South America Vegan Recipes

Bolivia Vegan: Recipe for Bolivian Salteñas

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Delicious and Flavorful Vegan Delights Inspired by South America

Bolivian Salteñas Recipe

Introduction: Bolivian Salteñas are delicious and savory pastries that are a beloved part of Bolivian cuisine. These baked goodies are filled with a flavorful mixture of potatoes, peas, carrots, spices, and often include some kind of protein like chicken or beef. The unique flavor profile of Bolivian Salteñas comes from a blend of traditional Bolivian spices and ingredients. These pastries are not only a popular snack but are also enjoyed as a hearty breakfast or lunch option. The secret to a great Salteña lies in the balance of the pastry’s texture and the well-seasoned filling.

Cooking Time: About 2.5 to 3 hours (including preparation, filling, and baking)


For the Dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or lard
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken or beef (or a combination)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Aji amarillo paste (Bolivian yellow chili paste) – optional, for extra heat and flavor

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. Prepare the Dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.
    • Add the vegetable shortening or lard and softened butter. Mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    • In a separate bowl, mix the warm water, milk, and sugar. Gradually add this mixture to the dry ingredients and knead until a soft, smooth dough forms. You may need to adjust the amount of water slightly. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the Filling:
    • In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent.
    • Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
    • Add the diced potatoes and carrots. Cook until they start to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Stir in the ground cumin, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, and aji amarillo paste (if using). Mix well to coat the vegetables with the spices.
    • Add the cooked and shredded chicken or beef, frozen peas, raisins, and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Remove from heat and let the filling cool slightly.
  3. Assemble the Salteñas:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • Take a golf ball-sized piece of dough and flatten it into a circle, about 1/4 inch thick. You can do this by hand or with a rolling pin.
    • Place a slice of hard-boiled egg and a spoonful of the filling onto the center of the dough circle.
  4. Fold and Seal:
    • Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape.
    • Pinch and fold the edges of the dough together, sealing the filling inside. You can also twist and fold the edges to create a braided look.
  5. Egg Wash:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the beaten egg and milk.
    • Brush the tops of the Saltenas with the egg wash. This will give them a beautiful golden color as they bake.
  6. Baking:
    • Place the assembled Salteñas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the Salteñas are golden brown and crispy.
  7. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Let the Salteñas cool for a few minutes before serving, as the filling will be very hot.
    • Enjoy these flavorful Bolivian pastries as a snack, breakfast, or lunch option!


  • If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought empanada dough instead of making the dough from scratch.
  • Play around with the filling ingredients to suit your taste. You can add olives, cheese, or other vegetables for variation.
  • If you can’t find aji amarillo paste, you can substitute it with your favorite hot sauce or omit it for a milder flavor.
  • Be sure to properly seal the Salteñas to prevent the filling from leaking out during baking.
  • To reheat leftover Salteñas, lightly toast them in the oven to restore their crispiness.

Bolivian Salteñas are a labor of love, so take your time and enjoy the process of making these delightful pastries filled with rich and comforting flavors.

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