Empanadas mendocinas

Empanadas mendocinas

En Español
Empanadas mendocinas are traditional Argentinean baked empanadas filled with beef, onions, paprika, hot pepper powder, cumin, oregano, hard-boiled egg and olives. Rebecca of From Argentina With Love is having an empanada of the month event and if you’ve visited my blog before you know that I love empanadas and am always looking for new recipes to try. The empanada recipe for this month is the empanada mendocina from the Mendoza region in Argentina (also known for great wines). While empanada mendocinas are very famous I have never made them before so this was a great opportunity to learn how to make them and what makes them different from other meat filled baked empanadas. I started with Rebecca’s recipe for the meat filling or picadillo, I adjusted the spice quantities a little bit, just based on my personal taste, and added fresh oregano and green onions, I also halved the quantity of meat (from 2 lbs to 1 lb) and had more than enough for 25 empanadas. I wanted to learn what makes these empanadas so special and found out that when it comes to the filling you can make them either with ground beef or chopped beef. Also the empanadas mendocinas are known for not using raisins- which are common in other types of empanadas – and to finish the smoked paprika and picante or hot pepper are very important, in addition to the flavor they give the meat a bright red coloring that is considered a distinguishing factor for empanadas mendocinas.

The other thing that differentiates these empanadas is the dough, I was planning on making my standard baking empanada dough recipe for these or even using the store bought discs, but as I did my Google research I found out that the dough for empanadas mendocinas is unique because it is made with milk which give it a creaminess and softness that the standard empanada dough doesn’t have, so I adapted and translated the recipe for the dough from Recetas Ya and Club Gourmet. The recipes all called for making the dough by hand, but of course I took the food processor shortcut and made a few conversions. If you have the time I really recommend making the dough from scratch (but with a food processor), it made such a difference and my empanadas just baked beautifully. This is my new favorite baking empanada dough recipe, most of the time I experiment with different fillings, and this time it was so much fun to try a different way to prepare the dough.

Traditional empanada recipe

Another important part of these empanadas – and empanadas in general – is the churito or repulgue – ie the curvy ornate seal. Rebecca has a very cool video on her post that shows how to do this. I confess that I’ve never really been good at making a nice perfect repulgue, but it seems to improve with practive. In addition, I’m always paranoid that the empanadas are going to leak, so my strategy is to seal them brushing the edges with egg white, then I press the edges with my fingers, I do the best to make the churito or repulgue and then for a final seal I use the  tip of a fork to press down again, it works and actually doesn’t look too bad when the empanadas come out of the oven.

The day before I made these empanadas I just happened to be reading Ines del Alma Mia by Isabel Allende. The main character in the book is a woman from Spain who travels to South America (and helps establish a Spanish colony in Santiago, Chile). The book is part fiction part history, but one of her talents is making empanadas, which helps her and others survive during situations of limited food availability. I have to admit that I didn’t really know a whole lot about the history of empanadas, but for some reason I thought that their origin was Argentinean or Chilean (I’m sure there’s a big dispute on the subject already and don’t want to get any wars started), but at least based on this book it seems they came from Spain (and probably before that from the Middle East). Though, I guess South Americans in general have done a better job of perfecting (and marketing) the empanada.

Empanadas mendocinas recipe

Finally, I had to make a couple of dipping sauces and made two slightly different chimichurri sauces for these. The first one is a blended sauce with a little bit of white wine vinegar and for the second sauce I chopped the herbs instead and used balsamic vinegar, both worked well, Nicolas isn’t much of a balsamic vinegar fan (I know, what is wrong with him?) but I loved it. An aji criollo type hot sauce or tree tomato hot sauce would also go well with these delicious empanadas.

Balsamic chimichurri sauce 
Quick chimichurri sauce 
Aji criollo hot sauce 
Tamarillo or tree tomato hot sauce 
Empanadas mendocinas with chimichurri sauce Empanadas mendocinas with balsamic chimichurri

Empanadas mendocinas

Yield: ~20 medium or ~30 small empanadas

Empanadas mendocinas

Easy recipe for empanadas mendocinas, traditional Argentinean baked empanadas filled with beef, onions, paprika, hot pepper powder, cumin, oregano, hard-boiled egg and olives. Adapted from From Argentina with Love

Ingredients

    Dough for empanadas mendocinas – makes about 20 medium or 30 small empanadas
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup of grasa - lard or butter or mix of both
  • ¾ cup to 1 cup of warm milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Beef picadillo filling
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 white onions, diced, about 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup lard or butter
  • 2 tbs smoked paprika
  • 2 tbs chili powder or any ground hot pepper
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ tbs ground cumin
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced green olives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked
  • Dipping sauce options:
  • Balsamic chimichurri sauce
  • Quick chimichurri sauce
  • Aji criollo sauce
  • Tree tomato hot sauce

