Whether you call them empanadas or turnovers or cornish pasties, these little pastries are delicious. You make the dough and add all types of fillings. Empanada Dough can be made quickly in the food processor to use immediately or store for later meals. You are going to love making your own empanadas with fresh ingredients. They are perfect when you need to grab something hearty and keep moving!

I first got the recipe for them 30 years ago from one of Marie’s Sunset Magazine cookbooks. Now I’m the pastry man.

The first filling is a tasty mushroom and cheese. Another good filling is your everyday ground-meat taco filling.

Course : Main Dishes
Recipes : Main Dishes, Soup, Salad & Sandwich
Servings : 16
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes

Empananda dough

3 cups flour (up to 1.5 cups whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 oz unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 egg
4-5 tbs water
1 tsp white vinegar


  • Mix flour and salt in a food processor.
  • Add the butter, egg and water until a clumpy dough forms.
  • Remove dough from the food processor and form a ball.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Cut the ball into 4
  • Roll the dough until very thin and the cut out round shapes for empanadas.I use a small plate or bowl with a 5-inch diameter
  • Use now or store the dough separated by parchment paper in the refrigerator

Mushroom-cheese Filling


  • 12-15 medium size or 20-25 small empanada discs, use homemade empanada dough for baking or store bought empanada discs
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups sliced mushrooms, about 10 ounces
  • 2 cups sliced shallots, about 7-8 shallots or 6 ounces (you can substitute finely-chopped white onions)
  • ¼ cup raisins (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup grated cheese, about 4 ounces. I used fontina
  • 1 egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked


  • Melt the butter over medium heat, add the mushrooms and shallots and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender.
  • Add the raisins and balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 3 minutes and remove from heat, cool down.

Empanada assembly:

  • Place a spoonful of the mushroom mixture and grated cheese on the center of the empanada discs.
  • Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, this is will help them seal better and keep the filling from leaking while baking .
  • Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges, use a fork to help seal the empanadas, or use your fingers to twist and curl the edges creating a churito or curl type seal.
  • Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give a nice golden glow when they bake.
  • Chill the empanadas for at least 30 minutes, this will help them seal better and prevent leaks.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
  • Serve the empanadas warm.
  • To serve refrigerated left-over empanadas: place in microwave for 1 minute

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