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What’s a Seco? Seco de Pollo, Carne, Chivo in Ecuador shares the best travel insights, facts, and photos. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

One of the cultural dishes you’ll find on most menus in Ecuador is the seco. Have you tried it? I’ve tried a few different kinds, and I like them all.


What’s a Seco? Seco de Pollo, Carne, Chivo…

A seco is a stewed meat dish, usually served with rice, a few pieces of avocado, some fried plantain, maybe some beans, and a small salad. It’s delicious!

There are a number of different kinds of seco: chicken, beef, lamb and cow stomach. A restaurant will usually serve a few different kinds on the same day.

The only kind I haven’t tried is cow stomach. I’m not a fan of cow stomach. And I’m not really sure if it is a true seco, but we’ve been offered it as one.


  • Chicken = Seco de pollo
  • Beef = Seco de carne
  • Goat = Seco de chivo
  • Cow Stomach = Seco de guatita
  • Lamb = Seco de borrego or seco de cordero

Seco is usually an inexpensive and filling option. It’s very flavorful and the meat is tender because it’s been stewed.

We find it funny that this dish is called a seco because in Spanish seco means dry, but the meat is served with the stew sauce. We asked a friend why they are called secos, and she said it’s because they are made with a mix of dry seasonings.

As with most Ecuador food secos are not spicy, which I like because I don’t like spicy hot food. It usually comes with a side of hot sauce, and sometimes some popcorn.

My favorite seco is the lamb meat seco. Where I had it, it was called seco do chivo (which actually means goat) but we were told they made it with lamb. It has a unique flavor, slightly different than the beef.

Hungry for even more? Check out our huge guide to the best food in Ecuador.

Here is a wonderful-looking recipe (I haven’t tried it yet) for the lamb seco. There are lots of other great Ecuador food recipes on that site as well, enjoy!

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Your Turn

Have you tried this traditional dish? What did you think? Please share by commenting on this post.

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