Homemade Chilean Charquican

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Step right up, folks, and prepare to be dazzled by a dish that is not only scrumptious but also steeped in Chilean culinary history. Introducing the homemade Chilean Charquican, a hearty and delicious meal that’s perfect for those who adore a hearty vegetable and meat stew. This culinary gem takes the best of the garden and combines it with the rich, comforting flavors of beef, making it an irresistible option for a cozy family dinner or a friendly gathering.

As you whip up this delectable concoction, be prepared to delight in the aromas and flavors of its key ingredients – potatoes, squash, and corn – as they meld together in a symphony of taste. But wait, there’s more! The secret to this mouth-watering recipe lies in its traditional Chilean roots, which infuse it with a unique combination of spices and seasonings that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of South America. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the next section and embark on a culinary voyage to Chile, all from the comfort of your own kitchen!

Yield & Servings

Serves 4-6 people


1 lb beef, cut into small cubes
2 cups diced pumpkin
2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef or vegetable broth
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Notable Equipment & Tools:

Large pot or Dutch oven
Wooden spoon
Knife and cutting board

Step-by-step Instructions

Step 1: Gather and Prep Your Ingredients

All ingredients ready? Let’s begin!

Step 2: Sauté Onion and Garlic in Vegetable Oil

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

Step 3: Add the beef cubes to the pot

Add the beef cubes to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is browned on all sides. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

Step 4: Incorporate Paprika, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper

Stir in the paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper, and cook for another minute, allowing the spices to become fragrant.

Step 5: Combine Pumpkin, Potatoes, Corn, Green Beans, and Broth

Add the diced pumpkin, potatoes, corn, and green beans to the pot, along with the beef or vegetable broth. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

Step 6: Simmer Until Vegetables are Tender and Beef is Cooked

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the beef is cooked through. You may need to add more broth or water if the mixture becomes too thick.

Step 7: Taste and Season as Needed

Taste the charquican and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

Step 8: Garnish and Savor Your Homemade Chilean Charquican

Serve the charquican hot, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley. Enjoy your homemade Chilean Charquican with a side of rice or crusty bread.

Substitutions & Alternatives

Fear not, dear aspiring home chefs! If some of the ingredients in our delectable Chilean Charquican recipe are not available at your local supermarket, or if you have dietary restrictions, we’ve got you covered with these terrific substitutions and alternatives that’ll keep your taste buds dancing with joy.

1. Protein Swap: Not a beef enthusiast? No problemo! You can easily substitute the beef with chicken, turkey, or even tofu for a vegetarian-friendly version. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as different proteins may cook faster or slower than beef.

2. A Cornucopia of Vegetables: The beauty of a stew-like dish is that it’s incredibly versatile and adaptable. Feel free to swap out or add in your favorite veggies, such as carrots, zucchini, peas, or bell peppers. The world is your culinary oyster… or, in this case, your vegetable patch!

3. Broth Bonanza: Prefer chicken or mushroom broth over beef or vegetable? Go ahead and make the switch! Just ensure you’re using a savory, flavorful broth to maintain the richness of the dish.

4. Spice It Up: The paprika and cumin in this recipe provide a delightful warmth and depth of flavor. However, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore new taste sensations, consider adding a pinch of smoked paprika, chili powder, or coriander. Remember, a little can go a long way, so don’t go too wild (unless you dare)!

5. Garnish Galore: While cilantro and parsley are the classic choices for garnishing Charquican, feel free to branch out and try other fresh herbs such as basil, dill, or even mint. A touch of citrus zest from a lemon or lime can also add a zingy twist to this scrumptious dish.

So, armed with these ingenious substitutions and alternatives, you can confidently tackle any ingredient-related obstacle that comes your way. Embrace your inner culinary artist and create a Chilean Charquican that’s uniquely yours. Happy cooking!

Storage & Reheating

Congrats! You’ve just created a mouthwatering, globetrotting culinary masterpiece called Chilean Charquican. Now, you might be wondering what to do with the leftovers – because let’s face it, we’re all human and sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Fear not, dear cook, for we have the perfect storage and reheating techniques that will keep your Charquican tasty and fresh.

To store your Charquican, allow it to cool down to room temperature – but don’t let it sit out for more than 2 hours (we wouldn’t want any pesky bacteria crashing this international flavor party). After it cools down sufficiently, transfer your Charquican to airtight containers or resealable bags. If you’re using containers, consider investing in some glass ones, as they’re great for both storing and reheating, (plus, they’re eco-friendly, so Mother Earth will thank you).

