Through the magic of the internet, I have friends all around the world. I end up chatting with people at all hours of the day (thanks insomnia), and we chat about all manner of topics. Obviously, a frequent topic of conversation ends up being food.
Today’s recipe was inspired partially by some of those friends. In particular, I have a few friends in Texas that I keep chatting about food with. They make empanadas all the time, and their pictures make me jealous. My partner doesn’t care for a lot of Mexican food (he’ll eat some, but he’s hesitant) so I don’t get it as often as I’d like.
After a night of chatting and empanada discussion, I was browsing my Google news feed — you know, those suggested articles they show you on your phone, whether or not you care — and a recipe came up. Specifically, this recipe, from The Spruce Eats.
Their recipe is for cheese empanadas, and it’s fried. I try to stay away from frying if I can help it, since I don’t necessarily trust myself not to hurt myself doing it, plus it’s kind of unhealthy and uses a lot of oil. I still fry things sometimes (and the air fryer portion of my Instant Pot is great) but I tend to adapt recipes for oven baking if I can. I also changed up the filling. So, you know, basically all I took from Spruce Eats is the dough.
I’ve made these a couple of times now, and they work with all manner of different fillings. This recipe uses chicken and cheese, but I’ve also used ground beef and rice, which worked out great. Feel free to substitute your own filling, too.
- Pastry Brush
- Baking Sheets
- Sauce Pan
- Rolling Pin
- ½ Tbsp Chili Powder
- ½ Tbsp Cumin
- ½ Tsp Onion Powder
- ½ Tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ Tsp Oregano
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ¼ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
- ¼ Tsp Cayenne (Optional)
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ Tsp Baking Soda
- ½ Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Shortening
- ¾ Cup Milk
- ½ Cup Water
- 1 Chicken Breast
- 1 Yellow Onion Small, diced
- 1½ Tbsp Butter
- ¼ Tsp Garlic Powder
- ¼ Tsp Cumin
- 10 Oz. Mozzarella Shredded
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 Tbsp Milk
- Mix the spice mix ingredients together and stir to combine.
- Melt ½ Tbsp butter in a pan on medium-high.
- Add onion and saute until translucent, then set aside.
- Melt 1 Tbsp butter in the same pan.
- Add diced chicken, garlic powder, and cumin, stirring to combine. Cook until barely done. Drain well.
- Mix cheese and 2 Tbsp of spice mix together.
- Mix together cheese, chicken, and onion, thoroughly combining. Set aside.
Make the Dough
- Whisk or stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar.
- Mix the shortening into the dry ingredients, gently combining.
- Combine milk and water into a saucepan, and heat until near-boiling.
- Stir hot liquid into the dry mixture.
- Knead into a dough. Add either flour or water if the dough is too wet/dry, to adjust consistency.
Make the Empanadas
- Divide the dough into 16 portions, rolling into balls. Let these balls rest about five minutes.
- Roll each ball out into a flat circle, about 6" wide.
- Spoon about an ounce of filling into the center of each dough circle.
- Fold the dough over, pressing the edges together.
- Roll the flat edge inward, and crimp with a fork.
- Combine the egg yolk and milk into an egg wash. Brush over the empanadas.
- Arrange empanadas on baking sheet, leaving some space between them.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F, or until golden. Let cool enough to handle, then serve and enjoy!