A popular recipe with various versions

The empanada is one of the most popular foods in Latin American cuisine. In Argentina, queen of the empanada, you can find shops that specialize in its sale lining the streets, and if you travel to different parts of the country, you can try different versions of the traditional beef empanada in each region.

Aside from the beef empanada, you can find many other types, as you can see in this recipe. In Spain, the most famous empanadas come from Galicia and El Bierzo. The Galicians prepare their empanada with sautéed vegetables and add octopus, tuna, sardines, or cockles, among other ingredients. The version from El Bierzo, on the other hand, is also known as the battalion empanada, and its most popular version contains potatoes, Swiss chard, and “butillo”, a type of pork sausage.

In Salamanca and Avila, a meat pie called “hornazo” is the most common version, which is filled with chorizo, ham, pork loin and other types of sausages. In the Canary Islands, during the Christmas festivities, it is common to prepare “truchas”, a puff pastry crust filled with pumpkin, raisins or rice pudding.

As you can see, each region has its own type of empanada. When it comes to tips and tricks, pick a high-quality crust or prepare it at home. The filling should be juicy, but without too much liquid, so the crust gets crispy. You can bake them in the oven or fry them, however you prefer.

Ingredients for 12 empanadas

  • 24 empanada crusts

For the filling

  • 300 g canned tuna
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 onions
  • 100 ml tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper


  • 1 egg

Step-by-step preparation

For the filling

  1. Heat a pan over low heat and add olive oil, onions and finely chopped red peppers. Season with salt, pepper, and sweet paprika.
  2. Keep the heat low and slowly poach the vegetables for a long time, ensuring that they cook perfectly and extract a lot of flavor.
  3. After 40 minutes, add the pre-drained tuna. Pour in the tomato sauce.
  4. Let it cook for 15 more minutes and test for salt. Add more if necessary and save the filling. It should be juicy, but without liquid, so the base of the empanada doesn’t get moist.

For the empanandas

  1. Mix a tablespoon of salt with a half of a small cup of room temperature water.
  2. Lay out an empanada crust and fill it with the tuna and vegetable sauté. Brush the edges with the saltwater, which will help with sealing, and cover with another empanada crust.
  3. You can choose to seal them with the help of a fork, lightly pressing around the entire border, or using your fingers, slowly rotating the crust.
  4. Brush with a beaten egg and bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.

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