Pastel De Choclo: Chilean Beef and Corn Casserole

Pastel de choclo beef corn casserole recipe

​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
556 Calories
34g Fat
28g Carbs
36g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 556
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 185mg 62%
Sodium 495mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 36g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 734mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pastel de choclo is a beef and corn casserole that is a very traditional and popular dish in Chile. Lots of different flavors, like beef and onions, raisins, olives, and roasted chicken, go into the body of the casserole, and the whole thing is topped off with a thick layer of creamed choclo corn. The corn "pudding" layer caramelizes in the oven, and the result is a delicious salty/sweet combination that's reminiscent of shepherd's pie.

Choclo is an Andean variety of corn with large starchy kernels that are slightly less sweet than most North American corn varieties, though any corn works well for this recipe. You can often find frozen choclo in Latin American grocery stores. 

This dish is traditionally baked in a shallow, round clay pot. A cast-iron skillet works well as a substitute (with the benefit of being able to cook the onions and beef in it first), but any casserole dish will do.

While this dish is filling on its own, sliced tomatoes or a tossed salad is a nice addition to the meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 medium onions, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

  • 3 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

  • 1 cup whole milk, divided

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1/3 cup chopped black olives

  • 3 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped

  • 1 cup shredded roasted chicken

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for pastel de choclo

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

  2. Sauté the onions in the vegetable oil until soft and translucent—5 minutes.

    Saute the onions

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add the ground beef, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the beef is crumbled and browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Add the ground beef, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Place the corn kernels in a food processor or blender with 1/4 cup milk. Process for 1 to 2 minutes, until the corn is blended and appears creamy.

    Puree corn kernels

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and the blended corn mixture.

    Melt butter, add 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and the blended corn mixture

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

  6. Add the remaining 3/4 cup milk and simmer, constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens—about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Add milk

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

  7. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped fresh basil. Preheat oven to 375 F.

    Remove from heat and stir in basil

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Drain the liquid from the browned beef mixture.

    Drain the liquid from the browned beef mixture

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Place the ground beef mixture in the bottom of a 3- to 4-quart casserole dish.

    Place beef in pan

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

  10. Sprinkle the raisins, olives, and hardboiled eggs over the beef, then layer the chicken on top.

    layer the chicken on top of raisins, raisins, olives, and hardboiled eggs and layer of beef

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

  11. Spread the corn mixture over the top of the casserole so that it covers the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle some sugar on top.

    Spread the corn mixture over the top of the casserole

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  12. Bake the casserole in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until the filling is bubbling hot and the corn mixture is golden brown.

    Pastel De Choclo

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  13. Serve warm.

    Serve Pastel De Choclo

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

How to Store

  • Pastel De Choclo can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or put leftovers in an airtight container.