Instructions

    Empanada dough
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, pulse until well combined.
  2. Add the lard or butter, blend well.
  3. Add the egg yolk and the milk in small amounts, pulse until small dough clumps start to form.
  4. Make a couple of balls, flatten into disks and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  5. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
  6. Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.
  7. Beef picadillo filling and empanada assembly
  8. Combine the ground beef, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and chill until ready to use.
  9. Melt the lard in a large frying pan or sauté pan, add the onions and salt, cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
  10. Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently.
  11. Let the meat mixture or picadillo cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions and chopped oregano.
  12. To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a slice of egg and sliced olive.
  13. Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada.
  14. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas.
  15. Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake.
  16. Let the empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.
  17. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for about 25 minutes.
  18. Serve warm with chimichurri sauce or other dipping sauces.
http://laylita.com/recipes/2008/06/11/empanadas-mendocinas/

Empanada dough

Empanada dough preparation Making homemade empanada dough

Homemade empanada dough Making homemade empanada discs

Beef picadillo filling and empanada assembly

Empanada mendocina preparation Empanada mendocina preparation

Beef picadillo or filling for empanadas Empanada picadillo preparation

Empanada assembly Empanada assembly

Empanada assembly Making homemade empanadas

Baking empanadas mendocinas Empanadas mendocinas

Meat empanadas Empanadas mendocinas

Empanadas with chimichurri sauce Empanadas with dipping sauce

Argentinean empanada recipe

Comments

  1. I’m making these today for the second time in less than a month. We absolutely love them with your quick chimichurri sauce. Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe!

  2. do you need to use cold butter cut into small pieces or melted butter?

  3. Thank you so much for this recipe!!! I fell in love with these when I was in Argentina a few years ago. We stayed at the Sheraton Iguzu. On our walk out to the Falls, we went past a little store at the edge of the park that sells these and two other varieties. It was a very hot, very muggy day and these were hot out of the oven. They were the most delicious and satisfying things I had ever eaten in my life. This recipe comes the closest to what we tried. Now if I can only find a perfect medialuna recipe, which was my breakfast every day in Buenos Aires, I will be insanely happy!

  4. Hi Laylita! My son was was assigned to write a paper about Argentina’s history, traditions, and food. Lucky for us we stumbled upon you website and loved it! We plan toile these empanadas as part of his project. My question is how far in advance can i prep and how much of the assembling process can I do without compromising the final product? My hope was to completely assemble them the night before and then pop them in the oven @ 6:00 a.m. Since he will need them for his 7: 40 a.m. Class. Is this possible and most importantly safe?

    Thanks- mari and Justin

    • Hi Mari – That is perfectly safe, sometimes I make them for my co-workers and assemble them the night before and bake them in the morning. I do the same for parties, this way I can bake them and have them warm out of the oven when people arrive. The only thing is that I wait until right before baking them to brush them with the egg wash.

      • First, sorry for the misspelled words and errors in the previous message, not sure what happened there. As for the empanadas, I prepared them and they were a hit. Thank you for your response and most importantly for sharing. We have continued to explore your site and plan to prepare many more meals.

        Justin and Mari

  5. Barbara Cabrera says:

    When I was 16, I met my boyfriend, husband now who is Puerto Rican, his ‘Gwella’ taught me
    how to make pastelles, arroz con dules, bacaulou, all kinds of wonderful tasting Spanish foods.
    I never got the chance to make empanadilla’s or the dough, pastelles were made more than empandillas.
    I plan on making them today, I’m glad I found your website, your dough recipe sounds like something Gwella would make.
    Thanks
    Barbara

  6. Hi Laylita,
    I am from Switzerland and I appreciate very much your explanations and photos of your empanada!
    I’ve never seen before such a well done explications. I’m very glad to find your website! I’ll prepare this empanada yet this week, it will be my first.
    Thank you very much!!! :)

  7. Hi Laylita, Im Ecuadorian as well as you are, from Guayaquil, and I love your website. Its great and you explain every step soooo much in detail, that i just love it!! My daughter told me about it, she is a fan of yours too :)
    I am going to make these empanadas of course, but what i really want is the other ones, the ones that are just fried and have lots of cheese are they called Empanadas de Viento?? I believe so. I hope you can help me with that recipe. Thanks a lot.

  8. These are wonderful!! Thanks for the recipe! Can you recommend a recipe for some nice dipping sauce?

    I will definitely try these soon!!

