Chilean food can best be described as a fusion of Spanish influences and local Mapuche culture.
In fact, the word “Chileno,” meaning “of Chile,” originates from the Mapuches’ name for themselves, the Chonos.
Three types of bread are commonly used to accompany meals, including pan dulce (sweet bread), bolillo (a type of flatbread), and empanada (small turnovers). Desserts include flan (pudding) and ice cream).
Herbal teas are popular post-meal drinks.
Chilean salsas are known for being spicy and full of flavor. They are typically served as condiments for grilled meats, fish, vegetables, and even pasta.
One of the most popular salsas is called chancho en piedra, or pig in a stone. This dish is straightforward to make and requires just three ingredients: onions, garlic, and ground-up dried red peppers.
These ingredients are cooked together in a stone bowl over a fire until soft. Then, they are mashed into a paste with some water, vinegar, and salt. Finally, the mixture is strained and served cold.
The name of this recipe translates to “pig in a stone,” but there is no pork in this dish. Instead, the word “chancho” refers to the texture of the salsa.
When you eat this salsa, you feel like you’re eating something crunchy.
This is a typical dish that shows the interference of Italian immigrants to Chile. In fact, it is a typical dish that is served during the Easter holidays.
The dish consists of razor clams cooked in olive oil with garlic, parsley, and lemon juice. They are then topped with grated Parmesan cheese.
This dish is usually accompanied by potatoes and pasta.
Humitas are a traditional corn cake of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.
They are traditionally made of mashed corn, combined with basil, onion, butter, and sometimes salt, and wrapped in corn husks, although some versions include additional ingredients such as cheese or meat.
The basic flavor is meant to taste sweet, but variations exist, including savory, salty, spicy, or sour. In addition, there are different types of humitas, depending on where they are produced.
For example, the most common type of humita is called “chicharrón,” meaning fried, while another variety is called “humitas de papa.” This version includes potatoes, which gives it a slightly starchy texture.
Ceviche is one of the most popular dishes in Latin America. In Peru, it is called cebiche, while in Chile it is known as Pescado en escabeche.
This traditional dish consists of raw seafood marinated in citrus juices, onions, garlic, chilies, and spices.
In fact, it is considered a traditional food in Peru and Chile. This dish consists of raw seafood marinated in lemon juice, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper.
There are many variations of this recipe, depending on what type of fish is used. Some people add tomatoes, while others use avocado, potatoes, corn, etc.
The main difference between the Peruvian and Chilean versions is that the former uses Patagonian toothfish (a large predatory fish), whereas the latter uses Chilean sea bass (a flatfish).
Both types of ceviche are usually served in small cups.
The Chilean dish ‘caldillo de congrio’ is a light soup that originated in the region of Valparaíso. This soup is very popular among locals and tourists alike.
There are many variations of this recipe, but the most common one consists of vegetables such as onion, carrot, celery, tomato, laurel, garlic, and bay leaf.
The main ingredient is congrio, which is a type of fish known as kingklip. In addition, there are some recipes that include chicken or beef broth.
This soup is very light, healthy, and delicious. In addition, it is easy to make.
Pastel de choclo is a traditional dish of Chile, especially popular during the Christmas season. This casserole consists of corn dough filled with meat and cheese and cooked in a clay pot.
The recipe is very simple; you just need to mix together ground beef, corn flour, salt, pepper, eggs, and milk. Then, add melted butter or lard to the mixture and form small balls.
Once formed, place them into a clay pot, cover them with water, and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes.
After cooking, you take out the casserole from the pot, let cool down, and fill it with Pino, a paste made of corn, sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. You put the lid on, and bake it in the oven for another 15 minutes.
The origins of the Chilean national dish are unknown.
Some say it originated during the Spanish colonial period, while others believe it came about during World War II. Regardless of where it began, one thing is certain: it is delicious.
This casserole is similar to the traditional Mexican dish ‘pastel de choclo’, but uses crab instead of corn. This version is cooked in a clay pot and includes potatoes, onions, garlic, spices, tomatoes, and seafood.
The origin of Pollo Arvejando is unknown, although it is believed to be one of the oldest recipes in Chile.
This traditional dish consists of chicken cooked with vegetables and seasonings such as carrots, onions, garlic, white wine, and other Chilean herbs and flavors.
In Chile, there are many variations of this dish, including those prepared with beef, pork, turkey, lamb, fish, vegetables, and even fruits.
