Best Chivito Sandwich: How To Make Uruguay National Dish

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The Chivito sandwich is a steak sandwich from Uruguay and is considered the country’s national dish. It’s a generous, unbelievably flavorful sandwich you will want to try. Picture sinking your teeth into tender steak slices, bacon, ham, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce, all packed between lightly toasted buns. Just one bite and this mighty sandwich from Uruguay will win you over.

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What is Chivito?

Sandwich Chivito by Authentic Food Quest
Chivito is one of the world’s most famous sandwiches

Chivito, or in Spanish El Chivito, is the most famous sandwich in Uruguay. It’s the country’s most popular sandwich found at almost all restaurants and local eateries.

Chivito is a colossal and decadent sandwich stuffed with egg, meat, ham, bacon, cheese, vegetables, and sauces. 

The name “chivito” in English translates to young goat or little goat. While chivito or goat meat in South America is highly prized, this sandwich does not contain any goat meat. 

The name is said to be associated with the legend or history of how this sandwich came to be.

Chivito al plato is another presentation of chivito which does not contain bread. It has the same ingredients and is served on a plate without a bun.  In Uruguay, the Chivito al plato we had was served with a plate of french fries.

Chivito canadiense is yet another version of this sandwich. This version uses Canadian bacon instead of local ham from Uruguay. The Canadian Chivito is also quite popular.

The chivito is one of the most iconic sandwiches in the world. It is amongst the top 23 World’s Best Sandwiches, according to CNN.

How Do You Eat Chivito?

Chivito Alplato by Authentic Food Quest
You can eat it on a plate or as a sandwich

How you eat the chivito depends on what you order. When it is served as the platter, it comes without the sandwich bread and is typically accompanied by french fries or baked potatoes.

When you order the chivito sandwich, use your hands to hold down the mile-high sandwich and bite into incredibly rich flavors that seamlessly work together.

The chivito is an incredibly delicious carnivore’s fantasy. 

History of Chivito

Chivito National Dish Of Uruguay by Authentic Food Quest
Chivito recipe developed by a creative chef

The origins of Chivito go back to a popular legend about a female tourist visiting from Argentina. 

As the story goes, she stopped at a restaurant in Punta Del Este, southern Uruguay and ordered “chivito” or baby goat meat like the ones she had in Argentina. 

The restaurant owner, not willing to lose a customer, accepted her order. He made her a churrasco or steak, not a goat sandwich topped with everything but the kitchen sink. 

She ends up loving it, and the sandwich earned a permanent place on his menu under the name Chivito, going on to become Uruguay’s national sandwich.

RELATED: Montevideo Food Guide: 10 Best Restaurants And What To Eat There

Discovering Chivito Sandwich in Uruguay

Chivito from Uruguay is one of the most filling South American dishes not to miss by Authentic Food Quest
Massive and colorful plate of the chivito sandwich

The Chivito is the “national sandwich of Uruguay” found all over the country. While exploring local food specialties in Colonia and Montevideo there was no shortage of places with Chivito on the menu. 

While in Colonia, we settled on El Drugstore, a quaint family-run restaurant with the Chivito specialty on the menu.

We ordered the chivito al plato or chivito as a platter for the first experience and a few days later ordered the Chivito sandwich at another local restaurant.

The Chivito al Plato is a serious dish filled with loads of meat and protein. It has a thin slice of churrasco or filet mignon beef, topped with bacon, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ham, olives, and a fried egg. 

On the menu, it was noted as a meal for two and it is definitively best shared as it is quite filling.

The Chivito sandwich or Uruguayan steak sandwich is very similar to the chivito al plato just with the addition of the bread.

It’s a massive sandwich that really looks like two sandwiches put together. Best shared, the meat is piled up on each other, and delivers a flavorful and succulent experience.

This sandwich is surprisingly very juicy and tasty. It’s no wonder why the Chivito is the national Uruguay dish.

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Chivito Ingredients – How To Make Uruguay National Dish

Ingredients Chivito by Authentic Food Quest
Just a few ingredients for this yummy sandwich

Making the chivito at home is an easy way to taste the flavors from South America’s second-smallest country.

You need a handful of ingredients and about 30 minutes to sink your teeth into one of the most luscious sandwiches you’ll ever try.

Aim for high-quality ingredients for your Chivito sandwich.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST RECIPES: If you love sandwiches and want to make other iconic sandwich recipes from around the world, see our other recipes.

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Chivito Recipe Tips

Uruguay Chivito Chivito Sandwich Authentic Food Quest
The key to perfect taste is in a few tricks

Although the chivito is a simple and iconic sandwich to make, there are a few tricks to help you master the recipe.

