Lechona Tolimense (Colombian-Style Stuffed Pork)

This post is also available in Spanish

Lechona Tolimense-Colombiana (Colombian Style Stuffed Pork)|mycolombianrecipes.com

Lechona Tolimense is a traditional dish, originally from the Tolima department of Colombia, is often served on special occasions. This popular dish consists of a whole pork stuffed with rice, peas and spices , cooked in a brick oven for about ten to twelve hours.

Lechona Colombiana

Lechona was Mamita’s favorite Colombian dish and it was the main course at our Noche Buena, New Year’s Eve celebrations and at her birthday parties. The most important thing for Mamita was that the skin was reallly crispy.

Lechona Tolimense (Colombian-Style Stuffed Pork)

Noche Buena and New Year’s Eve dinners at my grandmother’s house were filled with tables groaning under the immense amount of food piled on top of it and people bustling to get to it. Two different kinds of pork roastlechona, tamales, buñuelos, natilla, hojuelas, arroz con leche, brevas caladas, and two or three salads. Memories that I will always treasure. Mamita passed away about 10 years ago and even though the loss is over-whelming, I can’t help but remember her with a smile. She was the best Grandmother any girl could ask for.

Lechona and/or also known as lechon asado is a popular Colombian dish.

Lechona Tolimense is a delicious meal. My mom has a recipe to make a small Lechona at home using pork skin and I want to share it with you. Sorry, but I could not afford a whole pig and besides, my vegetarian husband would have had a fit if I brought home a pig 😉

Enjoy it!

Lechona Tolimense (Colombian-Style Stuffed Pork)

Pork skin Package



(6 servings)

  • 2 pounds pork fatback skins
  • Filling

  • 1/4 cup pork fat or lard
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sazon with azafran or color
  • 3/4 cup peas
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked white rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds pound pork meat, cut into small pieces

Lechona Tolimense (Colombian-Style Stuffed Pork)

Lechona. La lechona es un plato típico de la región colombiana del Tolima Grande.


  1. In a medium sauce pan melt the pork fat or lard. Add the scallions and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl mix the pork meat, cooked rice, ground cumin, sazon , peas, , salt and pepper.
  3. Lechona Tolimense (Colombian-Style Stuffed Pork)

  4. Add the pork fat and onion mixture to the bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. o assemble: Rinse the pork fat skin under cold water and pat dry. Lay the pork fat skin on a baking sheet or baking pan lined with foil, top with rice mixture. Start rolling the pork skin to enclose the rice and pork mixture completely. Tie with kitchen string to hold it together.
  6. Lechona Tolimense (Colombian-Style Stuffed Pork)
    La Lechona es hoy uno de los platos tradicionales y de mayor reconocimiento en la cocina típica. Colombiana

  7. Preheat the oven to 475 F.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes uncovered to allow the skin to brown.Cover with foil and cook for about 45 minutes more.
  9. Remove from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Carve the lechona after it has rested for at least 15 minutes. Serve with arepa, salted potatoes and lime wedges on the side.
  10. La Lechona es hoy uno de los platos tradicionales y de mayor reconocimiento en la cocina típica. Colombiana
    La Lechona es hoy uno de los platos tradicionales y de mayor reconocimiento en la cocina típica. Colombiana

  11. Note: If you want to see pictures of a traditional lechona made with a whole pig you can visit Nika’s blog here. If you are a vegetarian, I don’t recommend the pictures.
  12. La Lechona es hoy uno de los platos tradicionales y de mayor reconocimiento en la cocina típica. Colombiana

If you like this page, you can say thanks by sharing it


  1. Claudia says

    OMG! that looks amazing. can’t wait to make it. i’ve made many of your recipes and they have all been great and perfect. where can i purchase the Rumba product? thanks so much for sharing your recipes with us. =o)

  2. says

    This sounds like one delicious stuffed pork! Thanks for scaling it down…I can’t see myself bringing home a whole pig either 😛

  3. says

    Oh my. Not too pretty to start out, but the end result is beautiful. I can just imagine all of the flavor from being tied in pork fat skins.

