Empanadas are a very popular Latin American treat, although originally from Spain. They come in many variations, ranging from savory to sweet, large to small, some baked and some fried.
Empanadas make a great party food, simple, delicious, and inexpensive, they are great for a crowd of nibbling cocktail drinkers. They can be made in advance and then baked or fried right before serving. The fillings can be adapted easily, based on your cravings, the occasion, or the season. I love making a big batch and freezing them for quick meals or last-minute parties with friends.
Sometimes, the simplest meals are the best. These Avocado Empanadas with Cilantro Sauce are perfect for lunch, appetizer or a late afternoon snack.
This recipe for empanadas is a new favorite of mine for a few reasons. The crust is flaky and buttery, the creamy, bursting with flavor avocado filling, makes my mouth water and the combination of flavors and textures in these avocado empanadas is simply heavenly.
So if you’re ever in need of a meatless empanada recipe or you just really want to make some fun hand pies, please give these a try! Like I said, they are very easy to make and are perfect right out of the oven served with my spicy cilantro sauce.
3 ripe avocados
1 tomato, diced
5 tablespoons red onion, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
12 small or 8 large empanadas discs (homemade or store bought)
1 beaten egg
For the cilantro sauce:
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeño, seeded and deveined
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste
- o make the empanadas: Slice the avocados lengthwise and remove the seeds. Use a spoon to remove the avocado flesh, place it in a large bowl, drizzle the lime juice on top, and mash the avocados until pureed. I like to leave some small chunks to give it some consistency.
- Add the diced onion, jalapeño, cilantro, tomatoes and salt to taste. Gently toss to combine.
- Place the empanada discs on a parchment–lined baking sheet. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling into the center of each disc, folding in half, and crimping with your fingers or a fork to enclose the empanadas. Brush the tops with eggs and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until empanadas are golden brown.
- Serve immediately with the cilantro sauce.
- To make the cilantro sauce: Combine cilantro, jalapeño, mayonnaise, garlic, lime juice and cumin in a food processor until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.