These savory pastries were created by Mariana Velasquez, a Test Kitchen intern who grew up in Bogotá, Colombia. “Whenever we took a trip into the country we would stop at a roadside stand for empanadas. We would wrap the empanada with a napkin, take a bite and pour a spoonful of aji sauce inside the stuffing. This empanada is called pipian because it uses toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas). In Colombia, empanadas are deep-fried, but you bake these without sacrificing a crispy crust. They are fun to make with children.”

Mariana Velasquez
Source: EatingWell Magazine, Spring 2004
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Ingredients

Dough
Filling

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare dough: Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and work with your fingertips until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add water and knead until dough just comes together (do not overwork). Press the dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

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  • To prepare filling: Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a blender or spice mill and grind to a fine powder.

  • Cook ground beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato, cumin, broth, vinegar, potatoes, salt, ground pumpkin seeds and the beef. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes to intensify flavors and reduce liquid. Fold in scallions and hard-boiled egg. Let cool completely in the refrigerator.

  • Meanwhile, prepare Aji Sauce. Set aside.

  • To assemble empanadas: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. On a well-floured surface, roll out one disk at a time to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut circles of dough using a 4 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (see Tips). Make 24 circles altogether.

  • Brush egg glaze around the edges of the dough circles. Place about 2 tablespoons filling in the center of each circle. Fold filled circles in half, press edges together and crimp with a fork. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush egg glaze over the empanadas.

  • Bake the empanadas until golden and crisp, switching the position of the pans midway, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm, accompanied by Aji Sauce.

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Nutrition Facts

197.6 calories; protein 5.8g 12% DV; carbohydrates 22.7g 7% DV; exchange other carbs 1.5; dietary fiber 1.7g 7% DV; sugars 2.4g; fat 9.6g 15% DV; saturated fat 1.1g 6% DV; cholesterol 17.5mg 6% DV; vitamin a iu 202.1IU 4% DV; vitamin c 6.1mg 10% DV; folate 59.6mcg 15% DV; calcium 33mg 3% DV; iron 1.8mg 10% DV; magnesium 35.9mg 13% DV; potassium 174.1mg 5% DV; sodium 245.2mg 10% DV; thiamin 0.2mg 18% DV.

Reviews (3)

Read More Reviews
3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 1 stars
10/10/2013
so many ingredients 27 ingredients (including the aji sauce ingredients) to make 24 empanadas? This recipe is ludicrously complicated. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/08/2012
Look harder @ the previous reviewer Look directly under where the recipe says Aji sauce (recipe follows) The recipe is linked. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I don't see the recipe for the aji sauce Read More
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