Typical Apulian dishes, 12 specialties not to be missed

The Puglian culinary art boasts a wide variety of typical dishes known for their goodness and authenticity. Each province, city, and town in the region has its own Puglian traditional dishes, resulting from the tradition, creativity, and passion of local cooks.

In this article, we present a selection of the most well-known Puglian typical dishes, ranging from homemade orecchiette to rice, potato and mussel “tiella”, passing through the Bari-style focaccia, octopus “alla pignata” and many other delicious flavors that represent the food and wine heritage of Puglia.

After discovering the typical dishes of the Salento traditional cuisine, let’s explore together the pleasures of the Puglian table, between ancient flavors and new interpretations, which have been delighting the palates of anyone who approaches this land rich in history and culinary culture for centuries.

Homemade Orecchiette: Typical Puglian Dishes

puglian orecchiette with tomato sauce typical puglian dishesThe first typical Puglian dish we have selected is homemade Orecchiette . Orecchiette is a type of fresh pasta in the shape of small shells made with durum wheat flour and water, which is one of the symbols of typical Puglian dishes. Its preparation requires skill and expertise, as the pasta is handcrafted until it takes on the typical concave shape, perfect for holding the sauce.
Puglian orecchiette can be enjoyed with numerous condiments, including fresh tomato and basil sauce, turnip greens and clams, and are considered a real gastronomic delicacy.

This typical dish represents not only a culinary experience to savor, but also a symbol of culture and popular tradition.

Focaccia Barese

focaccia barese typical dishes from PugliaThe second typical dish from Puglia that we have selected is the Focaccia Barese, a specialty to be enjoyed at any time of day. Focaccia Barese is a flat, soft and fluffy bread, enriched with cherry tomatoes, olives, onion and oregano, which enhance its flavor and fragrance.
Focaccia is one of the most beloved preparations in Puglia, and particularly in Bari, where it is consumed for breakfast, as a snack or as an accompaniment to main meals. Its recipe is ancient, but still today it is prepared with simple and high quality ingredients, such as durum wheat flour, olive oil and beer yeast.

The Focaccia Barese is a versatile and tasty dish, which represents a true excellence of typical Puglian dishes.

Typical dishes from Puglia: Braciole al sugo

Braciole al sugoThe Braciole al sugo is the dish we have selected for our typical dishes from Puglia, a tasty and flavorful dish that encapsulates all of Puglia’s culinary tradition. The braciole are thin slices of beef or pork, filled with parsley, garlic, pecorino cheese, and breadcrumbs, rolled up and tied with string.
They are then cooked in a tomato sauce and served with a generous sprinkle of grated cheese.

The tomato sauce chops is a typical dish from the province of Bari, but it can also be found in other areas of Puglia. Its preparation requires time and attention, but the result is a dish with an intense and bold flavor, representing a true delight for the palate.

The Braciole al sugo is a perfect example of how Puglia’s cuisine knows how to best value the typical products from Puglia Italy and our territory, creating unique and unforgettable dishes.

Cavatelli with seafood: Typical Apulian cuisine

Cavatelli with seafood

Cavatelli with seafood is one of the most beloved dishes of the typical cuisine of Puglia, perfect for those who want to taste the flavors of the sea in a single and tasty dish. Cavatelli is a homemade fresh pasta, made with flour, water, and salt, which is handcrafted to obtain its characteristic shell shape.

The pasta is then cooked in a fresh tomato sauce, enriched with seafood such as mussels, clams, squid, and shrimp, flavored with garlic, parsley, and chili. The result is a dish with intense and bold flavors, which fully represents the culinary tradition of Puglia. Cavatelli with seafood is a dish widely spread along the Puglian coasts, especially in the Salento area, where fishing is a fundamental activity of the local economy.

Their goodness and simplicity make them one of the ideal typical dishes of Puglia for any occasion, perfect to enjoy in company, perhaps accompanied by a good glass of white wine from Apulian, such as Malvasia Salento.

Fava bean puree with chicory

Fava bean puree with chicory and toasted breadFava bean puree with chicory is one of the typical dishes of Apulia that represents the meeting of land and sea.