  9. Hi, I made these a couple of months ago and they are absolutely wonderful! I added half a pouch of sazon seasoning mix to the warm milk and mixed thoroughly. This mixture added a nice flavor and orange color to the dough. I will be baking another batch this weekend for a graduation party for all to enjoy. Thank you for this recipe, I truely love the dough taste and texture once baked.

  10. Have you ever had to reheat leftover empanadas? I am alone right now my husband is deployed, but I just got done making a batch of 24..I can’t eat those all in one day. I shared some with my neighbor, but I was wondering could you reheat in the oven again? Do they taste okay afterwards…sorry I am new to cooking, but these came out so good :) I am proud. thank you for sharing your recipes! :)

    Hi Elvira – You can set your open to Warm (or 200F) and let them warm-up, or you can just microwave them for 10-15 seconds. The oven re-heating is the better way (so they don’t get soggy), but the microwave is the “I’m starving and can’t wait” quick option. They taste great re-heated.

    • I also live alone but when I go to the trouble of making empanadas, you better believe I want leftovers! For a while!

      For years I have been making a few batches of them at a time, and freezing the leftovers after baking/cooling them. Nothing fancy, I just put them in freezer bags and in they go! Then I can take out just one or two at a time. Ideally I try to let them thaw a bit, then just zap them in the microwave. It’s not as great as fresh out of the oven, but it does the job when all you want is to enjoy a delicious homemade empanada. I’ve also microwaved them just enough to warm them a bit, then finished them off in the oven.

      Not sure if they can be frozen prior to baking. Never tried it.

      This recipe sounds delicious and is very close to my recipe, which I got from a woman from Mendoza. I typically use Hungarian paprika, but am intrigued by the idea of using smoked. I have never added a heat element, such as ground red pepper. I love spicy so I might try that next time around. I find that if I go heavy on a good quality paprika, it adds a nice, mellow zing that is not overpowering. I love your ambition of making homemade dough. I’m usually lazy and buy the Goya discs, but perhaps some winter day when I’m snowed in I will go for the gusto.

  11. Hi, I am so excited to try this recipe tomorrow, I actually grew up with a lady from Argentina and she always made us empanadas, sadly she moved away and I never got the chance to ask her for her recipe, one question I have is when you say lard what do you consider lard, I know we have pork lard but also here we have Crisco which is shortening, I really didn’t know what you meant that’s why I wanted to know, I just never knew if I could use lard we call (manteca) in a beef dish …. Well thank you so much hopefully you can answer me soon so I can make them I am so excited :D Last question when I do the egg wash is it just the egg, or just the yolk, or do I add water to the egg???? Sorry for so many questions …. Thank you and hopefully my empanadas look & taste like yours, I am super nervous bc I have never made these before :/

    Hi Mya – To answer your questions, I mean manteca de chancho by lard. You can use butter if you don’t want to use lard. For the egg wash, I usually mix the yolk with 1 tablespoon of water.

  12. nice work!! i love empanadas :) About the origin… I think they have some arabic origin and since Spain was ocuppaid by Arabs many many years empanadas stayed there and them come to South America.

  13. How do you make it this shiny? I tried making these empanadas but I could not make it visually shiny like yours. Yours look so nice! and delicious!

    Hi Elvira – Brushing them with the egg wash is what gives the empanadas that shiny look.

  14. I’m so excited to have found your blog. My husband Nivaldo is going to be in heaven when I show it to him! We’ll definitely be following you now and trying your recipes.

  15. I must say that I am an Empanada Lover. I made these and a chimichurri sauce and OMG they were delicious. I actually stayed up till 2am because I started late. The people who waited loved it too. Definetly will be making these over and over again. I’m a visual learner and the pictures helped out a lot!!!Thank you so much for sharing.

  16. Mary Allor says:

    First time viewing your website…I was looking for a good empanda receipe. I am so very happy to find your recipe its exactly how my mother made her pumpkin empanadas..always a warm glossy finish product just like your photo.
    My mother never put the receipe on paper just from her memory and everytime they came out perfect. I thought I would never find the receipe again until I saw the great photos…”there they were my mommy empanada. My mom used evaporated milk was the only type of milk available .
    I will make these soon.

  17. Can I use evaporated milk for the warm milk ingredient?

    Yes, that will work.

  18. I’m making the empanadas right now! I spent 2 years in Cordoba, Argentina, and have been looking for a good empanada recipe since. I tasted the picadillo and it’s legit. I’ll let you know what the finished product tastes like!

  19. I made these empanades for my Colombian friends and they absolutely loved them!!! They turned out splendid and very tasty.