Now that your Charquican is safely tucked away, you’ve got two options for storage: the refrigerator or the freezer. If you plan to enjoy your delicious dish within 3-4 days, go ahead and store it in the refrigerator. However, if you’re looking to savor the flavors of Chile on a more leisurely timeline, then the freezer is your friend. Properly stored, your Charquican can last up to 2-3 months in the freezer, making it the perfect meal-prep option.

When the moment arrives to reunite with your Charquican, reheating is a breeze. If you’ve chosen the refrigerator route, simply transfer your dish to a pot and warm it over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired temperature. If your Charquican is returning from its icy slumber in the freezer, we recommend thawing it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating, so as not to compromise the texture of those delightful pumpkin and potato pieces.

And voilà! Your scrumptious Chilean Charquican is ready to be enjoyed once more. Serve it up with your favorite side of rice or crusty bread, and bask in the knowledge that you’ve conquered the art of both cooking and reheating this international gem. Bon appétit!

Serving Ideas

1. Global Twist: Give your Chilean Charquican an international flair by adding a side of steamed or stir-fried veggies like bok choy, Swiss chard, or kale. This delightful fusion will give your taste buds a trip around the world while celebrating the global culinary heritage.

2. Comfort Food Upgrade: Serve your Charquican over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes or buttery polenta. This combination will turn this already hearty dish into the ultimate comfort food, perfect for a chilly evening or a cozy night in with family.

3. Bread to the Rescue: Pair your Charquican with a warm, crusty baguette or a soft, pillowy naan bread. Not only will this delicious duo satisfy your carb cravings, but the bread will also come in handy for sopping up all those savory juices left at the bottom of the bowl.

4. Rice, Rice, Baby: To add a little extra oomph to your Charquican, serve it alongside a generous scoop of steamed rice or nutty quinoa. This pairing will not only make your meal more filling but will also provide a delightful textural contrast to the dish.

5. Take it Cheesy: For an extra dose of indulgence, sprinkle some grated cheese on top of your Charquican just before serving. Try using a sharp cheddar, a nutty Gruyere, or a melty mozzarella for a gooey, irresistible finish.

6. Garnish Galore: Don’t limit yourself to just cilantro or parsley! Experiment with other fresh herbs like basil, mint, or dill to give your Charquican a unique twist. Additionally, a dollop of sour cream, Greek yogurt, or crème fraîche will add a creamy, tangy element to the dish, making every bite even more delectable.

Remember, the key to a fantastic Charquican is all about personalizing it to your tastes. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get creative with your serving ideas. After all, cooking is a form of edible art, so let your inner artist shine and have fun in the kitchen! Happy cooking, fellow home chefs!

Variations & Customization

Ah, the beauty of cooking! You can take a traditional recipe like Chilean Charquican and make it your own, while accommodating various dietary restrictions and preferences. Let’s explore some popular variations and substitutions that’ll make this dish perfect for everyone at your dinner table.

1. Vegan: Who says you need beef to make a delicious Charquican? Swap out the beef for your favorite plant-based protein, like tofu, tempeh, or even a mix of hearty mushrooms. Remember to use vegetable broth instead of beef broth, and you’ll have a vegan-friendly meal that still packs a flavorful punch.

2. Gluten-Free: Good news, folks! The original recipe is already gluten-free, so no need to make any adjustments here. Now you can focus on perfecting your Charquican-making skills without worrying about gluten.

3. GAPS/AIP: To make this recipe compliant with the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) or Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diets, you’ll need to make a few tweaks. Replace the diced potatoes with an equal amount of diced cauliflower or another GAPS/AIP-friendly vegetable like turnips or rutabaga. Additionally, you may need to skip the paprika and cumin, as they are not allowed on AIP, and use AIP-approved seasonings like garlic and onion powder instead. Finally, ensure your broth is homemade and compliant.

4. Keto: To make this dish keto-friendly, simply replace the potatoes and corn with low-carb vegetables like cauliflower, zucchini, or bell peppers. You can also increase the amount of beef or add in some extra healthy fats like avocado oil or coconut oil to ensure your meal is satiating and keto-approved.

5. Spice it up: If you’re looking to add a little extra kick to your Charquican, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper, some chopped jalapeños, or a dash of your favorite hot sauce. This way, you can customize the heat level to your liking. ¡Caliente!

