22 Famous Chilean Food Dishes to Try

Chilean dishes are a flavorful blend of Spanish, Mapuche, and European influences, utilizing local seafood, meats, and produce enriched by diverse geography.

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Basic Information

Chilean Food: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Beef, chicken, peas, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin, cheese, pork, lamb, vegetables, butter

Common Cooking Methods

Boiling, assembling, baking, steaming, simmering, stewing, deep-frying, grilling, roasting


Main course, appetizer, dessert


Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Key Taste

Savory, sweet, sour, neutral

Eating Etiquette

Eating with utensils is common for most meals, though some snacks and street foods are eaten with hands. People often start eating with broth before moving on to the meat and vegetables.

Meal Presentation

Often rustic and hearty, with a focus on showcasing the fresh ingredients.

Culinary Festivals

New Year

Influence and Fusion

Spanish, German, and Italian influences
Origin and Region

Chilean Food: Origin and Region



Cuisine’s Geographical Territory

South America
Chile Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Popular Types of Chilean Food

  • Snacks

    Chilean stews are hearty and comforting dishes that reflect the country’s diverse geography and climate, utilizing a rich array of local produce, meats, and seafood.

  • Stews

    Chilean stews are hearty and comforting dishes that utilize a rich array of local produce, meats, and seafood.

  • Desserts

    Chilean desserts combine traditional ingredients and techniques with contemporary twists.

    These treats vary from baked goods to creamy delights.

Chilean dishes are a vibrant fusion of traditional Spanish cooking, indigenous Mapuche culture, and a variety of influences from European specialties enriched by the country’s vast array of local ingredients.

This culinary tradition is known for its diverse flavors and ingredients, thanks to Chile’s wide-ranging geography and climate. The extensive coastline adds a significant seafood dimension to the cuisine, offering unique species of fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and algae.

Chile’s status as one of the world’s largest wine producers also plays a crucial role, with many dishes either accompanied by or cooked with local wines.

Ingredients introduced by Spanish conquerors, such as wheat, pigs, and cattle, have become staples, blending with native elements like potatoes, maize, beans, and seafood.

Over time, Chilean cuisine has evolved to include a variety of dishes that reflect the country’s cultural diversity and rich culinary heritage.

Jump into the world of Chilean dishes by uncovering the fascinating regional cuisines of the country along with some fine refreshments to accompany the delicacies.

Chilean food reveals a cuisine deeply influenced by a mix of indigenous traditions and European influences. Here are some key aspects to notice when it comes to traditional Chilean food:

  • Diverse Influences: Chilean cuisine is a blend of traditional Spanish cooking, indigenous Mapuche culture, and later influences from European cuisines.
  • Local Ingredients: Utilizes a wide range of local agricultural produce, fruits, and vegetables, thanks to Chile’s varied geography and climate.
  • Seafood: The long coastline and relationship with the Pacific Ocean contribute a vast array of seafood to the cuisine, unique to the country’s waters.
  • Historical Staples: Post-Spanish conquest, staples include wheat, pigs, sheep, cattle, chickens, wine, potatoes, maize, beans, and seafood.
  • European Immigrant Influence: The 19th and 20th centuries saw the arrival of German, Italian, and French immigrants, further diversifying the cuisine with dishes like Berliners, kuchens, and pasta.

Find out more about Chilean food around the world, giving you a better picture of the food’s popularity.

Chilean cuisine, with its rich tapestry of flavors and ingredients, has found a place on the global culinary map and is being embraced by various countries.

In Cuba, the shared cultural and historical ties with Chile have led to the integration of Chilean culinary practices. Venezuela, another Latin American country, has adopted Chilean dishes, incorporating local ingredients like plantains to create unique versions of traditional Chilean fare.

Chilean influences have also touched Colombia’s diverse cuisine, integrating dishes that reflect a blend of both cultures.

In the United States, particularly in areas with significant Chilean communities, such as New York, Florida, and Illinois.

Furthermore, the healthy side of Chilean food is also worth exploring, giving you more helpful information about the dishes you’re about to look into.

