Last year while traveling in Spain, I had the absolute best empanadas. Since then I haven’t come across many places with great empanadas so, a few weeks back I decided to step out of my usual cuisine comfort zone and experiment with making my own! I stuck to one type of filling and they couldn’t have been better. I also made two batches – one using the pillsbury store bought pie crusts as the dough and the other with a homemade whole wheat recipe I came across online. Rather than frying the empanadas I took the healthy route and baked them – there really can’t be much of a difference in the flavors so I recommend using the oven. Also keep in mind that this recipe takes additional time because the filling and dough have to refrigerate for at least two hours so I recommend prepping everything early in the day and then when dinner time rolls around, take everything out and simply assemble the empanadas. Next time around I will be sure to try out different fillings as well – enjoy!
Ingredients – Filling:
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped green bell pepper
- 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 sweet peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg white
Ingredients – Dough:
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Start with preparing the dough so that it can sit in the fridge while you work on the beef filling. Basically just throw everything into a food processor and pulse until it forms into a dough and voila! Wrap it up in some plastic wrap and set in the fridge.
- Now for the filling… in a large food processor, add the onions, pepper, and garlic and process until finely chopped, about 15 one-second intervals, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saute pan. Add the vegetables from the processor and cook until softened, about 2 minutes
- Add the beef and cook, breaking it down until it is no longer pink
- Next add the tomato paste, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds. Lower the heat to low and stir continuously for the following 2 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool completely and transfer to a small bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Set the oven to 400*F. Once the time has passed, roll out the dough and using a medium size round bowl (or tupperware lid), cut out circles and fill each bottom half of the disc with about 2 tablespoons of the filling – leave space around the rim so that you can mend it together
- Once all of the empanadas are filled, brush the inside of the rims with egg white, then fold the dough over to make a half-moon and press the edges together with your fingers. Use the form to crimp the edges as can be seen above in my picture. Set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the tops with egg
- Bake at 400* for about 20 minutes until the dough is golden brown. Enjoy!