Chef Jami Erriquez turns the guava paste staple, found in most South Florida households, into guava bbq sauce, pastries and vinaigrette.

Growing up in South Florida, we made guava barbecue sauce, guava pasties and practically every other recipe with the word guava in the title. If your parents had guests over for coffee, you would see a plate of soda crackers topped with guava paste and cream cheese. Guava bbq sauce naturally makes sense for this barbecue season (and any bbq season actually).

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 guava bbq sauce, adding 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. 

Watch this for the Guava BBQ sauce instructions.

Guava BBQ Sauce

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 the guava bbq sauce on low for 25 minutes or until the bbq sauce has thickened. Stir often to prevent from burning. Taste for seasonings. Add the finished guava barbecue sauce to pulled pork, wings, or pork belly. 

Photo: Jami Erriquez
  • 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

Related Post: Chef Jami Erriquez’s Belly-Warming Fufu de Plátano Recipe

Guava & Cheese Pastry

(Note from El Equipo: We have eaten sixteen of the guava pastries in one sitting.)

  • 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. 

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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 Guava pastries have finished baking brush the simple syrup. Serve warm! 

guava pastries

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. 

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Jami Erriquez is a part-time chef, food stylist, and an avid cookbook collector from South Florida. She studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta, Georgia. Her love for cooking came from her father, Danny. She is a traveler, a yogi, and a beach bum, and has been eating Cuban sandwiches and listening to Celia Cruz since she was seven!. When Jami isn't in the kitchen she is binge-watching Golden Girls and hanging out with her family and pet cat, Irma.


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  • Would LOVE to try the guava bbq sauce, but many of us have Celiac disease and are unable to ingest gluten, and the recipe contains soy saw which has a lot of gluten. Is there another Glute Free BBQ sauce that you can share with us?

    • Hi Maria,
      I have been recently diagnosed with PCOS, I totally understand avoiding foods with soy and gluten. So I have found as a great substitute is coconut aminos. You can use this in place of soy sauce. You can find this in any grocery story near the soy sauce. Coconut aminos will give you that saltiness without the gluten. Let me know if this helps you. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

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