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Chorizo Empanadas

Chorizo empanadas are a spicy, delicious Latin-American-inspired appetizer. Easy to make in advance, they are perfect for parties!

A plate of chorizo empanadas with a bowl of guacamole dip

We're celebrating the end of summer! Our host, Tamara of Beyond Mere Sustenance, is throwing a Latin American-inspired feast in this edition of Progressive Eats.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the deliciousness we’ve put together for our celebration inspired dishes!

A fork sealing a chorizo empanada

I made one of my favorite Cuban appetizers, empanadas. Empanadas are the Latin American version of hand pies. Empanada literally translates to "enbreaded."

While traditional empanadas are fried, these are baked. It's easier than preparing the whole frying set-up. If you have an air-fryer, you can use that to cook these as well. Empanadas can be sweet or savory, served hot or cold.

A sheet pan of baked chorizo empanadas

Chorizo is a pork sausage. There are two versions: Spanish (which is smoked, fully cooked, and resembles pepperoni) or Mexican (which is uncooked, and looks like Italian sausage links). The two are not interchangeable.

Chorizo is a spicy sausage, and the heat is slightly tempered by the cheese and outer shell. An egg wash glaze before baking gives these empanadas a shiny coating.

An open chorizo empanada over a bowl of guacamole

While these empanadas are delicious on their own, they can become a bit dry after baking in the oven, so they benefit from being served with a dipping sauce, like guacamole, salsa, or sour cream.

If you end up with extra chorizo filling, spoon it into a taco shell or use it to fill a quesadilla. Or get really unconventional and use it for omelet filling!

Chorizo empanadas are a spicy, delicious Latin-American-inspired appetizer. Easy to make in advance, they are perfect for parties!

Baked Chorizo Empanadas

Yield: 24 empanadas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Chorizo empanadas are a spicy, delicious Latin-American-inspired appetizer. Easy to make in advance, they are perfect for parties!

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup whole milk

For the filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lb Mexican pork chorizo, casings removed
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • 6 oz shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 2 oz crumbled queso fresco

For the egg wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  1. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Add the butter, pulse a few times until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and milk, add to the food processor, and pulse until the mixture forms large clumps.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a sheet of plastic wrap, and form into a disc. Chill while you prepare the filling.
  5. Set a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, and once warmed, add the chorizo and diced onion. Cook, breaking up the sausage, until the onion is translucent and the pork is cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge. Let sit for 10 minutes. Dust a clean surface with flour, and roll the dough out into a large circle about ⅛-inch thick. Use a 3.5-inch round cutter to cut as many discs as possible, re-rolling the dough as needed. If the dough becomes tough and shrinks back, wrap in plastic and chill for 15 minutes.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded cheese and crumbled queso fresco. Add the chorizo mixture and toss to distribute.
  8. Place a tablespoonful of filling in the center of each dough disc. Fold the disc in half, and pinch the edges together, crimping with the tines of a fork. Repeat with remaining filling and dough.
  9. Arrange the empanadas on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven is finished preheating, remove the empanadas from the fridge.
  11. Whisk together the egg wash ingredients and brush the wash onto each empanada. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
  12. Serve with guacamole for dipping.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

I am not a certified nutritionist. This nutrition information is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only.

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Adapted from Laylita's Recipes

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month's theme is Late Summer Latin American Cuisine—casual warm weather fare—salads, grilled foods, summer cocktails, and our host is Tamara who blogs at Beyond Mere Sustenance.


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Bob Wellz

Saturday 15th of August 2020

Empanadas come originally from Galicia in Spain. The Spanish make hundreds of types of chorizo - some are cured and some are raw. Some chorizo are smoked, but in general, the smokey taste comes from the smoked pimentón that they are flavoured with.

Dorothy Reinhold

Wednesday 28th of August 2019

I LOVE empanadas, but have never attempted tp make them at home. These sounds amazing! Making a grocery list right now!

Karen

Tuesday 27th of August 2019

I love Mexican chorizo! Your empanadas are so perfectly formed and browned. Totally craving them now!

Ansh Dhar

Tuesday 27th of August 2019

I love the crisp exterior and juicy filling in your empanadas! so YUMMMM!

susan | the wimpy vegetarian

Tuesday 27th of August 2019

I absolutely love empanadas, and they look great! I agree with Jane, I could easily make this into a meal!

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