I’m really excited to be sharing this recipe. I had made empanadas quite a few times using bought puff pastry and cooking them in the oven. But it was only after I decided to try my hand at my own pastry then deep frying them that they suddenly became my favourite thing in the whole world. {Okay, maybe a very slight exaggeration 😉 }. The difference made to the end result by taking just a bit of extra time is amazing and elevates these from a nice enough finger food to a knockout you will want to serve at every shindig you throw.

The pastry has just four ingredients and one of them is a pinch of salt which hardly even counts. Once you bring it together, and trust me that this baby comes together easily, you chill it for an hour or two before rolling it out. The only time consuming part is actually filling the pastry circles, folding, sealing, and so on. But get a couple of extra hands on deck and it will be done in no time.

I served these with Maggie Beer’s brand new eggplant and tomato sauce, which landed in my supermarket the very day I was going to make them. I think that her sauce and my empanadas are a marriage made in heaven, but you could use a nice chutney or relish, or even a spicy Spanish style bravas sauce minus the patatas.

You know how good these are? I made them two nights in a row {too much filling not enough pastry the first night}, all up there were probably about seventy served up, and THEY ALL DISAPPEARED. No leftovers to be seen either time. The amount given below will make about twenty.

Here’s what you need to know:


  • 100 g salted butter
  • 100 ml water
  • 225 g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • one small brown onion {or half a large one}, finely diced
  • one garlic clove, finely chopped
  • one chorizo sausage, finely chopped
  • 100 g lean mince {pork is traditional but as there’s pork in the chorizo I used beef}
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or concentrate
  • a little dry white wine, maybe a few tablespoons full
  • fresh herbs, finely chopped {parsley and/or oregano}
  • one hard boiled egg, mashed up
  • oil for frying


  • Put the butter and water in a small saucepan, and heat until the butter has melted. Allow to cool a little, then add to the flour and salt. Bring it together with a fork, and knead on a floured surface for a few minutes, adding a little more flour if needed, until it’s no longer sticky. It will be soft, but that’s okay. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • For the filling heat a little olive oil in a fry pan. Fry the onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and chorizo and fry for a few minutes more, before adding the mince. Turn the heat up to high and use a wooden spoon to break up the mince. When the mince has browned season with a little salt and pepper, and add the smoked paprika. Stir through, then add the tomato paste.
  • Next add the wine and cook on high until the wine reduces. Stir through the herbs and egg and remove from the heat. Set aside until you are ready to make the empanadas.
  • To make the empanadas take the pastry and cut it in half. On a floured surface roll out the pastry until it’s about half a centimeter thick, 5 mm. Using a biscuit cutter or glass cut out circles that are about 8 cm in diameter. Take a teaspoon of filling and place it in the centre of the circle, use your finger to wet the edges with water, and seal. Pinch the edges together firmly, and you can make a pleated effect if you like. Repeat until you have used all the circles, then take the offcuts of pastry and re roll it, making sure you use as much as you can.
  • Heat some oil in a saucepan or deep fryer to 190 C. Fry the empanadas in batches for about three minutes a batch or until they are golden and crispy. You can serve them straight away, or you can make them an hour or so ahead, they will stay crisp for quite a while. Enjoy.

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