Spring is my absolute favorite season because all of the most important personal things have happened to me in the spring: I became engaged, got married, and had my son in the spring. Even my husband is born in the spring so I feel like it's just week after week of celebration.
Cooking wise, however, I'm in a bit of limbo. See, something you should probably know about me is that the second summer temps hit, I turn my oven off until it gets cool again.
That means no apple pies, no baked veggies, no baked pizzas, and no empanadas from about mid May through mid September.
My oven becomes a place for storage. Before you feel bad for me, it's around the same time I break out my grill and enjoy grilled fish, grilled veggies, grilled meats, and even grilled pizzas. But, empanadas have to wait for the fall.
Maybe that's why I find myself scrambling to bake off as many empanadas as I can before that heat hits. I know in a few weeks I'll be craving that warm crusty goodness.
That, and I basically make myself sick of empanadas by the time the first heat hits.
I grew up eating empanadas at home, at abuela's house, and at church- but they are nothing like these. For starters, all of those were fried, filled only with meat and/or cheese, and 100% terrible for you.
These? Well, they're not a salad but they're also not the worst thing you can eat. I love to use them to fill with any dinner leftovers from the week or a as a way to reimagine my fave meals.
Want to give these a try? Here’s a quick vid to get you started:
The basic recipe is the same, regardless of the stuffing:
- 1. Remove empanada shells from freezer and set the oven to 400.
- Cook filling (if making filling from scratch).
- Once empanadas are pliable (after about 20-30 mins out of the freezer) place a sheet of parchment paper on a very large baking pan and set a few of the empanada rounds on top.
- Fill the center of each empanada shell with a generous spoonful of mixture and fold over to shut tightly. To close the end tightly you can take a fork and press and press all around the edges, but I like to fold the ends over because they bake prettier and keep closed just as well.
- Season with salt and pepper on top of each empanada before putting in oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. They are done when they are golden brown on top.
Excited to give these a try? Here are a few more ways to enjoy these amazing empanadas:
Ham and Cheese empanadas:
Fill the empanada shells with rolled up ham and cheese (cut in half to fit the shells) and serve with your fave pesto or garlic herb sauce.
These aren’t just fun to say, they’re also fun to eat. Using my fave enchilada sauce (click HERE) you can make these with chicken, beef, or veggie with cheese and beans. Make sure to heat up a bit of the enchilada sauce to serve on the side.
“Crab Cake” empanadas:
I break these out whenever I have company coming over. Fill your empanadas with lump crab, red peppers, and caramelized shallots for a decadent lunch or appetizer. I love having these with dijon mustard on the side.
Salmon and Turmeric Potato Empanadas:
These are my go to whenever I have leftover baked salmon. I dice potatoes tiny and cook on the stove top with turmeric, onion powder, and a bit of olive oil for a comforting treat!
Have you ever had empanadas? Which one of these would you make first?
- Christine (make sure to follow Christine on Instagram HERE)