If you’ve never had a Colombian empanadas, they’re unlike anything else! They’re made of crunchy cornmeal dough, filled with a creamy, aromatic beef and potato filling, spiced with Latin seasonings.
I’ve never met an empanada I didn’t like. For me, Colombian empanadas are the pinnacle of Colombian food. I’ve been eating this since I was a kid, and before I even knew they were Colombian! If you’ve never had a Colombian empanadas, they’re unlike anything else. A crunchy cornmeal dough, filled with a creamy, aromatic beef and potato filling, spiced with cumin and Sazon
In my never-ending attempt to recycle leftovers, I made these with leftovers from my Ropa Vieja recipe. In my research for this recipe, I realized that my Ropa Vieja recipe uses many of the same ingredients you’d use to stew some beef or pork for this recipe. So why not use it? It was a smashing success!
Colombian empanadas are a perfect appetizer for any get together. I love making miniature versions of these when I’m hosting game night or throwing a cocktail party, because they’re a fantastic one handed food (you know, food you can eat with one hand while drinking a beer with the other!) Because these take some effort, I always make extra and freeze them for later! You can cook them straight from the freezer, no defrosting required!
To fry them, heat about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan at 375 degrees, until they’re super crunchy and golden brown on both sides. If you want to reheat empanadas that already been cooked, the air fryer is the perfect way to do that! I wouldn’t airfry these from the raw state though, because the dough is soft and will stick to the grates.
What’s your favorite type of empanada? Comment below!
- 1 lb Russet, Eastern or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups water
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 2 teaspoons Sazon con achiote y culantro 1 packet
- 3/4 cup leftover Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja Find the recipe here
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups yellow masarepa precooked cornmeal
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups hot water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon 1/2 packet Sazon
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves and stems
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeds and all (I like it spicy but feel free to remove the seeds)
- 2 scallions
- 1/3-1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
For the dough
Combine the masarepa, water, salt and Sazon. Start off with 2 cups of water, and add more if needed. Stir together, then knead the dough until it’s nice and smooth and slightly moist. If it’s too dry, it will crack when you seal the empanadas.
Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
For the filling
Peel the potatoes, and place them into a pot with 3 cups of water, and 1 chicken bouillon.
Boil for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
Drain them and place the potatoes into a bowl.
Season the potatoes with salt and sazon, then mash until most of the chunks are gone. Add the cumin and ropa vieja.
Fold to combine.
To form the empanadas
Take a scoop of masa and make a ball about the size of a golf ball.
Place the dough ball between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.
Press the dough ball down, until it’s about 1/4″ thick, and 3″ in diameter.
Place a few teaspoons of filling in the center, then cradle the disc in your hand and pinch the empanada closed.
Make sure to fully seal the edges so it doesn’t open while cooking.
Fry the empanadas in vegetable oil heated to 375 degrees F for 6-8 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel, and serve with Aji Verde.
For the Aji Verde
Process the cilantro, jalapeno and scallions in a food processor.
Add vinegar to get the consistency you’d like.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Store for up to 1 week in the fridge.