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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