Chilean foods are a little like Chilean people: they’re colorful, lively, and full of surprises.
Have you ever heard of Chilean food?
If not, you’re about to get a crash course in some truly incredible dishes.
Chilean food has a distinct style and flavor and is absolutely delicious!
Do you want to know why?
That’s because Chilean food is steeped in tradition and history, but it’s also modern and inventive, making it so wonderful.
If you’ve never tried Chilean cuisine before, you’re missing out on one of the most diverse cuisines in the world.
From traditional dishes like Cazuela to more modern ones like Pastel de Choclo, Chilean food has something for everyone.
But #26 might just take the cake.
What do Chileans eat at home and what are the most iconic Chilean dishes?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Pebre is a flavorful dip that tastes like a cross between pico de gallo and salsa.
It is made by mixing chopped fresh vegetables, lime juice, and olive oil until they have a strong yet smooth flavor that can only come from using juicy, raw ingredients you can usually find in your garden.
You can serve it alongside warm bread or use it in sandwiches like choripan.
Humitas are a staple of Chilean cuisine and are often sold at street stalls.
They are made by combining mashed corn with basil, onion, shortening, or vegetable oil and then wrapping the mixture in corn husks.
Also, the basic recipe for Humitas is traditionally sweet.
Still, you can make it savory or spicy by adding some salt, green chili pepper, or tomato.
You also bring them to picnics and parties because they’re easy to move around and make for a perfect snack on the go!
Empanadas de Pino is a tasty deep-fried or baked patty loaded with ‘pino’ – a traditional Chilean filling including beef, onion, olive – and hard-boiled egg.
The outside has a crispy texture, and the inside is warm and fluffy.
Plus, they’re packed with flavor and have a nice crunch when you bite into them.
Indeed, all the ingredients combine to make an incredible taste sensation that will leave you wanting more!
Carbonada Soup is a classic dish in Chile made with beef, corn, potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots.
It’s a bowl full of pure comfort; and hearty, thick, and substantial enough to serve as a meal.
The best part?
Each ingredient adds something unique to the recipe—from the sweet corn kernels to the rich beef broth and earthy pumpkins.
The result is a rich and well-seasoned soup without being too heavy or filling. It’s just right!
Ensalada Chilena is a classic Chilean dish that’s so simple that you could make it with your eyes closed.
It’s a crowd-pleaser not only because it’s quick to prepare but also because it’s simply delectable.
The tangy acidity of the tomato combines with the mellow sweetness of the onion to form a perfect balance of flavors that makes Ensalada Chilena one of Chile’s most iconic dishes.
Pan Amasado is a disc-shaped, flaky golden crust with a soft center so irresistible that you’ll never need butter or spread to enjoy it.
It has the texture of a popover and tastes like something between an English muffin and a croissant.
What’s more, it has just the right amount of crunchiness around the edges to add texture without being overwhelming.
It’s also perfect for dipping into any soup or stew.
There’s nothing like a good fry to set you up for the day.
And that’s what Chilean Chorrillana Fries are all about.
The fries are thick, crunchy, and salty—they taste like the best parts of a potato chip.
The beef is soft and juicy, the onions are sweet and caramelized, and the eggs are fried just right, so they’re still runny enough to cream all over the fries.
Chilean Sopaipillas with Homemade Citrus and Cinnamon Syrup is a delightful experience for any palette,
It’s tender and delicate but still has a little bit of bite.
The warmth of the cinnamon syrup mingles with the tangy citrus flavor and melts into your mouth
like butter on popcorn.
You can almost feel yourself relaxing as it reaches your tongue.
Porots Granados is one of my favorite things to eat.
It’s an unexpectedly delightful combo of vegetables, fresh oregano, and smoked paprika.
It has the perfect amount of heat and spice, but it’s never too much.
And it’s flavorfully satisfying enough that you won’t need to add anything else to make it taste amazing.
The first time I tried a Completo, it was love at first bite.
There’s something about the juicy hotdog that really brings out the flavor of the other ingredients.
The sauerkraut adds a burst of tang and texture, while the tomato and onion add a welcome flavor contrast to balance out the texture of the hot dog itself.
And then there are mashed avocados that are creamy and gooey and make you want to take another bite just so you can taste it again!
The first time I tried Pan De Pascua, I was surprised by its texture.
I expected it to be light and fluffy like other bread; instead, it had the density of a pound cake.
