ExperiencePlus! Blog

Let’s face it: a couple of new seasons are upon us. Root vegetables are here & our South American cycling season has arrived! How about in celebration, we share an empanada recipe that is sure to please? If it’s a hit, spice up the Thanksgiving dinner spread and add these into the array of side dish options.

The empanada is a traditional lunch pastry in South America; Chile in particular, and is typically stuffed with cheese and meat, sometimes with raisins added to the mix. If you’re thinking of trying your hand at it, we suggest rolling up your sleeves, making homemade dough, and packing it full of seasonal vegetables.

*Note that if you plan on making the dough yourself, allow an hour to let it chill in the fridge. Make dough first before you start on the preparation of the filling. This recipe makes 12 empanadas. ¡Buen provecho!



  • 2.25 cups flour ( ½ unbleached, ½ whole wheat)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • ½ cup cubed and cold butter (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar or white vinegar


  • 2 Tbl vegetable oil
  • 2 medium peeled sweet potatoes, diced (or butternut squash; your decision)
  • ½ medium white onion, diced
  • 16 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, and minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup black beans
  • ½ cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 Tbl chipotle powder (okay, you caught us, chipotle is Mexican in origin, but the empanada is Chilean)
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed, minced (optional; if you would like a bit of a kick)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbl of water



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Make dough: sift flour and salt in large bowl, blend in butter with fingers or pastry blender until the mixture is coarse and the butter lumps are no larger than peas. Beat together wet ingredients in another bowl, add to flour and stir with fork until moistened and incorporated. Gather mixture together with hands; knead gently just until the dough is together. Shape it into a flat rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap; chill for at least an hour.
  3. Prepare the filling: toss the filling ingredients with oil, roast on baking sheet in a single and even layer; cook for 25-35 minutes, or until squash can be easily pierced with a fork and the mushrooms have started releasing liquid. Stir every 10 minutes or so.
  4. Assembly: divide dough into 12 pieces, form into disks. Roll out these disks on a floured surface to about 6-7” rounds. Spoon 1/3 cup of the filling into the center of each round, brush the edges with the egg wash. Fold dough in half moon shape, fully enclosing the filling, and press the edges firmly together to seal it. Move finished product to a baking sheet. Continue process until all 12 are filled. Brush empanadas with remaining egg wash, sprinkle with sea salt and paprika.
  5. Bake the empanadas: let the empanadas cook for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

If you would prefer another filling, try cooking ground meat, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, and some chopped tomatoes, sautéed onions, and garlic in a deep pot. Same process to cook the empanada at the end. Feel free to top with hot sauce, a tomatillo salsa, or other favorite salsa.

This recipe was inspired by creations from Smitten Kitchen, Bella Eats, & Naturally Ella, with Jo’s inevitable alterations and comments.