Empanadas need no introduction – popular especially in Latin America and Europe, as well as southwest United States and southeast Asia. Empanadas like pirozhki are little pies with different fillings such as cheese, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables, minced or chopped pork, beef or chicken, shrimp, zucchini blossom, fruits, etc., the fillings are endless but generally every region has their particular ‘go-to’ fillings. Usually fried in oil but sometimes are baked.

The dough also changes from region to region, like this time we used masa which we usually use to make tortillas. Instead of doughy they turned out crispy and were a perfect fit to the juicy flavorful meat stuffing with corn and tomatoes.

As I said, the filling may be different, depending on which region prepare empanadas. For example, even in Mexico, the filling can be varied depending on the region, it can be sweet with a pumpkin, sweet potatoes, fruits filling, or they can be stuffed with a meat, cheese, vegetables. Often, chicken and cheese empanadas are served for breakfast or as a snack. The dough for the empanadas in Mexico are prepared from wheat or corn flour.

In the Dominican Republic they cook their empanadas from wheat flour, but In Venezuela from corn, in Costa Rica they  use wheat or sweet plantain dough, and in Haiti with puff pastry. In Argentina meat empanadas are most popular accompanied with raisins, onions or boiled eggs. Also they put a fish filling to their empanadas or ham and serve them at parties or festivals. In Indonesia empanadas filled with tuna and chili peppers are popular and in Spain its common to find fish filling with tomato puree, garlic or onion sauce. Philippine empanadas are from meat with potatoes, cheese and raisins, with a thin
crispy crust.

By the way, if you have prepared empanadas in large quantities, you can freeze them like pelmeni or dumplings. First lay them out raw on a baking sheet and put in the freezer, then move the frozen empanadas to freezers bag for longer storage. When you’ll be ready to cook empanadas, just unfreeze them and cook in a oil.

The empanadas were absolutely delicious!

Empanadas Recipe

By Olya Sandstrom Published: February 23, 2015

  • Yield: 15-20
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Ready In: 45 mins

Empanadas need no introduction - popular especially in Latin America and Europe, as well as southwest United States and southeast …



  1. Prepare the dough for empanadas: Mix the masa harina with salt in a bowl, pour warm water, and knead the dough until smooth. You may need to add more water as you knead the dough. Be careful not to add too much, my advice is usual to just wet your hands slightly and continue working the dough. Cover with plastic and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the lard or vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the minced pork and chorrizo over medium heat, until the meat is ready.
  3. In another pan heat the lard or vegetable oil and fry the finely chopped onion, garlic, then add the corn, finely chopped tomato, jalapeno, coriander, cumin, chili powder and oregano, salt to taste. Add and mix the cooked meat along with the Mexican cheese to the vegetables. Cool slightly.
  4. Divide the dough in 12 balls. Make tortillas using a tortilla press but you can also roll out the dough with a rolling
  5. Put the meet filling in the center, cover with the second half, and press down the edges with your fingers. When closing cover it tightly to remove as much air as possible. Don't overfill each tortilla or it will rip.
  6. Deep fry the empanadas one or two at a time until golden brown on each side for 2-3 minutes, them move them on paper towels.

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