The flavor is distinctive, too: rich spices like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, give it warmth, while rum
adds sweetness and depth of flavor.
And the dried fruits add brightness and tartness, while the nuts add crunchy texture and taste.
Calzones Rotos are like empanadas, but lighter and flakier.
They have a rich flavor that’s hard to describe; it’s not quite like anything else I’ve ever had before!
But it’s definitely scrumptious!
The dough is light and pillowy but still has a nice crunch from being fried in oil.
The stuffing is sweet but not overly so; it’s balanced out nicely by the citrusy flavor of the zest.
And the whole thing is just packed with amazing flavor that makes you want to eat more and more of them until you’re full!
When you bite into a piece of Pastel De Choclo, you’ll be greeted with a creamy yellow topping that reminds you of custard.
But then you get to the bottom layer, and it’s like, “Oh my god, what is this amazing thing?!”
It’s a sweet and savory casserole-like dish, and it’s both creamy and crunchy, with one layer sweet and the other salty.
You might even wonder how this could possibly work. But it does!
And once you have a bite, you’ll never forget it!
The Chilean Strawberry Kuchen is a luscious cream tart perfect for any holiday or special occasion.
It’s not too sweet and has the perfect balance of flavors.
It’s not too rich, but it has just enough sweetness.
The texture is lovely—firm enough that when you bite into it, it doesn’t fall apart on your fork, but soft enough that you don’t need teeth to eat it!
It really does melt in your mouth.
And the tartness of the strawberries goes perfectly with the sweetness of the filling, making this a dessert that will please even people with sophisticated tastes.
Imagine a sandwich that’s so good that you could eat it every day for the rest of your life.
The Chacarero is that sandwich.
The steak has a great balance of tenderness and is boldly flavored.
But the green beans add an element of crunch that makes this sandwich feel like it has more going on than just meat.
I love to make this savory dish when I want something tasty but also simple to prepare at home.
The shell is the first thing you’ll notice about Machas a la Parmesana.
It’s like a miniature fortress; you can almost see the little razor clam inside.
And when you bite into them, you’ll notice how the cheese adds some richness to the dish and how
the wine gives it a bit of acidity to balance out all those earthy flavors.
You’ll also realize that the razor clams are very tender and flavorful on their own—but with these other ingredients?
It’s like a party in your mouth!
17. Brazo De Reina
Some people think Brazo de Reina is a cake; others insist it’s a pastry.
The truth is, it’s both.
Brazo de Reina is a classic rolled cake with milk jam (dulce de leche).
It’s light, puffy, and bouncy: the perfect combination of texture and flavor.
This dessert is also a favorite among the Chilean people, and it’s easy to see why: it’s delectable!
Besides, this sweet treat means “queen’s arm” in Spanish—so it only makes sense that you’ll want to try some for yourself.
And if you do, I can guarantee you’ll be hooked!
Caldillo de Congrio means “conger chowder,” a famous Chilean fish soup made with conger eel as the main ingredient.
The soup tastes similar to clam chowder, but it’s more hearty and has more texture.
It’s also a seafood dish that’s rich in flavor, so you’ll want to serve it with plenty of bread or crackers to soak up all the delicious broth!
19. Chilean Cazuela
It’s time to get down and dirty with Chilean Cazuela.
It has everything: meat, veggies, potatoes, and more.
Basically, it’s a hearty, rustic stew.
But the best part about Cazuela is that you can make it as spicy or mild as you want—it’s all about
If you want it to be on the zingy side, add some red pepper flakes to give it some kick!
If you want a milder flavor profile, just leave out the red pepper flakes altogether.
Chilean Cocadas is hard to describe, but it’s one of those things you just have to try.
They’re coconut macaroons with an extra depth and richness that I haven’t found anywhere else.
It has a soft, chewy texture, but the flavor is so complex that it’s almost impossible to explain.
It’s like a coconut caramel-flavored cookie with an extra layer of buttery goodness—but not quite!
Try them out for yourself, and you’ll know what I mean.
Pastel de Jaibas is a rich, tasty crab pie or casserole with a unique flavor.
The semi-doughy and cheesy topping give way to a tender crab meat filling that is creamy and savory.
The dish has just enough spice to bring out the other flavors without being overbearing.
And the texture is light and flaky but not crumbly; it tastes almost like a delectable puff pastry.
This recipe author mentions that the Chilean version of Alfajores doesn’t use a shortbread dough.
