Best Easy Empanadas Puerto Rican Recipe

Empanadas are a popular dish in Puerto Rico, known for their deliciously crispy crust and flavorful fillings. These handheld treats are perfect for any occasion, whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a tasty snack. If you’re looking for the best easy empanadas Puerto Rican recipe, look no further! Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating mouthwatering empanadas in the comfort of your own kitchen.

To start, you’ll need the following ingredients:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ cup cold water
– ½ cup vegetable shortening
– 1 egg yolk
– 1 tablespoon white vinegar
– 1 pound ground beef or chicken
– ½ cup diced onions
– ½ cup diced bell peppers
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the water, egg yolk, and vinegar. Gradually add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until a dough forms. Knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth, then cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

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Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef or chicken until browned. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper, and cook until the vegetables are tender. Set the mixture aside to cool.

Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface to a thickness of about ⅛ inch. Cut out circles using a round cutter or a glass. Place a spoonful of the meat mixture in the center of each circle, then fold the dough over to form a half-moon shape. Seal the edges by pressing with a fork.

In a deep skillet or pot, heat vegetable oil to 350°F. Fry the empanadas in batches until golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve your homemade Puerto Rican empanadas hot and enjoy the explosion of flavors! These empanadas pair perfectly with a side of salsa or guacamole for dipping.

11 FAQs about Puerto Rican Empanadas:

1. Can I use a different type of meat for the filling?
Yes, you can use ground pork, turkey, or even shredded beef instead of ground beef or chicken.

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2. Can I bake the empanadas instead of frying them?
Yes, you can bake them at 375°F for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

3. Can I use pre-made empanada dough instead of making it from scratch?
Yes, you can use pre-made empanada dough if you prefer a quicker option.

4. Can I make the dough ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the dough a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

5. Can I freeze the empanadas?
Yes, you can freeze the uncooked empanadas for up to 3 months. Just make sure to thaw them before frying or baking.

6. Can I make vegetarian empanadas?
Absolutely! You can substitute the meat with vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, or even a mix of beans.

7. Can I use a different type of flour?
You can experiment with different flours, but all-purpose flour works best for this recipe.

8. Can I make mini empanadas instead?
Yes, you can make smaller empanadas by using a smaller round cutter or glass.

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9. Can I use lard instead of vegetable shortening?
Yes, you can use lard as a substitute for vegetable shortening.

10. Can I add cheese to the filling?
Yes, you can add shredded cheese like cheddar or mozzarella to the meat filling for a cheesy twist.

11. Can I make sweet empanadas?
Certainly! You can fill the empanadas with sweet fillings like fruit preserves or a cream cheese filling for a dessert version.

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