Fava beans are one of the most widespread agricultural products in Apulia, and are used in many recipes of the local culinary tradition. The fava bean puree is a very simple but flavorful dish, obtained by cooking fresh fava beans and mashing them until obtaining a dense and velvety cream.

Chicory, on the other hand, is a bitter and healthy herb that grows spontaneously in the Apulian countryside. It is cut into pieces and browned in a pan with garlic and extra virgin olive oil, and then served together with the fava bean puree. This dish represents a tasty and nutritious alternative to the more famous mashed potatoes and is perfect for those who want to taste the genuine flavors of typical Apulian dishes.

Fava bean puree with chicory is a dish that is well suited to be served as a side dish, perhaps accompanied by a slice of homemade bread and a glass of red wine from Apulia such as Negroamaro.

Tiella with rice, potatoes, and mussels

The fourth typical dish from Puglia that we have selected is “Tiella with rice, potatoes, and mussels” a rich and savory dish that combines the flavors of the sea and the land. Tiella is a kind of savory pie made with layers of rice, potatoes, mussels, tomatoes, onions, and peppers, which are slowly baked in the oven until a golden and crispy crust forms.

The recipe for tiella varies depending on the region of Puglia where it is prepared, but the original version comes from the city of Bari. Tiella di riso, patate e cozze is a complete and tasty dish that represents a real feast for the palate. Its preparation requires a bit of time and patience, but the result is a unique and inimitable dish that fully embodies the Puglian culinary tradition.

Tiella di riso, patate e cozze is a dish to be enjoyed in company, perhaps accompanied by a glass of good white wine, for an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

Sagne n’cannulate with fresh tomato sauce

Sagne n'cannulate with fresh tomato sauce The sagne n’cannulate are one of the typical dishes of Puglia and also part of the Puglian peasant cuisine, widespread in the Salento area. It is a homemade pasta, shaped like a tube, similar to a large ziti rigati, but with a larger central hole. The name “n’cannulate” derives from the dialectal word “canna”, which means cane or tube.

The preparation of sagne n’cannulate requires a lot of manual skill and patience, as the pasta must be worked and cut by hand, with particular attention to the shape. Once ready, the sagne n’cannulate are cooked in salted water, then seasoned with a fresh tomato sauce and pork, or with a lamb or veal ragù.

The result is a very substantial and tasty dish that fully represents the culinary tradition of Puglia.

The sagne n’cannulate are often served as a first course in festivals and special occasions, accompanied by a glass of Puglian Primitivo wine. Thanks to their goodness and simplicity, they have become one of the symbolic recipes of typical Puglian dishes.

Turnip top swith sausage typical dishes from Puglia

Cime di rapa with sausageTurnip tops, also known as “broccoli rabe”, are a typical vegetable from the Puglia region, with green leaves and a bitter taste. Sausage, on the other hand, is a product of the Puglia salami tradition, made with minced pork meat and aromatic spices.

To prepare cime di rapa with sausage, the vegetables are boiled in salted water and then sautéed in a pan with garlic and extra-virgin olive oil.
Separately, the sausage is cooked slowly until it becomes crispy and golden. Finally, the sausage is added to the cime di rapa, mixing everything well and serving the dish still hot. Turnit top with sausage represents a perfect example of typical dishes from Puglia, made with simple and local ingredients that blend together to create a flavorful and nutritious dish.

Cime di rapa with sausage is often served as a second course, accompanied by a portion of homemade bread and a glass of red wine from Puglia. Thanks to their goodness and simplicity, they have become one of the most beloved and well-known specialties of Puglian cuisine.


Friselle is a typical product of the Apulian cuisineFriselle is a typical product of the Apulian cuisine, similar to a type of hard, flat and circular bread made with durum wheat flour, water, and salt. Traditionally, friselle was used as food for shepherds and field workers because it was very resistant and could last a long time without spoiling.

Today, friselle is very widespread throughout the region and is used as a base for several recipes of the Apulian culinary tradition. One of the classic preparations involves softening the friselle in water for a few minutes, then seasoning it with cherry tomatoes, onion, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. Friselle can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish, together with cheeses, cold cuts, vegetables, and local fish.

