Garnaches are addictive!  Belizean garnaches are a popular, tasty appetizer for parties, or just as a snack.

Garnachas, as any Belizean knows, are a common snack or party food. I grew up eating them at recess while in primary school. Students could buy a garnacha for 15 cents each.  If you had a shilling you could get one garnacha and a ten cent ideal. Amazing.

Why are garnaches so great?

The simple stack of delicious ingredients are what make the Belizean garnacha a delicious salty, spicy, and creamy treat. The ingredients of a garnacha are also something that many people have on hand or can get readily.  See our recipes for the all the ingredients (except the cheese): Homemade Fried Tortillas, Black Beans, Cortido.  If you haven’t make garnaches yourself already, try making them for an appetizer or snack soon!  Leave us a comment, and tell us how the recipe worked for you!

Lactose free?

You can just leave off the cheese, but you might think that’s boring and sad.  There are many types of lactose free cheeses: vegan, soy and yogurt based.  Many of them aren’t very tasty, but we have found Go Veggie, Dairy Free Grated Topping to be a good dairy-free substitute for garnaches if you can’t just go cheese-less!

This recipe for Belizean garnaches will make about 12 garnachas or enough for 4 people. Maybe :).



Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Yields: 12 garnaches


  • Fried whole corn tortillas (see our recipe for Tortilla Chips!)
  • Black beans, blended (see our recipe for stewed black beans!)
  • Dutch “Hard/Red Back Cheese”, if you can't find this cheese, Asiago is a great substitution
  • 1 - large onion (see our recipe for cortido!)
  • 2 cups - distilled white vinegar
  • 1-6 - habanero peppers (to taste)
  • salt (approximately 1/4 tsp. per cup of diced onions)


  1. Fry your tortillas, this step can be done up to one day ahead. Fried tortillas should be stored in a air-tight container or bag. Heat vegetable or peanut oil. Stale tortillas work best, so if your tortillas are fresh, we recommend drying them in a warm oven spread out on the rack. Test the heat of the oil by placing one tortilla in the oil. hen it’s hot enough the chip will float immediately and bubble vigorously. Cooking time for a whole corn tortilla will vary depending on the heat. You are looking for nice golden color but don’t burn the tortillas.
  2. Make the blended black beans. Start with the <a href="">posuere</a>. Warm your beans on the stove. If the consistency of the beans is thin or watery, you will want to simmer them until they have a thicker consistency.
  3. While your beans simmer, make the cortido. Dice onion place in a glass jar or container and with distilled white vinegar.
  4. While your beans simmer, make the cortido. Dice onion place in a glass jar or container and with distilled white vinegar.
  5. Dice habanero, carefully. The oils from the habanero will burn your skin! Add habanero and salt to onion and vinegar in jar. Set aside cortido jar.
  6. Grate cheese, set aside.
  7. Time to assemble the garnaches! Take a tortilla chip, spread ground black beans on the chip. Top with grated cheese and cortido, and enjoy!

Pro Tips


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2 Replies to "Garnaches"

  • comment-avatar
    Katrina April 3, 2017 (1:34 am)

    Where’s the sauce? I love the corrido recipe!

    • comment-avatar
      chicapost April 13, 2017 (9:18 pm)

      Thank you for your comment! We love cortido too… it goes well on so many Belizean foods!

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