor to your dishes? Try making your own Recao Verde sauce at home! This versatile sauce allows for adaptability and personal preference, making it a go-to condiment for any culinary enthusiast.

When it comes to Recao Verde, using fresh ingredients is key. While exact measurements are not required, opting for fresh herbs and vegetables ensures the best taste and aroma. Here’s what you’ll need for the recipe:

  • Culantro
  • Optional cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes (if desired)
  • Green bell pepper

To prepare the sauce, start by finely chopping the herbs and vegetables. Mix them together in a bowl, ensuring all the flavors combine harmoniously. You can use a food processor or blender for a smoother consistency, if desired.

Recao Verde can be used in two ways: raw as a topping or cooked slowly over medium heat. The cooked version brings out even more flavor and depth. Serve it hot or allow it to cool down for later use.

Recao Verde Recipe

With its adaptability and fresh ingredients, Recao Verde can easily elevate your culinary creations. Whether you’re adding it to grilled meats, seafood, or even vegetarian dishes, the possibilities are endless. Get creative and experiment with different proportions and preparations to suit your taste.

Now that you have the recipe, it’s time to unleash your cooking skills and enjoy the vibrant flavors of Recao Verde. Bring a taste of the Caribbean and Latin American cuisine to your table with this delicious homemade sauce!

Culinary Uses and Storage of Recao Verde

Recao Verde is a versatile sauce that can elevate the flavors of various Caribbean and Latin American dishes. Whether used as a base or a topping, it adds an extra note of taste to plain meat and fish dishes, making them more exciting and flavorful.

One of the traditional recipes that Recao Verde complements well is Pernil, a delicious roast pork shoulder dish popular in the Caribbean. The sauce adds a unique burst of flavor to the succulent meat, creating a memorable dining experience.

Additionally, Recao Verde pairs perfectly with beans and rice, a staple dish in many Caribbean and Latin American cultures. The sauce enhances the earthiness of the beans and provides a refreshing contrast to the simplicity of rice, turning a simple meal into a delightful feast.

For those who enjoy hearty soups and stews, Recao Verde is a game-changer. Just a dollop of this sauce can transform an ordinary dish into a comforting and aromatic delight. The combination of herbs and spices in Recao Verde infuses the soup or stew with incredible flavors, making each spoonful a culinary adventure.

It’s important to note that Recao Verde is not limited to Caribbean and Latin American recipes alone. Its versatility allows it to be served with European or American dishes, providing a unique twist and introducing your taste buds to new dimensions of flavor.

When it comes to storage, Recao Verde can easily be preserved for future use. The sauce can be frozen in measured portions using ice cube trays, ensuring convenient and portion-controlled servings. Stored in the freezer, Recao Verde can maintain its freshness and flavor for up to 4 months.

To use the frozen sauce, simply heat oil in a pan, add the frozen cubes of Recao Verde, and stir until fully heated. The sauce will thaw and release its vibrant flavors, ready to be enjoyed in your favorite recipes.

Culinary Uses and Storage of Recao Verde

So, whether you’re preparing traditional Caribbean and Latin American dishes or experimenting with new flavors, Recao Verde is a culinary gem that enhances your cooking and transports your taste buds to new heights. Its versatility and storability make it a convenient and essential ingredient in any kitchen.


In conclusion, Recao Verde is an easy-to-make sauce that effortlessly enhances the taste of any dish. With its versatility, it can be used as a topping or incorporated into the cooking process to add a burst of flavor. Made with fresh ingredients, Recao Verde brings a unique and delicious touch to Caribbean and Latin American cuisine.

What sets Recao Verde apart is its adaptability, allowing for personal preferences when it comes to the ingredients and proportions. This versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of recipes, and it can even be used to bring a delightful twist to European or American dishes.

Not only does making Recao Verde at home guarantee a sauce perfectly tailored to your taste, but it also provides an opportunity for families to come together in the kitchen. The rewarding process of creating this flavorful sauce can be enjoyed by everyone, adding joy to every meal.

So why not give Recao Verde a try? Elevate your cooking to new heights with this easy-to-make, versatile sauce that enhances the flavors of your favorite dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting out, Recao Verde is sure to impress your family and friends with its exquisite taste.

Scroll to Top