Want to impress and intrigue your dinner guests? Empanadas are sure to do the trick. They may sound fancy, but these treats contain the two things we enjoy most in life: carbs and a delicious filling, and they’re sure to satisfy any hungry friend.
Empanadas aren’t a common dish in the United States but are very popular in Latin American countries. They can be served as the main dish, an appetizer, or a dessert and are the perfect unexpected party guest. Empanadas are also very portable and easy to enjoy as an appetizer while making the rounds, or to take on the go. You won’t mind having any leftovers.
The name came from the Spanish verb – “empanar,” which means to wrap or coat in bread. Empanadas originated in Spain and Portugal, but their popularity didn’t stop there. They were quickly seen in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Philippines with different variations for the filling.
Since then, the empanadas’ popularity continued to thrive and can be enjoyed throughout the world today.
Types of Empanadas
Empanadas are a stuffed pastry or bread. They commonly have meat inside and are referred to as meat pies in some parts of the world. However, you can also make them with veggies, eggs, or anything your heart desires.
The biggest decision you have to make when it comes to empanadas is what you want it to be served as at your dinner. Do you want to offer it as a savory appetizer, the main dish, or as the delightful sweet treat to end the meal?
It’s also customary to have a dipping sauce to pour over the empanadas. Consider which sauce you’d like to offer your guests. If you’re having a savory Argentinian empanada, you may enjoy a chimichurri sauce, but if you’re having a sweeter Caribbean empanada, a mango salsa may be a better option. You also must decide if you’re going the healthier route, or going all in. Empanadas taste delicious baked or fried.
Now it’s time for you to make your very own empanada. Follow the recipe to the T, or make it your own by changing up the vegetables insides it. That’s the fun part about empanadas: there isn’t a wrong way to fill them!
¼ C Vegetable Shortening
3 C Flour
1 C Hot Water
1 ½ Pounds Ground Beef
1 Red Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
3 TBSP Tomato Paste
½ TSP Salt
½ TSP Pepper
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TSP Cumin
¼ TSP Cayenne
½ TSP Red Chili Pepper
¾ C Water
8 Oz Cheese (Your Choice)
- Let’s get started and make the dough. Stir the flour, water, and vegetable shortening together and make a ball of dough. Refrigerate for one hour.
- Time to make the filling. Heat the oil in a pan. Then, brown the ground beef. Add the onions and garlic into the mix until they are translucent.
- Next, add the peppers and jalapeño to the mix for a few minutes, or until they are cooked.
- Pour the water into the mixture and add the tomato paste. The filling should thicken in this stage.
- Take the filling off heat and let it cool completely.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees to begin preheating.
- Time to take your dough out. Roll out the dough into a 1/8 inch circular layer. You can use a circle cookie cutter to create the outside. Dependent on the size, you can either make about 15 small ones, or 7 larger ones.
- Once you have the outside ready, spoon the insides into the middle of each circular layer. Sprinkle filling with cheese, making sure there is enough bread on the outsides to seal it shut.
- Fold the empanada in half and crimp edges with a fork. Careful not to let the filling come out.
- It’s time to get those empanadas into the oven. Brush the empanadas with oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Is your mouth watering yet? Head to your nearest Homeland to pick up all the ingredients you’ll need!