Homemade Empanadas


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Prepare to embark on a culinary journey through Latin America as we delve into the art of making Empanadas. These savory turnovers are a beloved staple in many countries, each offering its unique twist on flavors and fillings. Our homemade Empanadas recipe brings you the best of these delectable pastries, offering a golden, flaky crust stuffed with a mouthwatering mixture of your choice. Whether you’re a fan of savory or sweet, these versatile hand pies can be tailored to your preferences. Join us as we explore the world of Empanadas, from dough to deliciousness.

Empanadas are a beloved culinary tradition with a rich history. Their origins can be traced back to Spain, where they were initially made as small, portable pies or turnovers. The word “empanada” is derived from the Spanish verb “empanar,” which means “to wrap in bread.” Empanadas traveled with Spanish and Portuguese colonizers to various parts of the world, including Latin America and the Philippines. Over time, empanadas have evolved into countless regional variations, each with its unique fillings and preparation methods.

  • Global Variations: Empanadas are found in various forms around the world, from Spanish “empanadillas” to Filipino “empanadang kahoy,” each with distinctive regional ingredients and flavors.
  • Portable and Versatile: Empanadas have been enjoyed for centuries as a convenient, handheld snack or meal, making them a popular choice for picnics, street food, and family gatherings.
  • Cultural Significance: These savory pastries have become an essential part of many cultural celebrations and family traditions, carrying flavors and stories through generations.

Homemade Empanadas

Empanadas are the ultimate comfort food, a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Latin America. These pocket-sized pastries are a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, encompassing everything from tender meats to vibrant vegetables and spices that dance on your taste buds.

Our homemade Empanadas recipe celebrates the diversity of this dish, showcasing both traditional and contemporary fillings. Picture succulent beef, seasoned to perfection, nestled within a flaky pastry shell. Or perhaps you prefer a vegetarian option, with spinach, cheese, and herbs mingling in a symphony of flavors.

The dough itself is a masterpiece, yielding a buttery, crisp crust that's both sturdy and flaky—perfect for holding the flavorful fillings. As you bite into these golden parcels, you'll experience the heart and soul of Latin American cuisine.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 30 mins Cook Time 20 mins Rest Time 30 mins Total Time 1 hr 20 mins Difficulty: Advanced Servings: 12 Calories: 272.62 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


For the Empanada Dough:

For the Beef Filling:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Empanada Dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt.
  2. Add the cold, cubed unsalted butter to the flour mixture.
  3. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and ice-cold water together.
  5. Taste the dip and add salt as needed to enhance the flavors.

  6. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Preparing the Beef Filling:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned and cooked through.

  2. Remove any excess grease from the skillet, leaving about a tablespoon.

  3. Add the chopped onion, red bell pepper, and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté until the vegetables are tender.

  4. Season the mixture with ground cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.

  5. Stir in the chopped green olives, raisins, hard-boiled eggs, and fresh parsley. Cook for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Remove the filling from heat and let it cool.

Assembling and Baking the Empanadas:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. On a floured surface, roll out the chilled Empanada dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.

  3. Use a round cutter or the rim of a glass to cut out circles from the dough. The size of the circles will determine the size of your Empanadas.

  4. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each dough circle.

  5. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape.

  6. Use a fork to crimp the edges and seal the Empanadas.

  7. Optionally, brush the tops of the Empanadas with beaten egg for a golden finish.

  8. Transfer the sealed Empanadas to the prepared baking sheets.

  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.

  10. Let the Empanadas cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories 272.62kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16.69g26%
Saturated Fat 7.91g40%
Trans Fat 0.45g
Cholesterol 87.42mg30%
Sodium 224.76mg10%
Potassium 204.4mg6%
Total Carbohydrate 20.03g7%
Dietary Fiber 1.15g5%
Sugars 2.6g
Protein 10.48g21%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • Customize your Empanadas by experimenting with different fillings, such as chicken, cheese, or vegetables.
  • For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free flour blend for the dough.
  • Make smaller Empanadas for bite-sized appetizers or larger ones for a hearty meal.
  • Freeze unbaked Empanadas for later use; bake them straight from the freezer when needed.
  • Serve Empanadas with a side of salsa, chimichurri sauce, or a simple tomato salad.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Empanadas are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as appetizers, snacks, or a main course. Pair them with a fresh salad for a complete meal or serve them as party finger food. They are excellent for picnics, potlucks, and family gatherings, bringing a taste of Latin America to your table.
Allergen Information:

Be mindful of potential allergens in empanadas and their fillings:

  • Gluten: Traditional empanadas are made with wheat flour, making the dough unsuitable for those with gluten allergies or celiac disease. Gluten-free dough can be used as an alternative.

  • Dairy: Some empanada recipes may contain dairy, such as butter or cheese in the dough or dairy-based fillings. Vegan substitutes can be used for dairy-free options.

  • Nuts: Certain empanada fillings might contain nuts, so it's essential to check the ingredients if you or your guests have nut allergies.

  • Eggs: Some empanada dough recipes include eggs. Vegan or egg-free variations are available for those with egg allergies.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Empanadas are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed with a variety of beverages:

  • Red Wine: Empanadas filled with beef or spiced meats pair well with red wines like Malbec or Merlot.

  • White Wine: Seafood-filled empanadas complement white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

  • Beer: Empanadas are a great match for beer, especially when served with a selection of craft beers or your favorite lagers.

  • Non-Alcoholic Options: For non-drinkers or those looking for non-alcoholic pairings, consider serving empanadas with fruit juices, iced tea, or flavored sparkling water.

Storage and Leftovers:

Empanadas are best when freshly baked, but if you have leftovers or want to prepare them in advance, here's how to handle them:

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover cooked empanadas in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can be reheated in an oven to regain their crispness.

  • Freezing: Uncooked empanadas freeze well. Place them on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, then transfer to a zip-top bag. They can be baked directly from the freezer with a slightly longer cooking time.

  • Reheating: To reheat empanadas, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place them on a baking sheet. Heat for 10-15 minutes or until they are heated through and crispy.

Keywords: Empanadas, Homemade Empanadas, Savory Hand Pies, Latin American Recipes, Empanada Dough, Empanada Fillings.

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