recipe for puerto rican empanadas

Delicious and Authentic Puerto Rican Empanadas Recipe for Your Next Meal

Empanadas, a beloved staple in Puerto Rican cuisine, are a delicious and authentic dish that has been enjoyed for generations. These savory turnovers are typically filled with a variety of ingredients, such as ground beef, chicken, or cheese, and are then baked or fried to perfection. Originating from Spain, empanadas have become an integral part of Puerto Rican culinary culture, with each region adding its own unique twist to the recipe.

Dating back to the arrival of the Spaniards in Puerto Rico, empanadas quickly gained popularity and have since become a cherished traditional dish. The word “empanada” itself is derived from the Spanish word “empanar,” meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Over time, Puerto Ricans have perfected the art of making empanadas, passing down their recipes and techniques from one generation to the next.

One of the most enticing aspects of Puerto Rican empanadas is their versatility. While the classic filling includes ground beef and sofrito, a blend of aromatic herbs and vegetables, it is also common to find variations such as chicken, seafood, or even vegetarian options. This adaptability allows individuals to personalize their empanadas according to their taste preferences and dietary restrictions.

Empanadas not only offer a mouthwatering culinary experience but also provide a practical solution for those seeking a quick and portable meal option. With their convenient handheld size, empanadas make the perfect on-the-go snack or a filling main course for lunch or dinner. This attribute has made empanadas popular among busy individuals who are looking for a tasty solution to satisfy their hunger on the run.

As Puerto Rican communities continue to thrive around the world, the popularity of empanadas has extended far beyond the island’s borders. In fact, empanadas have become a trendy dish in many global culinary scenes, showcasing the influence and impact of Puerto Rican cuisine on a global scale. From food festivals to street vendors, the demand for authentic Puerto Rican empanadas continues to grow, attracting food enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.

Whether you are seeking a satisfying meal or simply want to explore the flavors of Puerto Rican cuisine, embracing the art of making delicious and authentic empanadas is an excellent choice. With its rich history and cultural significance, this traditional dish offers a flavorsome journey that will leave your taste buds craving for more. So why not give this Puerto Rican delight a try for your next meal and experience the delightful fusion of flavors firsthand?

Looking for a mouthwatering recipe for delicious and authentic Puerto Rican empanadas?

Do you crave the taste of authentic Puerto Rican cuisine? Look no further! Our amazing recipe for Puerto Rican empanadas is here to satisfy your taste buds and transport you to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Made with love and traditional ingredients, these empanadas are a true delight. Let’s dive into the details and discover how you can make these irresistible treats for your next meal.

Delicious and Authentic Puerto Rican Empanadas Recipe for Your Next Meal

Looking to add a taste of Puerto Rico to your next meal? Look no further than delicious and authentic Puerto Rican empanadas! These mouthwatering turnovers filled with savory ingredients are a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine and will surely impress your family and friends. Dive into the core sections of this article to discover the answer to the perfect recipe for Puerto Rican empanadas.

Gathering the Ingredients

Before you begin, it’s important to gather all the necessary ingredients to ensure an authentic and flavorful experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Preparing the Empanada Dough

Start by preparing the empanada dough, which will serve as the perfect encasing for the flavorful filling. Follow these steps:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt.
  2. Add the cold water and vegetable shortening.
  3. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, mix the ingredients until a soft dough forms.
  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes until it becomes elastic.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preparing the Filling

While the dough chills, it’s time to prepare the delicious filling that will make your empanadas truly authentic. Here’s how:

  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion, green bell pepper, and minced garlic to the skillet.
  3. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
  5. Simmer the mixture for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and let the filling cool.

Assembling and Cooking the Empanadas

Now comes the fun part – assembling and cooking the empanadas! Follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Take the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured surface until it’s about ⅛-inch thick.
  3. Using a round pastry cutter or a cup, cut out circles of about 5 inches in diameter.
  4. Place a spoonful of the prepared filling onto one half of each dough circle.
  5. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling, creating a half-moon shape.
  6. Seal the empanadas by pressing the edges together with a fork.
  7. Brush each empanada with vegetable oil on both sides.
  8. Arrange the empanadas on the lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

And voila! Your delicious and authentic Puerto Rican empanadas are ready to be served. Enjoy this traditional dish as a flavorful appetizer or a main course. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or salsa for an extra burst of flavor.

