Popular all over South America, empanadas are pastry shell turnovers made by folding dough over a filling and sealing it. The filling can be sweet or savoury. The pastry recipe below is very easy to make, and the turmeric giving the pastries a lovely golden colour. Empanadas are a lovely snack or party food and can be eaten hot or cold. Below I give suggestions for three fillings (chicken, chorizo and beef).



11oz plain flour minus two teaspoons

2 teaspoons turmeric

pinch baking powder

6 oz melted butter

2 beaten eggs


1. Sift flour, turmeric baking powder and a good pinch of salt into a large bowl.

2. Stir in the melted butter and beaten egg.

3. Gradually stir in 3.5 fluid ounces of water to make a soft dough.

4. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.

6. Roll out pastry 3mm thick and cut into 14cm circles.

7. Divide cooled filling between pastry, moisten the edges with water and fold the pastry into semicircles, crimping the edges to seal.

8. Place on baking sheet and glaze with milk.

9. Bake in a preheated oven (200C/Gas 6) for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Chicken Filling

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 finely chopped onion

1 crushed garlic clove

1 finely chopped red pepper

¼ cup olives

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

7 oz diced, cooked chicken breast


1. Sauté the onion in olive oil until soft.

2. Add the garlic and fry for one minute.

3. Add the red pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.

4. Stir in the tomato puree, paprika and cumin.

5. Add the chicken.

6. Season to taste and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

7. Set aside to cool.

Chorizo filling:

Sauté 1 1/2 pound ground Chorizo sausage, 1 medium diced onion, and 1 minced garlic
Add 1/2 cup salsa.

Beef filling:

Sauté a chopped onion and 2 cloves garlic in the oil. Add 1lb beef and, when browned, add 1 cup of stock and ¼ cup olives. Simmer until liquid is almost gone. Fold in the eggs and potatoes.