Growing up in South Florida, guava paste was a staple in most households. If your parents had guests over for coffee, you would see a plate of soda crackers topped with guava paste and cream cheese.
guava paste recipe
Photo: Jami Erriquez

So, what is guava paste?

Guava paste is this sweet, thick, and sticky guava puree, similar to membrillo. It’s packaged in a round tin or wrapped in plastic and is affordable and easy to find in supermarkets or online. It’s a popular ingredient in Latin and Caribbean desserts and can be used as a filling in empanadas, or melted down into a syrup with water and poured over pancakes or waffles, or to add some Latin flare to your cheese board. The possibilities are endless! 

I love to make my own barbecue sauce and add guava paste to the mix or to use it in a vinaigrette. Below are some recipes I created that will wow guests and help liven up a family dinner. 

Guava & Cheese Pastry

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed 
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature  
  • 1 8oz package guava paste 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup water 

Preheat oven to 350F. On a floured surface place puff pastry and roll out gently. Cut into 6 pieces. Do the same with the other puff pastry sheet. In a small bowl mix cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place mixture into a pastry bag or a zip lock, the edge cut, to create a tip. Cut guava into strips. Pipe the cream cheese mixture onto each square evenly. 

Place 3 to 4 pieces of guava strips no top of piped cream cheese.  Brush the edges with egg wash. Top with puff pastry square. Make two cuts in the dough and brush with egg wash. Transfer each square to a lined cookie sheet and let chill for 30 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry has puffed and turned a light golden color. 

Meanwhile in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Add sugar and water, to make a simple syrup. Cook until the sugar has completely dissolved and starts to slowly simmer around the edges. Remove from heat. Once the pastries have finished baking brush the simple syrup. Serve warm! 

Guava Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup guava paste (smash it into the measuring cup)
  • 1/4 tablespoons guava nectar  
  • 1/4 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or olive oil blend 
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher Salt & Ground pepper

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Toss all the ingredients into a blender, except the oil.  Blend together until everything combines. Next, carefully remove the lid while the blender is still on. Drizzle oil. Taste to for seasonings. This will keep for a week, also great on grilled pork or fish. 

guava paste barbeque
Photo: Jami Erriquez

Guava Barbeque Sauce

(See the video at the top of this page for the full instructions.)

  • 2 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup yellow mustard
  • ½ cup guava paste
  • 2 tablespoons grated red onion
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoke paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
guava sliced

In a medium sauce pan, on medium heat. Heat vegetable oil add grated onion.  Add the guava paste, soy sauce and vinegar. Cook until guava paste has melted down, 5 to 6 minutes. Next add ketchup, mustard and the rest of the spices. Cook on low for 25 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Stir often to prevent from burning. Taste for seasonings. Add to pulled pork, wings, or pork belly. 

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