Sancocho Trifásico (Three Meats Sancocho)

This post is also available in Spanish

Sancocho Colombiano

Sancocho is one of the most well known Colombian and Latin American soups of which there are many different varieties. The flavor and content of sancocho not only differs from country to country, but also from cook to cook.

Sancocho is basically a very thick soup made with root vegetables and different kinds of meats, in a broth, usually flavored with herbs (cilantro or parsley), combined with achiote, garlic, onion, scallions and bell peppers. It is almost a stew, but still considered a soup. Every sancocho you try may be different from the last and unique in its own right. Sancochos in Colombia are always served with avocado, white rice and ají picante (Colombian hot sauce) on the side.

Colombian cuisine has such a large repertoire of incredible and hearty sancochos, that the variety seems never ending, from traditional seafood sancochos on the coast, to meat and poultry sancochos in the Andean regions. You will find Colombian sancochos made with a huge variety of ingredients, such as pigeon peas, beans, oxtail, pork feet, and even fish.

sancocho trifasico

This Sancocho Trifásico (Three Meats Sancocho) is an all-time favorite of mine. This popular Colombian dish is often found in Colombian restaurants around the world but nothing compares to the way my grandmother made it. This is no Monday night, throw-together dinner, Sancocho is an event in a bowl! This is the typical Sunday meal in some Colombian homes, perfect for enjoying with your family. This dish warms the soul, heart and body, and is exactly what I expect to taste when I am craving a tasty, comforting, hot soup.

Buen provecho!



(About 8 Servings)

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground achiote
  • 3 ears fresh corn, cut into 3 pieces
  • 12 cups of water or more if necesary
  • 8 pieces of chicken
  • 1 pound of pork meat or pork ribs
  • 1 pound of beef cut into pieces
  • 2 green plantains, peeled and cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces
  • 4 medium white potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 pound frozen or fresh yuca cut into big pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Sancocho trifasico Colombiano


  1. Place the onions, pepper, garlic and cumin in the blender with 1/4 cup of water.
  2. In a large pot, place the beef, pork, chicken, corn, onion mixture, salt and green plantain. Add the water and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 45 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and yuca. Continue cooking for 30 more minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Stir in the cilantro.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in large soup bowls, dividing the meat and chicken and vegetables evenly.
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  1. says

    This stew is just heaven and reminds me so much of home. Obed was very excited to come home to a huge pot of sancocho. It is very filling and bursting with flavor. If you have any left, refrigerate it and save it for later. This stew is even better the next day after it has been marinating overnight. I think Obed and I ate from this pot for three days. You can also freeze it and have it on hand for a cold rainy day.

  2. Alan Bowman says

    My preference is for something similar – Ajiaco Bogotano with pollo, papas criollas y guascas. The big problem here in Spain and possibly in other countries is getting the papas criollas and the guascas, although Maggi do a packet that one can add to other ingredients that makes a reasonable (but not great) job of it.

  3. Diane M. says

    Hi Erica! I absolutely love your blog! I have a question: is there a specific cut of beef and pork that you use? We are having friends over and I would love to make your Sancocho (my mother made one too but I never got the recipe :( )
    I’m planning on making your Sancocho and Mexican tamales de Piña for them, I think it’ll be perfect for this cold weekend that we’ll be having in New Jersey. Thank you soo much :)

  4. viviana says

    solo ver esa foto se me hace agua la boca, y para esas que quieren ponerle algo extra , de carne de res le colocan cola de vaca y enves de solo carne y le pican cebolla larga y le aseguro que no se arrepentiran , la cola de vaca le da a el sancocho ese savor cienporciento Colombiano

  5. Joyce says

    I’m going to make this today but only have achiote seeds and not ground achiote. Can I just grind up the seeds to make achiote powder?

  6. Diana says

    This is a great tasting and filling soup. Perfect for the winter months when all you want is something hot to eat. My mother usually makes the Sancocho at home so I miss out on seeing it put together, but now I know and will try to do it myself. Love your blog and recipes :-)
    I have made a few of your recipes and everything is delicious.
    WE all love to eat tasty Colombian meals at home.


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