This Mother’s Day was a very special one because both my husband and I got to spend quality time with our sons. While my husband was in DC with our oldest son Marco exploring the museums and other tourist attractions, our youngest son Juan Carlos and I stayed at home. We had a productive weekend; from SAT testing, to fundraising for our upcoming mission trip to Ecuador, to enjoying the company of good friends at a neighbor’s pool party. This morning Juan Carlos surprised me with a delectable menu; scrambled eggs with homemade chipotle aioli sauce/cheese, bacon, hash browns and gluten free bread that I had made a few days before. So, while he was working hard in the kitchen I decided to get started on this easy ground turkey empanadas recipe.
Instead of cooking the vegetables first and then cooking the turkey with the vegetables I prefer to cook the turkey and vegetables separately. The reason for this is that after the turkey is cooked I can drain most of the grease from it. Some of the grease is left in the pan to cook the vegetables with.
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 more complicated and authentic way is to braid the empanada using the “repulgue” technique. There are a couple of pictures here that show you how to fold the empanada, but I suggest you watch any of the YouTube videos on how to do the “empanada repulgue”. It will take a bit of practice, just keep trying and you will get it!
The empanadas can be fried or baked, I prefer to bake them. When you bake them make sure to brush the top of the empanada with egg to give it that nice golden color.
When making empanadas basically anything goes, you can filled them with meat, beans, fish, cheese … just be creative.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup diced green bell pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 olives
- 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt (more if needed)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the ground turkey, salt and cumin and cook until turkey is completely cooked.
- Drain the grease from the turkey and set aside.
- In the same pan heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add the garlic, bell peppers, and onions. Cook until softened 8-10 minutes.
- Add the olives and raisins to the vegetables and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Add the turkey, water and tomato sauce.
- Taste the turkey and add more salt if necessary.
- Let the turkey absorb the flavors for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has drained. The turkey has to be moist and not dry. If the turkey is too wet the empanada will be soggy.
- Once the turkey filling cools you are ready to prepare the empanadas.
- 20 small Goya discs
- 1 egg (lightly beaten with a 1 teaspoon of water)
- Spoon 1 - 1½ tablesspons of turkey 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?