The health aspects of Chilean food can be attributed to several key factors inherent in its traditional cuisine:

  • Diverse Ingredients: Chilean cuisine incorporates a wide range of fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins, thanks to the country’s diverse geography and climate. This variety ensures a balanced intake of essential nutrients.
  • Local Produce: The emphasis on local ingredients ensures that dishes are made with fresh, minimally processed foods, reducing the intake of preservatives and artificial additives.
  • Traditional Cooking Methods: Many Chilean recipes favor cooking methods like steaming, boiling, and grilling, which preserve the nutritional value of food better than frying or other high-fat preparation methods.
  • High Seafood Consumption: The extensive coastline allows for a diet rich in seafood, providing high-quality proteins and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

With this information in mind, you should be on your way to discover 22 dishes from Chile, offering interesting picks to add to your diet.

22 Most Popular Chilean Dishes with Filters

Don’t forget to make use of the filter system, which allows you to see these Chilean specialties in alphabetical order, including main ingredients, cooking techniques, tastes, worldwide popularity, and dish types.

Don’t forget to peek into the most popular, traditional, street food, and fusion culinary creations of Chile to gain more valuable information:

  • These are dishes that have gained widespread acceptance among Chileans and visitors found across a variety of dining contexts.
  • Dishes incorporate local, seasonal ingredients with a significant role in Chilean cuisine.
  • They are consumed in daily meals as well as during festive and special occasions.
  • Historical roots extend back through generations.
  • Result from a blend of indigenous culinary practices and Spanish colonial influences.
  • Characterized by using ingredients native to Chile or those that have been integrated into local agriculture for centuries.
  • Known for its easy availability in public spaces, offering quick, convenient, and affordable options for on-the-go eating.
  • Boasting a broad spectrum of flavors from all sorts of ingredients
  • Related to social and cultural gatherings, particularly prominent during festivals and communal events.
  • Feature innovative culinary creations that blend traditional Chilean elements with influences from across the globe.
  • Represent modern culinary trends, appealing to various tastes.
Locos Chilean Abalone


  • Traditional

Locos is a type of abalone that used to be abundant in Chile. Nowadays, you can only find it during its season between March and May.

Just a heads up, the cooking method of this traditional food is quite time-consuming, requiring the fresh abalone to be softened by pounding over ashes, then boiled slowly to bland.

For serving, the most common way to pair it with mayonnaise.

Chancho En Piedra

Chancho en Piedra

  • Traditional

Chancho en piedra is a typical Chilean sauce utilizing tomatoes and spices that are ground in a stone mortar. This combination produces a tangy sauce best served with bread, empanadas, or grilled meats.

In fact, ‘chancho en piedra’ means ‘pig in a stone’, but there is no pork here. Ideally, locals will prepare and serve the sauce immediately to preserve the flavor of tomatoes.

Furthermore, the sauce rarely makes any appearance at restaurants due to the difficulty in the preparation process.

Machas A La Parmesana

Machas a la Parmesana

  • Traditional

Macha a la parmesana is a Chilean dish revolving around saltwater clams called macha and Parmesan cheese. Chileans make the dish by splitting the clams and baking them on one half of the shell.

As for the cheese, the Parmesan is best joined with butter, white wine, or lemon to enhance the flavors. Aside from Parmesan, this baked clam specialty also adapts well with other cheese options along with cream and garlic.

Humitas Corn Cake


  • Traditional

Humitas is a corn cake in Chile that comes from the Andes region. It was believed to first appeared in Chile during the 19th century.

Traditionally, humitas were made of mashed corn, mixed with basil, onion, and butter, then wrapped in corn husks. Plus, the outer wrapper is further secured with threads or twine.

The basic flavor is meant to be sweet; however, the Chilean also created other flavors for humitas, including savory, spicy, or sour, by adding salt, Chilean green chili pepper, or tomato.

Ceviche Marinated Raw Fish


  • Fusion
  • Traditional

Ceviche is raw seafood fish making an impact in Chile that is actually a traditional dish of Peru. It’s mostly made of raw fish, lemon juice, coriander, and onion in Chile.

The primary fish in this dish is halibut or Patagonian toothfish, which is widely commercialized in Chile. However, sometimes it is also substituted with salmon or shrimp and served in a small cup.

Caldillo De Congrio

Caldillo de Congrio

  • Traditional

Caldillo de congrio is a beloved soup in central Chile, known for its light yet revitalizing qualities. Ideal for lunch, the soup’s fame peaks in Isla Negra, celebrated by Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda in a dedicated poem.

This dish typically features carrots, onions, garlic, laurel, tomatoes, and its key ingredient, congrio. Contrary to common belief, ‘congrio’ is not an eel but a type of fish, accurately referred to as kingklip in English.

Valdiviano Jerky Soup


  • Traditional

Valdiviano is a hearty soup originating from the late 16th century in Valdivia, one of the last Chilean provinces under Spanish control.

