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While Empanada may have originated in the area of Spain known as Galicia, it is in Argentina and across Central and Latin America that eating them has become a way of life. You can use almost any filling you like (I actually love dessert empanada) and you can either bake or fry them. However you like to fill and cook them, they are a wonderful way to start a meal or the perfect dish to serve as an appetizer, with a spicy dip. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Empanada by Simon Majumdar

Empanada Recipe

(Makes About 20)



For the Stuffing:

  • 4 Boneless Chicken Thighs (diced, ground or shredded) (can also substitute with beef or turkey)

  • 1 White Onion (diced)

  • 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)

  • 2 Tomatoes (de-seeded and diced)

  • 1 Bunch Parsley (chopped)

  • ½ Cup Pitted Black Olives (sliced)

  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder

  • ½ Teaspoon Salt

  • ½ Teaspoon Pepper

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil


For the Dough:

  • 4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

  • ½ Teaspoon Salt

  • ¼ Teaspoon Turmeric

  • 1 ½ Sticks Unsalted Butter (diced)

  • 1 Large Egg

  • ½ Cup of Water or Milk (adjust as needed to make a smooth dough)


For the Stuffing:

  1. In a pan, add the olive oil and bring to medium heat.

  2. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until golden.

  3. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.

  5. Add the olives.

  6. Add the chicken and combine well.

  7. Add the salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Combine well.

  8. Add the parsley and combine well.

  9. Heat through until chicken is cooked, and then allow the stuffing to cool.

To Make the Empanada:

  1. Place a tablespoon full of stuffing in the center of each circle and fold over the edges to form the classic empanada shape (like a half moon). You can seal with a fork or make the classic crimp.

  2. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

  3. Brush with milk.

  4. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

Serve with Chimichurri Sauce.

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