In a nut shell, empanada is just stuffed pastry. Picture a half circle pie crust, flaky and light. Once stuffed, the crust is folded then baked, or in many cases, deep fried. Depending on where you are or whose in charge, the stuffing can consist of many things such as meat, fish or vegetables.

Just about every country, (South American in particular) has their own version of an empanada, and no matter what you call them, Knish, Calzone, Stromboli, Hot Pocket, Meatpie, Turn Over or Strudle, they're a great way to taste regional flavors anywhere.
In Louisiana empanadas are Creole savory meat pies, filled with seasoned pork, beef, chicken, and cheese.

In New Mexico among the Spanish and Mexicans, there is a winter tradition making sweetmeat empanadas for Christmas using hand-ground cooked pork, sugar, toasted local piñon, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; sealed in tortilla-like dough; then deep-fried in lard until lightly golden brown. Yum!
Referred to by the folks at "The Empanada Shop!" in Lafayette, LA as "A Blend of Many Nations in a Single Meal" the empanada is just another fabulous way to celebrate the wacky and wonderfully versatile world of the sandwich. What else?
Here's a recipe for an empanada from Argentina:

1/2 cup shortening
2 onions, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
3/4 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
salt to taste
1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

In a saute pan melt shortening, add chopped onions. Cook onions until just before they begin to turn golden. Remove from the heat, stir in sweet paprika, hot paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, salt to taste.

Spread meat on a sieve and pour boiling water on it for partial cooking. Allow meat to cool. Place meat in a dish add salt to taste, cumin and vinegar. Mix and add the meat to the onion mixture. Mix well and place on a flat to dish to cool and harden.

Cut puff pastry dough into 10 round shells. Place a spoonful of meat mixture on each round; add some of the raisins, olives and hard boiled egg. Avoid reaching the edges of the pastry with the filling because its oiliness will prevent good sealing. Slightly wet the edge of the pastry, fold in two and stick edges together. The shape should resemble that of a half-moon.

You should have a 2/3 to 1/2 inch flat edge of pastry to work with. Seal by twisting edge, step by step, between thumb and index finger, making sure to add pressure before releasing the pinch and moving on to the next curl. Other sealing procedures like pinching without curling or using a fork to seal will not prevent juice leaks during baking, and empanadas must be juicy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be sure to prick each empanada with a fork near the curl to allow steam to escape during baking. Glaze with egg for shine and bake until golden, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool and enjoy. Everything a Sandwich!


  1. MMM! i lurve empanadas!

  2. How did you know we were just talking about these? LOve LoVe lOvE them! How many ways can I tell you? EvoL at least one more LOVE!

  3. Glad to see you back! And . . . yum!

  4. Keri, Originally being from Michigan, I'm partial to the Pasties made in the Upper Peninsula...basically meat, potatoes, maybe some carrots and onion all wrapped in a pastry shell. We also love Scottish meat pies. Hungry now! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. I'm sure I should be grossed out by the concept of a "meat pie" but I find I just can't do it.

    Makes me feel like Joey Tribbiani.

    "Jam? Good. Custard? Good. Meat? Good!"

  6. My mother loves these! I like that you can put whatever filling you desire in them. Mmm, pastry...

  7. Did you get my email about the recipe roundup? I am not sure which email to send it to :)


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