Venezuelan Inspired Empanadas
Updated: Sep 18
These flaky meat pies are courtesy of Cargill, Incorporated, an international provider of food, agricultural, and risk management products and services. Empanadas are a traditional entrée of Latin American region. The substitution of textured soy protein for some of the ground beef provides a lower fat, high isoflavone alternative. This filling also tastes great in a flour/corn tortilla or taco shell.
Dough Ingredients 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
¾ cup ice water
Filling Ingredients 2 tablespoons soybean oil
2 cups chopped onion (2 medium)
1 ½ cups chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1¼ cups canned diced tomatoes; drained
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon whole thyme
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Spanish or smoked paprika
1 cup unflavored textured soy protein
¾ cup water (to hydrate textured soy protein)
8 ounces extra lean ground beef
8 whole green olives with pimentos, sliced
1 tablespoon raisins
Glaze Ingredients 1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Pinch of salt
Dough Instructions To prepare dough, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; mix with fork or pulse in food processor until combined. Add butter and vegetable shortening and mix using a pastry blender or food processor until the texture of coarse meal.
Drizzle water over mixture and mix gently with fork; gather dough into a ball and shape into a flat disk; wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Filling Instructions To prepare filling, combine textured soy protein with water and let stand 10 minutes. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add vegetables, spices, and hydrated textured soy protein, cook uncovered for 20 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add ground beef, stir occasionally to break up lumps of meat; cook for 10 minutes. Stir in olives and raisins; set aside.
Empanadas Instructions To prepare empanadas, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough to 1/8” thickness on lightly floured surface. Using 6” diameter round cookie cutter, cut rounds from dough (Will have to re-roll to get 10-12 rounds).
Spoon about ¼ cup filling onto one side of each round and moisten edges of rounds with water. Fold in half and press edges together to completely enclose filling.
Using tines of fork, decoratively seal edges. Place 2” apart on baking sheet lined with parchment.
Mix together egg, milk, and salt to make a glaze and brush over tops of empanadas.
Bake until golden brown, about 17 minutes. Let cool slightly on a rack and serve warm.
Notes Yield: 10-12 empanadas.
Serving size: 1 empanada.
Calories 240 (53% from fat); Fat 14g (sat 6g, mono 2g, poly 3g); Protein 6g; Carbohydrate 22g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 30mg; Iron 1.5mg; Sodium 270mg; Calcium 34mg;