Chilean appetizers whet the appetite and prepare you for the main dish, so if you are celebrating South American cuisine today, take a look! 😊
Chile’s diverse geographical orientation and climate are home to different fruits, vegetables, and agricultural produce.
Chilean dishes mainly originated from the Chilean Mapuche culture and Spanish cuisine and were later influenced by Europe.
Chilean dishes are known for their notable flavors and diversified ingredients.
Moreover, the country is also home to several seafood options, such as mollusks, fish, algae, and crustaceans.
While Chilean dishes are already flavorful, including an appetizer with these dishes elevates your dining experience even more.
If you want to enjoy your Chilean main course, choosing the right appetizer will complement it.
But don’t fret!
We won’t leave you hanging.
We’ve summed up 19 of the best Chilean appetizers to suit your adventurous palate.
These appetizers will go with most Chilean main courses, so feel free to mix and match.
But don’t forget to try #18 on this list if you’re a fan of empanadas!
1. Salsa Verde
The Chilean Salsa Verde is a traditional appetizer that can double as a sandwich spread or filling.
It’s considered the “winter version” of another Chilean dish pebre.
Because there were no tomatoes during winter, parsley is the main ingredient of this Chilean appetizer.
Finely chopped and mixed with lemon juice and vinegar, salsa verde gives you a fresh taste and enticing texture.
Take note, though, that this appetizer loses freshness easily.
That said, it’s crucial to select fresh parsley to use with this recipe and to finish this in one sitting.
Chilean Sopapillas or Pumpkin Fritters are versatile appetizers that can also be eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
Pair this appetizer with another Chilean entree or with your favorite coffee, and it hits close to home in Chile.
These sopapillas are made of pumpkin-spiced dough that is drenched in brown sugar syrup.
While some use syrup for this recipe, you can also opt for powdered sugar and dust it on top of the sopapillas.
The most popular type of sugar used for this recipe is chancaca.
3. Palta Reina
The term Palta Reina means “queen of the avocado” in Chile.
So if you’re wondering what the main ingredient is in this appetizer, yup, you guessed it — it’s avocado!
Avocado is a famous fruit in Latin America, and the Palta Reina Chilean appetizer uses avocado.
However, since avocado oxidizes quickly, it’s recommended to rub it with lemon juice immediately after slicing it.
Palta Reina is avocado stuffed with any seafood meat of your choice like tuna, crab, or shrimp.
Combined with corn, melted cheese, and mayonnaise, you get an explosion in your mouth on every bite!
Since this recipe features avocado, learn some nifty tips here on how to pick out the fruit the right way!
Pequenes, also known as caramelized onion empanadas, are classic Chilean appetizers that fit any main course.
It’s a pastry puff stuffed with caramelized onions and lightly seasoned with Latin spices to give it that punchy flavor.
The spices break the sweetness of the onion, giving you a good contrast in flavor.
This appetizer packs so much flavor which you can serve on any occasion, especially during the holidays!
The Pebre y Chancho En Piedra is a typical Chilean salsa that’s a hit among hungry diners.
It’s a classic Chilean salsa with only a few ingredients but surprises you with a homey taste from the tomatoes and a hint of spices.
You may serve this with bread, chips, or any grilled meat.
For a more developed flavor, chill 30 minutes before serving.
Hey! We have this quick yet heavenly peach salsa recipe—don’t sleep on this.
You would think that this traditional Chilean starter was created by a local.
But this was interestingly created by an Italian immigrant Edoardo Melotti Ferrari.
This appetizer is made with baked razor clams.
You bake the clams with their shells and top them with wine, cheese, and other ingredients.
The melted cheese and salty clams meld together, giving you a bursting flavor.
Chorillana is the U.S. fast-food equivalent of fries and any meat in Chile.
If you’re looking for something salty, greasy, and mouthwatering, you’ll instantly fall in love with the Chorillana.
The different flavors and textures of the various ingredients, especially the sunny-side-up egg on top with a runny yolk, will make you want more.
It can either be served in large portions as a main course or can also be an appetizer.
8. Mini Pizza
This is one of the Chilean appetizers that doesn’t involve much of your time, considering it’s pizza!
Instead of the usual dough, this Chilean Mini Pizza is made with flatbread.
Top it off with ground beef seasoned with spices—or experiment with these fun toppings.
Then top it off with olive oil and pepper relish, and you’ll undoubtedly crave more!
9. Pebre Sauce
The Pebre Sauce is another traditional sauce in Chile, where the variations vary depending on who makes it.