  20. Hola Laylita! Desde he visitado Buenos Aires el verano pasado, he caido en enamorada con empanadas. Ellos son muy similares a ‘Cornish pasties’ del sudoeste de Inglaterra. Ayer, yo hice esas empanadas, y yo debo decir que esa masa es la masa mejor del mundo! Yo tomé las empanadas a mi juego del bádminton para la mini-fiesta donde nosotros todos comimos, y después, yo no tuve cualquier empanadas sobrante! Por suerte, yo salvó algunas empanadas para mi familia y mi novio. :-) Hubo 27 en total :-| Gracias para compartiendo esta receta; he estado anunciando mis empanadas en mi página web :-)

  21. Fantastic recipe, I’ve made these twice first with out chimichurri second with. I must say the balsamic chimichurri sauce was a perfect match. Thank you Laylita for such amazing recipes!

    P.S. We live in the Pacific Northwest and husband loves salmon and ceviche. Any thoughts on how to combine the two?

  22. Josephine says:

    Laylita,

    Thanks for sharing your empanadas recipe. I was able to make two batches for my family.
    I followed your instructions on the empanada dough and it came out perfect.

  23. Great website….great empenada recipe. I just whipped up a batch of forfar bridies for my scottish wife and she’s going crazy for them. She takes them to work with her. Thankyou for your dough recipe. I always make them from scratch. Wife says the dough is spot on no matter which part of the world your empenadas/bridies/pasties come from. The fillings are a blast to make. Myself, I use the leftover dough to add wild blueberries and some splenda for a sweet desert.

  24. Laylita,

    Prepare las empanadas mendocinas siguiendo su receta al pie de la letra, y me salieron riquisimas!!! tambien prepare el aji criollo con aji habanero para acompañarlas, y a mi esposo y mama les encanto tanto que las voy a preparar otra vez para celebrar año nuevo. No mas queria saber si se puede substituir la carne por pollo desilachado?

    Gracias,

    Hola Isabel – Definitivamente puedes substituir la carne por pollo.

  25. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been making this recipe as my primary empanada recipe for the last year or so. In fact, even today — for our Holiday dinner — I will be preparing these empanadas with your Balsamic chimichurri sauce. I’ll be paring it with a Malbec and some green beans roasted with olive oil and garlic. Your website is one of my favorites and this recipe is truly terrific.
    I have even prepared this recipe using potatoes in place of meat for my vegetarian friends. Essentially, I chop the potatoes into small sugar cube-sized cubes and boil them briefly until they are soft on the outside, but still firm in the inside. Then, I put them into a bowl and mix in the same ingredients as is used for the meat. Then, I put the potatoes into a large pan and stir them with the seasonings. Then, put the potatoes back into the bowl and stir until you have a consistency that is similar to a somosa. Stuff the mixture into the dough and cook as normal. It’s a wonderful vegetarian version. I forgo the eggs and olives for this variation, however.

  26. Mary Baldwin says:

    Fun to read all the comments here. I lived in Argentina in the 80’s in Cordoba. We made empandas dulces and de sal (sweet and salty). Los Dulces were made with raisins and sugar added to the meat and they had a distinct fold (up-right) and the salty (meat, salt and green onions) were folded on the side – eggs were also put in them as well. We made them mostly fried but would also bake them.

    I did chuckle when a poster commented about wanting to freeze them…..what?…not sure we ever had any leftovers when empanadas were made, at least not enough to freeze. Back then freezers really weren’t used for storing food….everything was bought daily.

    Oh how I miss the Asadas!

  27. Costco sells canned chicken breast (it makes decent chicken salad or casseroles, but I buy it for my little dog). The point is that the CAN it comes in makes a great cutter for the dough if you cut both ends out. These look delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Ooops! By the way, I’m aware that these empanadas are Argentenian. Really impressive as well. Can’t wait to get started. Your awesome!

  29. Laylita,
    Since the day I came across your web site…I’ve been nothing but floored with all your recipes! My parent’s are Ecuadorian and I was born and raised in Canada. I have two children ( 2 and 3 years old) and my husband is Portuguese. My best friend has the same ethnic background as I and is married to an Irish/Canadian. Most recently, I made Empanadas de queso and Empanadas de carne (with a little help from my mom) and everyone was impressed. My friend said to me, ” oh dear, what will we do when our parents aren’t around to help us? Who will carry the tradition of your mom’s famous Morcillas? Who will help us with the Tamales? Umitas? Chanfaina? We won’t get it right…Ever? We need to get a move on it and start writing everything down!” At that moment, I looked at her and said, ” Honey, we have nothing to worry about…I found Laylita.” She was puzzled. I told her about how I had found your website and how detailed your recipes and pictures are. How you pretty much have La Sierra (where her parents are from) and La Costa (my parents) all covered in your list of Ecuadorian recipes. Needless to say, we will soon be getting together and cooking some of your recipes for the family. It’s funny, as time passes one realizes how important keeping the traditions alive for our next generation really is, especially when you become a mom. I’m delighted every time I visit your site…and sooooo greatful! Your are truly Heaven sent! Now I just need to find a site as good as yours that can help me with the Portuguese traditional recipes! Muchisimas Gracias Laylita!

