Usually when I prepared empanadas I make two batches, one batch filled with turkey and another one with white frying cheese. You see, at my house there is an even split between those who prefer meat and those who prefer cheese. Empanadas can be served as an appetizer or be paired with a soup or salad and made into a meal. This is something our college son Marco has done many times.
This recipe will make 10 – 15 empanadas; this will vary depending on how much filling you use in each empanada. Any left over empanadas can be refrigerated or frozen; when ready to serve just pop them in the oven for 5- 10 minutes or until warm (if they are frozen they will need to be defrosted before).
The key ingredient to this empanadas is the cheese; the best cheese is one that does not melt. I have found that any of the fresh Mexican crumbling cheeses will work well; my favorite one is El Viajero Queso Fresco Cheese. The cheese can be found at Walmart or any Latin or Hispanic supermarket.
Sealing the empanada can be done in a number of ways, I’ll share with you the two ways I know how to. Let’s start with the simple way, crimping the edges with a fork as shown below. This may be the way to go your first time making empanadas; the more you make them the more confident you’ll feel to try the different methods.
The empanadas can be fried or baked, I personally prefer to bake them when I make them at home. Remember to brush the top of the empanada with beaten egg to give it that nice golden color. Every once in a blue moon I do enjoy fried empanadas at my favorite empanada restaurant Prime Empanada in India Harbor Beach, Florida. They prepare gluten free empanadas and have 4 different types including vegetarian, beef, chicken and fish.
- 1 cup diced Spanish onion
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2½ cups shredded fresh Mexican crumbling cheese
- ⅛ teaspoon ground achiote (used for color and to give it a nutty and sweet flavor)
- 1 package small Goya discs
- 1 egg (lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water)
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook until softened 5 - 8 minutes.
- Add the achiote, mix well and remove from heat.
- Let the onion cool before adding the cheese.
- Mix the onion and cheese.
- Spoon 1 - 1½ tablespoons of cheese filling on an empanada disc (this amount is a good start, add more if you prefer).
- Brush the edges of the empanada discs with water.
- Fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling and seal the edges gently with your fingers.
- At this point you can use which ever method you prefer to finish sealing the empanada (using the fork or using the repulgue method).
- When the empanadas are all done you can refrigerate (the uncooked empanadas) them for up to 2 hours or freeze for a month.
- Preheat the oven to 400 ˚F.
- If the empanadas were frozen make sure to defrost them before baking.
- Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg, this will give the empanada a nice golden color.
- Bake the empanadas for 20 minutes or until golden.
Did you make this recipe?