Whenever I’m travelling for long periods of time I start missing Chilean food, notable for the variety of flavours and huge array of seafood products. Sometimes I hear foreigners say that they didn’t find anything particular about our gastronomy, but let me point you the right way with these 6 Chilean typical dishes you should try.

Pastel de choclo (corn pudding)

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Pastel de choclo is a Chilean dish basically made of a paste of sweetcorn. Underneath is the filling made of pino, a mixture of ground beef, onions, black olives, raisins and a slice of a hard-boiled egg. Sometimes it includes chicken.

Pastel de Jaiba (crab pie)

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The tasty, creamy Chilean-style crab pie is my all time favourite that I can’t wait to eat every time I travel back home. I avoid eating this very often, because I have a sensitive stomach and this is quite heavy.

Empanada de pino (beef empanada)

There is a lot of different types of empanadas in South America but ours are my favourites. The most traditional Chilean empanada is the one made with pino, which is similar to the filling of the pastel de choclo dish, but the beef is chopped instead of ground. The baked dough makes all the difference.

Beef empanadas are one of the key traditional foods served during Chile’s national holiday celebrations that take place in September 18th.

Empanada camaron-queso (shrimp and cheese empanada)

This is a different type of empanada. You have two options of dough: fried or baked, filled with shrimp and cheese. It’s a bomb and it sure has a lot of calories, but the taste won’t make you regret some extra pounds on your hips.

Another good option are the ostion queso empanadas, with cheese and scallops.


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You can found different versions of ceviche in Latin America and the Caribbean and every country seems to think that they invented it!

Even though I’m a fan of the Peruvian and Mexican version, my all time favourite is the Chilean one that my dad prepares with raw fish (usually reineta), marinated with lemon juice, mixed with onion and seasoned with garlic, salt, olive oil, red peppers and corn. I like to put a piece of avocado on the top.

You can also try the salmon version.


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When I think of Chilean food this dish is not my first option (remember the crab pie), but nothing screams HOME more than a cazuela. Special for those cold winter days, when all you want is a good soup.

Cazuela is made with chicken or tender beef (my favourite), pumpkin, potatoes, cilantro and noodles. I prefer to eat the meat and pumpkin and leave the broth for the next meal, otherwise I feel very full if I have everything at the same time. But that’s me!


BONUS! Pebre

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Chilean food is not spicy at all, but if you want to spice your food you can try some pebre. Is not a dish itself, it is more like a seasoning made with chopped tomatoes and onions, garlic, coriander, oil and chili. You can put a little bit over your cazuela or just try with a warm piece of fresh marraqueta, the best Chilean bread.

You can also try some merken on top of your food, a local seasoning that won’t leave you indifferent.

So know you are familiar with at least 6 Chilean typical dishes you should try. And believe me, there is more.

I recommend you to read 8 LANDSCAPES THAT WILL CONVINCE YOU TO GO TO CHILE  to know why you should visit this beautiful country.

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Categories: Travel advice

Fran Opazo

Journalist specialized in Digital Communication with a diploma in History. I create content for different brands, I am a Speaker (Marketing and Tourism), and I write for the Official Promotion of Chile (SERNATUR) for the local and foreign market, Chile Travel and Chile Es Tuyo. If you need my professional services, do not hesitate to send an email to lavidanomade@gmail.com. Let's see each other on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.