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How to Make Empanadas: Recipe

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Baked or fried, sweet or savory, empanadas are a tasty dish – either as a main course or dessert. Popular in Latin America, Southern Europe or Southeast Asia, these pockets of deliciousness vary from place to place: the filling is usually seasoned with local flavors and can be made from meat like ground beef, pork, sausage, and chicken, or sometimes fruit. The variations are really endless, but the result is always a portable and flavorful meal. In honor of Empanada Day on April 8, shows you how to make your very own, homemade, savory empanadas.

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Recipe: How to Make Savory Empanadas

Bread stuffed with either sweet or savory ingredients? Sounds tasty!


- 2 pounds ground pork or beef
- 2 chorizo sausages, our of their casing
- 2 medium onions, finely diced
- 2 jalapeno chilis, minced – remember to remove the seeds if you don’t like it as hot
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water – beat these together only when you’re ready to bake


1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, cook your meat until it’s no longer pink, which should take about 5-7 minutes. While it’s cooking, make sure to break it up into small pieces with a spoon.
2. Now add the onion and peppers and cook them for about 5 minutes, until they’re soft.
3. Then, add the chili powder and tomatoes, and cook it for about 12-15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened up.
4. Next, season it to taste with salt and pepper, fold in the cilantro and remove it from the heat.
5. Now to make your dough: in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
6. With your fingers, cut the butter into your flour mixture until it has a crumbly consistency.
7. Next, add just enough cold water so your dough comes together.
8. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide it in half. Knead each half two or three times to form smooth balls.
9. Now divide each ball into four equal pieces, cover them with plastic and leave to rise slightly for about 20 minutes.
10. Once your dough has risen slightly, shape your pieces into balls.
11. Roll those dough balls into eight-inch rounds.
12. Now, divide your filling evenly between the rounds. Spread it out over half of each, and leave a half-inch border at the edge.
13. Now, brush water along the edges to keep them glued shut.
14. Fold them in half to enclose your filling completely.
15. After you press the edges firmly with your fingers, crimp them with a fork.
16. Place your empanadas on a parchment lined baking sheet, and brush the tops with egg wash. Avoid coating the edges with the egg wash, cause it’ll likely get too dark.
17. Now, cook them in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Remember to rotate your baking sheets halfway through the cook time.
You can easily freeze your empanadas for a quick and easy meal: just freeze them after you form them on a baking sheet for 2-hours, then once their firm, wrap them tightly in saran, place them in a freezer bag and you’re good to go!

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