ColombiaOne.comCultureHow to Prepare Delicious Colombian Empanadas

How to Prepare Delicious Colombian Empanadas


Colombian Empanadas
Delicious Colombian meat empanada. credit: public domain/pxfuel

Colombian cuisine is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, and one of its most beloved street foods is the empanada. These savory delights, often enjoyed as a snack or appetizer, are known for their crispy golden crust and flavorful fillings. If you’re curious to try your hand at preparing these mouthwatering treats, follow our step-by-step guide to creating authentic Colombian empanadas in your own kitchen.


For the Dough:

  • 2 cups of pre-cooked yellow cornmeal (masarepa)
  • 2 ½ cups of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup of ground beef or chicken (cooked and seasoned)
  • 1 cup of diced potatoes (cooked)
  • 1 cup of diced onions
  • ½ cup of diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup of chopped scallions
  • ½ cup of diced bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying

Step-by-Step Preparation:

1. Prepare the Dough:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the pre-cooked yellow cornmeal, warm water, and salt.
  • Knead the mixture until a smooth dough forms. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.

2. Prepare the Filling:

  • In a skillet, sauté the diced onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes until they’re softened and fragrant.
  • Add the cooked ground beef or chicken, diced potatoes, chopped scallions, ground cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Mix the ingredients well and cook for a few minutes until the flavors meld together.

3. Assemble the Empanadas:

  • Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a ball about the size of a golf ball.
  • Place the dough ball between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a heavy object (like a flat-bottomed plate) to flatten it into a thin, round disc.

4. Add the Filling:

  • Place a spoonful of the prepared filling in the center of the dough disc.

5. Fold and Seal:

  • Fold the dough disc over the filling, creating a half-moon shape.
  • Press the edges firmly to seal the empanada. You can use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges for a decorative touch.

6. Fry to Perfection:

  • In a deep skillet or pot, heat enough oil for frying to around 350°F (175°C).
  • Gently place the empanadas into the hot oil, a few at a time, and fry until they’re golden brown and crispy on both sides.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the empanadas from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

7. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Colombian empanadas are typically served with aji, a spicy dipping sauce, or salsa.
  • Serve your freshly fried empanadas while they’re still warm and crispy.

Savor the Flavor: making Colombian empanadas at home allows you to experience this popular and delicious street food firsthand. The crispy, golden exterior combined with the flavorful filling makes every bite a delight. As you savor your homemade empanadas, you’ll be transported to the vibrant streets of Colombia, where these treats are enjoyed as a cherished culinary tradition.

See all the latest news from Colombia and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow Colombia One on Google News, Facebook, Instagram, and subscribe here to our newsletter.