  • The meat should be cut into flat and thin slices to make it easier to assemble the sandwich. We recommend flattening the meat down using a meat tenderizer.
  • Another key to an exceptional chivito sandwich is the quality of the sauces. We use mustard, oregano, and mayonnaise. Adjust the amounts to your liking.
  • Finally, cook everything in one pan of oil. In the same pan, fry the bacon, the egg, the meat, and even the bread. This will give your chivito much more flavor.

What Type of Meat To Use For Chivito?

Sirloin Steak Chivito Authentic Food Quest
Juicy sirloin steak

The meat used in the chivito recipe is called “churrasco” in Uruguay. It’s a long flat cut of meat that is very similar to sirloin steak, and it is thinly sliced.

It’s a juicy and flavorful cut of steak taken from the hip of the cow.

What Type of Bread to Use for Chivito Sandwich?

Baguette Chivito Recipe Authentic Food Quest
Soft baguette with a crispy crust is perfect for Chivito

The chivito uses artisanal bread with a hard exterior and a soft crumbly interior. Unlike traditional sandwiches, you don’t want to use sliced bread or a hamburger bun. 

The best option would be to use a not-too-crunchy baguette or ciabatta bun. 

You want the bread to have a hard crust and make sure it is lightly toasted for the sandwich.

How To Assemble The Chivito Sandwich?

Chivito Chivito al plato by Authentic Food Quest
Carefully arrange the chivito steak sandwich

You want to assemble the chivito steak sandwich delicately, both inside and outside the pan.

Start by assembling the ingredients inside the pan. First the meat, then the fried egg, mozzarella cheese, ham, and bacon.

On a clean plate or counter, place some lettuce leaves on the bottom bun and then stack the meat and other ingredients. 

And, the last part is to arrange the tomatoes and onions on top.

Chivito Uruguayan Steak Sandwich Step by Step Instructions

Season and Cook Sirloin Steak

Season the meat with salt, pepper, and oregano. And, then cook the sirloin medium rare for about 3 minutes until golden brown.

Fry Bacon and Onions

Fry bacon in a pan until brown and slightly crispy. Remove the cooked bacon and let it drain on a paper towel. In the same oil, fry the onions until slightly crispy. Remove and set aside.

Prepare the Chivito Sandwich Bread

Cut the bread into pieces about 6 inches in length. Then cut the bread into two to make bread slices.

Before assembling the sandwich, slightly brown each slice of bread in the same pan you have been cooking with. Allow the grease to soak slightly into the bread.

Assemble the Chivito Sandwich Bread

Start assembling the chivito sandwich in the pan. Start with the steak and place the fried egg on top. Add sliced ham and then melt the cheese.

On a plate, add the rest of the ingredients starting with the lettuce leaves, tomatoes and onions. Spread the sauce on the top bun and put the sandwich together.

Sandwich Chivito by Authentic Food Quest

Chivito Recipe

The Chivito is a steak sandwich from Uruguay and is considered the country’s national dish. It’s a generous, unbelievably flavorful sandwich you will want to try. Picture sinking your teeth into tender steak slices, bacon, ham, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce, all packed between lightly toasted buns. Just one bite and this mighty sandwich from Uruguay will win you over.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Uruguayan
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 1435kcal
Author: Authentic Food Quest


  • 4 tbsp oil
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 300 g sirloin 4 thin slices
  • 1 baguette bread long artisanal
  • 85 g bacon 6 thich slices
  • 80 g onion medium size, cut into slices
  • 5 leaves lettuce
  • 3 eggs medium, or 2 large
  • 60 g ham 4 slices
  • 60 g mozzarella cheese 4 slices
  • 60 g tomato
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix mayonnaise, mustard, one tablespoon of oil, and ½ tablespoon of oregano in a small bowl. Stir well until the sauce is smooth. Set aside.
  • Place sirloin steaks in a bowl and season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and oregano. Rub the meat well and make sure it is well seasoned.
  • Cut the bread into portions of about six inches; then cut it in two to make the bread slices.
  • Arrange the frying pan where you will make the chivito; Turn the stove on to medium-high and pour the remaining oil into a frying pan. Fry the bacon until it is golden brown. Remove cooked bacon from the skillet and place it on a plate with paper towels to let the fat drain.
  • Immediately after, add the sliced onion and fry them in the same oil. Remove the onions and put them on a separate plate.
  • Let the oil continue to cook on high heat for, about three minutes, and then cook the sirloin slices one at a time until medium rare.
  • Fry the eggs in a separate pan and place them on top of the meat. Cover with a slice of ham.
  • Place mozzarella cheese on top of the ham and melt the cheese.
  • Once the cheese melts, remove from pan and set aside on a plate to start assembling the sandwich.
  • At the same time, place the buns in the pan and let them cook until lightly toasted on both sides.
  • Remove the bread and add a generous layer of the mayonnaise sauce. Place the meat, egg, and mozzarella cheese on top of the lower bun.
  • Add the fried bacon slices, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce.
  • Spread another generous amount of the mayonnaise sauce on the top bun and cover the sandwich.
  • Serve with french fries and enjoy while hot.


