Puerto Rican empanadas Recipe

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Nutrition per portion

Calories 214 kCal 11%
Fat 12g 17%
  -  Saturates 3g 15%

These Puerto Rican empanadas are like an exotic take on the UK’s classic favourite, the pasty. Minced beef, assorted vegetables and of course, a hint of spicy chilli, are wrapped in a simple dough and deep fried into a parcel that’s perfect for lunches, picnics or a decadent afternoon snack. The dough is really versatile, so once you’ve mastered these you can try adapting the filling to suit your favourite flavours.


  • For the dough:
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1⁄2tsp each baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  • 4tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • For the filling:
  • 250g minced beef
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1⁄2 yellow or green pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2tbsp fresh chopped coriander
  • 1⁄4 jalapeno chilli, finely chopped
  • 12 stoned green olives


  • To make the filling, brown the beef in a hot frying pan. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the olives, and cook for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Season well. Cool.

  • To make the dough, mix the dry ingredients and 1tsp salt in a large bowl, add the oil and about 250ml water. Mix in well with a knife, then knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Put in a polybag for 15 mins.

  • Divide the dough into 12 and stretch each piece into a 10cm round. Put a good tbsp of filling on one side, add an olive, then fold the dough over to make a half-moon shape. Press a fork round the edges to seal them. Heat the oil to 190°C. Deep-fry the pies for 5-6 mins, turning them. Drain on kitchen paper.

More Recipe Ideas

Top Tip

For sweet empanadas replace the savoury filling with your favourite chocolate and fruit and serve with ice cream.