Colombian Empanadas

Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz


Just about every culture has a variation of a meat pie. For example, Jamaican Beef Patties, Cornish Pasties, Chinese Pork Buns, Mediterranean Pide (Pita), and in the US Pot Pie. Even within a region or country the ingredients vary widely. This recipe is one version that my husband likes.

☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes
30 Min
40 Min
Deep Fry


Add to Grocery List


2 c
precooked yellow cornmeal (masarepa)
3 c
hot water
1 Tbsp
sazon goya with azafran (3 packets), optional
1/2 tsp


2 c
white potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
chicken bouillon cube
1 Tbsp
olive oil
1/2 c
white onion, chopped
1 c
chopped tomato
1/4 c
chopped green onions
1 clove
garlic, minced
2 Tbsp
chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp
chopped red bell pepper
1 lb
ground beef
1 pinch
salt, to taste
1 pinch
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp
ground cumin
1 tsp
sazon goya (1 packet)

How to Make Colombian Empanadas


  • 1Measure the masarepa into a large bowl, add the sazon, if using, and salt, and mix well. Add water and mix to form a dough (it will be a bit wet and rubbery). Let stand while preparing the filling.
  • 2Meanwhile, cook the potatoes with water and the bouillon until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, mash lightly, and set aside.
  • 3In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil; add onion, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, bell pepper, and cilantro. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down, about 15 minutes. Add ground beef, season with salt, pepper, cumin, and sazon. Cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until browned and fairly dry.
  • 4Stir in the potatoes and mix well.
  • 5Heat at least 2-inches of oil over medium high heat.
  • 6Break off a golf ball sized section of the dough (1.5 ounces) and with your hands, roll it into a ball. Place between plastic wrap and flatten, with the heel of your palm, into a 6-inch disc. Peel away the plastic from the top only and scoop the bottom plastic and the disc into your palm. Place a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center, then fold the disc and pinch the ends closed. Slighly flatten to distribute filling. Do the same with the remaining dough and filling.
  • 7With a slotted spoon, gently lower the empanada into the hot oil and cook 2 minutes, turning about halfway through. Drain on paper toweling. You'll need to cook these in batches.
  • 8Serve warm or at room temperature with Aji or Avocado Sauce, and/or lime wedges.

Printable Recipe Card

About Colombian Empanadas

Course/Dish: Meat Appetizers
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Latin American

Show 2 Comments & Reviews

25 Game-day Recipes That'll Make You The Mvp

25 Game-Day Recipes That'll Make You the MVP

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Whether your favorite team wins or loses, everyone will be a winner after they snack on these crowd-pleasing recipes.

10 Pigs In A Blanket Recipes That'll Make You Run To The Market

10 Pigs in a Blanket Recipes That'll Make You Run to the Market

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Quick and easy to prepare, mini hot dogs wrapped inside a flaky crust are one of the best appetizers ever. They're fancy enough for a cocktail party, popular with kids...