This one uses an egg-based dough that’s only rolled on one side, so there’s a cute curled up edge
This recipe covers the “cookie” part, but a link for a dulce de leche is included.
You can find other Chilean desserts in my list here.
23. Chilean Estofado
Chilean Estofado is a classic beef stew bursting with lots of flavors.
The tomato sauce, herbs, and spices give it an amazing tangy flavor, while the fresh vegetables keep it light and fresh.
Then the meat is tender enough so that it falls apart easily when you bite into it with your teeth but
still has enough substance to hold its form during cooking.
I can say that it’s a perfect dish for cold winter nights, and you’ll love it.
Chilean-Style Ceviche is not just any fish dish; it’s seafood that has been flash-marinated in a vibrant blend of spices and citrus juice.
The result is tender, juicy meat soaking up all the flavors in the marinade while maintaining its
original texture (which isn’t always easy).
It also tastes refreshing, zingy, and delightfully acidic—strong enough to wake up your tastebuds.
This makes Chilean-Style Ceviche great for people who love experimenting with different flavors but aren’t big fans of getting too adventurous with their meals.
I’ve often heard that Chilean Vegetable Stew is a dish with many nuances.
But from how I see it, there’s only one: super savory.
It has a little punch, but you wouldn’t notice unless you were looking for it.
Also, it has enough saltiness to make your tongue tingle at the end of each bite but not enough to
make your mouth water; it’s the perfect amount of seasoning for every bite.
And there are just the right amount of herbs you can taste without being overwhelmed by them.
The flavors are so intense, and the texture is incredible—it feels like you are simultaneously eating something hearty yet light!
The Chilean steak roll, or Niños Envueltos, is a culinary delight that I don’t think I could ever grow tired of.
When you sink your teeth into it, you’ll feel your mouth bursting with flavor—the perfect mix of spiciness, sweetness, and saltiness that hits your taste buds just right.
Then, the meat is tender and succulent, and it melts in your mouth like butter on hot toast.
Indeed, it’s a mouthwatering treat that’s well worth the indulgence.
Chilean Carne Mechada is a stew made with beef and vegetables.
The beef chunks are simmered in water and then cooked in a savory aromatic sauce.
The resulting dish has a decadent, deep flavor that comes from the combination of flavors: the slight
heat and earthiness from vegetables and flavorings, the zestiness and richness of the stock mixture, and the juiciness of the roasted beef itself.
It also has a smoky, almost meaty taste that lingers on your tongue as you take a bite.
Serve it with rice, bread, or tortillas for the ultimate culinary experience.
The bottom line
It may not be the world’s most well-known cuisine, but I must admit that Chilean foods are pretty amazing.
I’ve never had a bad experience with them, and to me, that’s a good sign of a good cultural society.
Plus, the amount of diversity in dishes alone demonstrates that Chileans bring their unique flavors and touches to the table.
If you want to experience a country’s culture through food, I recommend trying Chilean dishes.
You just might find yourself falling in love with them.
- Humitas (Corn Tamales)
- Empanadas De Pino (Chilean Beef Empanadas)
- Chilean Carbonada Soup
- Ensalada Chilena
- Pan Amasado (Chilean Country Bread)
- Chilean Chorrillana Fries
- Chilean Sopaipillas With Homemade Citrus & Cinnamon Syrup
- Porots Granados (Chilean Sweet Potato Stew)
- Completos (Chilean-Style Hotdogs)
- Pan De Pascua (Chilean Holiday Fruitcake)
- Calzones Rotos (Chilean Fried Pastries)
- Pastel De Choclo (Corn Pie)
- Chilean Strawberry Kuchen
- Chacarero (Chilean Steak Sandwich)
- Machas A La Parmesana (Chilean Razor Clams With Parmesan)
- Brazo De Reina
- Caldillo De Congrio (Chilean Seafood Stew)
- Chilean Cazuela
- Chilean Cocadas (Coconut Macaroons)
- Pastel De Jaibas (Chilean Crab Casserole)
- Chilean Alfajores
- Chilean Estofado
- Chilean-Style Ceviche
- Chilean Vegetable Stew
- Niños Envueltos (Steak Rolls)
- Chilean Carne Mechada
- Take a walk through toward Chilean Foods.
- Choose a recipe you’ve been wanting to try.
- Start cookin’ and chewin’ and share the good stuff!