For this chivito sandwich be sure to add the lettuce leaves at the very end to prevent them from wilting.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 1435kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 73g | Fat: 95g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 27g | Monounsaturated Fat: 40g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 419mg | Sodium: 2125mg | Potassium: 1150mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 972IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 409mg | Iron: 9mg
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34 Comments on “Best Chivito Sandwich: How To Make Uruguay National Dish”

  1. 5 stars
    Hey Rosemary!

    I just finished reading your article about the Chivito sandwich, and I must say, I’m salivating! Your description of this incredible Uruguayan delicacy has me craving for a bite right now. I can almost imagine the explosion of flavors from the tender steak slices, bacon, ham, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce, all coming together in one mouthwatering sandwich. It sounds like a flavor-packed experience that I can’t wait to try.

    I appreciate how you not only shared the recipe but also provided some background information about the Chivito sandwich. Learning about its popularity in Uruguay and the different variations like Chivito al plato and Chivito canadiense was fascinating. It’s amazing how a sandwich can have such cultural significance and become an iconic dish known worldwide.

    After reading your article, I’m inspired to try my hand at making the Chivito sandwich. Your step-by-step instructions and helpful tips make it seem achievable, even for someone like me who isn’t a master chef. I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to my list of must-try dishes.

    Thank you for sharing this delightful culinary gem with your readers. Your passion for authentic food experiences shines through in your writing. I look forward to reading more of your articles and exploring the world of international cuisine through your perspective.

    Keep up the fantastic work!

  2. I like to experience “culinary shock” while traveling, trying new dishes. I have not tried Uruguayan cuisine, but I will mean Chivito Sandwich. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That sandwich looks yummy. I really want to visit Uruguay. It looks interesting and I now know the food scene is amazing. I am a huge fan of eggs on sandwiches.

    • Hi Jennifer, Uruguay is a very beautiful country and quite surprising. Do make a point to visit. In terms of the food scene, beside the Chivito, which is the national sandwich. The other huge local speciality are Parillas (barbecues). Amazing food, though not much diversity. Be sure to check out the farmers markets.

  4. I always try local food wherever I’m travelling to, I love the fact that you guys are on a mission to get the true experience. You can find out so much about a place because of the food, the way they prepare it, the way it’s cooked and presented, where the ingredients come from, just everything!

    • You nailed it Melissa. Our mission is inspire travelers to travel through food for a deeper connection to the local people, place and culture. Through food we can learn so much 🙂 Thanks so much your feedback.

  5. I have never heard about the Chivito sandwich, but I must say it looks like the perfect combination of meat and vegetables that will make it a great tasting sandwich. Uruguay is one of the South American countries I will be visiting in the future, so I will continue reading your articles to get the 411 on the place.

    • Thanks so much and glad that you will stay engaged to understand the local specialties in Uruguay. Don’t hesitate to reach out via email as well for additional questions as you get closer to your trip. Join us and stay engaged and see the dishes not to miss out on in Argentina, Chile and Peru, especially if your travels go beyond Uruguay. Happy to help!!

  6. I had visited Colonia del Sacramento last year and can’t believe I didn’t try the Chivito sandwich, it looks delicious! I know what I’ll be eating on my next visit. Such an interesting legend about the dish at El Drugstore restaurant. The historic quarter there is so picturesque, perfect for dining al fresco 😉

    • OMG! Heather, so sorry to hear that you missed trying out The Chivito sandwich when you were in Colonia last year. That’s a bummer as this is the “one” dish not to miss out on. If you do go back…please try it. Truly El Drugstore is well located. Go there for the Chivito. So glad to hear you enjoyed reading the post 🙂

    • Thanks so much Karla. Love that you found this interesting . We do believe that when people travel through food, they have a deeper connection with the local people, food and culture. Do join and follow our adventure. Thanks for your comments!

  7. You found what looks like the best places to eat there! I’ve heard about this sandwich and even seen some pictures, but these versions look the best of any I’ve seen. I already like El Drugstore, just for the name, but that platter definitely wins me over. The sandwich version looks even better!

  8. It is always interesting to me to find out about the eating habits of other cultures etc. I think, Uruguay might be a tough place for me though as I don’t eat any meat and don’t like cheese 🙂

    • Thanks for your comments. The good news is that the people of Uruguay are very friendly and accommodating. They can always leave out the meat and cheese and they can make vegetarian versions of meals 🙂


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