Thanks to its simplicity and versatility, friselle represents one of the symbols of the Apulian traditional cuisine and is often used in parties and special occasions to celebrate conviviality and the joy of living.

Moreover, friselle is a very nutritious food, thanks to its richness in complex carbohydrates and fiber, which make it very satisfying and easy to digest. Its crunchy and rustic texture, together with its intense and characteristic flavor, also make it very appreciated both by locals and tourists, who consider it an authentic specialty of the typical Apulian dishes.

There are different variants of friselle, depending on the production area and the preparation methods used. In some areas of Apulia, for example, friselle is flavored with aromatic herbs such as wild fennel or rosemary, while in others it is enriched with olives, capers, and other ingredients.

In any case, friselle represents a perfect example of traditional cuisine and recovery, where simple and genuine ingredients come together to create a tasty and nutritious dish, making it an icon of typical Apulian dishes.

Taranto-style fish soup

Taranto-style fish soup is a culinary specialty of the city of Taranto, located on the Ionian coast of Puglia. It is a seafood soup made with fresh fish and shellfish, seasoned with tomato, garlic, parsley, and chili pepper. The preparation of the soup involves cooking various types of fish and shellfish in a fish broth infused with herbs and spices, which gives the soup an intense and enveloping flavor.
Taranto-style fish soup is traditionally served with slices of toasted bread or with a slice of polenta, to absorb the sauce and make the dish even more flavorful.

Taranto-style fish soup is one of the specialties of the typical dishes of Puglia, and it is one of the most famous culinary specialties of the region. It is appreciated by both locals and tourists, who consider it a symbol of Puglian seafood cuisine. The freshness and quality of the ingredients used, along with the care taken in the preparation and presentation of the dish, make Taranto-style fish soup a true gastronomic experience not to be missed for those visiting the region.

Calzone with Onion Filling

Calzone with Onion Filling The Calzone with Onion Filling is one of the typical dishes of Puglia, particularly of the Bari and Murge area. It consists of a calzone filled with stewed onions, black olives, and anchovies, which is baked in a wood-fired oven until it reaches perfect crispiness. The preparation of the calzone with onion filling involves the use of simple and genuine ingredients such as local onions, Cerignola olives, and Adriatic anchovies, which give the dish an intense and strong flavor.
The calzone with onion filling is often served as an appetizer or as a main dish, accompanied by a glass of local red wine. Thanks to its crispy texture and soft and savory filling, it represents a real explosion of flavors for the palate.

Moreover, the calzone with onion filling is a very versatile dish that lends itself to many variations and personalizations according to individual tastes and preferences.

The calzone with onion filling is a perfect example of the typical dishes of Puglia and stands out for the simplicity and genuineness of the ingredients used, together with the care in the preparation and presentation of the dish. In fact, the culinary tradition of Puglia is based on the use of high-quality local ingredients, combined skillfully to create tasty and genuine dishes that tell the story and culture of the region.

Stuffed Peppers with Rice: Typical Dish from Apulia

Stuffed Peppers with RiceStuffed Peppers with Rice are a typical dish from Apulia, especially popular in the Murgia area. The dish consists of sweet peppers, usually elongated, that are hollowed out and then filled with a stuffing of rice seasoned with tomato, onion, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, and cheese. The peppers are then baked until they are soft and the stuffing is golden.
Stuffed Peppers with Rice are a tasty and nutritious dish that represents a perfect expression of Apulian cuisine, based on the use of simple and genuine ingredients. The culinary tradition of the region stands out for the care taken in selecting ingredients, such as sweet peppers and rice, which are used in the preparation of many typical Apulian dishes.

The dish of Stuffed Peppers with Rice is also an example of how Apulian cuisine has been influenced by the various cultures that have passed through the region over the centuries, such as the Arab and Spanish cultures. This dish, in fact, recalls the preparation of dolma from the Middle East and the Spanish pimiento relleno, but with the addition of ingredients typical of typical Apulian dishes, such as tomato and cheese.

Stuffed Peppers with Rice are perfect to enjoy as a main dish or as a side dish, perhaps accompanied by a good focaccia or a glass of local red wine. In any case, they represent an unforgettable culinary experience that tells the story and culture of Apulia through its genuine and authentic flavors.

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