Chile: Recipes and Cuisine

Country | Chile Image

The culinary gods have been good to Chile. With a Mediterranean climate, a wide variety of produce grows in its fields, orchards and vineyards. A long coastline makes fish and seafood plentiful. Chilean cooking is strongly influenced by the Spanish kitchen, but numerous indigenous dishes remain familiar. Pastel de choclo, tamal-like humitas and empanadas are all popular. Grilled meats (parillada) are served with pebre sauce. Common ingredients are corn, beans, pumpkin, potatoes and quinoa. Pisco brandy is the kicker ingredient in pisco sour cocktails.

Image Creative Commons by fotourbana

Chilean Recipes


Desserts | Alfajores Cookies

(South American dulce de leche sandwich cookies)

While they have origins in Moorish Spain, alfajores are especially popular in South America. They are simple shortbread sandwich cookies with a sweet filling of dulce de leche. Different doughs are used for the cookies depending on the country. Some use normal flour dough, while others add cornstarch or even cassava flour for a more delicate crumb. This recipe uses a mixture of flour and cornstarch. Read more »

Caldillo de Congrío

Fish | Caldillo de Congrio

(Chilean seafood stew)

Chile's long Pacific coast makes it a a veritable paradise for culinary fans of fruits of the sea. Chileans use their ocean bounty in countless ways. A favorite is caldillo de congrío, a simple fisherman's stew made with red conger eel, known as congrío colorado. Congrio can be difficult to find outside Chile, but you can substitute any good white-fleshed fish to similarly delectable results. Read more »


Meats | Empanadas Image

(Latin savory stuffed pastries)

Empanadas are meat pies popular throughout the Latin world. They probably originated in Galicia in the northwest corner of Spain. Spanish settlers introduced empanadas to the New World, and they are a special favorite in Chile and Argentina. The variety of fillings for empanadas is endless and includes stewlike mixtures chicken, beef, ham and cheese, fish and seafood. Other fillings include spinach, peas, potatoes, pumpkin and beans. Read more »

Manjar Blanco

(Bolivian, Chilean, Peruvian caramel spread; see Dulce de Leche recipe)

Pastel de Choclo

Meats | Pastel de Choclo

(Chilean ground beef casserole with corn batter topping)

Pastel de choclo in one form or another is popular throughout South America. It is especially popular in Chile, where it is often made with both beef and chicken. Sometimes sliced, hard-boiled eggs are added. Traditionally the pastel is baked in a large oval earthenware dish, or paila, or in several smaller bowls for individual servings. Read more »


Sauces | Pebre Image

(Chilean cilantro sauce for grilled meats)

Pebre is a spicy herbal sauce commonly served in Chile as a condiment with grilled meats, poultry or seafood. Read more »

Pisco Sour

Beverages | Pisco Sour Image

(Chilean-Peruvian brandy cocktail)

Pisco is a type of brandy made from muscat grapes that is found in Peru and Chile. Even though it is named after Peruvian town, both countries claim the pisco sour as their national drink. Read more »

Porotos Granados

Ingredients | Beans, Cranberry Image

(Chilean pumpkin and cranberry bean stew)

The origins of Chile's porotos granados reach back into pre-Hispanic times. The basic ingredients — pumpkin, beans, corn and tomatoes — are all indigenous to the New World. Cranberry beans are the traditional choice, but you can substitute other beans. Read more »