Empanada Dough Recipe from Spain | Ingredients: flour, salt, egg, vinegar, shortening

Empanada Dough

Empanada Dough Recipe from Spain | Ingredients: flour, salt, egg, vinegar, shortening
Region / culture: Spain | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Servings: 12 empanadas


Empanada Dough
Empanada Dough

Empanadas are a popular dish in many Latin American countries, consisting of a filling encased in a pastry shell. The dough used for empanadas is crucial to the success of the dish, as it needs to be sturdy enough to hold the filling but still tender and flaky. This recipe for empanada dough will give you the perfect balance of texture and flavor for your homemade empanadas.


Empanadas have a long history dating back to medieval times in Spain. The word "empanada" comes from the Spanish verb "empanar," which means to wrap or coat in bread. The dish was brought to Latin America by Spanish colonizers and has since evolved into a beloved staple in many countries, each with its own unique variations on the filling and dough.


How to prepare

  1. In a bowl, beat together the water, egg, egg white, and vinegar.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the 3 cups of flour and salt.
  4. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two butter knives.
  5. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the well.
  6. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until the mixture becomes stiff.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  8. Knead the dough just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
  9. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.


  • Add a pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper to the dough for a spicy kick.
  • Use lard or butter instead of shortening for a richer flavor.
  • Substitute half of the flour with cornmeal for a more rustic texture.


  1. If you want to keep the dough longer than 24 hours, you can freeze it.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure your water is cold when mixing the dough to prevent the shortening from melting too quickly.

- Refrigerating the dough before rolling it out will make it easier to work with and will help prevent shrinkage during baking.

- Don't overwork the dough when kneading it, as this can make it tough. Just knead until all the flour is incorporated.

- If the dough is too dry, add a little more water, a tablespoon at a time, until it comes together.

Serving Suggestions

Serve these empanadas with a side of chimichurri sauce for dipping, or a simple green salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.

Cooking Techniques

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to prevent sticking.

- Use a fork to crimp the edges of the empanadas for a decorative finish.

- Bake the empanadas on a parchment-lined baking sheet for easy cleanup.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use vegetable oil instead of shortening in this recipe.

- If you don't have vinegar, you can use lemon juice as a substitute.

- Whole wheat flour can be used in place of all-purpose flour for a healthier option.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before using. Alternatively, you can freeze the dough for up to 3 months and thaw it in the refrigerator before rolling it out.

Presentation Ideas

Serve these empanadas on a platter with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, for a pop of color. You can also brush the tops of the empanadas with an egg wash before baking for a shiny finish.

Pairing Recommendations

These empanadas pair well with a crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. For a non-alcoholic option, try serving them with a refreshing glass of iced tea or lemonade.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover empanadas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place them in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of this empanada dough contains approximately 220 calories.


Each serving of this empanada dough contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of this empanada dough contains approximately 10 grams of fat.


Each serving of this empanada dough contains approximately 5 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

This empanada dough is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals.


This empanada dough contains wheat and eggs.


This empanada dough is a moderate source of carbohydrates and fats, with a small amount of protein. It is relatively low in calories and does not provide significant amounts of vitamins and minerals.


This empanada dough recipe is a versatile and delicious base for all your favorite fillings. With a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques, you can create homemade empanadas that are sure to impress your family and friends. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is one that will always stay with me. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my friend Maria in her small town in Argentina. Maria was known for her delicious empanadas, and I had begged her to teach me how to make them.

We spent the afternoon in her cozy kitchen, rolling out dough and filling it with a savory mixture of beef, onions, and spices. As we worked, Maria shared stories of her family and the traditions that had been passed down through the generations. I was captivated by the history and culture woven into each bite of the empanadas.

After hours of kneading, shaping, and baking, we sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labor. The empanadas were crispy and golden, with a rich, meaty filling that melted in my mouth. I couldn't believe that something so simple could be so delicious.

Before I left Maria's house that day, she handed me a piece of paper with the recipe for the empanada dough written in her elegant script. She told me that it was a family recipe, passed down from her grandmother to her mother, and now to her. She said that she was honored to share it with me, and that she knew I would appreciate the tradition and love that went into every bite.

I tucked the recipe into my purse and carried it with me back home. Over the years, I practiced making empanadas, experimenting with different fillings and techniques. I shared them with my family and friends, who always raved about how delicious they were.

But it wasn't until I entered a local cooking competition that I truly realized the power of this recipe. The judges were impressed by the authenticity and flavor of my empanadas, and I ended up winning first place. People began asking me for the recipe, and I knew that I had to share it with the world.

So here it is, the recipe for Maria's famous empanada dough:


- 3 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 cup cold water

- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

2. Gradually add the cold water, stirring with a fork until a dough forms.

3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

4. Divide the dough into small balls and roll out each ball into a thin circle.

5. Fill each circle with your desired filling (beef, chicken, cheese, or vegetables).

6. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape and crimp the edges with a fork.

7. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

I hope that you enjoy making and sharing these empanadas as much as I have. And remember, the secret ingredient is love. Happy cooking!


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