Pumpkin Empanadas with Smoked Bacon & Cotija

Pumpkin Empanadas With Smoked Bacon & Cotija Recipe

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From Auburn Meadow Farm. The site referencec the dough recipe via Smitten Kitten. Be sure to read *Notes below before starting. The original recipe specified in the ingredient's list for fresh roasted pumpkin. After the Holidays (Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's) I stock up on canned organic pumpkin puree when it's on sale-typically around ninety cents per can and use it for all types of recipes throughout the year.


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Yield about 16-18 empanadas
30 Min
45 Min


  • DOUGH:

  • 4 1/2 c
    unbleached flour (i used pastry flour and replaced 1/2 c. with whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 tsp
  • 2 stick
    butter (equal to 1 cup) (read *notes below)
  • 2 large
  • 2 Tbsp
    distilled white vinegar
  • 2/3 c
    ice water

  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil, lard or other oil/fat, melted
  • 1 large
    onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 clove
    garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp
    ancho chili powder (which replaced one roasted poblano)
  • 1/8 tsp
    ground cloves or ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cinnamon (scant)
  • 2 Tbsp
    apple cider vinegar
  • 4 slice
    smoked bacon, cut up into small pieces
  • 2 can(s)
    (15 ounces each) pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c
    cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp

How to Make Pumpkin Empanadas with Smoked Bacon & Cotija


  1. *Note: for the fat I used a combination of butter, olive oil, coconut oil and rendered bacon fat.
  2. DOUGH IN A FOOD PROCESSOR: Add the flour and salt to the processor bowl. Blend. Add the fat (butter, oil, lard of combo). Process on PULSE. Now add the eggs and vinegar. Blend. With the motor running, slowly start pouring the ice water through the feed tube and process until the dough forms into a ball. Remove, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  3. FILLING: In a heavy skillet, gently sautè minced onion and garlic in the oil/lard until browned. Add the spices, vinegar and smoked bacon pieces; warm through.

    Set filling aside to cool. I prepared the filling the day before serving the empanadas.
  4. Once the onion/spice mixture is cooled down, transfer to a mixing bowl; stir together with the pumpkin puree and cotija cheese. Mix gently until just combined.
  5. ASSEMBLING THE EMPANADAS: Place racks in upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat to 400º F.
  6. Divide the dough into about 16 balls. On a floured board use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a roughly 5" circle (I used a tortilla press).
  7. For each circle, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling. Close up into a half moon shape and seal the edges with a fork. Arrange the empanadas singly on a parchment lined jelly roll pan.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until light brown.

Printable Recipe Card

About Pumpkin Empanadas with Smoked Bacon & Cotija

Course/Dish: Other Main Dishes
Main Ingredient: Fruit
Regional Style: Mexican

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