Spinach Empanadas

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 1h 20m
  • Rating ****

Serves 6

The term empanada is used for any raw or cooked filling wrapped in a dough and baked in the oven or over an open fire. These pies are mentioned in culinary documents as far back as medieval times. Individual servings are called empanadillas ("little pies"). There are also some delicious recipes with sweet fillings. Both sweet and savory turnovers can also be fried.


  • For Filling:
  • 1 1/2 pounds spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 1/2 ounces tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 1/2 ounces bonito tuna in oil or boiled shrimp (prawns)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 eggs, hardboiled and finely chopped
  • Salt
  • For Dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • A few drops lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon beer
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • Salt
  • 1 egg, beaten


FOR FILLING: Boil the spinach for 10 minutes. Drain. Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the garlic on low heat, followed by the tomatoes.

When the tomato mixture is hot, add the spinach, bonito tuna and the pine nuts. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the chopped eggs and salt.

FOR DOUGH: While the mixture is cooking, prepare the dough. Put the flour in a bowl and add the oil, milk, lemon juice, beer, baking soda and salt. Mix by hand until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll the dough out thinly. Cut into 4-5 rounds. Place a tablespoon of filling on each round. Fold over and seal, making a narrow rim.

Transfer the turnovers to a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush each one with beaten egg. Turn the oven down to 300 degrees F and bake the turnovers for approximately 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 1188

nutrition information per serving

476 calories; 30g total fat; 107mg cholesterol; 445mg sodium; 37g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 17g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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