Chorizo Empanadas

I warned y’all that this would be a Mexican-y week. I totally wasn’t lying.

Our little fiesta this weekend included these amazing empanadas. I debated just using store bought pie crusts for the dough, but I decided to tough it out and make my own dough at the last minute. I am beyond happy that I did. The dough for these was unbelievably easy to make and the flavor and texture was just perfect. I’ve been dreaming about stuffing this dough with all kinds of delicious goodies.

This time around I filled the empanadas with some spicy chorizo, potatoes, and a little bit of sharp cheddar. That’s it. I didn’t even season the meat or potatoes. The chorizo is already so full of great flavor, that these just don’t need anything else.

I believe empanadas are more of a snack food, but I served them alongside the Chicken and Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers, Spanish rice, homemade salsa, and guacamole and chips.

Chorizo Empanadas

Chorizo Empanadas


    For the dough:
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch paprika
  • For the filling:
  • 16 ounces chorizo
  • 3 yukon potatoes, peeled and diced
  • handful of grated cheddar cheese


    For the dough:
  1. Heat the water and butter together over low heat in a medium saucepan until the butter is melted. Allow to cool a few minutes, until cool enough to touch.
  2. Mix flour, salt, and paprika in a large mixing bowl, making a well in the center. Pour the butter/water mixture into the center of the flour and mix with your hands until you get a wet, oily dough. I did this in my stand mixer with no problems whatsoever.
  3. Shape dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
  4. For the filling:
  5. Place the diced potatoes in a sauce pan with enough water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  6. In a large skillet, cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks. When the chorizo is cooked through turn off the heat and add the potatoes to the chorizo and stir well.
  7. To assemble to empanadas, break off about 20 golf ball sized balls of dough and roll them out in a thin, flat disc about 5 inches in diameter on a lightly floured surface. Place a few tablespoons of filling in the center of each disc of dough, sprinkle with a bit of the cheddar cheese, and fold over to make a half moon shape. Press edges firmly to seal them and crimp with a fork or your fingers. Place empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

adapted from Handle the Heat

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16 Responses to “Chorizo Empanadas”

  1. rebecca July 27, 2011 @ 1:02 pm (#

    these look so good love empanadas


  2. Noelle July 27, 2011 @ 1:15 pm (#

    This looks fantastic! Yummy recipe.


  3. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 27, 2011 @ 2:22 pm (#

    Karly they look so beautiful! Wonderful images!


  4. StephenC July 27, 2011 @ 2:27 pm (#

    Is there any kind of pre-made dough I can use – pie dough, pizza dough? I’ll only see your answer at


  5. Teresa July 27, 2011 @ 2:38 pm (#

    If you like those, you must search “pan preñao” or “pregnant bread”. It is a bread that inside has a chorizo and it is baked all together so the oil from the chorizo stays in the bread… ohhh i am hungry now…



  6. Lisa July 27, 2011 @ 11:20 pm (#

    Love your blog! It’s my first time commenting, so I hope I’m doing this right. Just a couple of tips. Instead of frying the potatoes and chorizo separately, fry up the chorizo and then add the potatoes to it and cook that way (can also be done with spanish rice or refried beans – really good!!). Or, use leftover baked potato, cubed, and add to the chorizo (this requires planning ahead).

    I have to say again that I just LOVE your blog and have shared it with all my “food” friends who like to cook, too.


  7. Sasha @ The Procrastobaker July 28, 2011 @ 1:07 am (#

    Yes please! Anything with chorizo in is an instant hit for me, cant get enough of the stuff! and with pastry too…perfect :) scrummy little recipe indeed!


  8. Barbara July 28, 2011 @ 6:59 am (#

    Empanadas by any other name are pasties! My favorite. I love the stuffing, but mostly the crust. Shame on me.


  9. d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo July 28, 2011 @ 7:12 am (#

    These look fantastic! I love that they are fried and not baked.

    We have a chain of empanadas places in DC that are all open late night – so they’re a frequent post-bar food for us. I think they’d be a great thing to bring to a BBQ though – this recipe is so simple. We have an International Potluck coming up at work so I just might bring these… are they still good at room temp? It also seems really adaptable to any filling… I’d love to try spinach and cheese for my vegetarian friends.


  10. Emily July 28, 2011 @ 3:21 pm (#

    Oh, I made these today and they. are. amazing! The potato in them makes them reminiscent of samosas (yummy!). The only improvisation I made was I ran out of cheddar for the last 6 or so, so instead I divided 2 wedges of Laughing Cow Queso Fresco & Chipotle flavored cheese wedges and put those in instead. They didn’t melt, but still made an interesting empanada. Thank you for posting this recipe – it’s really fantastic!


  11. Baking Serendipity July 30, 2011 @ 10:18 pm (#

    Anytime I debate between homemade and store bought, I am crazy glad when homemade wins out. The flavor is always so much better. I’ve never made my own empanadas before, but love them, so I think it’s time :)


  12. grace August 3, 2011 @ 1:46 am (#

    yum, karly–that filling sounds amazing and would rock my world even if it weren’t wrapped in buttery pastry!


  13. Tanya September 4, 2011 @ 2:11 pm (#

    I found this recipe a week ago. We are currently making the dough for the second time. The chorizo was amazing, but we’re looking forward to experimenting with something so versatile! Thanks!


  14. Lourdes June 29, 2014 @ 9:37 am (#

    This is awesome and your blog is great! I LOVE your recipes! However, just a quick note: these aren’t quite Mexican; they seem more Spanish (as a Mexican having moved to the U.S., I’m a bit picky!). Also, the addition of cheddar (as well as other things like sour cream, sometimes corn, and black beans) is a Tex-Mex thing rather than traditional Mexican. Regardless, this is a fantastic recipe! Thank you!



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