Quinoa Empanadas


Empanadas are one of the most popular finger foods in Latin America, and they come in every size and flavor. Quinoa is not the exception, and mixed with cheese, it turns them into an unforgettable snack or hors d’oeuvre.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup hot milk, plus 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (different colors will look prettier)
  • ½ cup Fontina cheese, coarsely grated
  • 36 empanada dough sheets
  • 1 egg, white and yolk divided


  1. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the flour, stirring constantly until a paste is formed (about 2 minutes).
  2. Add 1 cup hot milk, beating with a wire whisk until smooth. Add the bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to very low and simmer the sauce until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and turn off the heat.
  3. Stir in the cooked quinoa and cheese. Cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Put about 1 teaspoon of the quinoa mixture in the center of each empanada circle.
  6. Wet the tip of your finger or a brush with the egg white, and pass it along all the edges of the dough.
  7. Fold in half and seal tightly, using the tines of a fork to press the edges. Repeat with the rest of the dough, and place in a baking sheet covered with Silpat or parchment paper.
  8. Combine the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons milk, and brush the top of the empanadas with this mixture.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Transfer to racks and serve warm.