A Colombian breakfast How-2 guide

August 21, 2006 in breakfast, Colombian Food, cooking, deep fry, Food Porn, How-2, latino, pork, recipe

Colombian Breakfast - 12

(Clockwise from top left: changua, arepa with queso blanco, pan de bono, and patacones – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

A Colombian breakfast is not just one thing, sort of like you might think a proper English fry up would be. I think that a Colombian breakfast can actually have many different possibilities limited only by the appetite, types of leftovers, and guided by the region of Colombia you are in/from.

This post discusses a breakfast that includes changua, arepas, pan de bono, and patacones. (I will talk about how to make each of those items below.) What you dont see is what you might have to drink with this meal. That could include aqua de panela, strong Colombian coffee, or even steaming hot chocolate. It could easily have been beans, rice, chicharrones, and fried eggs with a side of hogao. This breakfast is an amalgam of breakfasts I had as a kid at home and while on vacation in Bogota, Colombia.

This set of food may LOOK simple but it can take a while and lots of energy.

I would suggest starting with the Pan De Bono and I will cover that first.

Pan De Bono

Note: The translated ingredients and directions on the mix I show below are incorrect! I will give you the correct directions here in English.


  • 1 box of Pan De Bono mix
  • 3 cups grated fresh queso blanco (farmer’s cheese – do not try to substitute this. Go to a latino market and get it fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup milk


Grate the queso blanco with a fine grater. It is fragile and will crumble/grate easily. Do enough to equal 3 cups. Try to buy enough so that you can eat some slices of it later.

Colombian Breakfast -3: pan de bono - 2

(Package of queso blanco – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Colombian Breakfast -4: pan de bono - 3

(Block of queso blanco – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Colombian Breakfast -5: pan de bono - 4

(Grated queso blanco – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Pour the mix, grated cheese, milk, and butter and knead until it comes together into a smooth dough.

Colombian Breakfast -2: pan de bono - 1

(Pan De Bono Mix – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Colombian Breakfast -6: pan de bono - 5

(Pan De Bono dough ready for forming – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Pinch off small balls and then knead a bit more and then roll out into little snakes about 3.5 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Gently pinch the snake into a little circle and bake at 450 F on parchment for about 15 minutes.

Colombian Breakfast -5: pan de bono - 6

(One raw Pan De Bono circle ready to bake – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Colombian Breakfast -6: pan de bono - 7

(Pand De Bono circles ready to bake – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

While baking these circles will puff up and then brown. Remove and cool. Enjoy!

Colombian Breakfast -7: pan de bono - 8

Baked Pan De Bonos – (Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Next you might want to fry up your patacones. I have covered that in a previous post called How-2 guide on how to make Platanos (fried plantains or tostones).


(Patacones – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Next you might want to make you arepas.

Colombian Arepas


  • 2 cups Masa Harina (very finely ground corn meal. Do NOT use regular corn meal. I talk more about what to use below)
  • 3 cups BOILING water (MUST be boiling)
  • 2 teaspoons salt


I suggest this brand of Masa Harina.

harina for empanadas

(Masa Harina – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

In a large bowl pour in 2 cups of harina, 2 teaspoons of salt and mix well. Add the 3 cups of boiling water and mix with a spoon. Before it cools much knead it with your hands. My grandmother starts kneading almost right away with her heat-tolerant asbestos hands! I cant do that so I let it cool a bit.Knead into a rubber not overly sticky ball. If its very sticky add more harina. I had to do that and feel that I need to work more on my technique!

Colombian Breakfast - 9: arepas - 1

Arepa dough, a bit sticky – (Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Form the dough into little patties and then either grill or cook in a well seasoned cast iron pan. Its ok if the interior is a bit moist. These can burn easily and dry out easily. I like them toasty, adds nice flavor.

Colombian Breakfast - 10: arepas - 2

(Cooked Colombian Arepas – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

You can serve them with butter, slices of queso blanco, or even guava paste.

arepa - alternative PS process

(Arepa with queso blanco and cilantro – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Here is a shot of a package of Guava Paste (super sweet).

Colombian Breakfast - 8

(Guava Paste – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Colombian Breakfast - 11: arepas - 3

(Arepa with guava paste – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

Ok, now you have all the sides to the main part of the breakfast, Changua! This is a very rich concoction of milk and eggs that is quite filling and very welcome in the morning. My father ADORED changua and this dish reminds me so much of him that I actually feel sad when I think of it, make it, and eat it. I can still see him bending over a fresh bowl of changua, beaming with joy, inhaling the scent and blissing out on the flavor and the memories from Colombia. We lost my father in 1999 to brutal early onset Alzheimers Disease.

Colombian Changua


  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 or 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup diced onions (I used vidalias)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Dash of cominos
  • diced green onions, to taste
  • diced cilantro, to taste


Melt butter in a large milk-boiling-friendly pot, add onions and cominos. Saute on low heat until golden brown.

Add 4 cups of milk and bring to a rolling simmer (do not boil so hard that it boils over, that only puts you in a bad mood).

Once up to the boiling simmer add eggs Allow to simmer for between 5 and 10 minutes (some people like the egg well cooked, others like it barely cooked at all).

Add diced green onions and cilantro to serving bowls and then ladle out servings that include eggs and plenty of broth.

Enjoy with all the sides you made all morning long and then collapse on the couch for a leisurely nap.

Colombian Breakfast -1

(Everything together – Copyright © 2006 Nika Boyce)

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