Ok then, so here’s my favorite empanada recipe: crunchy and light baked dough pockets stuffed with a spicy tuna and tomato mixture… This is a great snack or lunch idea!
How I like Spanish tuna empanadas!
In Spanish people stuff empanadas with a variety of delicious local products and typical ingredients. These empanadas can contain canned tuna, fresh tomatoes, pulled pork and chicken.
Also fresh bell peppers, leeks, boiled eggs, canned or fresh sardines and even pork sausages or bacon!
You can find empanadas the size of a take away sandwich in busy cities.
Which also comes in very handy because you can easily eat them while walking around. Just like the ones in the recipe below. Their shape can differ quite a bit because it depends on how the baker or chef likes his empanadas!
I have lived in Barcelona for a while.
Plenty of time to sample quite a lot of empanadas. I would buy my empanadas in several supermarkets and baker shops. They were huge square flat stuffed pies the size of baking trays. No worries, you don’t have to buy the entire lot.
You can ask for a smaller portion to take home.
Easy Empanada Recipe with Tuna & Tomatoes
Did you know that empanadas are not only popular in Spain?
Because you can also find them in South-America. And you might even be familiar with the Italian version: the calzone: crunchy lunch bread dough stuffed with vegetables and such.
Rings a bell?
So where does the idea behind empanadas come from?
I once read that the Arabs brought samosas with them when they invaded Spain centuries ago. The Spanish people just made a local versions of these samosas and turned them into what we know nowadays as empanadas.
These stuffed pies became very popular because people could also pack them easily for lunch when working on the fields and in vineyards.
Are you looking for a sweet dessert version of these empanadas?
Then also check out my sugary fruit empanadas with orange!
Easy Tuna Empanada Recipe: the Dough
Here's my favorite empanada recipe then: crunchy and light baked dough pockets filled with a spicy tuna and tomato mixture... A great snack or lunch idea!
- 2 ½ cups plain flour (312 g)
- 8 oz unsalted butter (225 g), cold and diced
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 6 to 8 tbsp ice water
In a blender add the plain flour together with the caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Also add the diced cold butter.
Pulse the ingredients well into a coarse crumble. Then one by one add a couple of tablespoons of ice cold water to the blender and pulse in between. I added 7 spoonfuls in total.
Blend until you end up with a crumbly dough that is not too sticky or wet.
Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and then knead it well for a couple of minutes. Add extra flour or water if necessary. Once the dough is smooth, wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 45 minutes while you are making the tuna filling for the empanada.
Tuna Empanada Recipe: the Filling
- 7 oz canned tuna (200 g), drained weight
- 1 shallot chopped
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 medium fresh tomato deseeded and diced
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- chili powder or pimenton
In the meantime add the olive oil to a large pan and place it over medium heat until hot. Then gently fry the chopped garlic and shallot for a minute.
Stir and add the diced tomato and tomato paste.
Stir and cook the tomato for about 3 minutes until a little soft. Then take the pan off the heat. Season with a pinch of salt and pimenton (or chili powder). Also add the drained tuna and freshly chopped parsley.
Then put this mixture aside to cool down until needed later.
Assemble The Empanadas
- empanada dough
- empanada filling
- 1 egg beaten
Roll the dough out well until it is about ⅕ inch (5 mm) in thickness. Then cut out 10 even circles.
Place a little of the tuna filling on a dough circle. Then brush the sides with some egg wash.
Fold the empanada and gently press the sides shut.
Secure with a fork.
Assemble the rest of the empanadas and then place them on a baking paper lined baking tray. Brush with more egg wash.
Now bake the empanadas in a preheated oven at 392°F (200°C) for 45 minutes until the dough is cooked and crunchy. Check regularly to see it they don't burn. Cover with some tinfoil if necessary. Then remove the baked empanadas from the hot oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Transfer them to a serving tray and serve lukewarm.