  4. says

    welcome home, honey–here’s a pig! yeah, that might not go over so well. :) this dish, on the other hand, would be an absolute pleasure to behold upon arriving home–well done!

  5. says

    My grandmother used to make me fatback as a kid on summer vacation but she never got fancy like this! Spectacular cooking and presentation, Erica.

  6. Sandra says

    Se ve muy rica pero yo soy del Tolima y en ese departamento se hace con puras carnes, papa, arveja, no se le agrega arroz. En Cundinamarca y otros departamentos es donde le agregan arroz.

  7. Christina Mordenti says

    I wonder how it would be if I did this recipe with bacon instead of pork skin because I could not find the skin anywhere where I live? Has anyone tried that?

  8. Karen says

    Erica… Quick question. Where do you find pork fat, or how do you make it?
    Thanks this looks delishhhh!!!

  9. Christine says

    Hi Erica –

    Thank you for your great recipes! My husband is Colombian and I have really wanted to learn how to cook some of his favorites for him when we are in the states, but since my spanish is not fluent enough it was difficult to learn from his mother. I have been using your recipes while I am living in Bogota and so far they all have turned out delicious!

    Lechona is one of his favorites so I am excited to try this one when we return to the states, especially since we just ate some in Tolima this past weekend!

  10. Gretel says

    Thank you so much for this! My family has always wanted to make Lechona but it’s difficult to find a whole pig and also quite expensive. We’re making this for Christmas, you saved us!! 😀

  11. Andrea says

    Dear Erica, you have saved Christmas this year for our family. See we ordered lechona from a local Colombian Restaurant and it was ok tastewise, but it had no pork skin. You know lechona is not lechona without the skin, I just came back from my very american store and they had the pork skin to my surprise. I am about to sfuff it with the “semi-lechona” we ordered. Thanks! I would’ve never thought of buying pork skin! Merry Christmas.

  12. Nana says


    nunca pense en poder hacer lechona en mi casa. Tambien soy vegetariana por salud :(
    Pero, el solo cuarito le va a dar ese sabor delicioso q’ es lo q’ mas me gusta…. uy q rico!

    Where can I find the skin? I’ve never seen it!

  13. Ana Maria Garcia says

    Me encantan tus recetas, he tratado algunas y me han salido bien. Me encanta este blog porque mi hijo (un futuro chef) tiene la oportunidad de conocer mas de nuestra comida tradicional. Gracias.

  14. Cristina says

    Thanks for this recipe. I’m going to try it. I’ve been planning to cook a lechona, but this is fantastic for a first time try-out before attempting the real deal.

  15. Aida says

    This Lechona Tolimense recipe is the greatest. If I can make it my husband will love me forever…:0)
    My local supermarket does not carry the pork skin…where can I get it???

  16. Enver says

    MMmmmm!!..Al visitar Colombia comi Lechona y quede sorprendido de tan sabroso . A aquellos que nunca la han comido les digo que traten de probarlo y acuerdensen que solo en Colombia y aquellos Colombianos son los expertos en preparras.

  17. Cony Joan says

    Hola!!!! una preguntica…..la carne se cocina antes de meterla dentro de cojin hecho con la piel del marranito???
    Nosotros te seguimios desde Milano en Italia!!!! :)

  18. Maria Marino says

    LOVE all your recipes… Thank you for sharing!!!!
    Me ENCANTAN todas tus recetas… Mil gracias por compartirlas!!!! :-)

  19. Anonymous says

    Erika eres la mejor!!! desde que descubri tus resetas haz echo mi vida y la de mi familia Colombiana, sentirnos como en casa. seguimos tus resetas y las preparamos en familia.
    Desde Arkansas


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.