  30. Wonderful recipe, will make again and again.

  31. I’ve made two batches so far…both came out amazing! I’ll need to try some “lite” versions before i turn into one!

  32. My son spent a few months in Chile when he was in high school. He has been looking for the perfect empanada ever since. He called me from San Antonio this morning, where he is on business, saying that he had some for lunch today, but they weren’t as good Menche’s in Chile.
    I am going to try your recipe and will let you know what he thinks.
    Thank you,
    La Madre

  33. Laylita,

    These empanadas are FANTASTIC!! I just made them for my family and every one from my father to my 7 year old son LOVED them. I made the dough from scratch and it worked out beautifully. I also made the Aji criollo sauce which was DELICIOUS. Thank You for sharing such fabulous recipes and taking the time to post such detailed instructions with pictures, which are very helpful a long the process.

    Muchisisimas Gracias,

    Elizabeth

  34. Another great recipe from Laylita! Your instructions and pictures were very easy to follow and the empanadas were a hit that evening! I even made extra to freeze and serve them in a late afternoon just for myself! Simplemente delicioso!

  35. Used your recipe for the dough! It was delicious!! I had to make my own meat version because all I had was turkey!! and they were DELICIOUS!! My husband loved them and he was like we COULD SELL THESE! I’m going to have to make another batch to share with mi familia!

    THANK YOU!
    MUCHAS GRACIAS!!

  36. Laylita, thank you for this recipe, although I haven’t made it yet. I have scoured the web trying to find out what the dipping sauce in the last photo on the right is. PLEASE tell me what it’s called and if you can tell me how to make it. That type of sauce (whatever it is) will be more conducive to my tastebuds. Thank you so much.

  37. I love your site. I had a thought about making the disks. If you roll the dough into golf ball size balls and use a tortilla press you can get uniform thickness and a disc that should be the size you need. I am going to try this and see if it works.

  38. jojo m. says:

    i tried it just today! they were superb

  39. Looks so lovely!

    I’m from Seattle, live in the southeast now, and was in Ecuador for 4 months many years ago. I didn’t know how to cook then, and my tastebuds have been longing for certain foods for years.

    thanks for a lovely blog.

    You will keep me plump!

  40. Ever since I went to Argentina for my honeymoon, I have been insanely missing the empanadas we ate on a daily basis. I am so thankful to have found your blog, and this recipe! I’d love to find more, particularly varieties from Salta. Thank you so much!

  41. Laylita, Thank you for the beautiful , explicit, and probably yummy receipe for empanadas.Many years ago i had a Chilian friend who taught me to make them but it has been 30 yrs. since then. now I will make them as an accompaniment to our traditional potato latkes for our Hannukah party. I love to blend cultures and ethnicities! Thanks, ilene

  42. Carmelita says:

    Laylita, Me gusta mucho tu pagina, las recetas suenan muy autoctonas pero el problema es que hay ciertos ingredientes que no se consiguen en Australia como por ejemplo el tipico achiote, el mote y el maduro.

    Yo tengo una receta que he inventado para empanadas similar a las mendosinas pero la diferencia es que añado carne de cerdo molida y espinaca molida tambien. Añado culantro y oregano a mas de comino y paprica y logicamente salsa de aji. Me quedan ricas. Tambien uso masa ya preparada y congelada.

    Gracias

    CA

  43. Dear Laylita,
    I lived in BA, Argentina for two years and learned how to make empanadas for my family. We loved them so much that I found myself making them all the time. Since being back to the states I have been looking for recipes to make and I have run out of my spices that I brought back with me. I was so happy to find your web site and it reminded me of our stay in Argentina. I have made your recipes and they are spot on down to the egg! Thank you for taking the time to share with us all.
    Best wishes,
    Sharon F. Rochester Hills, MI.

  44. Hola Laylita,

    Las empanadas fueron un exito pero como te dije antes, la masa me dio mucho trabajo porque estaba bien dura. Muchas gracias por tus recetas tan ricas. Perdona que no escribo en ingles pero es que mi ingles escrito no es muy bueno.

