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Empanaditas from Panama

Find all the flavor from Panama in these empanaditas. You can taste the Spanish cuisine influence in this recipe, as well as those from both North and South America.


3 c flour (unbleached)
2 1⁄2 t salt
3⁄4 c water (+ 1 Tablespoon)
1 T vinegar
2 T cooking oil (any cooking oil)
1 lb beef (lean beef, coarsely ground)
1 lb pork (coarsely ground)
1 t pepper (freshly grated, black pepper)
1 1⁄2 c onion (finely chopped)
2 T garlic (minced)
1 bell pepper (green, finely chopped)
2 chili pepper (chopped jalapeños)
4 tomato (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
1 t thyme (ground)
1⁄2 t allspice (ground)
1⁄2 t nutmeg (grated)
1⁄4 c raisin
3 T vinegar (red wine vinegar)
1 c olives (green pimento salad olives, chopped)
1 egg


For the dough

  1. Combine the 1/2 teaspoon salt and the flour in a large mixing bowl. Cut with the shortening until coarse crumbs appear. In another bowl, mix together the water, vinegar and egg yolks, mixing very well. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients. Set aside in the refrigerator.

For the filling

  1. Mix together the beef, pork, salt and pepper, and the cayenne. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet, brown the meat in batches, set aside.
  2. Saute onions, bell peppers, chiles, and garlic until soft.
  3. Return the meat mixture, and any juices to the skillet. Add the tomatoes, raisins, vinegar, thyme, allspice and nutmeg, simmering all until the meat is very tender. About 40 minutes. stir occasionally.
  4. Stir in the olives and simmer another 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and cool to a room temperature
  6. To Assemble: Beat egg and water together. Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut into two equal halves. Return one half to the fridge.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough very thinly. Cut into 6" (15 cm) circles.
  8. Place a generous sized portion of filling to the center of each circle. Fold dough in half and crimp the edges with a fork. Pierce the tops with the same fork, then brush with the egg and water mix.
  9. Place the dough pockets onto a greased baking sheet
  10. Do the same with the other half of the dough. Mixing scrapes from the first round to the second, to make a third batch.
  11. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes, or until a golden brown in color. These can be served warm or at room temperature.
Total time
1 hour, 30 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
2 dozen


Central American cuisine.

These empanaditas are a recreation of an all times Spanish favorite dish. There are many versions of empanadas in Spain and America, with infinite fillings and you will find them baked or fried. The Canal touch comes in the spices used and the raisins.

challenging, takes time
meat, main course, snack
Panama food recipes
Food in America