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The Many Hot Dogs of Latin America

Avocado. Crumbled potato chips. Chimichurri (to name a few). Here’s how to top hot dogs the Latin American way.

Published Aug. 12, 2022.

I grew up eating hot dogs from the various hot dog stands around the city of Buenos Aires, my hometown.

Since then, I’ve never met a hot dog I didn’t like, so imagine how excited I was to learn how the Chileans prepare theirs: topped with mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, and sauerkraut and drizzled with condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

I loved these Chilean hot dogs (called completos chilenos) so much that I had to develop my own recipe for my brand-new cookbook with ATK Kids, Gaby’s Latin American Kitchen.


Gaby's Latin American Kitchen

ATK Kids and celebrity Chef Gaby Melian team up to bring young chefs and their families Gaby’s kid-tested, kid-approved recipes from all over Latin America. A Spanish glossary, fun personal stories, and more make this book a delicious win!

In Chile, everyone has their favorite combination of completo toppings, so you can pick and choose your favorites here. Fun fact: A completo italiano (Italian hot dog) is topped with mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, and mayonnaise—displaying the colors of the Italian flag.

There are even more delicious hot dogs to try across Latin America—and a bunch of different names for them. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Colombians refer to them as “perros” (“dogs”) and might top them with a mix of mayonnaise and ketchup, pineapple sauce, and crumbled potato chips.
  • Brazilians call them “cachorros,” which means “puppies,” and often top them with ground beef cooked in tomato sauce with peppers and onions, Parmesan cheese, potato sticks, mashed potatoes, and more. Sometimes the cachorros are even cooked in the tomato sauce.

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  • Argentineans (and Uruguayans) call them “panchos.” In Argentina, you might see panchos topped with mayonnaise, mustard, and chimichurri sauce, while in Uruguay, cheese, corn, and mustard are popular.
  • And Peruvians and Ecuadorians skip the bun and make salchipapas—a combination of “salchicha” (“hot dog”) and “papas” (“potatoes”)—cut-up hot dogs with french fries.

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