    Saludos,

    Jade

  45. I love the pictures accompanied with the recipe. I do need to share this the younger family members! Thank you this site!

  46. Hola, Laylita me encanta tu blog e preparado varias de tus recetas y me encantaron. Estaba buscando recetas de Ecuador pues estuve de visita en Diciembre, 08 para las fiestas de Quito y me fascino toda la cultura Ecuatoriona y la gente maravillosa que conoci.
    Gracias por compartir tu rica cultura culinaria con nosotros. Awesome job!!!

    Lolita

  47. Hi Laylita,
    I don’t know how it is I missed this fabulous post for Empanada Day especially since I celebrated Empanada Day on my blog in April.

    I did however, discover your blog while in search of recipes to help celebrate United Nations Day and boy oh boy, I sure am glad I did. I hope you don’t mind if I included your link in today’s post. I’m going to add it to my Empanada Day post too!!! If empanadas can be considered gorgeous, yours sure do take the cake!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing. I need to go and explore for more goodies:)

  48. Christine M. says:

    Laylita, I’m a huge fan of Latin American cuisine and am glad I stumbled upon your site! It’s very informative, well-organized and the steps of the recipes are very thorough. The photos are vivid and mouthwatering too. I’m Filipino and we have our own version of empanadas, which is very similar to the ground beef picadillo fillings but with more raisins. Anyway, keep up the great work. You’re a real inspiration!

  49. Gab Samaniego says:

    hola, noy hay que ponerles polvo de hornear?

    No, no es necesario agregar polvo de hornear.

  50. Annalisa says:

    Oh yeah, I just wanted to say that I couldn’t resist adding 3 small russet potatoes (boiled till they were fork tender) to the filling because growing up my uncle would make filling similar to yours but he would add potatoes, black olives instead of green (But I really loved the green here), and I believe tomato or tomato sauce… But I didnt want to add the tomato because I wanted to taste it your way first. So… thanks again! Very very good, served with a green salad and some leftover beans.

  51. Annalisa says:

    Hi Laylita,

    I made these last night and they came out great! I had used your dough recipe previously but the filling is really really good. My son loved them and said he didn’t like the ‘other ones’ (he’s six and very picky). I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful site, beautiful pictures and for introducing me to other kinds of Latin foods (I am Mexican, German, and Yaqui to name a few). I love getting in touch with other Latino cultures via their foods and it just awesome to me and our foods are so similar yet so different. Never stop blogging!

    Annalisa

  52. PS …. I lived in Loja for three years, and then moved to Nueva Loja (Lago Agrio, Succumbios) for the remainder. I miss it so much……

  53. Hi Laylita
    I feel like I know you! What a wonderful website. I have been feeling melancholic for Ecuador and the food- I lived there for 9 years. I have not been able to cook since moving back to the States. Thank you, thank you for giving me back my culinary skills! My husband and son are so happy! I visited Argentina, and always tried to imitate the wonderful empanadas, never with success until now. Thank you, dear girl!

  54. Shannon says:

    Laylita,
    O MY GOSH…The pictures look good enough to eat!! I cannot wait to make these over the weekend, they look and sound delicious! Thank you so much!

  55. Kaliska says:

    But at least based on this book it seems they came from Spain.

    These things exist all around the world, by a different name. And nearly in every country there is a meat inside either a pastry shell, (potato or plantains in Puerto Rico) though they have empanadas as well, Mexico, and if you look at the Cornish Meat Pasties recipes. And Cornish Meat Pasties, were too such a way of life for those people. The tin miners wives would make them for them, and with poison encrusted fingers from their line of work, they’d eat the meat pastie, and then toss the crust down in the mine! It’s such a national thing there, and a very huge deal to them! And through them it was brought into North American! (And now we have things like chicken pot pie ect… hmm I wonder where that idea stemmed from lol) Same idea. Different names and ingredients according to region. I even seen a show on the history channel of them making a meat in a pastry, from a recipe from medieval times from Rome! I wouldn’t say one is better than the other really, but, I was once told. If you look in someone’s pantry you can see where their roots hail from (If you know what you are looking at), and they may not even know they have blood relation too those origins! Which I think is amazing. And it’s really amazing how the world over, has such a thing in common. I mean you can even find meat in a pastry I’ve heard in Japan and China. Meat buns, I don’t know the proper name. Who knows who came up with the idea first really? Only Father time knows that answer. But I digress, amazing recipe and beautiful pictures. I will be trying this =)

  56. These empanadas look delicious! I studied in Mendoza, Argentina for 3 months and my favorite thing to eat was Empanadas!!!!! I am so excited to try out this recipe!!! I’ll grab a cup of some good Malbec while I eat them….ahh, nostalgia! =) Thank you so much!

