Typical Chilean Food
Being such a long country stretched over a variety of landscapes, Chile has a vast range of food and drink.
One of the highlights of Chilean Cuisine is its diversity of Seafood due to its 4,270 km (2,647 miles) of coastline. Another thing not to be missed while in Chile is its high quality red wine.
Chilean food should not be confused with the spicy dishes common in Mexico. Unlike Mexican meals, the hot chili is not too frequent in Chile.
Check out our 11 Tips about Chilean Food on our Blog.
Typisches chilenisches Essen (Typical Chilean Food in German)
Typical Chilean Dishes
Here is a list of typical Chilean Food and Drink and what their equivalent is in English:
Arrollado de Chancho - Chunks of pork wrapped in pork fat smothered in red ají (chili).
Bistec a lo pobre - beefsteak, French fries, fried onions, topped with a couple of fried eggs.
Carbonada - meat soup with finely diced beef and all kinds of vegetables such as potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, green pepper and parsley.
Chancho en Piedra - a typical Chilean seasoning. Tomatoes, garlic, and onions grounded together in a stone.
Charquican - ground or diced meat cooked with garlic, onions, potatoes and pumpkin all mashed. It is a mushy dish but great.
Cazuela de Ave - chicken soup with pieces of meat, potatoes, green beans or peas, rice or noodles.
Cazuela de Vacuno - beef soup with pieces of meat, potatoes, corn on the cob, carrots, onions, green beans, garlic, chunks of pumpkin, rice or noodles.
Charquicán - Potato, pumpkin, mince, onion, carrot sometimes with peas and corn (both optional) all mashed together.
Costillar de Chancho - baked spare (pork) ribs.
Curanto en Hoyo - a typical dish from the south of Chile. Traditionally prepared by heating fish, seafood, potatoes, some meat, milcaos and types of bread over red hot rocks in a hole in the ground. The food is wrapped in big leaves and then covered with dirt so that it slowly cooks over a number of hours. (Similar to a hangi in New Zealand)
Empanada de Pino - typical turnover (pastry) filled with diced meat, onions, olive, raisins and a piece of hard-boiled egg, baked in earthen or plain oven.
Empanada de Queso - typical turnover filled with cheese. (Photo on right)
Ensalada a la Chilena - sliced tomatoes and onions with an oil dressing.
Humitas - boiled corn leaf rolls filled with seasoned ground corn.
Milcaos - grated raw potato squeezed until dry then added to minced cooked potatoes and flattened to a bread-like form then baked or fried. This is one of the ingredients that can be found in a typical curanto.
Palta Reina - an avocado half which is filled with tuna fish or ham and covered with mayonnaise. It is served on lettuce leaves, normally as an entree.
Parrillada - different kinds of meat, sausages and sometimes entrails grilled over charcoal and served with potato salad or rice.
Pastel de Choclo - a typical Chilean summer dish. Ground corn and meat, chopped onions small pieces of chicken, pieces of hard boiled egg, olive raisins - baked in clay or regular oven. Similar to a shepherd pie.
Pebre - seasoning of tomatoes with chopped onion, chili, coriander, and chives. Usually served in a little clay dish.
Pernil - boiled whole hock (ham).
Pollo Arvejado - Chicken served with peas, onion and sliced carrots.
Porotos Granados - fresh bean dish with ground corn and pieces of pumpkin served hot.
Prietas - Blood sausages.
Sopaipilla - a flat circular deep fried 'bread' made of pumpkin and flour.
Almejas con Limón - raw clams with lemon juice.
Caldillo de Congrio - conger-eel soup with onions, potatoes and carrots.
Ceviche - minced raw sea bass in lemon juice.
Congrio Frito - deep-fried conger eel.
Chupe de Locos - abalone bread pudding.
Empanada de Mariscos - turnovers filled with chopped seafood onions and seasoning.
Machas a la Parmesana - parmesan cheese raisor clams.
Mariscal - cold soup with all kinds of raw seafood.
Ostiones a la Parmesana - scallops on the shells in melted butter and covered with grilled Parmesan cheese.
Pastel de Jaiba - Chilean Crab Pie served in its own shell (see photo).
Piure - Sea Squirts that are a dark red colour and with a very distinct strong flavour. Often eaten with diced onion, coriander and lemon. Best eaten near Chiloé.
Aliado - ham and cheese sandwich.
Ave Mayo - diced chicken meat and mayonnaise.
Ave Palta - diced chicken meat and mashed avocado.
Ave Pimienta - diced chicken meat and red pepper.
Barros Jarpa - grilled cheese and ham on white bun.
Barros Luco - grilled cheese and meat on white bread.
Chacarero - sliced meat, green beans, chili and tomatoes.
Churrasco - beef sandwich.
Churrasco con Tomate - thin sliced meat and slices of tomato on white bun.
Churrasco con Palta - thin sliced meat, mashed avocado on white bun.
Completo - hot dog with all kinds of trimmings: mayonnaise, tomatoes, onions, dilled pickles sauerkraut, etc.
Especial - hot dog with tomatoes.
Italiano - hot dog with avocado, tomatoes and mayonnaise.
Hamburguesa - hamburger patty. It isn't always served between buns.
Lomito Completo - sliced pork meat with sauerkraut, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup.
Pan Amasado - homemade bread.
Piñera Sandwich - Salmon, Arugula (rocket) and cream cheese. See more about the Piñera Sandwich.
Typical Chilean Desserts (and sweet things)
Alfajor - a flat round pastry (almos like two biscuits together) filled with manjar and covered in Chocolate
Arroz con Leche - Rice pudding (literally rice with milk)
Bavarois de Lucuma - bavarois (type of custard) of a variety of eggfruit
Berlin - a round donut filled with manjar or jam / jelly
Calzones Rotos - literally translated as “broken underwear”, it is a sweet, soft dough that is twisted and then fried. Sometimes icing sugar is sprinkled on top.
Chumbeque - A traditional sweet from Iquique. Photos and Comments about Chumbeques.
Kuchen - a German fruit flan often found in the South of Chile
Leche Asada - A milk flan.
Manjar - a brown spread or cake filling made from boiled milk and sugar. Some visitors say it tastes like caramel. Manjar is quite sweet and is used in many cakes and sweet dishes.
Mote con Huesillo - cooked dried peaches and stewed corn served as a drink
Pan de Pascua - Christmas cake
Papaya con Crema - preserved papaya with whipped cream.
Sopaipillas Pasadas - sopaipillas are immersed in a warm sauce that contains water, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and orange rind. Photos and Comments about Sopaipillas Pasadas
Check out the 11 Tips about Chilean Food.
Learn more about Typical Chilean Drinks at: Chilean Drinks
Download our free printable Chilean Food Guide (in PDF).
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Three Generations of Chilean Cuisine
The author recognizes the limitations of North American kitchens, so she suggests practical substitutions that echo Chilean foods rather than rigorously reproducing originals.