Empanadas are small pastries stuffed with delicious savory and sweet fillings. Easy to customize with your favorite fillings, these savory bites are great holiday party snacks.
A traditional dish from Spain and Portugal, although they are very popular in South America, Caribbean Islands and US as well. In Brazil, empanada is called pastel, and is usually deep-fried; Argentinian version is fantastic with a spicy minced beef filling. In Sicily, there is something very similar named pidoni, which are pizza pastry half-moons filled with anchovies, tomatoes, mozzarella, escarole and oregano.
If you think about it, at least in every country there is a popular street food or traditional dish that combines pastry with other ingredients, for delicious look-like empanadas!
Easter will be a perfect time for trying out your favorite version of empanadas, whether you are gonna spend it outside at the park egg-hunting, in your garden with friends and BBQ, or simply at home relaxing with your loved ones.
Every tasty empanada starts with the dough. You can cheat and buy pre-made dough, usually frozen into disks and available from Latin grocery stores. You can also easily make your own dough, and freeze part of it . Making the dough at home allows you to customize it and add things like herbs, spices, and other personal touches like the choice to use organic flour or whole wheat flour.
This empanada dough tutorial is easy and with step-by-step pictures, follow the directions and you’ll have perfect homemade empanadas every single time!
Empanadas can be prepared with so many different fillings. You can stick to classic fillings or you can create your own. Combine flavors and ingredients that you love, or simply use the ingredients you have available at the moment. Fill your empanadas with loads of fresh vegetables for a vegetarian version, add bacon, ham and eggs for a breakfast alternative, chorizo and shrimps for an unusual twist.
My recipe for healthy and super tasty Empanadas with lamb and mushrooms, includes fresh amazing shiitake mushrooms, fennel and zucchini, some spices, mozzarella and minced lamb beef. I love how fennel pairs so well with lamb and mushrooms, I added some fresh mint and it kind of reminded me the flavours of Greek cuisine, so good, so healthy.
The secret when choosing your empanada filling, it’s just to think about your favorite pizza or tart toppings, they will surely work great into your empanada as well.
- 10 medium disks (about 6inch large) empanada dough, rolled out on a floured surface
- 10oz (300gr) minced lamb beef
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons Extravirgin olive oil
- 1 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
- 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
- 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white part only
- 1 cup zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
- 10 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
- 1 Jalapeno Chili
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
- 1½ cups smoked mozzarella, grated
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp of water
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add red pepper and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, ginger, leeks, zucchini, fennel and mushrooms. Sauté until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat.
- Let cool 5 minutes. Stir in mint and cheese. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet with 1 tbsp of olive oil and the crushed garlic clove.
- Add minced lamb beef and bay leaf. Season and sautée until the meat is brown and cooked through.
- Allow to cool completely and add to the vegetables and mozzarella mixture. Refrigerate for ½ hour.
- Arrange 1-2 tbsp of the filling on one side of each disk.
- If needed, brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg white or water, this is will help them seal better and keep the filling from leaking while baking .
- Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges. You can either use a fork to help seal, or use your fingers to twist and curl the edges.
- Brush the empanadas with the egg wash; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Then serve immediately.