Baked empanadas recipe

Baked empanadas recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef pie

This recipe shows you how to make the dough for these lovely little mini pies. Really though, you can experiment with any fruits or try using different meats.

55 people made this

IngredientsServes: 10

  • Pastry
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 125g lard, butter or margarine
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • Fruit filling
  • 275g peeled, cored and sliced apples
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Meat filling
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 225g tomato puree
  • 125ml water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 450g lean steak, cut into 2.5cm cubes

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:30min ›Extra time:30min › Ready in:1hr30min

  1. To make pastry: In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Rub in the fat till pieces are the size of small peas. Add a small amount of water to slightly moisten. Form dough into a ball. Roll out the dough to about 3mm thick and cut into 10cm circles. Lightly flour both sides of circles.
  2. To make fruit filling: In a saucepan combine fruit, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat over medium heat until hot, thoroughly mixing.
  3. To make meat filling: In a medium frying pan, saute the onion and green pepper in olive oil. Add tomato puree, water and vinegar, and cook for 20 minutes. Add meat and coat thoroughly with the sauce.
  4. Place a large spoonful of one of the above mixtures to the centre of a dough circle. Place another circle on top. Fasten the two circles together by pressing the edges with a fork. These may then be baked in a preheated 180 C / Gas 4 until golden brown.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(61)

Reviews in English (42)


I loved the empanadas but I like the empanadas that my mother makes better. You can also just have cheese for the filling. It tastes soo good that I just had to tell you all.Your Friend,Francisca A.-29 Jun 2001

by Eileen in AR

I am rating the pastry only, because I made up my own filling. The pastry is very light, and very flaky. Mine didn't brown that well (maybe needs an egg wash?) but tasted fantastic nonetheless. I kept thinking "this would make a great pie crust!" Here's what I filled with: 1/2 lb. Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, 1 lb. ground beef, 1 boiled yellow bell pepper choppped(left over from stuffed pepper recipe), 1/2 vidalia onion chopped, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1 can diced tomatoes w/lime and cilantro, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, salt and pepper to taste. I had twice as much filling as I needed, so I froze the rest. Hubby and son LOVED it. Yay! My first empanadas! Thank you!-27 Sep 2006


This was a ton of work for a disaster I ended up throwing away. Fault may have been partially mine - I don't work much with dough - but even pulling the filling out and trying to eat it separately didn't work. It was so bland! Didn't taste anything like any of the empanadas I've had. I only made the meat empanadas, but I won't be trying the fruit.-19 Jun 2002

Baked Crab Empanadas (Empanadas de Cangrejo)

If you ask me, empanadas are one of the most delicious foods to come out of Latin America. These scrumptious crab empanadas are no exception. Every culture has their variation on the dough and filling, but one thing is pretty common…they’re usually fried. Instead of deep frying my empanadas, I brush my empanadas with Mazola® Corn Oil and bake them in the oven. They come out perfectly crispy, and way better for you! These tasty crab empanadas are my favorite thing to order when I visit Puerto Rico, they’re the perfect treat to grab when you’re on the beach. Many beaches in Puerto Rico feature kioskos, small beachside shacks that serve up all types of fried treats to snack on while you’re baking in the sun.


  1. Prep the Chicken – Cut the chicken breasts into slices and then shred it.
  2. Make the Filling – To make the filling, combine the shredded chicken, canned chiles, and grated cheese in a bowl, along with the cumin and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. Make the Egg Wash – In a small bowl, whisk together an egg and water and set it aside.
  4. Roll Out the Dough – Roll out the dough so that it is just over a 1/4″ in thickness. Then, use a round biscuit cutter to cut out circles. Then, roll out each circle so that it is just under a 1/4″ thick. Piece together any dough scraps and repeat, if needed.
  5. Add Filling – Brush the edges of the little circles with the egg wash. This will help to seal in the filling. Place a generous tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough round. Do not overfill.
  6. Seal – Bring the edges of the dough upward toward the center and pinch to seal. Lay the empanada on its side, and either braid over the edges or crimp with a fork to enclose.
  7. Bake – Brush the top of the Chicken Empanadas with the egg wash and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400°F.

NOTE: If you are making the dough from scratch, that should be the first thing you do! You will need to plan ahead by a couple of hours as the dough will need to time chill before you can roll it out.

Baked Empanadas

A traditional pastry in Spain and the Americas transformed into an oil-free, baked version that is filled with your choice of sweet or savory filling.