This Chilean appetizer can be paired with chips or flatbread before your main course.
You can experiment with the ingredients.
However, the primary ones are cilantro, olive oil, chili peppers, garlic, and chopped onions.
When combined with the chopped tomatoes, the taste is sour but with a kick from the chilis and earthiness of the cilantro.
10. Salmon Ceviche
Ceviche also varies from place to place and cook to cook.
But this particular Chilean salmon ceviche differs due to how the fish is cut.
The salmon is cut like a tartare, small enough to still give you texture when you swallow a spoonful.
The taste gives you a sour flavor from lime, lemon, and grapefruit.
But the interesting notes are from the spices like coriander, smoked paprika, and cilantro.
These are probably the most tender chicken wings you’ll ever try in your entire life!
The cooking process says everything because you let it cook in a crock pot first.
And to get that nice and crispy texture, you finish it in a broiler.
The main ingredient is sriracha, which gives the right amount of heat that excites the palate.
Running out of sriracha? Read this FAQ guide—you might find the best substitute for this recipe!
12. Pan Amasado
Pan Amasado is a Chilean bread with a flaky crust and soft center.
It’s shaped into discs and baked to perfection until golden brown and poked with holes on top.
This Chilean appetizer is excellent when paired with jam or butter.
The trick to making this bread very soft is to add lard or butter.
Also, this Chilean bread can be eaten as an appetizer, afternoon snack, or breakfast meal with your favorite spread!
If you want a taste of American fries with a Chilean twist, you can opt for this Chimichurri Fries recipe.
Sprinkle a generous helping of Queso Fresco on top of your fries with the chimichurri sauce, and you’ll never want to eat ordinary fries again!
14. Ensalada Chilena
If you’re short on time and want to prepare a quick Chilean appetizer, try the Ensalada Chilena or “Chilean salad.”
With only a handful of ingredients, this salad packs many flavors from the sour tomatoes and sweet onions.
If you’re a fan of seafood, then you’ll love this Garlic butter Langostino that will melt in your mouth.
It can be paired even with non-Chilean main courses.
You can eat this with your pasta or another Chilean entree.
Imagine the tanginess of the lemon incorporated with the buttery garlic sauce.
The sweetness and freshness of the langostino smothered in this sauce is heaven on your palate!
Anticuchos or skewers are an apt choice when looking for Chilean appetizers.
Anticuchos are typically served with meat, but this recipe uses pork loin, sirloin beef, longaniza, bell peppers, lemon, and spices.
Adding honey into the mix incorporates a sweet undertone to the grilled entree.
This Chilean appetizer if you’re looking for a lighter starter that can pump your palate up for the next course!
This tasty Red Onion & Gorgonzola Flatbread is a simple way to heighten your dining experience.
The yeasted bread is great to work with, although it requires more patience in the kitchen.
This recipe combines sweet and salty flavors from red onion and gorgonzola cheese.
Empanadas are a popular snack or appetizer in Chile, and this Empanadas De Pino is one you’ll never forget.
The flavorful ground beef and the boiled eggs and olives make this appetizer a favorite among meat lovers.
Plus, the raisins also give that sweet flavor and chewy texture.
19. Chilean Ceviche
Nothing can go wrong with this Chilean Ceviche loaded with garlic, lemon juice, and bell peppers.
A dash of cayenne and salt gives the white fish a balanced heat, while the addition of cilantro alongside red onion offers a lovely earthy and floral aroma.
Serve with toast, chips, and crackers, or wrap this ceviche with lettuce.
The bottom line
These Chilean appetizers are to die for once you’ve tasted the explosion of different flavors in your mouth.
It’s all about heat, texture, sweetness, and saltiness blended into one delicious appetizer.
Don’t hesitate to try one of these appetizers from Chile to make way for the main course with a bang!
To complete a Chilean eating experience, serve these 17 Sweet, Tasty Desserts!
- Salsa Verde
- Sopapillas (Pumpkin Fritters)
- Palta Reina
- Pebre Y Chancho En Piedra (Chilean Salsa)
- Machas A La Parmesana
- Chilean Chorrillana Fries
- Mini Pizza
- Pebre Sauce
- Salmon Ceviche
- Sweet Chile Chicken Wings
- Pan Amasado
- Chimichurri Fries
- Ensalada Chilena
- Garlic Butter Langostino
- Red Onion & Gorgonzola Flatbread
- Empanadas De Pino
- Chilean Ceviche
- Pick one or more options from our list of Chilean Appetizers here!
- Start creating your new favorite dish.
- Share and comment! Did you make any changes to make it even better?