Go Back
+ servings
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins
Empanadas are Spanish and South American turnovers filled with various ingredients depending on the country or region they come from.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Colombian, Latin American
Servings: 20 empanadas
Author: Vera Abitbol
For serving
  • Lime
  • Aji
For the dough or masa
  • cup precooked yellow cornmeal (masarepa)
  • 1 cup water (more or less, depending on cornmeal)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ tablespoon sazon Goya with azafran (or 1 beef bouillon cube with a few threads of saffron)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the filling
  • 2 cups peeled and diced white potatoes
  • 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped white onions
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 1 clove garlic , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Place the yellow cornmeal (masarepa) in a large bowl.
  2. Add the sazon Goya and salt and stir to mix well. If you can't find sazon Goya, dilute a few saffron threads in ½ cup (100ml) boiling water, add the beef bouillon cube and stir until entirely dissolved.

  3. Add the water and oil and mix to form dough. Adjust with water or cornmeal if necessary. Pat the dough into a ball and knead for 2 minutes or until smooth. Cover with plastic and set aside for 20 minutes.

  1. Meanwhile, to make the filling, cook the potatoes in a pot with water and the bouillon cube for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and gently mash the potatoes. Set aside.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the white onion and cook over medium-low heat stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, green onions, garlic, bell pepper, cilantro, salt and black pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the ground beef. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is fairly dry.
  5. Transfer the meat mixture to the mashed potatoes bowl and mix well to combine.
  1. Break small portions of the dough, about 1-½ tablespoon each one, and form each portion into a ball by rolling between the palms of your hands.
  2. Place the balls of dough between two pieces of plastic and roll each out very thinly to form a circle.
  3. Remove the top plastic and place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each.
  4. Then using the plastic underneath, fold the dough over to enclose the filling, forming a half circle.
  5. Tightly seal the edges by crimping with the tines of a fork.
  6. Fill a large pot with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 360F/180C.

  7. Carefully place 3 or 4 empanadas at the time in the heated oil and fry for about 2 minutes until golden on all sides.
  8. Using a slotted spoon transfer the empanadas to a plate lined with paper towels.

  9. Serve with ají and lime on the side.