  57. I have been looking for an Empanada recipe similar to the ones I had in the Philippines when I was little. The ones I see in my area of Spain bear no resemblance to the ones I remember, but yours sounds much more similar. :D

  58. Thank you for your reply! We have since made several recipes from this site and were very very pleased w/ the results! (Ok, so we didn’t make our own dough rounds – time is of essence when hunger gets in the way!) Though there are two of us, somehow there are rarely enough leftovers to share and/or had to really be good about not eating those set aside for my folks!

    swatson

  59. Wonderful site! Incredibly beautiful photography as well as fantastic recipes I am looking forward to trying out.

    Q: Do you ever freeze your empanadas? If so, what are your recommendations for freezing/thawing/cooking.

    Thank you!

    swatson

    Hi Swatson – Thank you for the comments, yes I sometimes freeze the empanadas, you can bake them from frozen just as you would bake them if they were fresh (oven at 375 F – 400 F) for about 25-30 minutes. Of course, they always taste much better when they’re freshly baked, but it can be very convenient to have already frozen and ready to bake when needed. I haven’t ever tried freezing them once they’re baked though and have no idea how that work (freshly baked empanadas don’t last too long around here)

  60. Betty Saenz says:

    Muchas Gracias!!! Your pictures of the wonderful comida are making my stomach growl!! Um-m-m-m good!!! I am leaning toward making empanadas for our Fearless Foodie January 17th Meeting. My husband and I ate at a Columbian restaurant in Austin recently and had empanadas. I have mainly eaten the pumpkin empanadas of Texas.

  61. My 15 year old daughter needed to make a Argentinian dish for school. These Emanadas were so easy & fun to make with her. I enjoyed it & so did my daughter. Thanks again Laylita :)

  62. yummmm, I always fry mine (Puerto Rican style) but I am looking for a lighter version and this is perfect!

  63. Layla,
    Grazie. Gracias for being a giver and sharing your gift. I absolutely LOVE your website. Today, after Google-ing for Empanadas, I fell into your wonderful web of beautiful photos and inspiring recipes. Your Empanada recipe inspired me so much, I went to the market, got the ingredients and now…I find myself amidst the dough and the filling(which is fantastic)…and I am just about to roll and fill! I’m afraid that after I eat so many of them, I may turn into one big Empanada!
    Thank you again,
    Keep sharing and inspiring,

    Lizette R. (Orange County, CA)

  64. Laylita,
    Thanks, nice blog and recipes, I’m Peterson from Taiwan and planning to put up an empanada store, and luckliy I found your website, an empanada haven… I’d like to know how thick will the disks be? and I was planning to make more and store the disks, will freezing the disk make them last longer? thanks

    Hi Peterson – The discs are usually about 1mm thick, you can freeze them, but I’m not sure how long they will last, maybe a couple months.

  65. Hi Rusen – I’m glad to hear to that the recipe worked out for you, here are some answers to your questions:
    - not sure about the thickness (Is there a guideline?) The dough should be rolled very thin (about 1 mm)

    – I am planning on cooking the rest tomorrow. Can I keep them in the refrigerator till then? And if I want to make more and save them uncooked, would freezing work?

    Yes to both questions.

    - Also is there a particular level in the oven that you cook them? I cooked mine on top shelf first but then switched to bottom when I saw they had gotten golden brown quickly. also was not sure whether to brush the oven tray with cooking oil or not.
    I usually put the rack in the middle or lower middle. I also put the empanadas on parchment paper instead of putting them directly on the baking sheet, but definitely grease the baking sheet with oil if you are not using parchment paper.

    - I am also not sure about cooking the filling. How long do you cook the beef? I was a bit scared that the meat will be overcooked (considering it will be cooked again in the oven).
    My fillings are usually completely cooked, don’t worry about overcooking the meat.

    I hope that answers your questions.

    Take care,

    Layla

  66. Layla,

    Thanks very much! I was ecstatic to have run into your blog while looking for a step-by-step empanada recipe. I am Turkish but my boyfriend is an Argentine who loves empanadas and I want to surprise him with them.

    I followed your recipe diligently, even made the dough from scratch. And now I am tasting the very first one out of the oven and I must say it is yummy! Even I’m impressed by my cooking skills (thanks to you). Rolling the dough was hard though. It required strength and time. I also was not sure about the thickness (Is there a guideline?). Next time I may try to use frozen dough rounds.

    I am planning on cooking the rest tomorrow. Can I keep them in the refrigerator till then? And if I want to make more and save them uncooked, would freezing work?

