How to Make Chilean Empanadas

Chilean Empanadas Recipe

How to Make Chilean Empanadas

It is accurate to assume that most Chileans put their own little unique touches on their empanadas recipe.  This recipe will show you how to make Chilean Empanadas in a fairly classic fashion.  In Chile lard is still used in traditional cooking, and it doesn’t get much more traditional than an empanada.  However, I prefer them without lard.  If you’d like to try with lard, feel free to substitute lard for the vegetable shortening.


Ingredients for dough

5 cups of white flour
4 tablespoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
½ cup of vegetable shortening
1 cup of milk
1 cup of warm water (use more or less to attain proper elasticity/moisture)

Ingredients for the filling

4 onions (finely cubed)
½ cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of red chili
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
½ lb of meat (diced in small cubes ¼ inch)
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon of black pepper
½ teaspoon of Oregano

To be used at filling stage
3 hard boiled eggs
½ cup of black raisins
1 cup of black olives
1 raw egg

Preparation of the filling:

Sautee the onion in a pan over medium heat until onion is translucent.  Add meat and blend together.

Add salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and chili powder and continue mixing over heat until meat is brown in color.  Remove from heat and let filling mixture cool down.

Preparation of the dough:

In a large bowl blend flour, baking powder and salt.   Add shortening (should be warm and soft),

Add milk then knead dough until ingredients are well integrated.  Let the dough sit for 20 minutes covered in warm area.

Cover your work surface with a little bit of flour and begin slowly kneading and stretching the dough with a dough roller (you can use an empty wine bottle if you don’t have roller).  Stretch the dough out in circular patter until its roughly about ¼  inch in thickness.

Cut the dough into round pieces of approximately 8 inches in diameter.

This is the friend

Chop the 3 hard boiled eggs into ½ inch pieces.

Take the cold filling and use a single table spoon to place filling onto each piece of dough.  Add a couple of pieces of chopped hard boiled egg, 1 olive and a couple of raisins onto the filling.  Don’t put too much on or you will have a difficult time sealing the empanada.

Wet one of your fingers in a cup of warm water and lightly moisten the edge of the dough.  Now close the empanada up by brining one side over to cover the filling.  Press firmly but not too hard to bring the edges together.  Fold them into rectangles.  See picture for detail

Take the raw egg and beat it in a cup.  Take a little dab of the beaten egg and lightly cover the top side of the empanada.  User your finger if you don’t have a brush…”Chilean style”.

With a fork, lightly prick the empanadas two or three times…gently and just enough to pierce the dough.  (this will prevent them from exploding in the oven).  When I was a kid I thought this was for decoration…what a dork!

Now place empanadas in a lightly greased baking sheet.  Separate them by at least an inch (they will grow a bit).  Bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 35-45 minutes.  They should be a nice goldish-brown color.

Remove from oven, pour yourself a nice glass of Chilean red…any Chilean red will do.  Open your mouth and proceed to enter into heaven.  Don’t look back…salvation up ahead.

Still hungry for more Chilean food?

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  1. muchas gracias por la receta!!!
    por 10 anos que llevo en EEUU, nunca encontre la receta correcta.
    creo que tu tienes la verdadera!!! que pasen un buen Bicentenario!!!!
    yo desde San Francisco, con una fiesta Chilena y tus empanadas!


  2. THANK YOU!!!!! I have been in the USA, now for 40 years! This is the best recepe. I got a recepe for the dowgh some 30 years ago, from an aunt, I memorized it by making the empanadas frequently….now, I had not made them for some time…years, due to different circumstances, looking through the web, I could not find a recepe that would resonate! Until I found yours, I made them for Memorial Day! What a treat!!! I also made pastel de choclo, one of my favorites. I have not been back to Chile in 40 years, I am planning a trip to join my clan to celebrate my aunt’s 60th anniversity, this coming December. Lots of my cousins are flying from all over, Spain, Belgium, Greece, and other parts of the U.S. I am so looking forward to it. I was 13 when I left Chile. Finally!!!! 🙂

  3. Thank you for your wonderful Empanada’s Recipe, my husband has been wanting to try them for a long time, they sell them around the corner from our house for $5 a piece, I told him we could make a half a dozen for that prize, once I find the recipe for them, so glad I found yours!

  4. Awesome!!! my bf and I are following your recipe! hope it work for us! it better work! hahaha! thank you so much!!!! I was looking for this empanada!!! I believe that and empanada is made and enjoy it by its Dough 😀 thank you so much!!! I will enjoy this recipe with a glass of Casillero del diablo 😀

  5. My mother is from Antofagasta. She married my father who was stationed there and moved to the US. This was one of my favorite dishes growing up and I would have mom make some for school functions they were always a big hit. This recipe looks almost exactly like hers. Eat up. 🙂

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