How To Make Empanada Dough

Empanadas, those yummy Spanish meat pies traditionally filled with chicken, beef or pork are quite easy to make if you know how to make the empanada dough. Like any flaky dough, empanada dough is made with pieces of cold butter and should never be overworked. Knowing how to use a food processor properly will ensure that your dough comes out just right.

To make empanada dough for fifteen medium or twenty four small empanadas, you will need:

  • Three cups of all purpose flour
  • One and one-half stick of very cold butter, cut into twelve small pieces
  • Four tablespoons cold water (depending on the weather, you might need a bit more cold water)
  • One-quarter teaspoon salt
  • One egg
  • A food processor
  • A rolling pin
  1. Add the flour and salt to the food processor. Pulse slightly, just to mix.
  2. Add in the butter, two or three pieces at a time. Pulse lightly, just to mix. Add in the water and egg and continue short pulses. You should have a pea textured dough after the addition of the ingredients
  3. Take the dough out and knead just a few times to thoroughly mix. The dough should be stiff. Be careful not to over knead the dough.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool for at least one hour. The dough will be much easier to work with, and will be flakier when baked if it's cooled before forming discs.
  5. Unwrap the dough and, with the rolling pin, roll into a one-quarter inch thick sheet.  You might need to add a bit of flour to our rolling pin so that the dough doesn't stick. Cut circles from the sheet with either a large cookie cutter or by tracking a small plate. Fill your empanadas with your choice of filling. Bake at 350 degrees F for twenty minutes, until browned. Enjoy!


  • You can add any types of spices, such as rosemary, dill or oregano to the empanada dough to go along with your filling.
  • You can also make dessert empanadas by filling the dough with canned fruit and sprinking the outside with cinnamon and sugar.
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