Empanadas are almost as amazing as the traditional Mexican Tamale – we love Tamales though, I can’t say we love Empanadas more…. but they are delicious when you want to make tamales but just can’t squeeze the time in your day.
Both are truly a labor of love.
Empanadas can be made with meat (like chicken and green chile like we have HERE), or you can do a filling of Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans, and Roasted Chiles. My kids tear these up — it makes just around 15, but they didn’t last long at all.
They are best warm from the oven – and even better if you can squeeze out the time to make some sauce to eat them along with.
If you can get your hands on Poblano Chiles, it’s best to roast a bunch at once – then freeze them that way you have them for recipes when needed… If you are in Arizona, turning on the oven in the summer can heat up the house pretty quickly, so by having them in the freezer it’s easier and less work for you to pull out what you need.
Of course .. you can always buy Hatch chiles online too… they sell them roasted (and who doesn’t love them?)
You’ll want to make sure you have a food processor for the dough part of the recipe – it truly makes it a breeze. You might be able to make them without, but it’ll be more of a challenge. That food processor makes a HUGE difference!
- 3 C. All Purpose Unbleached Organic Flour
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 sticks Unsalted Butter, chilled and cut into pieces
- 1 Egg
- 4-5 Tbsp Water
- 1 Sweet Potato, cooked & mashed
- 1 can (15 oz) Black Beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 Hatch Chile, roasted, peeled, de-stemmed, and diced
- 1 tsp Chile Powder
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 1/3 C. Green Onions, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- Mix all ingredients until combined and set aside (mash those black beans!) until you are ready to fill the empanada dough (below).
- Make the dough.
- Mix the flour with the salt in the food processor - then add the butter, egg, and water.
- A clumpy dough will form.
- Form the ball, flatten slightly, then wrap in saran wrap and place in the fridge for 25-30 minutes.
- To assemble, you can roll out and cut into round disc shapes OR.... what works best for me is pinching the dough into 12-15 medium size pieces.
- Roll those pieces into a circle, and line a tortilla press with a ziploc (quart or larger) or, a Hefty One-Zip bag that you have cut the sides. You'll want a piece of plastic on the top and bottom so the dough doesn't stick when you press it.
- Open your tortilla press, and place your freshly rolled circle in the middle - press down the tortilla press, then carefully peel back the bag from the dough and place on your baking mat. Repeat until all of your dough has been pressed.
- Fill with your designated filling - just a small amount in the middle - remember that it's easier to fold over the empanada when it's not "overstuffed".
- Seal the empanadas by pressing with your fingers - you may want to use a little egg white (as it can be a binder like glue), or use a fork to crimp the edges to seal them.
- Refrigerate another 20-30 minutes (helps to enforce the seal) - then brush each with an egg wash (one whole egg, well beaten).
- Bake in the oven - between 375 degrees and 400 degrees - keep an eye on them so they don't over brown.
- Bake for a period of 15-20 minutes - until golden.
- Store these in a ziploc bag in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat as needed in the microwave. Your yield will vary depending on how large/small you make them.