  • Author: Dr. Rosane Oliveira
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 5 - 6 1 x


  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 4 tbsp flaxseed, golden, ground
  • 2 tbsp cassava, cooked, mashed
  • 1 tbsp applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp water (more if necessary)
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, fresh, minced
  • 4 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme, fresh, chopped
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix oat flour and flaxseed in a bowl.
  3. Add cassava and applesauce and knead into a dough, then add water until you have reached the desired consistency. Rest dough for 5-10 minutes, adding extra water if it dries out.
  4. Roll dough out then cut into circles. Place filling in the center of each circle, then fold the dough in half. Seal edges by pinching the dough or by using a fork.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  1. Sautee onion and celery in a nonstick pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a drop or two of water as needed to prevent sticking.
  2. Add garlic and chopped mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add wine and mustard and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until liquid evaporates.
  4. Stir in parsley and thyme, and season with black pepper to taste.

Notes: The dough tends to be in the sweet side because of the applesauce. If your filling of choice is sweet, no salt may be necessary. With a savory filling that uses tamari or other sodium-containing condiment, salt may not be necessary either.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us @pblifeorg or use #mypblife — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Rosane Oliveira, DVM, PhD

President & CEO, Plant-Based Life Foundation | Dr. Rosane Oliveira combines a lifelong passion for nutrition with 25 years of genetics research to create programs that help people develop healthy habits on their journey towards a more plant-based lifestyle. She is a Visiting Clinical Professor in Public Health Sciences and was the founding director of the first Integrative Medicine program at the UC Davis School of Medicine. She completed her postgraduate studies in Brazil and did her postdoctoral training in immunogenetics and functional genomics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Colombian Empanadas (Empanadas Colombianas)

These Colombian Empanadas are a popular snack in Colombia and are served by most Colombian restaurants in the USA. Traditionally, these delicious fritters are made with shredded pork and beef, but in my family we always make them with ground meat. Serve them with ají and lime wedges on the side.

In Colombia, empanadas are also sold outside of the churches. They are usually small and just have potato filling, a great alternative for vegetarians and absolutely delicious.

For the vegetarian version of this Colombian Empanadas recipe, follow all the instructions and just omitting the beef and pork.

(About Twenty, 3 inch empanadas)

Vegetable oil for frying
Lime and ají for serving
Dough or Masa:
1 ½ cups precooked yellow cornmeal (masarepa)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ tablespoon sazon Goya with azafran
½ teaspoon Salt
2 cups peeled and diced white potatoes
1 chicken or vegetable bouillon tablet
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup chopped white onions
1 cup chopped tomato
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 chopped garlic clove
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoon chopped red bell pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ pound ground pork and beef

Tasty Empanadas: 5 Recipes to Make Now & Freeze for Later

Tender, flaky pastry pockets filled with everything from fresh corn to spicy beef? Yes, please. Empanadas are always welcome in my kitchen and on my plate. With a busy few months ahead, I’m planning on making a big batch and freezing them for quick meals when I need them.

To freeze, lay unbaked empanadas side by side on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure they don’t touch, or the empanadas will freeze together. Freeze until solid, then transfer the empanadas into a freezer bag. Frozen empanadas will keep for up to three months and can be baked straight from the freezer. Add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

Fully baked empanadas can also be frozen, though they lose a bit of their tender and flaky texture. I find it best to wrap them individually in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. To reheat, unwrap as many empanadas as you want and warm in a low oven or toaster oven, or reheat them for a few minutes in the microwave.

Costa Rican Empanadas Recipe

Empanadas are a common dish in Latin America, Spain, some countries in Europe and even some countries in Asia. It’s a simple dish but each country has their own yummy twist to making them.

The name “empanada” comes from the Spanish verb Empanar which means to bread. Costa Rican empanadas are usually made of a corn dough that can be filled with anything: chicken, beef, beans, pork, potatoes. You can find sweet versions as well as savory ones. My personal favorite are the ones with beans.

Yeison’s brother is a fabulous cook and he makes some of the best traditional Costa Rican dishes I’ve ever eaten. He came over to show us how to make empanadas and I have to say, it was much easier than I expected.

First, you make the dough. They use cornmeal to make the dough, add a little chicken consome (very common here since it’s so cheap) and water. Not too much to it. Mix until nice and smooth.

Next, the filling. You can pretty much put anything you want in there but for this particular recipe, I’m going to do a chicken filling.

Chop chicken breast into small pieces along with some garlic, tomato and onion. Stir fry the garlic and onion first and then the chicken.

