Making Empanada Dough – Turnovers

Empanadas.JPGOne thing that probably every Cuban household loves is empanadas.  They are basically turnovers but it can be filled with something sweet or savory.  Some of the most common fillings include ground beef, shredded chicken, or Pork.  For the sweet side it is common to add guava or guava and cheese.

The origin of these Cuban empanadas are actually from Spain. While on vacation several years ago, we found them in every bakery and it gave us the feeling of home although being so far away.  Every morning after breakfast we would go to the bakery and buy empanadas. Doing this saved us time and money through out the day.

Empanadas are something that I would love for my children to enjoy as well.  I could just buy the dough, but these days I’m finding I would rather learn how to make it from scratch, so here is a recipe I found from


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water or milk, adjust as needed for soft and smooth dough
Making homemade empanada dough:
  • Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, then add butter.
  • Add the egg and the water/milk (in small increments) and continue pulsing until a clumpy dough forms.
  • Split the dough into 2 large ball, flatten slightly into the shape of disks. The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use (1-2 days max).
  • Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).

Cooking instructions:

  • Add the filling and press the outer edge with a fork.
  • Use egg wash (a whole egg whisked or egg yolk plus a few drops of water whisked) and brush it over the top of the empanadas for a nice golden look on top.
  • Heat your over to 375 and back for 18-25 minutes.

For more detailed step by step instructions and a video, read the article called “How to Make Empanada Dough for Baking“.


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