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Ham and Veggie Empanadas

Servings 20 Empanadas
Author Stephanie Chavez


  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ cup butter, cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten

For the empanada filling

  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup asparagus, diced
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups ham, diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 ounces chile sauce of your choice


  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add the butter, eggs, and milk. Knead dough until it forms a solid ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Prepare the ham and veggie filling

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil and cook onion, asparagus, and mushrooms until the asparagus is almost fully cooked through. Add the ham, soy sauce and chile sauce. I used salsa negra from Lola’s Mercadito
  2. Continue stirring all ingredients well until the sauces are fully distributed. This should take about 12 minutes total. Allow the filling to cool before filling the empanada circles. 
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F with the rack positioned in the center of the oven.

Roll, fill, and seal the empanadas

  1. Cut the dough into 20 even pieces. One by one, roll them into a ball, flatten them between two sheets of parchment paper with either a tortilla presser, or a rolling pin. I found it easier to start with a tortilla presser, then rolling it out a little more to make them wider. They should be roughly close to 1/8” thick. A little thinner than that is okay.
  2. Coat the edge of half a circle with the egg wash, fill the circle with about 1 ½ tablespoons of the filling, fold it in half and pinch the edges shut. When you are all done filling them, seal them completely by using the tips of a small fork to press the edges shut. Brush them with the egg wash before baking.

  3. Bake as many as eight at a time on a parchment-lined large baking sheet for 15-17 minutes. Once they're done baking, remove them from the baking sheet and let them cool off on a cooling rack. Serve with any salsa or leftover cranberry sauce if you have some.

Recipe Notes

If you can't make the empanadas right away, it's okay. You can also refrigerate the dough overnight. When you are ready to use it, bring it out of the fridge and let it rest 10-15 minutes before rolling it out.