Now, the important part. Add Salsa Lizano. If you don’t know what that is, you HAVE to try it. It’s what makes Costa Rican food, Costa Rican. It’s the flavor of Costa Rica! It’s kind of a tangy sour sauce that Ticos put in everything.

Add as much as you like along with a pinch of salt. Add the tomatoes and fry a bit more until the chicken is fully cooked. At this point the kitchen should smell pretty darn good.

Next comes the fun part! Making the tortillas. Take your dough and roll it into balls, about the size of your palm. Now if you don’t have a tortilla maker, you can try this handy little trick.

Take a plastic bag and cut it in half in between the folds. Save both pieces.

Set one piece down on a plate, the ball of dough, and then the other piece of bag on top. Lay it straight, get another plate and use the bottom side to press down and flatten the dough. Lift up the top piece of bag and set aside.
And voila! You now have your beautifully made tortilla. Now who needs a fancy tortilla maker when you have this?
Now put in your filling along the middle of the tortilla. Make sure not to put too much or you’ll squish all the contents out. We made both blended beans and a chicken filling. Here we have our bean filling.

After you put in the filling, take one corner of the plastic bag on the bottom and fold in half to close your empanada.
Now all that’s left is frying. Put about half an inch of oil in the pan and put in the empanada when the oil is hot. Fry on each side until it’s golden brown and crispy. Top with salsa, guacamole, or any toppings of your choice.

Buen provecho! (Bon appetit)

For the dough:

For the filling:

  • olive oil
  • ground beef
  • garlic powder
  • tomato paste
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • kosher salt
  • garlic
  • potatoes
  • red bell pepper
  • medium onion
  • canola oil, for frying


We’ve made this with both ground beef and ground turkey and either one works well.

Our Recipe

The traditional salteña is about 12 centimeters long and 7 centimeters wide. They are large and fit nicely in the hand.

Our recipe makes 20 small salteñas. If you want them larger, you can divide the dough into 15 portions. The cooking time does not vary.

Filling or jigote


  • Chicken: I use boneless, skinless breast, but you can cook a whole chicken, and shred it to use in the filling. You can also use beef cut into small pieces.
  • Onion: in Bolivia purple or red onion is the most common, but you can use what you have on hand.
  • Garlic
  • Green bell pepper
  • Parsley
  • Habaneros: I used habaneros to spice it up, but you can use your favorite chili pepper, fresh, or ground.
  • Peas: you can use fresh or canned. My kids don't like it, and most of the time I skip them.
  • Raisins
  • Potato: this is a primary ingredient. But when you make it at home you can omit it, or you can add more. I usually calculate the amount of the potatoes to be half the chicken.
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Bay leaf
  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Boiled eggs
  • Green Olives: Many people do not like olives and prefer to omit them.

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  • To make salteñas cheaper, many people add more potatoes.
  • The filling or jigote has gelatine and needs to cool completely before using it.
  • You can make it and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • In this recipe, I added chopped eggs together with the jigote. Generally, a slice is placed before closing or sealing the empanada.
  • You can use chicken breast with bone and skin, the bone will give more flavor to the broth.
  • Remember not to throw away the broth, because it is used for the filling.


  • Flour: I used all-purpose flour (11.7% protein)
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Urucú: also called achiote. This comes in seeds or powder form. If you use the seeds, heat 1 tablespoon of lard with the seeds let it rest for about 5 minutes, remove the seeds, and use the lard for the salteñas. This is an ingredient that cannot be replaced. If you can't get it, you can make the salteñas without the color.
  • Egg yolk: save the white to paint the salteñas before baking.
  • Fat: this should be at room temperature. I've made it with butter and lard, both work fine. I do not recommend using oil. Many recipes use hot fat, they never came out right when I did that step. You can try it, but it works well with room temperature fat.
  • Use a large mixing bowl.
  • Lard and water should be at room temperature.
  • Each brand of flour absorbs water differently. I'm in the USA and I used King Arthur Flour brand (unbleached).
  • If you are in Bolivia, this dough is going to be a little soft, and you'll need to add about 2 to 4 more tablespoons of flour.
  • If you are in Paraguay, this dough is going to be a little soft, but not much. You may need to add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of flour.
  • Once you mix all the ingredients, you need to knead for about 10 minutes by hand, or 5 minutes if you use a kitchen aid.
  • In my experience, if after kneading the dough the top looks completely smooth, the dough is too soft, and the seal or repulgue is going to open in the oven.
  • If the dough, after kneading, breaks easily, it's because it's too dry and you will not be able to roll it out and make the discs. Add 2 tablespoons of water, knead again.
  • The perfect dough I found to be like the one seen in the picture. You can see a smooth part and some that is not very smooth.
  • Since the dough is a bit firm, it needs to rest. The rest makes gluten do its job and the dough easier to handle.
  • If you roll out the dough, and it shrinks or gets smaller, it's because it needs to rest a bit more.
  • When the dough rests, cover it with a damp cloth. Wet a clean kitchen towel, squeeze out all the water, and cover the dough.
  • When the empanada discs are ready, you should store them in the refrigerator. They are firmer and easier to handle.
  • Empanada discs can be made up to 2 days before use.
  • You can use pieces of parchment paper to separate each disc, and thus freeze. The night before using them, remove from the freezer and defrost in the refrigerator.

