Looking for something to spice up your daily lunch routine? Look no further than these empanadas! These handheld stuffed pastries can be savory or sweet and do not fret I have provided recipes for both types of fillings 🙂 Some empanadas are fried, but these are baked to provide a healthier alternative. While the recipe may seem intimidating with its many steps, these are well worth the effort and can be served on a variety of occasions. Pop a few in your lunch bag, serve them as an appetizer, party snack, or after dinner treat with coffee. Enjoy!
Recipe (Yield 10 – 12 empanadas)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Chilled 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
- 1 egg
- 5 tablespoons water
- Add the flour and salt to a food processor fitted with a dough blade and pulse a few times to mix.
- Add the sliced butter, egg and water to the food processor and pulse until a dough starts to form.
- Form the dough into a ball on a floured work surface and flatten into a 5-inch disc.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least thirty minutes.
Savory Filling (adapted from http://www.turntablekitchen.com/recipes/argentinian-beef-empanadas-a-return-to-calm/)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 of a large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 of a red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 cup of chopped, canned tomatoes with their juices
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons diced canned green chile
- 1/2 pound of lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and cook for about three minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add the pepper and continue cooking for four minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, minced garlic, and green chile and let the mixture cook for about three minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the beef, making sure to break it up into smaller pieces with your wooden spoon.
- Stir in the paprika, cumin, and salt and pepper and cook until the beef has browned, 5-6 minutes.
- Remove the beef filling from the heat and allow to cool slightly before assembling the empanadas.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium apple (gala or pink lady), peeled and diced into ¼-inch thick pieces
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.
- Add the diced apples and cook for four minutes until they are soft.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Continue cooking for 2 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Remove the filling from the heat and cool before handling.
Assembling the Empanadas
- 1 egg, gently beaten with a fork (egg wash)
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a thin sheet.
- Cut out round shapes for the empanadas (I used a round Tupperware, you can also use a large round cookie cutter, bowl, or small plate).
- Re-roll the dough scraps and continue cutting empanada discs until all of the dough has been used.
- To assemble the empanadas, place a tablespoon or two (depending on the size of your disc) of either filling on one half of the dough disc. Make sure to not over-stuff with filling as it will be difficult to seal.
- To seal, fold the second half of the dough over the filling and press firmly with your fingers to seal the edges. After sealing, fold the dough-edge inward by 1/8 inch to create a more decorative seal.
- After all of the empanadas have been formed, refrigerate for 30 minutes to help the sealing process.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Remove the formed empanadas from the refrigerator and brush them with the egg wash. For those with sweet filling, I also sprinkled cane sugar on top.
- Bake the empanadas for 20-24 minutes until they are golden brown.
What’s your favorite empanada filling? Are you team savory or team sweet? Let me know!