Guava Paste Uses

Guava paste, also known as guayabate or goiabada, is a very thick puree made of guava fruit, sugar, and sometimes pectin. Its consistency is similar to that of quince paste or membrillo.

Guava Paste Uses

This sweet condiment is popular in the Caribbean and Spain. You can find guava paste sold in short wide cans or plastic packs, usually in the Hispanic section of grocery stores or Latin markets.

Guava paste often accompanies cheese dishes. Common pairings include guava empanadas with cream cheese, farmer's cheese, or queso blanco. You can also simply cut guava paste into squares and serve with cheese as a quick appetizer.

Savory Guava Paste Recipe Ideas

Guava paste pairs wonderfully with meats and cheeses. Here are some savory recipe ideas:

Guava and Cheese Appetizers

Cut guava paste into small cubes or rectangles. Serve with slices of Manchego, queso fresco, Camembert, or another semi-soft cheese. Provide crackers on the side.

For easy finger food, top crackers with cream cheese and a piece of guava paste. Saltines and Ritz crackers both complement the sweet fruity flavor.

Another simple preparation is guava paste and Brie baked in puff pastry. Cut squares of thawed puff pastry and use to line muffins tins. Add chunks of Brie and dots of guava paste in the centers before baking until the pastry is golden brown.

Sandwiches and Paninis

Spread a thin layer of guava paste on bread or baguette slices. Top with ham, Swiss cheese, mozzarella, or vegetables like tomatoes, avocados, spinach, and red onion. Grill in a panini press for toasty warm sandwiches.

In Colombia, many enjoy guava paste in Maduro sandwiches made with sweet ripe plantains. Simply bake sliced plantains topped with guava paste and melting cheese until tender.


Guava paste is often an empanada filling along with cheese. Try mixing guava paste and cream cheese as a filling for baked empanada pastries. Or use store-bought empanada discs for easy assembly.

Another tasty empanada recipe stuffs pieces of guava paste and Manchego cheese into baked phyllo dough pockets. Drizzle with a passion fruit syrup for a sweet and tangy contrast.

Meat Entrees

Complement meats like pork and chicken with guava paste glazes or salsas. For example, brush pork tenderloin with a mixture of guava paste, orange juice, garlic, and spices. Roast until cooked through and glazed beautifully.

Make tacos extra tropical with chunks of pineapple and a sauce of pureed mango and guava paste. The sweet fruit perfectly matches spices like cumin and chili powder.

Side Dishes

In place of cranberry sauce, make a guava paste relish for holiday meals and gatherings. Simmer guava paste with orange juice, ginger, cinnamon, raisins and vinegar until thickened. Chill until ready to serve alongside roasts, baked ham, or turkey.

For a simple yet elegant vegetable side, toss wedges of sweet potato in olive oil and guava paste mixed with spices. Roast in the oven until caramelized and tender. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts for crunch.

Baking and Desserts with Guava Paste

The sweet taste of guava paste lends itself wonderfully to all kinds of baked goods and desserts:

Cookies and Bars

Add interest to basic shortbread by mixing in grated guava paste. The cookie dough will be beautifully pink and flecked with fruit.

For gooey, irresistible bars, make a crust from graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Pour guava paste mixed with sweetened condensed milk on top and bake. Finally top with a chocolate glaze or more guava paste.

Tarts and Turnovers

Spread guava paste onto store-bought pie crusts and fold over into quick turnovers. Brush the outsides with egg wash and sprinkle coarse sugar on top before baking to a golden finish.

For an elegant presentation, spoon guava paste into mini phyllo shells and chill until firm. Top with whipped cream just before serving.

Or make individual guava tarts in a muffin tin lined with dough circles. Fill each tart halfway with guava paste, then cover with more pie dough pressed into the centers. Sprinkle with coarse sugar before baking at a high temp until the crust is browned.

Cakes and Cheesecakes

Layer sponge cake or angel food cake rounds with a mixture of guava paste, cream cheese, and whipped cream or cool whip. Frost the outside with the same mixture for tropical cheesecake that needs no baking.

For pretty guava cake layers, puree guava paste with milk or cream, then brush onto cake rounds. Fill and stack the layers with tropical fruit curds or mousses.

You can also marble guava paste directly into cake batter before baking. Try marbling it into vanilla or white cake batter loaded with spices like ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Muffins and Quick Breads

Swirl spoonfuls of guava paste into vanilla muffin batter, like you would cranberries or blueberries. The contrast of sweet guava and vanilla batter is delightful.

Or make guava bread by creaming together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Then gently fold in dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Finally add in chunks of guava paste. Bake in a loaf pan until risen and browned.

Sauces, Jams, and Fruit Spreads

Reduce guava paste with water, sugar, and lime juice to make a sweet and tangy guava syrup. Drizzle over cakes, ice cream sundaes, or fresh tropical fruit.

For an easy guava jam, break guava paste into pieces and process in a food processor until smooth. Cook in a saucepan with water and sugar to reach your desired consistency.

You can also skip cooking entirely. Soften cubes of guava paste in the microwave, then mash into a chunky fruit spread. Enjoy on morning toast and pastries.

More Unique Uses for Guava Paste

Beyond eating guava paste sliced with cheese or using it in recipes, here are a few extra ideas:

  • Dip pieces of guava paste in melted chocolate or caramel sauce for candy-like treats
  • Make alcoholic drinks like guava margaritas and daiquiris. Muddle guava paste with tequila/rum and citrus juices.
  • Mix with Greek yogurt and chia seeds for quick guava chia pudding
  • Blend with ice for refreshing guava smoothies
  • Flavor and sweeten plain tomato sauce with guava paste
  • Make guava barbecue sauce by pureeing guava paste with ketchup, vinegar, garlic and spices


How do you soften guava paste?

Wrap hardened guava paste in plastic wrap and microwave 10-20 seconds to soften. Watch closely as it can get very hot. You can also leave sealed guava paste at room temperature overnight to gradually soften.

What temperature do you bake guava paste?

Guava paste itself doesn’t require baking. But if adding guava paste chunks to recipes like cookies and cakes, bake at standard oven temperatures between 325-375°F, checking frequently towards the end to avoid burning. Items with guava paste tend to brown faster than normal.

Can you freeze guava paste?

Yes, guava paste freezes well for future use. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before using, then cut off pieces as needed.

What is a good substitute for guava paste?

The closest substitute is quince paste or membrillo. You can also puree fresh or frozen guava with sugar for homemade guava paste. In a pinch, try substituting jellied cranberry sauce, especially in dessert recipes.


While guava paste is often enjoyed as a simple snack with saltines and cheese cubes, it can also spice up both sweet and savory dishes.

Mix it into glazes for chicken and pork, or add to cake batters and pie fillings.

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Unlimited Recipes

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