The Porotos Granados is one of the most popular dishes in Chile. It is usually served as a main course dish, accompanied by rice, potatoes, and salad.
This traditional dish is prepared with different types of beans such as white, red, black, kidney, etc., depending on what season it is prepared.
In addition, there are many variations of this dish, including adding meat, vegetables, or even pasta.
In the summer, you can find this dish being sold in markets in Santiago de Chile. However, in the rest of the year, it is normally found in restaurants.
10. Chilean Cazuela
The word cazuela literally translates into “pot.” This is where the name of the traditional stew originated. In fact, it is a type of cooking vessel used to cook different foods together.
A cazuela is usually large enough to hold around four cups of liquid.
In Chile, this stew is called paila de gallina (hen stew).
There are many variations of chicken cazuelas, including pork, lamb, fish, vegetables, and even shellfish. Beef cazuelas include meat, vegetables, and spices.
Alfajores are a type of cookie popular in Chile, especially during the month of September, when the country celebrates its National Day.
These little cookies are filled with dulce de leche, a Latin American caramel. They’re typically served warm and go perfectly well with coffee.
The name “alfajor” comes from the Spanish word for “little almond” because the shape resembles almonds.
However, the origin of the name “alfajor” is actually quite different. In fact, the name “alfajor”, like many others, comes from the Spanish language.
Chileans are known for having some of the best food in South America, and one of their favorite national dishes is the choripán sandwich.
This hearty sandwich takes its name from the combination of chorizo (a type of cured pork sausage), bread, and parsley.
But it doesn’t stop there; we’ve got three tips to help make sure you get the most out of this delicious sandwich.
The key to making a good choripán is getting the ingredients right. You want to start with quality chorizo, preferably homemade.
If you don’t have access to a local butcher shop, you can always find high-quality chorizo online. We like to use a brand called La Morenita because of its mild flavor and soft texture.
Next up is the bread. A good loaf of crusty sourdough bread is essential for a great choripán. Look for a baguette-style loaf that has a nice crunchy exterior and a chewy interior.
Don’t skimp on the amount of parsley, either. Chile is famous for its abundant supply of parsley, and we recommend adding about 2 tablespoons per serving.
Finally, you want to add the finishing touches. Freshly chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar are all must-haves.
Olive oil is important here because it adds richness while keeping the flavors light. And the vinegar gives the dish a tangy kick without overpowering the rest of the flavors.
If you prefer to skip the meat altogether, you can still enjoy a delicious choripán. In fact, many people do exactly that. Instead of chorizo, you can opt for vegetarian sausages such as soy bacon or tempeh bacon. For bread, try a gluten-free roll or pita pocket.
And for the garnish, you can go traditional with parsley or add something else entirely. Try arugula, watercress, radicchio, or even avocado slices.
13. Chile Humitas
Humitas are basically little corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and topped with salsa. They’re a classic dish in Chile, and we love them.
But we’ve never been able to find them anywhere near us here in New York City. We found a recipe online and tried our hand at making them.
And while they didn’t turn out exactly like the ones we’d seen in restaurants, they tasted delicious, and we loved having something different. Here’s how to make them yourself.
14. Chilean Hot Dogs
The most popular food in Chile isn’t pizza or pasta — it’s hot dogs. And while Americans love their hot dogs slathered with mustard and ketchup, Chileans prefer theirs topped with avocado, onion, tomato, and even chili sauce.
But what makes them different from American hot dogs? For starters, there’s no bun. Instead, the hot dogs come wrapped in foil, and they’re served on a plate. They’re called “completos,” and they’re incredibly delicious.
We were skeptical about this bread when we saw it for the first time. It looked so flat! But luckily, we were pleasantly surprised when we tried it.
At first, we thought it was a dinner roll, but actually, it’s more like small, round, sandwich bread. You can eat them for every meal and with different toppings and fillings.
However, our favorite way to eat them is at breakfast. They taste spectacularly delicious filled with eggs, bacon, and honey butter.
Chilean sea bass is one of those dishes you either love or hate. If it doesn’t sound like something you’d want to eat, we’re guessing you’re probably among the former group.
But if you are willing to give it a try, you’ll soon realize why it’s become such a popular menu item around the world.
The fish is known as Patagonian toothfish in Chile, and it’s considered a delicacy there. In fact, it’s so good, it even earned its own day on the national calendar.
On September 15th each year, Chileans celebrate “Patagonia Day,” a holiday dedicated to the region’s native wildlife and the seafood that lives in its waters.