Typically served as a late dinner, especially after a night of drinking, the soup, with its key ingredient ‘charqui’ (jerky), offers a warming and satisfying meal with other vegetables.

Pastel De Cholo

Pastel de Choclo

  • Traditional

Pastel de choclo, a signature Chilean dish since the Spanish conquest, is a corn cake bringing together ground beef and mashed corn with ‘pino’, a mixture similar to empanada filling.

This combination is heated with milk and lard or butter in a clay pot before being slowly baked. Variations include substituting beef with chicken, or adding fruits like raisins to the mixture.

Pollo Arvejado

Pollo Arvejado

  • Traditional

Pollo arvejado is a popular Chilean lunch dish, originally from the Mapuche region, featuring chicken and peas as its core ingredients.

Accompanied by carrots, onions, garlic, white wine, and various Chilean herbs and spices, this thick stew is particularly popular in the countryside and is commonly served with rice or potatoes.

Potoros Granados

Porotos Granados

  • Traditional

Porotos granados is a robust summer bean stew originating from Chile’s central and southern regions. The savory stew is now a common dinner item, typically containing white or cranberry beans, carrots, maize kernels, and squash.

In the winter, people add pumpkins to make use of the produce at its peak flavor. Plus, there’s even a variant called ‘porotos con riendas,’ which includes strips of pork skin or spaghetti.

Cazuela Chilean Stew


  • Traditional

Cazuela is another stew dish that stems from Mapuche indigenous living in Chile. Surprisingly, the name ‘cazuela’ actually stands for the pot that stews the food.

Commonly, chicken or beef will be stewed in the ‘cazuela’ pot along with carrots and potatoes. Other ingredients, such as beans, corn, and squash, will be cooked separately in another pot.

For serving, locals will bring together the mentioned elements in a bowl to create cazuela. In Chile, the population tends to have the broth of cazuela first before consuming the meat and vegetables.

Charquican Beef Stew


  • Traditional

Charquicán is a stew delicacy popular among Chile and the Andes nations. The term “charqui” actually means llama jerky; however, you can rarely find an “authentic” charquican since most modern dishes are made with ground beef.

Along with the beef broth are pumpkin, potato, corn, onion, and other Chilean spices. Many local restaurants served charquican with a fried egg on top for a nutritious breakfast.

Alfajores Filled Cookies


  • Traditional

Alfajores is a dessert or sweet snack, consumed year-round in Central Chile. Though you can find these small sandwiches at anytime, it’s most abundant in September, when the traditional Patriotic festivities occur.

What made the beautiful alfajor is simply two pieces of Chilean sponge cake adhered with confectioners cream, or majar, known as ‘dulce de leche’, a Latin America caramel.

Nowadays, alfajores are often garnished with ground coconut or chocolate, sometimes both. And there’s also another version of it which is covered in meringue, called ‘chilenitos’.

Sopaipilla Fried Astry


  • Street Food

Sopaipilla is a well-known fried pastry among Chileans. It’s been a part of the country’s diet since the 18th century.

Nowadays, sopaipilla is mostly served as street food or a homemade treat on heavy rain days. The dough comprises ground pumpkin, wheat flour, and butter or vegetable shortening.

After being deep-fried, sopaipillas puff up and look like pillows. Sopaipilla is not only served as a sweet snack, but it also can be combined with pebre salsa, mashed avocado, or other sauces to form a savory dish.

Cuchufli Cookie Sticks


  • Street Food

Cuchuflí is a traditional Chilean dessert featuring a wafer tube cookie filled with manjar, or dulce de leche.

Originating from Spanish tube cookies, the Chilean version has altered the wafer’s texture and incorporated a sweet filling. Today, cuchuflí is widely available in markets and supermarkets, with numerous variations.

Pan De Pascua

Pan de Pascua

  • Traditional

Pan de pascua is a traditional Chilean holiday cake with its name stemming from an old confusion between ‘pascua’ (Easter) and ‘Navidad’ (Christmas).

Influenced by German stollen and Italian panettone, its texture is closer to a sponge cake than bread, flavored with ginger and honey. The dough is enriched with nuts, dried fruits, brandy or rum, and Chilean spices.

Chilean families typically prepare it just before Christmas, often accompanied by ‘cola de mono,’ a traditional cocktail.

