Though April 8th is National Empanda Day, why celebrate only once a year? From savory to sweet, baked to fried, breakfast to dessert, empanadas can be found all around the world.
This humble, hand-held snack starts with a simple dough, usually unflavored, that is stuffed with any filling (seriously, let your imagination run wild), then cooked until golden brown and delicious. You can whip up a different one every day and then bake your favorite come the holiday. But why wait? Here are some of our picks.
Ham and Cheese Empanadas are made with quick homemade flaky dough and a filling of gently spiced leeks and ham. Perfect for the holidays, these empanadas are easy enough to make any time you're feeling festive. Use any leftover ham in the filling and make a few batches to freeze and bake off whenever the craving hits.
These empanadas are a quick and easy snack and an easy way to repackage your leftovers! Bonus points: They're also the perfect, hand-held, party food.
Need ideas for what to do with left-over ground beef? Try using it in deep fried empanadas. Here, a savory beef mix is sweetened with plump raisins then stuffed into buttery pastry and baked or fried until crunchy and golden.
Empanadas are a favorite Latin recipe the world over. This empanadas recipe balances sweet apricot jam, with sharp jalapeños and soft cream cheese for delectable and unexpected flavor and texture in every bite.
Empanadas are a source of national, local, and family pride in Argentina. Ask any Argentine and they will tell you that their empanadas are better than empanadas from any other country, and that empanadas from his town are better than the empanadas from any other town, and of course that his mother’s empanadas are better than anyone else’s mother’s empanadas. We had the pleasure of dining with the Zuccardi winemaking family in Argentina, and we can certainly vouch for their claim to make the best empanadas.
Pigeon peas are sturdy legumes and can stand up to a variety of cooking methods. Swap them out in this recipe for Spring Pea and Potato Empanadas to make a heartier, more seasonal dish. The empanadas will be more savory, a great contrast to the sweet tamarind dipping sauce.
This empanada recipe, from Richard Sandoval's Zengo restaurant, combines the hot and spicy flavor profiles of Thailand with classic Latin flavors. The filling is made with roasted chicken, chiles, cilantro, and Oaxacan cheese and a generous splash of Thai chile sauce.
Latin America has plenty of recipes for empanadas, both sweet and savory. The crust in the recipe is an old-fashioned vinegar and egg crust. The vinegar prevents the development of the wheat gluten in the flour, which can make the crust tough. The protein in the egg keeps the crust tender as well. Be warned that you might see a few pickled strands of egg in your dough, but they won’t hurt the flavor or texture of your empanada. Back in the day, if you were the not-so-skilled home baker, this recipe would guarantee a tender result.
This recipe uses a simple shortcut, prepared biscuit dough, to make filling and folding foolproof. These empanadas are filled with chorizo, potato, and onion then go straight into the oven. With the help of store bought biscuit dough, you can whip up a batch of these every morning.
Spicy Lime Cilantro Beef Empanada Bites are spicy, filling, tangy and crisp making it hard to stop at just one! The homemade buttery crust holds a ground beef filling flecked with jalapeños, lime and cilantro that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Empanadas de Leche are among the most popular street foods in Guatemala, especially around the time of Semana Santa. These are made with a buttery, achiote red-tinted dough that is filled with creamy milk custard and baked to flakey perfection.
This snack puts a sweet twist on a classic recipe by trading out the usually savory filling for sweet-tart cinnamon apples. Wrapped in a flaky, buttery crust, empanadas de manzana are the perfect after-school snack or post-dinner dessert. And with a slice of cheddar cheese, they're a nod to the ultra American slice of pie!
Laced with plantains, the empanadas in this recipe taste like banana bread, so try dipping them in a chocolate chili sauce for that wonderful banana-chocolate flavor that usually sets hearts soaring.