Looking for a quick appetizer or snack? These easy meat and potato empanadas will satisfy that craving. These are easy to make and you probably have a all the ingredients in your freezer. I am excited to share my Puerto Rican style recipe below .
Empanadas have different names in different countries. In essence they are hot pockets filled with different type of fillings, which can include meat, pork, fish, shrimp, lobster and local seafood or the childhood favorite: Pizza. Then it is fried until golden brown, a piece of fried heaven. Here I will be sharing the way I grew up making empanadas.
To begin, in Puerto Rico we call them Empanadillas not pastelillos (which is wrong and we will not be arguing this- lol) nor empanadas. For us Empanadas is a different dish made with yucca, meat and a banana leaf that you cook in the oven.
I feel nostalgic when I make empanadillas. It reminds me of when I was a child and I would help my mom make them. I would eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner with aguacate.
Preparing the filling
I made these ones with meat. In a skillet, cook one pound of pork or beef with one tbsp of Adobo (you can find my recipe HERE to make your own). Then, add one tbsp of Coconut Aminos, I use Trader Joe’s organic brand and ⅓ cup of chopped onions. Also add a medium potato chopped in small chunks, two green onions stalks sliced and one tbsp of Tomato Paste ( Also TJ’s Brand), 1tsp Annato(achiote) or Paprika and 2 tsp of capers. Cook for about 15-20 mins until meat and potatoes are done.
Making the Meat and Potato Empanada (Empanadilla)
Usually I would make my own dough but I always have the empanada discs (Like these) on hand as back up. So I will be using those today.
You will fill a disc with the meat mixture and close it with a fork by pressing it and making a “ruffle”, you will do the closing on both sides. (Like in the picture above). Repeat with the rest of the discs. Then they are ready to store or fry.
Cut a piece of parchment paper in a square. Place a piece of parchment paper in between the empanadas and put them in a bowl with lid or large zip lock back. Store in the freezer up to 3 months.
I use avocado oil for frying since it can stand high temp and. Heat a frying pan with about a cup of oil at medium heat. Then when its hot enough you can drop the Empanadillas about three at a time, you don’t want to over crowd the pan. Once they are brown, remove from pan and drain in a plate lined with paper towel.
Listo! there you have it! You’ve officially made these easy meat and potato empanadillas!
I hope you like this recipe. I have linked additional recipes, further down! Check them out!
You will also love these recipes:
- Easy Thai Fried Rice
- Easy Chorizo, Egg and Potato Hash
- Puertorican Sazon/Adobo Seasoning
- Low Carb/Keto Steak and Eggs Tacos
Don’t forget to pin this recipe on Pinterest!
Meat Empanadas – Puerto Rican Empanadillas
- Skillet + caldero
- Slotted Spoon
- Cutting Board + Knife
- Measuring Spoons
- 1 lb Ground Pork or Beef
- 1 tbsp Adobo (recipe Linked on post)
- 1 tbsp Coconut Aminos or Maggie seasoning
- 2 tbsp Sofrito(recipe linked in the blog)
- ⅓ cup White Onions chopped
- 1 med potato chopped in small chunks
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Ground Annato(Achiote) or Paprika
- 2 Green Onions Stalks
- 2 tbsp Olives or capers (I used capers)
- 1 pckg Empanada Discs
To Make the Filling:
- In a skillet add separate the meat with a spatula.
- Add Adobo, Achiote, Coconut Aminos, Onions, Potato, green onions, sofrito, tomato paste, and capers.
- Cook for 15-20 mins in Medium heat. Set aside.
Making the Empanadillas (Empanadas)
- Place about 2 tbsp of filling in the middle of the Disc.
- Fold and press with fingers. Close it with a fork (like in the picture) by pressing and making a ruffle. Do this on both sides.
- Repeat with the rest of the discs.
- To Store: Cut a piece of parchment paper in a square. Place a piece of parchment paper in between the empanadas and put them in a bowl with lid or large zip lock back. Store in the freezer up to 3 months.
Frying the Empanadillas:
- In a caldero or skilled place enough oil for frying. Heat in medium high.
- Place empanadas in the hot oil. Don't overcrowd the pan. I usually fry 3 at a time.
- Flip when one side is golden brown.
- Remove and drain in a plate lined with paper towel.