Like tacos, empanadas can be filled with countless ingredients. The empanadas can be sweet, savory, baked or fried! I seriously have lost count on how many empanadas I have assembled in the past 10 years. Today I want to share with you my current favorite dough recipe for savory empanadas.
What makes this dough special?
It seems every time I test out a new dough recipe, I fall in love with it! Lol! This dough recipe was adapted from a chef who is from Argentina. What got my attention was when he mentioned adding vinegar to the dough! Vinegar? Yes! The vinegar yields a soft, soft dough that is so flexible and easy to work with.
Does the dough taste like vinegar?
No, I never tasted vinegar while enjoying these. You can smell a little vinegar as they bake, but that’s it. I love that this dough can be baked or fried.
Tuna can be delicious!
Why tuna empanadas? Why not tuna empanadas? Add a spicy jalapeño jack cheese and it takes the flavors to a whole new level. Ok, the added pickled jalapeños and zesty vinegar helps too! Next time I would add more cheese and fry them! Talk about tuna melt! Delicious!
It’s not pretty, but tasty!
Some ingredients just don’t yield a pretty picture. We are drawn to beautifully sliced steak or bright red chorizo on top of a pile of melted cheese! It’s eye appealing, of course. I added simple Mexican flavors to the tuna and I really enjoyed the results.
Does it matter what pickled jalapeños?
Coming from a girl who has tried countless brands of pickled jalapeños, I say yes! Off the top of my head, the best flavored pickled jalapeños are la costeña and embasa brands.
Did you know that the vinegar or brine that comes in the jar of jalapeños can be saved for other recipes? Yes! Mix it in with olive oil, lime, cumin and garlic for a dressing. Use the brine for brining pork chops or chicken. Blend it with mayonnaise, lime and cilantro for fish tacos.
Let’s Get To The Good Stuff! The Recipe! Scroll Down!
Pinch edges of dough and then fold over towards the center of empanada! It did take some practice before I got it. I still use a fork to crimp and seal though, lol!
Tuna and Cheese Empanadas(Empanadas de Atun)
- Baking sheet
- parchment paper
- Rolling Pin
For Tuna Filling
- 1 1/2 tbsps Avocado or olive oil
- 3/4 cup Onion diced
- 2 Cloves of Garlic minced
- 1 Serrano pepper minced, optional
- 2 Roma Tomatoes diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 oz tuna in water drained
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1-2 pickled jalapeños with carrots minced
- 1/4 cup vinegar from pickled jalapeños
- 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
For Empanada Dough
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water at room temperature
You will also need
- 12 deli slices pepper jack cheese
- 1 large egg
- In a large skillet add 1 1/2 tbsps of oil and heat to medium. After a minute, add the onions, garlic and serrano pepper(if using). Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and again, season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring now and the, for 5-6 minutes or until tomatoes begin to release their juice and soften.
- Mix in the drained tuna, pickled jalapeños, lime juice and vinegar from pickled jalapeños. Stir well to combine. Taste for salt and pepper. Continue cooking at a steady simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens slightly. Remove from heat and let cool completely before mixing in fresh cilantro.
- In a large bowl, add the flour. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until you have fine crumbles.
- Add the salt, vinegar and water. Mix with your hands or stand mixer until dough comes together. It should not be sticky, just slightly tacky. Cover directly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 1 hour.
Assemble and Bake
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a few seconds. Roll into a log and slice into 12 equal sections. Roll into balls and keep them covered so they don't dry out.
- Roll and extend each ball on lightly floured surface to about 4 inches in diameter. Add a slice of cheese to the center. Fill with about 1/4 cup of cooled tuna filling. Fold over until two sides meet and gently press with fingers. You can crimp with a fork or you can pinch and fold over to create a braided look.
- Transfer filled empanadas to lined baking sheet. When ready, whisk the egg with a splash of cold water. Using a pastry brush, brush all the exposed surface of the unbaked empanadas. Transfer to middle rack in the preheated oven. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown all around. For more color, I like to place them under the broiler for 25-35 seconds. It's an option! let empanadas cool slightly before serving.