What is a Salteña? It’s simply the most delicious Bolivian delicacy known to man. Actually, the Salteña hails from La Paz Bolivia – but you don’t need to travel all the way there to enjoy this feast. The below recipe has been finely tuned with assistance from my Abuelita. It’s a sure fire winner. Enjoy!

Serving Size : 40 Preparation Time :2:30
Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
8 each garlic cloves — diced fine
1 1/2 each white onions — diced fine
5 tablespoons parsley — chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Aji Amarillo — powder
1 teaspoon Aji Colorado — powder
1 tablespoon oregano — dried
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cumin — ground
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
2 each potato — finely chopped
1 each beef bouillon cube
2 each carrot — finely chopped
3 pkg gelatin powder
1 cup frozen peas
14 oz beef broth
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
6 cups flour
12 oz shortening
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water — boiling
3 each eggs, hard-boiled — diced fine
40 each black olives

Prepare the filling at least 4 hours in advance to allow gelatin to set.


Finely chop in food processor: onion, garlic & parsley.

In a large pot, gently sauté the onion, garlic, oregano & parsley in vegetable oil for about 15 min (do not allow onion to brown). Add the Aji Colorado & Aji Amarillo, cumin, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, spaghetti sauce, & beef bouillon. Cover & simmer on low heat for approximately 45 min until a reddish oil starts to rise to the surface. Add 1 1/2 cups water, remove cover & reduce for 15 min – 30 min. You will know it is ready when a reddish oil rises and covers the entire mixture.

While “auguado” is simmering, prepare the following:

In a separate pot, boil about 5 cups of water with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add chopped potato celery and peas. Boil for about 3 minutes and remove ingredients to a holding bowl and dump water.

When auguado is ready (reddish oil), add the meat in large chunks (raise temp a little). Allow meat to clump, then break up clumps so you have small clumps. Allow mixture to cook for 15 minutes mixing frequently. Add the beef broth and the potato/celery/pea/carrot mixture. Mix well and add about another 1/2 cup water. Thoroughly dissolve gelatin powder in about 1/2 cup boiling water and add to auguado and mix thoroughly. Turn off heat and allow mixture to cool. When Transfer mixture to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.


In a large bowl, combine the flour, shortening, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. After the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add the boiling water – 1/3 cup at a time mixing in between. The dough should be a bit sticky when done.

Making the Salteñas

Peel and chop the eggs and place on a plate. Place the olives on a bowl. Remove the filling from the refrigerator. To make the salteña take a golf ball sized amount of dough into your hand and roll it into a flat circle (about 5″ in diameter and fairly thin). Put about a large heaping tablespoon of filling in the center or the dough. Add 1 olive and some chopped egg.

Carefully close and seal the salteña with a twist seam. Salteñas can be frozen. Separate frozen salteñas with wax paper to prevent them from sticking together.

To serve the Salteñas

Preheat oven to bake at 500. Place salteñas on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving about 1 1/2″ between salteñas. Place in oven on medium rack for 15 to 20 minutes (time depends on oven). Salteñas are done when they are golden brown. Serve with beer or other cold drink and lots of napkins. You know you’ve got the recipe right when the dough does not leak the juices.