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An empanada, according to Wikapedia…is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin Europe, Latin America, the Southwestern United States, and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. So what’s not to love about that combo…am I right!

Well, once we made the switch to eating Paleo, we knew our days of enjoying many of the southwestern foods we have eating for years was mostly a thing of the past….until!!! Entering the picture in the Spring of 2015…”Otto’s Cassava Flour” happened and our lives in this home, totally changed. We get our’s here: Otto’s Naturals

We first started out making tortilla’s using their amazing flour…mind blown and taco’s were back on our weekly menu. I even brought the flour and the tortilla recipe (it’s blazed in my memory, no need for a hard copy) to Maui with us in May so I could make fresh fish taco’s while we were there. Need I say more…they are that marvelous!!!!

The holidays rolled around and I started experimenting with the cassava flour for pie crust and after a couple attempts came up with what worked out sooooo well!!! Pastry crust was born and more possibilities opened up! Like empanadas!! Find our recipe here: (pie crust recipe)

So before Christmas I pulled some frozen taco meat out of the freezer (I make it in HUGE batches and freeze it for spontaneous tacos…and now empanadas) and thought it was time to use the pie crust recipe I made and give it a savory spin…DANG if they aren’t delicious and the texture with the meat and other fillings cooking on the inside…so flaky and melt in your mouth amazing!

I literally used some leftover onions, cilantro and poblano peppers I had in my fridge along with the taco meat from the freezer, filled up these babies and let em’ cook til’ golden. I’ll list what I used for this post, but feel free to experiment…and like always, please enjoy!!

1 recipe pie crust, (click here for recipe) optional add in of ½t chipotle chili flakes
1-2 c taco meat
¼ c cilantro, finely diced
¼ c roasted poblano peppers, finely diced
¼ c onion, finely diced
½ c white potatoes, diced in ¼” cubes and sauteed til crispy in fat of choice
1 egg + 1 T water, whisked together for egg wash


Pre-heat oven to 425°

  • Prep all filling ingredients before making the pastry crust, this way you’re all ready to go once the dough is ready2015-12-27 16.17.36
  • Make pie crust as directed. If using optional add-in of chipotle flakes, toss in with dry ingredients. Once dough is ready, roll out between 2 pieces of parchment to about ⅛-¼” thickness. You don’t want to go too thin, otherwise it will tear when folding over the filling.
  • I literally used the lid from a container of Kirkland brand coconut oil to cut out my circles before filling! Maybe you have a cookie cutter that large…we did not, so a lid it was. It is about 4½” in diameter, use what you’ve got on hand…or cut them freehand! Cut out circles and lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment.2015-12-27 16.33.14
  • Add about 1T of taco meat in the center of your circle followed up with the other fillings. Adjust amounts accordingly since you’re circles may be smaller than mine. You don’t want to overfill…this will lead to tearing as well as tearing up!!!2015-12-27 16.37.11
  • Once dough circles are filled, apply egg wash to half the circle and carefully fold over and press to seal.2015-12-27 16.39.40
  • Use the tines of a fork to add a decorative touch, totally optional of course, just make sure your edge is sealed very well or you’ll have filling seeping out while they bake. Once all are filled, brush with additional egg wash, dash of salt and more chipotle flakes (optional of course.) Use a knife, to cut a couple slits in the top of each so steam can release while they bake.2015-12-27 16.57.25
  • Re-roll reaming dough scraps and repeat until all dough is used.
  • Bake for 15-20 min or until golden and a bit of the filling is happily bubbling out of the slits on top.

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