Marraqueta, which translates to “French Bread,” is a delicious, double roll that is light and flaky on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside.
They require only five ingredients, including flour, water, yeast, salt, and sugar, and take less than an hour to prepare.
These versatile rolls are great for sliders and mini sandwiches because they hold up well under heat and can be used for both sweet and savory dishes.
Chilean chorrillanas are essentially french fries covered in melted cheddar cheese and served with a side of spicy tomato sauce. They’re basically the best thing ever.
The recipe for these fries came about because my friend had been craving some fried potatoes, and he wanted something different.
He asked me what I thought about making them into french fries, and I told him it sounded like fun. So we did just that.
We used Yukon gold potatoes, cut them up, tossed them in flour, seasoned them, and fried them up.
Then we added a little salt and pepper, topped them off with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and baked them in the oven until the cheese was melty and bubbly.
19. Pastel De Choclo
Pastel de choclo is a popular Mexican dish that’s similar to a shepherd’s pie.
But it uses cornmeal instead of mashed potatoes. And while shepherds’ pies typically feature lamb, pork, or mutton, this version includes beef.
The base of the meat mixture is seasoned ground beef, and it gets topped with sautéed onions, raisins and olives, hard-boiled eggs, shredded cheese, and a layer of cooked corn kernels. Then, the entire concoction gets baked in a cast iron skillet.
Chileans love their pumpkin, and it is no wonder why. This hearty root vegetable is loaded with fiber, vitamin A, potassium, iron, and calcium. And did we mention that it tastes delicious?
These sopapillas are easy to make and require just five ingredients. They’re perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snack.
Pebre is fresh and has a bold, clean flavor that you can get only from using delicious, unprocessed garden vegetables.
There are several recipes for pebre, but the basic recipe calls for just onions, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic. You’ll find many variations on those four items, though, and some people add even more.
Some like to use tomatillos, others add jalapeños, and still, others add avocado.
There are lots of ways to make pebre, and each one is slightly different. For example, some people prefer to cook the onion and pepper together, while others simmer them separately.
Some people sauté the garlic, while others roast it. Some add salt, while others omit it entirely. Some people mix the ingredients together, while others chop everything up into small pieces.
Some add lime juice, while others don’t. Some add cilantro, while others don’t bother.
The recipe calls for three ingredients: red onion, cherry tomatoes, and green chilies. But there are many ways to make this salad even better. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
If you’ve ever had a raw onion, you know how strong those little guys can be.
They don’t like being cooked, so you want to give them a head start. Soak the onions in water with a pinch of kosher salt for about 30 minutes. Then drain and pat dry.
Lime juice adds brightness to the onions, while olive oil helps keep them soft. Combine both in a bowl and stir well. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Tomatoes are best to cut into strips because they tend to release juices during cooking. If you slice them, you run the risk of having them turn mushy.
Manjar is one of those recipes that takes time to prepare. You start off by making a roux — a mixture of butter and flour cooked together over low heat until the color turns golden brown.
Then you add milk slowly while whisking constantly. Once the milk starts bubbling, you turn up the heat and continue cooking until the liquid thickens into a smooth, creamy consistency.
Once the base is done, add sugar and vanilla extract. After that, stir in heavy cream and cook for another few minutes. When everything is combined, you let the whole thing cool down completely. And then you wait.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Traditional Chilean Food?
Chilean cuisine is a mix of Spanish and indigenous influences. Its diversity stems from Chile’s geographical location, which makes it one of the world’s largest producers of wine, fruit, and vegetables.
Chilean food can best be described as a fusion of Spanish influences and local Mapuche culture, plus some indigenous elements. In fact, the word “Chileno” literally translates into “of Chile.”
The country’s diversity makes it one of South America’s largest producers of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, beef, pork, chicken, lamb, seafood, wine, coffee, chocolate, and even beer.
Thanks to its diverse geography and rich oxygen-rich waters, the country is home to various agricultural products and a unique range of fish and seafood.
Its varied climate allows for a wide range of crops to grow throughout the year.
Chilean cuisine is known for its rich flavors and variety of dishes. It’s also very healthy and nutritious. The main reason for all these great qualities is the abundance of natural resources found in Chile.
This country is blessed with an amazing climate, fertile soil, and plenty of fresh produce.
In addition, Chile is home to a diverse range of indigenous cultures, which have contributed to the development of unique culinary traditions.
So if you’re looking for a new adventure, why not try out some of these traditional Chilean recipes?