How to fill and seal salteñas

Start by removing only 5 empanada discs and a little of the filling. It is important to keep the ingredients cold.

I hope the video helps you!

How to store and bake salteñas

Once the salteñas are assembled, you can bake them immediately or you can freeze them.

If you are going to bake them immediately, you should preheat the oven to 245C (470F) degrees. Many gas ovens don't reach this temperature, unfortunately.

The time for preheating depends a lot on how big your oven is and if it seals and keeps the heat well.

In Paraguay, I have a large gas oven, and that one takes about 30 minutes to reach the correct temperature.

For many years I had a large oven that did not hold heat very well, and in that one, it took 40 to 45 minutes.

Now I am using an electric oven that keeps the heat well and usually heats up in about 10 minutes.

Salteñas should be baked on a greased baking tray, and leave a space of about 5 centimeters (2 inches) between each empanada.

If you are going to freeze salteñas: at this point, you can freeze salteñas. You can place them on a plate or tray that fits into your freezer. Leave them in for one to two hours, until they are firm. Take them out and place them in an airtight bag and store them back in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Baking frozen salteñas: preheat the oven as the explanation above. You don't need to defrost the salteñas. You can brush them with a mixture of egg whites and water. But they need to cook for 35 to 40 minutes.

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 16 empanadas 1 x


This easy recipe for Argentinian-style baked chicken empanadas will show you how to make savory hand pies that the whole family will love. Your kids will enjoy this delicious South American comfort food at lunch or dinner. Plus, you can make it ahead or freeze for later!


For the Empanada Filling

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ( 30 ml)
  • 3 &frac13 cups yellow onions, chopped ( 450g )
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic ( 8g )
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped ( 210g )
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste ( 50g )
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth ( 473 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice ( 30 ml)
  • 3 cups shredded chicken (from 2 large poached chicken breasts 394g )

For the Empanada Dough

  • 4 cups bread flour ( 480g )
  • ¾ cup lard ( 120g )
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ( 28g )
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold water ( 236 ml)


Making the Empanada Dough (10 minutes + 1 hour chilling)

  1. Place the bread flour, lard, and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Rub the fats into the flour by pinching them together and fluffing the mixture with your hands until evenly blended.
  2. Add the salt, sugar, and half of the water and stir with your fingers. Gradually add more water as needed to create a moist, but not sticky, dough. Make sure all the flour is picked up from the bowl.
  3. Knead the dough several times to finish blending the ingredients together.
  4. Split the dough in half, shape into discs, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Making the Empanada Filling (30 minutes + 10 minutes cooking)

  1. Chop the onions and red peppers and mince the garlic.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more, until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the roasted red peppers, tomato paste, and spices until well mixed.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone.
  5. Stir in the lime juice and shredded chicken and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Shaping the Empanadas (25 minutes + 35 minutes baking)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two 11 by 17-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper. Beat an egg in a small bowl until well blended.
  2. Divide each disc of dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then roll it into a six-inch circle with a rolling pin.
  3. Place &frac18 cup of the filling in the center of the circle. Brush the edge of the dough halfway around with beaten egg, then fold the dough over to create a semicircle. Press the edges firmly to seal.
  4. Crimp the edges with a fork or with a rope pattern. To make the rope pattern, place your left index finger at one end of the empanada. Using your other hand, grasp the dough right beside your index finger and pull it up. Then, place your left index finger on the pulled-up dough and repeat. Pinch off any extra dough at the other end. You can use this to make an extra empanada.
  5. Place eight empanadas on each tray, then brush them with beaten egg and cut two small vent holes in the top with a knife.
  6. Bake them at 375 F for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Rotate the trays halfway through for a more even bake. Let them cool on wire racks for 20 minutes before serving.