Picadillo Empanadas
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Picadillo Empanadas

Crispy empanadas with savory picadillo filling using our Sofrito Rojo for rich flavor, paired with Mayoketchup Recaito.

Apr 18, 2024

by: Franchesca Livraghi | @breakthrukitchen

Empanadas and picadillo stand as individual classics in Latin cuisine, but when combined they create a delicious combination that I regret not trying sooner! While I've always enjoyed chicken, cheese, beef, and even veggie empanadas, there's something special about the comforting flavors of picadillo. Making this swap elevates the empanadas to a whole new level of deliciousness!

When it comes to picadillo, the possibilities are endless! In this recipe, we're taking a flavorful approach by incorporating Loisa Sofrito Rojo, which infuses the dish with delicious brininess from the olives, capers, and tomatoes, Loisa Sazón, Adobo, and Oregano for those classic Latin flavors, and Loisa Cumin for a bit of smokiness. This picadillo is also packed with lots of colorful vegetables and even some diced potatoes for extra filling and texture!

Empanadas on a plate with sauce on the side

The perfect sauce for these Picadillo Empanadas is a classic mayoketchup mixed with Loisa’s Recaito. It’s a herby, tangy, creamy blend of deliciousness!

How to Assemble Empanadas

  • Set up your workspace with all your ingredients and tools within reach, including your empanada dough, filling, and a fork for sealing.
  • Avoid overfilling your empanadas, it can lead to leaks during cooking. Aim for about 2 tablespoons of filling per empanada.
  • Keep your empanada dough covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap when not in use to prevent it from drying out and becoming brittle.
  • Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, then press the edges firmly together to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges for a decorative finish and extra security.
  • If you're making multiple batches of empanadas, work in small batches to prevent the dough from drying out.
Assembling empanadas with filling

How To Make Empanadas In The Oven

Though traditionally fried, baking empanadas in the oven is a healthier option that doesn’t compromise on flavor or texture. Baking these picadillo empanadas results in a crispy, golden exterior that’s sure to satisfy just like a classic fried empanada!

Making them in the oven is also super easy and hands off compared to frying them, here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. After assembling the empanadas by filling them with the picadillo mixture and sealing the edges, use a fork to poke each empanada to create small vents and place them on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  3. Brush the tops of the empanadas with oil to help them brown and crisp up in the oven.
  4. Bake the empanadas in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, carefully flip the empanadas over using a spatula.
  6. Brush the tops of the flipped empanadas with oil and return the empanadas to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
  7. Once baked, remove the empanadas from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving. Buen provecho!
Adding oil to empanadas before baking
Empanadas after coming out of the oven

Helpful Recipe Tips

  • Break up the ground beef into small pieces before cooking, it really does make a difference! When you crumble it finely, the meat cooks more evenly and the seasonings distribute better. So, before you start cooking, take a moment to break up that beef—it's a tip straight from my dad that I always swear by whenever I’m working with ground meat.
  • If the empanada dough isn't sealing well, dampen the edges of each dough round with water using your fingertip or a pastry brush to ensure a secure seal.
  • If you're baking your empanadas, make sure to create vents in the top of each one to allow steam to escape during baking and prevent them from bursting open.
  • In this recipe, I'm using large empanada discs, which will give you precisely 8 hearty empanadas. But if you opt for regular-sized discs, you'll end up with a batch of 12 empanadas. And if you choose small-sized discs, you'll have 18 empanadas.
Picadillo filling for empanadas

Empanada before frying