Traditional in Spain and Portugal, empanadas are little pastry pockets with an intensely flavoured savoury filling. They are great eaten any time but make a particularly good tapas-style snack with a cold beer.


  • For the empanada dough

  • 150g unsalted butter

  • 300g plain flour

  • Large pinch of salt

  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten

  • 3–5 tbsp water

  • Beaten egg, to finish

  • For the filling

  • 4 chicken thighs, on the bone and skin on

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 100g British-style chorizo, finely diced

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • 50g raisins

  • Salt and pepper


  • 1.

    Heat your oven to 180°C/gas 4. For the filling, put the chicken thighs in a small roasting dish, season well all over with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes until cooked through. Set aside to cool a little.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile, make the pastry. Melt the butter and leave it to cool slightly. Put the flour in a large bowl and mix in the salt. Pour in the butter and egg. Start mixing, adding 3–5 tbsp of water as you go, until you have a soft dough. Turn this out onto your work surface and knead it gently for a couple of minutes, until smooth. Return the dough to its bowl, cover and set aside to rest while you prepare the filling.

  • 3.

    To prepare the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over a mediumlow heat. Add the onion and cook for 10–12 minutes, until soft.

  • 4.

    Add the garlic, chorizo, cumin seeds and raisins. Cook over a medium heat for 5–8 minutes, stirring often, until the chorizo is cooked. Remove from the heat.

  • 5.

    Once the chicken thighs are cool enough to handle, remove the skin. Pull all the meat from the bones and chop it roughly. Add to the chorizo mixture. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed (the chorizo is already quite salty), then leave to cool completely.

  • 6.

    Heat your oven to 200°C/gas 6 and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.

  • 7.

    Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of 3–4mm. Use a 12cm cutter or a small bowl to cut out 10 discs. You will probably need to re-roll the offcuts once to get this many. Divide the filling between the discs. Dampen the edges of the dough with water then fold over one half of each disc to make a semicircular parcel. Press the edges together firmly then crimp or press the edges with a fork.

  • 8.

    Put the empanadas on the baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden. Eat them warm, on their own or with a chilli sauce.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

  • Energy 433kj
  • Fat Total 28g
  • Saturated Fat 12g
  • Protein 16g
  • Carbohydrate 28g
  • Sugar 3g
  • Sodium 329mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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