Empanaditas de Carne

Meat Turnovers

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 26


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

These empanadas are round in shape and fried; sold around the cities in bakeries and tiendas (home mini-markets). They are generally found in glass cases or stands that keep them warm. We used to sell many of these to schools and universities when I had a bakery called Honey in Barranquilla.



  • 2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
  • teaspoons sugar
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup ice water
  • 1 egg yolk for brushing border, beaten
  • 2 cups oil for frying

Meat Filling

  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ cup minced green onion*
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • ¼ cup minced scallions
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Adobo* seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon whole cumin* seed, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound ground meat
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups diced potatoes


  1. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the food processor and mix for 10 seconds. Add the butter and mix 10 seconds more. Add the ice water and mix 30 seconds more, or until a ball is formed which separates from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Place in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. While the dough is chilling, MAKE THE FILLING: In a heavy sauté pan, over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the green onion, carrot, red pepper, scallions, celery, cilantro, bouillon cube, pepper, Adobo, cumin, garlic and salt, and sauté over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
  4. Add the meat and cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add the broth and potatoes and cook 15 to 20 minutes more or until the potatoes are soft and the broth has evaporated into the meat mixture.
  5. Set aside to cool before filling the empanaditas.
  6. Take the ball of dough out of the refrigerator and divide in half. Sprinkle the work surface with some flour, and roll the dough into two 9x15-inch rectangles.
  7. Cut about thirteen 3-inch circles from each rectangle. Place 2 tablespoons of filling on one side of each circle. Moisten the borders of the circles with egg yolk. Fold the circles in half to cover the filling with the dough, and close by pressing the edges together so that they are well-sealed and the filling doesn’t ooze out.
  8. In a heavy deep pot, heat the oil to 325°F and fry the empanaditas for 3 minutes on each side. Take out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.