smoked paprika pork & spinach empanadas

In appetizers, baking, culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals, ethnic food, lunch, snacks, tapas on 11.15.11 at 2:49 pm

empanadas are one of my all-time faves.

i guess i’ve been a tad spoiled with all the delicious homemade empanadas over the years — thanks to incredible homecooking by my mom and my aunties! though i didn’t tackle the dough made from scratch or the traditional chicken & potato filling this time around, i was inspired to try making empanadas in my kitchen over the weekend… with my own twist on the dish, of course. :)

and if you’re looking for an inventive way to repurpose fresh pizza dough from the bakery, read on…

prep the filling:
fold together the following ingredients in a large prep bowl until well combined:
– 350g lean ground pork
– 1.5 cups red bell pepper (pitted, diced)
– 1/2 fresh italian parsley (finely chopped)
– dash of sea salt
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– sprinkle 1 tsp smoked paprika evenly over meat

cook the filling:
– heat up a large saucepan on high heat
– add 1 clove garlic (peeled, diced) and 1/4 cup water to pan
– pour the pork & veggie mixture into the pan
– stirfry for a few min until the meat is no longer pink
– fold in 2 cups fresh organic spinach (chopped) with pork mixture

– preheat oven to 400F

prep the dough:
– sprinkle some whole-wheat flour on a clean, flat surface before rolling out the fresh pizza dough (i bought some fresh from the bakery.)
– using a rolling pin, flatten out the dough into a thin, round pie
– sprinkle some more flour on the dough pie, flip over before applying the rolling pin again
– use a round cookie cutter to cut-out circular pieces of dough for each empanada

– you can roll together leftover remnants of dough into a ball and repeat the process to create more circular pieces of dough
– repeat the process with another batch of fresh pizza dough. yields approx 24 circular pieces of dough to create 1 dozen empanadas

(tip: if you don’t have a cookie cutter, a standard glass tumbler — open-side down — works just fine.)

stuff the empanadas:
– place 1 tbsp of the cooked pork & spinach mixture in the center of circular piece of dough
– since the dough is thin, you’ll likely need two pieces of dough to wrap around the meat stuffing
– fold the dough over to create a half-moon shape
– shape the crust of each empanada on the outer ends of the dough


– place the prepped empanadas on a pizza stone (at room temperature) or a lightly-greased, round baking pan

(tip: if you have any leftover pork mixture after stuffing all the empanadas, you can store the leftover mixture in a sealed container in the fridge for another dish. stay tuned later this week for leftover redux ideas!)


bake the empanadas:
– bake the empanadas at 400F for 12-15min, or until crust is golden brown
– remove from oven & allow to cool on rack

food styling:
– works well as tapas/appetizers for a dinner party
– can also be a main dish with a mixed greens salad on the side

  1. These look Amazing. I might alter the recipe a little and try this with the leftover chicken I have now, and the leftover turkey I know I will have after thanksgiving.


  2. Yummy! I love empanadas too. When I was in Spain recently we stumbled across this little cafe that sold so many types for such a small amount of money, they were yum.


  3. These look delicious! I love empanadas


  4. Mmm great combination of flavors! Love empanadas. These sound great. x


  5. These look great. I had never thought of making them myself even though i love to eat them!


  6. Love it, love it, love it! And I have some ground pork too!


  7. […] it was a great way to repurpose leftover meat stuffing from the pork empanadas the other night (see previous yumyumyummers recipe). gotta love leftover […]


  8. […] naan flatbread smoked paprika pork & spinach empanadas spicy chorizo & mushroom […]


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