Empanada Chilean Patty


  • Traditional

Empanada is one of the patties that was created during the establishment of Chilean culture. On special holidays, Chileans consume a huge quantity of empanadas.

Traditionally, the empanada in Chile is a deep-fried or baked patty stuffed with ‘pino’. The pastry is usually served in a small size as a snack or appetizer.

However, empanada is sometimes served bigger for the main meal or alternatively stuffed with yummy Chilean fruits such as pineapple or apple for a sweet serving.

Pan Con Palta

Pan con Palta

  • Traditional

Pan con palta is a traditional Chilean dish, drawing influence from Spanish cuisine. The delicacy is all about a thin slice of bread topped with mashed avocado.

This simple offering is a delightful option for a Chilean breakfast made easily at home. In Chile, it serves not only as an appetizer or snack but also as a beloved treat for children.

Churrasco Italian Sanwich


  • Street Food

Churrasco is a popularized sandwich in Chile that comes from Brazil. In Chile, the churrasco sandwich includes mashed avocado, thin steaks, mayonnaise, and tomato, all nestled within a Chilean bun.

It even has a popular variation, the chacarero, which swaps out the mashed avocado for green beans, tomatoes, and Chilean green chili pepper.

Completo Chilean Hot Dog


  • Street Food

Completos is a Chilean fast food featuring a hot dog or sausage sandwich in a soft oblong bun. This variation typically includes a Vienna sausage and is widely available throughout Chile.

In addition, completos also feature mashed avocado in its toppings, earning them the “Italiano” moniker.

Choripan Chorizo Sanwich


  • Street Food

Choripan is a well-known type of small hotdog in Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, and other Spanish-speaking countries. It’s sometimes added with different toppings.

However, the traditional ingredients are just chorizo, a Spanish sausage, and pan, a local bun.

In Chile, choripan is also a portion of famous street food and is often served with ‘pebre’. The Chileans also substitute chorizo with longaniza, another Spanish sausage with a strong flavor profile.

Chochoca Mashed Potato Flatbread


  • Traditional

Chochoca is a Chilean flatbread that originated in Chilóe island, where it is famous for multiple types of potato. This bread dough is made of mashed potatoes with wheat flour.

It is usually wrapped over a long spit, rotating on an ember fire. Once done, the flatbread is folded over until it fits a dish for serving.

Nowadays, chochoca is usually served on its own, but for a traditional lunch, it is stuffed with chicharrones, a Spanish fried pork.

What Are the Regional Cuisines in Chile?

In Chile, each region offers a different approach to food, giving birth to a wide range of flavors. Here are the major cuisine regions in Chile to know about:

  • Influenced by Andean Aymara, Diaguita, Atacameño, and Chango cultures.
  • High in protein with a focus on tubers like apilla or oca and ulluco, and camelid meats like llama and alpaca.
  • Shaped by native peoples and European immigrants, with a strong emphasis on farm life and agriculture.
  • Features a mix of seafood, meats, and vegetables, incorporating European culinary traditions.
  • Marked by Mapuche and Chilote influences, as well as significant German immigration, leading to a blend of indigenous and European (especially German) culinary practices.
  • Seafood plays a crucial role, alongside traditional German cakes and desserts.
  • Combines Chilean and Polynesian elements, offering a wide variety of fish and unique fruits and tubers not found in continental Chile.
  • Dishes include a local version of ceviche.

Thanks to these diverse cuisines, you get to enjoy a wide range of dishes in Chile. Furthermore, drinks are also an important part of taking your Chilean meal to the next level.

What Chilean Dishes to Pair with Beverages?

Don’t stop at knowing only about the Chilean dishes, as there are more drink options in Chile lying out there to enhance your experience:

  • Empanadas: Typically enjoyed with Chilean wines, particularly Carménère or Cabernet Sauvignon, which complement the rich fillings of meat, cheese, or seafood.
  • Pastel de Choclo: A sweet corn pie that pairs well with a refreshing white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, balancing the sweetness of the corn with its crisp acidity.
  • Ceviche: This citrus-cured seafood dish is best accompanied by a crisp and aromatic white wine, like a Chilean Chardonnay, enhancing the fresh flavors of the fish.
  • Porotos Granados: This hearty bean stew is complemented by a light red wine, such as Pinot Noir, or a fruity white wine, offering a contrast to the richness of the dish.

Have you found your favorite delicacies? Share your thoughts with other readers in the comment section.

Don’t forget to share these Chilean dishes with your loved ones who also indulge in the wonderful Chilean cuisine.

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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