About This Project

Empanada Recipe

Classic Ecuadorian empanada recipe – easy to make, easier to eat.

Making the empanada dough

  1. Place the flour in a large bowl with the salt and baking powder and whisk briefly to mix.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour. Use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to “cut” the butter into the flour, until the mixture is crumbly and there are no large pieces of butter.
  3. Add the milk or water 2 tablespoons at a time and mix gently with a fork. Continue to mix until the dough comes together and is not too dry or shaggy (you made need slightly more or less water).
  4. Knead dough a few times with your hands until it is relatively smooth.
  5. Knead dough a few times with your hands until it is relatively smooth.
  6. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes (or refrigerate for several hours – up to overnight).
  7. Cover dough with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes (or refrigerate until ready to use).P.S. This dough can also be prepared in a food processor. Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse briefly until butter is in small pieces and mixture is crumbly. Add the milk or water gradually and pulse, just until dough comes together into a ball. 

Prepare the fIlling

  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet and add the minced onion. Cook over medium-low heat until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. When it has cooled, place the onion with the shredded cheese in a bowl and toss to combine.

Shape the empanadas

  1. Divide the dough into 16 equal balls. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, and then let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball of dough into a thin, 6-inch diameter circle, letting the dough rest for several minutes if needed to let the dough relax and stretch.
  3. Brush the edges of a circle of dough lightly with water.
  4. Place 1 ½ tablespoons of the cheese mixture in the middle of the dough, and then fold the circle of dough in half and seal the edges together firmly.
  5. Fold the edges of the dough into a decorative seam (see how to shape and fill empanadas).
  6. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
  7. Heat several inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat.
  8. The oil is hot enough with a piece of the dough sizzles gently in the oil.
  9. Cook the empanadas in batches, flipping them once until they are golden brown.
  10. Carefully remove the empanadas from the oil with a slotted spoon, spatula, or tongs, and place them on a plate lined with paper towels.
  11. Sprinkle the tops of the empanadas with a teaspoon of sugar as soon as you place them on the plate.
  12. Let empanadas cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Signature Dishes