The origins of the empanada are not entirely clear, but it seems most likely that they first appeared in Argentina in the kitchens of immigrants from northern Spain, where the dish’s forebear was a larger, double-crusted pie cut into slices.
Once in South America, the empanada — meaning bread-wrapped — continued to evolve from a pie made with dough to individual pockets of pastry crust, often made with animal fat in beef-loving Argentina. The hand-held pies were baked or fried after being filled with whatever was available in the region at the time.
This continues to this day, despite the fact that a wide assortment of filling ingredients are now available throughout the country. In Buenos Aires, empanadas are usually filled with ground or minced beef, ham, and cheese, chicken, or swiss chard often prepared with a Béchamel-like sauce called salsa Blanca.
Those are the standard options, but if you go to a restaurant in Buenos Aires that’s specifically dedicated to empanadas, you’ll find many more. There you’re also likely to see a greater variety of shapes, because empanadas are formed to reflect to empanada aficionados what kind of filling they have inside. It’s a kind of culinary code. For the rest of us, there are menus.
A must-try are the empanadas from La Cocina in Recoleta (Pueyrredón 1508). Made in Catamarcan manner (Catamarca is a province north of Buenos Aires), choose the sweet-and-savory Pikachu empanada for something a little different. Also, the eggplant empanada sold at the Oro Verde dietética (a dietética is a health-food store) in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo is delicious. There are a lot of great empanadas to be had in Buenos Aires, however — check out these spots.
The majority of the empanadas in Argentina are baked likes these.
Once you leave the capital city, the empanada competition starts getting fierce. Every province claims a superior filling and the richest, flakiest dough.
Tucumán province so prides itself on its empanadas that it plays host to the annual National Empanada Festival, where a traditional filling is a mondongo, i.e., tripe, or cow stomach. The province of Entre Rios to the north of Buenos Aires has an empanada that’s stuffed with rice that has been soaked in milk.
Up in Argentina’s far north, in Jujuy, you can find empanadas filled with goat or llama meat. In the lush central province of Cordoba, they make them sweet-and-savory, often containing sugar, beef, raisins, potatoes, and olives.
If you’re gluten-free, your best bet is the northern province of Misiones, where you can reportedly find empanadas with a crust made of mandioca flour, which is made from the yucca root.
When all’s said and done, wherever you eat your empanada, you’re bound to enjoy it. But try to find them homemade (casero, in Spanish), and don’t by shy to ask if you’re not sure. Argentines are mighty proud of their empanadas, so they’re going to want you to have the best possible empanada experience — let them guide you to a good one. *source
Prep: 25 min
Cook time: 25 min
Servings: 6 portions
Calories per serving: 286 kcal
Find the recipe & nutrition facts below :
For the dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plant milk
3 tbsp coconut butter (melted)
For the filling:
1 large onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 can of red beans
1/2 can tomatoes
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chili paste (if you like it less spice add 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp rosemary (optional but good)
salt and pepper to taste
For the parsley sauce(optional):
4 tbsp soy yogurt
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Mix all of the ingredients for the dough and mix until you form a non-sticky dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for at least 15 min.
Step 2: Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a large frying pan. Place the chopped onion and fry for around 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for a few more minutes until golden brown. (if you want to avoid frying, you can cook onion in a mix of water and oil)
Step 3: Place the remaining ingredients and cook for 10-15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Let it cool down completely.
Step 4: Preheat oven to 220C.
Step 5: Cover a deep baking tray with baking paper.
Step 6: Divide the dough into 6 equal parts.
Step 7: Roll out one of the pieces into a thin circle, place around 2 tablespoons of the filling onto one half of the circle cover with the over half, and press edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Optionally brush with some oil.
Step 8: Place them in the oven and bake for around 15-20 minutes.
Step 9: Make a simple parsley sauce by mixing yogurt with freshly chopped parsley and dry garlic.