According to recent studies, Puerto Rican empanadas are among the top ten most searched for Latin American recipes online. So, don’t miss out on trying this mouthwatering dish yourself!


1. What are empanadas?

Empanadas are a type of pastry commonly found in Latin American cuisine. They consist of a dough filled with various savory ingredients, such as meats, cheeses, or vegetables, and then baked or fried until golden and crisp.

2. What makes Puerto Rican empanadas unique?

Puerto Rican empanadas are known for their delicious and authentic flavors. They often feature a combination of local ingredients, such as sofrito (a mixture of onions, garlic, peppers, and herbs) and adobo seasoning, which gives them a distinct and vibrant taste.

3. Can I make the empanada dough from scratch?

Yes, you can make the empanada dough from scratch using basic pantry ingredients like flour, salt, water, and butter. The homemade dough adds a lovely texture and flavor to the empanadas, but you can also use pre-made dough if you prefer.

4. What are some common fillings for Puerto Rican empanadas?

Some popular fillings for Puerto Rican empanadas include picadillo (seasoned ground beef), chicken, cheese, ham, and even seafood like shrimp or crab. The possibilities are endless, so feel free to get creative with your fillings!

5. Can I bake the empanadas instead of frying them?

Absolutely! While traditionally empanadas are fried, you can also bake them for a healthier alternative. Simply brush the empanadas with a little oil or egg wash and bake them in a preheated oven until they get golden brown and crispy.

6. How do I fold the empanada dough?

To fold the empanada dough, place a spoonful of filling in the center of each dough round. Fold the dough in half to form a half-moon shape, then seal the edges by pressing them together with your fingers or using a fork to crimp the edges.

7. Can I make empanadas ahead of time?

Absolutely! Empanadas are a great make-ahead dish. Once you have filled and folded the empanadas, you can freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer bag. When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply bake or fry them straight from the freezer.

8. How do I serve empanadas?

Empanadas can be served as a main course, appetizer, or snack, depending on the occasion. They are delicious on their own but can also be accompanied by salsa, guacamole, or a refreshing side salad for a complete meal.

9. Are empanadas gluten-free?

Traditional empanadas are not gluten-free, as they are made with regular wheat flour. However, you can still enjoy gluten-free empanadas by using alternative flours, such as almond flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour, to make the dough.

10. Can I customize the empanada recipe to suit my dietary preferences?

Absolutely! The great thing about empanadas is their versatility. You can easily customize the recipe to suit your dietary preferences or restrictions. Use your favorite fillings, swap ingredients, or even make them vegetarian or vegan by replacing meat and cheese with plant-based alternatives.


In conclusion, this delicious and authentic Puerto Rican empanadas recipe is a must-try for any food lover. The recipe combines a flavorful dough filled with a savory meat and cheese filling, making for a perfect balance of textures and tastes. The article emphasized the importance of using fresh ingredients and following the recipe’s step-by-step instructions to ensure the best results. Additionally, it highlighted the versatility of empanadas, as they can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or even a main course.

The article also provided helpful tips and variations to customize the empanadas according to personal preferences. It suggested adding additional spices or vegetables to the filling, or even experimenting with different types of meats or cheeses. Moreover, it mentioned the option of baking instead of frying the empanadas for a healthier alternative, without compromising on taste.

Overall, this recipe for Puerto Rican empanadas offers a delightful culinary experience, allowing you to savor the unique flavors of Puerto Rican cuisine. Whether you are hosting a gathering or simply craving a flavorful treat, these empanadas are sure to impress. So why not transport your taste buds to the enchanting streets of Puerto Rico and indulge in these scrumptious delights? Prepare this recipe for your next meal and enjoy an authentic and satisfying experience.

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