Savory stuffed pockets of dough, these empanadas are great for a casual lunch or dinner and are portable enough for tailgating!
Course Main Course
Prep Time 1hour
Cook Time 1hour
Total Time 2hours
For the Empanada Dough - either
purchase 2 packages of ready-made empanada pastries OR --
2tablespoonsdistilled white vinegar
for the filling
1poundground turkeynot extra lean
1green bell pepperchopped
1teaspoonAncho or other chili powder
1cupcrumbled queso fresco
for chunky dipping sauce
2cupsgrape or cherry tomatoes
3clovesgarlic in skins
zest of 1 lime
1teaspoonapple cider vinegar
for the homemade pastry
Pulse the butter and flour in the work bowl of a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Note: if you don't have a food processor, work the butter and flour between your fingers until you have the same consistency.
Beat together the eggs, water and vinegar in a small bowl and add to the flour mixture, stirring until just incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gather the dough together. Knead gently once or twice, just enough to bring the dough together. Shape into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap for at least 1 hour.
Adjust oven racks to the top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
for the filling
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté 4-5 minutes until vegetables soften. Add the ground turkey and brown the meat while breaking it apart with the back of a fork or wooden spoon. Add the fresh tomato, raisins cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until mixture is well blended - adjust seasonings if necessary. Remove from heat, stir in queso fresco and place the lid on the pan. Set aside.
Assemble the empanadas
Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to 1/8" thick. Cut the dough into 5" rounds and transfer to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat until all the dough has been rolled and cut.
(If you're using the store-bought pastry, this is where they come into play.) Mound 2 tablespoons of turkey filling onto the pastry and carefully fold over, pressing along the edge to seal the dough. Use the tines of a fork to press the edge together and make a decorative border.
Add the egg and water to a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Use a pastry brush to paint the empanadas with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, alternating the baking sheets halfway through cooking. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and serve.
for the chunky dipping sauce
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the olive oil, tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the vegetables with cumin, paprika and salt. Toss to coat. Roast vegetables for 20-25 minutes until tomatoes have just begun to burst.
Pick out the garlic, remove the skins and discard them. Add the garlic and the rest of the vegetables to a mini prep food processor and pulse 1-2 times. Add the lime zest, vinegar and cilantro and pulse to combine. Season to taste. Serve with empanadas.
These can be made ahead and frozen until ready to use. To reheat, thaw to room temperature and heat in a 325 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.