6. Extra Veggies: Can’t get enough of those tasty veggies? Feel free to mix in additional vegetables like diced carrots, peas, or even some leafy greens like kale or spinach. This will not only bulk up your Charquican but also boost its nutritional value.

Remember, the key to a successful Charquican is making it your own while still honoring the flavors and spirit of the traditional Chilean dish. So get creative, have fun, and enjoy serving up a delicious, customized meal that caters to everyone’s dietary needs and preferences. ¡Buen provecho!

Notes & Tips

  • Cube consistency: When cutting the beef and vegetables into cubes, aim for uniformity in size. This will ensure even cooking and a more harmonious blend of flavors and textures in your charquican.
  • Play with your pumpkin: While traditional Chilean charquican often uses pumpkin, feel free to experiment with other hearty squashes like butternut or acorn squash for a fun twist on the classic dish.
  • Veggie variation: If corn and green beans aren’t your thing, swap them out for other veggies such as peas, carrots, or even zucchini. The culinary world is your oyster!
  • Spice it up: For those who like it hot, consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or some crushed red pepper flakes to give your charquican a spicy kick. Remember, it’s always easier to add heat than to take it away, so start small and adjust to taste.
  • Proper pot selection: Using a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot will help retain heat and distribute it evenly throughout the dish, ensuring your charquican cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  • Keep an eye on the liquid: As the charquican simmers, some of the liquid will evaporate, potentially leaving the mixture too thick. Keep an eye on it, and don’t hesitate to add more broth or water to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Time-saving tip: To shave some time off the prep work, consider using pre-cut beef stew meat from your local butcher or grocery store. Just make sure to cut any overly large pieces down to size for even cooking.
  • Get your garnish on: Don’t skip the fresh cilantro or parsley garnish—it adds a burst of color and a bright, fresh flavor that elevates the dish to new heights.
  • Share the love: Chilean charquican is best enjoyed as it’s traditionally served—in a communal setting with friends and family. So gather your loved ones, break out the crusty bread, and dig in together!

Common Mistakes

  1. Not browning the beef properly: A key step in creating a flavorful charquican is browning the beef cubes well before adding the vegetables. This helps to seal in the juices and develop a rich, deep flavor. If you skip this step or don’t brown the meat long enough, your charquican may taste a bit lackluster.
  2. Overcrowding the pot: Make sure you’re using a large enough pot or Dutch oven when cooking charquican to avoid overcrowding. This will ensure that your ingredients cook evenly, and the flavors meld together beautifully. Cramming all the ingredients into a too-small pot can cause the food to steam instead of simmer, resulting in a less-than-stellar charquican.
  3. Cutting unevenly sized vegetable pieces: For a harmonious charquican, it’s important to dice your pumpkin and potatoes into similar-sized pieces. This not only ensures even cooking but also makes for a more visually appealing presentation. Plus, no one wants to bite into a huge chunk of pumpkin when they’re expecting a tender morsel!
  4. Going overboard with the spices: While the paprika and cumin are essential to give charquican its signature flavor, be mindful not to add too much. Adding excessive amounts of these spices can overpower the dish and make it taste too strong. Remember, you can always add more seasoning at the end, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there!
  5. Rushing the cooking process: Charquican’s flavors develop over time, so be patient as you simmer your dish. Don’t crank up the heat in an attempt to speed up the process – you’ll risk overcooking the vegetables and compromising the taste. Trust that the low and slow method will yield the rich, hearty charquican you crave.
  6. Neglecting the garnish: While it may seem like a mere afterthought, the chopped fresh cilantro or parsley garnish adds a burst of freshness that elevates the dish. Don’t skip this finishing touch, as it plays a vital role in balancing the hearty flavors of the charquican.

    Stay vigilant and mindful of these common mistakes, and your Chilean Charquican will be a mouthwatering masterpiece that brings a taste of South America straight to your kitchen. Happy cooking!

Health Risks & Benefits

Let’s talk about the health benefits packed into this delightful Chilean Charquican recipe. We’ve got a colorful cast of characters here, each bringing their own unique nutritional prowess to the table. Just like a culinary superhero team-up!

First up, the pumpkin! This vibrant veggie is not only perfect for Halloween decorations but is also a rich source of vitamins A and C, which are essential for a healthy immune system. Plus, did you know that the vibrant orange hue comes from beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps protect your eyes and may even reduce the risk of certain cancers? Your eyes will thank you later!

