Potato and Chorizo Empanadas

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 55 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr 30 min
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 20 empanadas
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3 to 4 waxy red or white potatoes (about 1/2 pound), peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound chorizo sausage, casing removed

1 Spanish onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chicken broth

12 large pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 recipe empanada dough, recipe follows

Empanada Dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup masa harina 

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1 teaspoon salt 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash 

Butter, for greasing the pans


  1. Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water; add the salt and bring to a boil, uncovered. Simmer until fork tender, about 15 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium flame. Add the chorizo, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until the sausage renders its fat and gets crispy. Add the onion and garlic; season with the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, until the mixture is soft and has a beautiful red color. Pour in the broth and simmer for 3 minutes. 
  3. Drain the potatoes and fold them into the pan, using a wooden spoon, break up the potatoes into nickel-size pieces. Add the olives and raisins and toss everything together; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow the filling to cool before filling the empanadas. Serve with cilantro cream. 

Empanada Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Gradually add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water, working it in with your hands to incorporate; the dough should be easy to handle and not sticky. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Lightly flour your rolling pin and counter. Divide the dough in 1/2 so it will be easier to work with and roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 10 circles of dough; repeat with the other 1/2. 
  3. Spoon 2 generous tablespoons of filling into the center of each pastry circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Brush the edges with the egg wash and then fold the dough over in 1/2 to enclose the filling and form a semi-circle. Tightly seal the edges by crimping with the tines of a fork. Chill at least 30 minutes before baking. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the empanadas on a buttered baking sheet and brush the tops with additional egg wash. Using a fork, prick a few holes in the top of the empanadas for steam to escape. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
  5. Cilantro Cream 
  6. 1 cup sour cream 
  7. 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves 
  8. 1/2 lime, juiced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  9. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice together. Mix thoroughly; season with salt and pepper. Serve with empanadas. 
  10. Yield: 1 cup