Yummy empanadas! Granny's recipe

Yummy empanadas! Granny's recipe

My grandmother’s empanadas are simply divine and I'm sharing the recipe with you here.

By: Enriqueta L.

Empanadas are a traditional dish in Latin American cuisine. The word empanada comes from the verb "empanar" which means "to wrap in bread (or flour)." It won't surprise you to know that there are as many types of empanadas as there are countries in our region of the world. In all cases, empanadas are hand-pies or turnovers made of dough which are then filled with savory fillings such as chicken, meat, cheese, vegetables or fish, or sweet fillings, depending on your preference. In some cases they are baked and in others, fried. Some are made with wheat flour and others with corn flour.

My grandmother's recipe, which I'm sharing here, is for empanadas prepared with corn flour, fried in a pot of boiling oil. The filling can be made of ground beef, refried beans or grated queso blanco. Another delicious filling you could prepare is made up of white rice, black beans, stewed shredded beef, and slices of fried ripe plantain.

Corn Flour Empanadas
Makes 12 small empanadas

2 ½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 cups pre-cooked corn flour (the same kind you use to make arepas)

Ingredients for the filling:
1 cup queso blanco, freshly grated
1 cup black beans, cooked and drained
1 cup stewed beef, chicken or fish


  1. Put the water in a large bowl; little by little add the salt, sugar, and flour.
  2. Mix until the flour is dissolved, then knead with your hands until you have the right consistency. Form 12 little balls.
  3. Preheat a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot sufficient for boiling vegetable oil.
  4. Cut a plastic bag and moisten it with water.
  5. On top of the bag, roll out each ball of dough to form a circle until it's 1/4-inch thick.
  6. In the center of each circle, put 2-3 spoonfuls of the chosen filling, fold the empanada and, with a small bowl, cut the empanada to achieve a half-moon shape.
  7. Fry the empanadas in hot oil. Flip them when they begin to brown.
  8. When the empanadas are ready, set them to drain on Bounty paper towels and allow them to sit for a few minutes before serving.

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