    Also is there a particular level in the oven that you cook them? I cooked mine on top shelf first but then switched to bottom when I saw they had gotten golden brown quickly. also was not sure whether to brush the oven tray with cooking oil or not.

    I am also not sure about cooking the filling. How long do you cook the beef? I was a bit scared that the meat will be overcooked (considering it will be cooked again in the oven).

    anyway.. Whatever I did, I must have done right, because these taste heavenly!

    Thank you,
    Rusen (from Washington DC)

  67. by the way, I never heard of anyone using dipping sauce for empanadas,but chimichurri goes well with EVERYTHING! Yum!

  68. Hey,I’m from Uruguay(across the river from Argentina)so our foods are…the same. Unfortunately my mom does not make great empanadas so I never learned to make them,and the best I’ve tasted, are mendocinas. I’m going to try this recipe and add more olives and raisins to it. If someone is interested in making vegetarian empanadas,may I suggest they use a spinach,onions,(eggs?) cheese(parmesan and one more,like feta or cheddar or cream cheese) use a little black pepper,salt, a dash of NUTMEG,(sounds weird but makes this dish),maybe some thyme,oregano,pepper flakes. It’s the filling for PASCUALINA,another typical Rioplatense dish. I make it for my kindergartner to take to school. He loves it.
    cool site ,thanks

  69. these look wonderful, now I have to make them. I hope mine look as tasty as yours. thank you for the pictures.

  70. these look amazing. I am preparing the dough right now. i have to make a vegetarian filling (booooo) for a friend, but I think they will still be delicious.

  71. Your empanadas look beautiful. The funny thing is, I just finished reading Ines of My Soul ( I love Isabel Allende), and that inspired me to look up recipes for how to make them. Thanks!

  72. The last batch of these are just about to come out of the oven… I made them with Goya ‘discos’ and a bit more cumin than the recipe calls for and they turned out very well.

    Just back from three weeks in Argentina so of course I was eager to try my hand with something Argentinian in the kitchen.

    Much easier than I would have thought, likely because the pictures on your site really inspire confidence (“I can do that!”)

    Thanks very much. Just discovered this site yesterday and have a lot more to look forward to.

    Alan

  73. Wow! I was just thinking about finding a recipe for Bolivian saltenas, which are of course essentially Argentinean empanadas. (What Bolivians call empanadas are a sad, dry, bready affair). Great to see this.

  74. these look amazing!!, the best i’ve seen since gulping down my cousin stefania’s in buenos aires. Gracias!!

  75. Can’t wait to try these. Great photos!

  76. Lisbeth Abad says:

    Excelent, i love empanadas. Great and very tasty.
    mis favoritas. Gracias

  77. Gorgeous empanadas! Love the step by steps! :D

  78. These look fantastic! I just can’t get over your gorgeous recipes and photographs.

  79. These look gorgeous! I have to say, some of the best empanadas I’ve seen on a blogosphere! Your site is truly amazing.

  80. Paz- Thank you, I wouldn’t mind a taste of the empanadas you made, it would be great to a “live” empanada of the month event, then we could all taste each others empanadas, though that would be probably result in a few extra pounds gained each month.

  81. Delicious! I wish I could have a taste.

    Paz

  82. Don Lucho – Sorry about the temptation (and thanks for the compliment), in Ecuador we usually sprinkle sugar on the cheese filled empanadas, those -especially the fried ones- are also extremely sinful.
    Scotia – thank you for visiting, upside down bowls are the best, I have one of those biscuit cutters but it’s too small for a medium sized empanada, so the bowls are perfect. I was in Austin for 5 years, and I’ve been in Seattle for 2 years, I love both places, just wish I could combine the best of both.

  83. Laylita,

    Your site is marvelous! This recipe and the pork loin recipe sound wonderful. I was looking at the empanadas and my husband said his grandmother made them and used an upside down bowl, I scrolled down and we both had a good laugh with YOUR upside down bowl! :-)
    You lived in Austin? We lived in Austin. You now live in Seattle? We’re in Olympia.

    Cheers,
    Scotia

  84. Empanadas are a no-no in my diet, but I know a good one when I see it. Yours are wonderful, sinful empanadas. Really tempting. They are amazingly like to Peruvian empanadas which use to be great and are now an almost lost art. The ony difference I can see is that we add one raisin and a little dark olive to the filling, and we top the empanadas with baker’s superfine sugar.

  85. Susan – thank you! I was eating them as I as taking the pictures :)

  86. These look fabulous! I love picadillo, so I know that I would absolutely love these. After taking all of those beautiful photos, when did you have time to eat them? ;)

Leave a Reply