Nestled between the sprawling countries of Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay has always been somewhat of an underdog. But this small country of 3.5 million citizens has a lot to offer. It’s safe, progressive and culturally sophisticated. It’s full of historic buildings, unique attractions, sandy beaches, sparkling blue waters and most importantly, delicious food. Uruguay cuisine is criminally underrated. Influenced by different cuisines from countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany, you’ll find that Uruguay recipes are a multicultural fusion of flavours.

We’ve put together some of our favourite Uruguay food recipes for you to try out at home. The base of the country’s diet is meat, mainly beef. That’s why we’ve chosen a recipe for chimichurri beef. Succulent beef is marinated in and served with chimichurri sauce, a speciality of Argentina and Uruguay. In fact, you’ll find plenty of Uruguay food recipes that include chimichurri either as a marinade or table condiment. Fresh parsley is whizzed together with shallot, ancho chilli powder, lime juice, parsley, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, mixed peppercorns and olive oil to form a bright and fresh sauce that pairs perfectly with meat.

What’s South American food without an empanada? This is one of our favourite Uruguay recipes to serve at dinner parties. Empanadas are a type of baked or fried turnover consisting of pastry and filling, and you’ll find them in street food stalls all over South America. Our recipe calls for tuna mixed with a zesty Chilean Alino herb blend (rosemary, saje, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, mint, oregano, lemon balm).

Last but not least, something sweet to finish off. When it comes to dessert, Uruguay food recipes don’t disappoint. From pastries and churros to cakes and cookies, some of the best Uruguay recipes are sweet. One particular dessert that stands out is flan de leche. This is a creamy egg and milk custard served in a sweet caramel sauce. It’s simple enough to make and is a real crowd-pleaser.