Next, our trusty sidekicks: potatoes, corn, and green beans. These starchy vegetables provide energy, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Potatoes are particularly high in potassium, which helps with maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Corn brings a sweet crunch and a good dose of antioxidants, while green beans add a pop of green goodness, along with some vitamin K and folate.

As for our protein-packed protagonist, beef, it’s an excellent source of iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. These nutrients help support brain function, strong muscles, and a healthy immune system – something we could all use a little extra of these days.

However, because this recipe contains red meat, it’s important to moderate your intake, as consuming large amounts of red meat has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. But no need to fret – enjoying this dish in moderation as part of a balanced diet is the superhero way to go!

And last, but certainly not least, our spice duo of paprika and cumin adds not only a burst of flavor but also a fantastic array of potential health benefits. Paprika is rich in antioxidants and may aid in reducing inflammation, while cumin is known to aid digestion and potentially have anti-cancer properties.

So there you have it – a Chilean Charquican that not only satisfies your taste buds but also keeps your body powered up like a true superhero. And don’t forget to garnish with cilantro or parsley for an added nutrient boost – because every superhero deserves a stylish cape. Enjoy!

Recipe History & Context

Charquican, a delightful and heartwarming Chilean stew, has a rich history that dates back to the indigenous Mapuche people of South America. The word charquican is derived from the Quechua word charqui, which means dried and salted meat. The original dish, born out of necessity and practicality, was created by the Mapuche people who utilized dried llama or horse meat and local vegetables in a hearty stew that would sustain them throughout the harsh Andean winters.

As the dish evolved over time, it began to incorporate more accessible ingredients, such as beef and a medley of vegetables like pumpkin, potatoes, corn, and green beans. These modifications have made charquican a popular, versatile, and budget-friendly meal in Chile and other South American countries.

Today, charquican is not only a cherished part of Chilean culinary heritage, but it also represents the resilience and creativity of indigenous South American cultures. The combination of comforting vegetables, tender beef, and earthy spices like cumin and paprika creates a harmonious and satisfying dish that brings people together around the table. This delicious and filling stew is perfect for both special occasions and everyday family meals.

So, next time you’re in the mood for a taste of Chilean history and culture, whip up a batch of charquican, and let your taste buds embark on a flavorful journey through time. And remember, as you savor each spoonful, you’re not only enjoying a delicious meal but also celebrating the ingenuity and adaptability of the remarkable people who created it. Happy cooking and buen provecho!

Common Questions

Can I use other vegetables in my Chilean Charquican?

Absolutely! Charquican is a versatile dish that celebrates the abundance of vegetables. Feel free to add or substitute vegetables based on your preference or what’s in season. Some popular additions include bell peppers, carrots, peas, or zucchini. Just keep in mind that different vegetables may have varying cooking times, so adjust accordingly.

What type of beef should I use for this recipe?

For this Chilean Charquican, you’ll want to use a cut of beef that is suitable for slow cooking and will become tender as it simmers with the vegetables. Some great options include chuck, round, or stew meat. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using a more traditional Chilean cut like plateada (short ribs) or osobuco (shank).

Can I make this dish vegetarian or vegan?

Of course! To make a vegetarian or vegan version of Chilean Charquican, simply skip the beef and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. You can also add some hearty plant-based protein like beans, lentils, or tofu to keep the dish filling and satisfying.

How should I store leftovers and how long will they last?

Leftover Charquican can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, you can warm it up in a pot on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, or use a microwave. If the dish is too thick upon reheating, you can add a bit of water or broth to thin it out.

Can I prepare Chilean Charquican in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?

You bet! To adapt this recipe for a slow cooker, first brown the beef, onion, and garlic in a pan on the stovetop as per the instructions. Then, transfer the cooked ingredients to your slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. For an Instant Pot, use the sauté function to brown the beef, onion, and garlic, and then add the remaining ingredients and pressure cook on high for 15-20 minutes, followed by a quick release.

Chilean Charquican

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 335kcal


  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife and cutting board


  • 1 lb beef cubed
  • 2 cups diced pumpkin
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro or parsley for garnish


  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
  • Add beef and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add pumpkin, potatoes, corn, green beans, and broth. Stir well.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and beef is cooked.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Serve hot, garnished with cilantro or parsley.



Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 278mg | Potassium: 760mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3636IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg

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