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Empanada (with Cheesy Tuna Filling)

How time feels like I just posted the leche flan for Kulinarya for February and now March’s almost over which means another delicious Filipino food in spotlight.  This month’s theme is empanada..

I have never made empanada ever and did not even attempted it for some reasons: first, it’s easier to buy it from a bakeshop whenever I, or anyone in my family gets a craving for it, second,  I don’t like deep-frying because I have this dilemma about used oil: should I keep it and re-use it or just throw it away?

I used to re-use  used oil for sauteeing and pan-frying, I got this practice from my mom, she does it all the time since I was little BUT  I have read in an article how consumption of used oil can lead to all sorts of diseases like cancer which is scary so I immediately stopped using it but I still feel guilty throwing it (used oil) away, hence I avoided deep-frying as much as possible.

Lastly,  I am not that good with pastry making, I can make apple pie and mini tarts but that’s it;  but I’m not giving up on pastry-making, I know I can get better with practice..that’s why I’m happy with this month’s Kulinarya theme.

Empanada is a deep-fried stuffed pastry, usually filled meat or chicken or seafood and sometimes sweet fillings; it is Spanish/Portuguese in origin.  This food is also popular in many Latin countries and there are many versions of the dough as well as different kinds of filling. In the Philippines, the province of Ilocos is known for its delicious orange-colored empanadas where it is sold as street food.

The empanada I know and grew up with is filled with picadillo (sans the sauce) – sauteed ground beef/pork with green peas,diced potatoes and carrots.  For Kulinarya, I decided to make a slightly different filling, in the spirit of Lenten Season, I made a spicy tuna and cheese empanada, my family loved it and wants me to make these again..


cheesy tuna filling


it helps when you have a plastic mat for rolling the dough, or you can use parchment paper


looking good now..I used a pizza roller to cut off excess dough

empanada_1 very first empanad!  I forgot to brush water on the sides before crimping it; tip: do not use tongs the pastry is too delicate when hot, use a slotted spoon instead..


my cheesy, spicy tuna empanada..yum! 🙂

Empanada (with Cheesy Tuna Filling)

How time feels like I just posted the leche flan for Kulinarya for February and now March's almost over which means another delicious Filipino food in spotlight.  This month's theme is empanada..
5 from 2 votes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 12 empanadas






  • Sift flour with salt in a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or with a blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.
  • Beat together the egg, water and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork.
  • Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated (mixture will look shaggy).
  • Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together.
  • Then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together.
  • Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in a plastic wrap for at least 1 hour.


  • In a pan, heat about 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, saute onion until transslucent, add tomatoes, cook until soft, add drained tuna flakes, add paprika, potatoes, peas.
  • Cook until peas are tender, turn off heat and add cheese.
  • Taste it and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
  • Cool before filling the dough.
  • Place the filling by the spoonful into your prepared empanada dough.
  • Fold the dough and filling into a half circle shape, brush edges with water or eggwash and crimp the edges with a fork. 
  • Do not overfill the empanadas.
  • Fry the filled empanadas in a deep fryer at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until lightly golden.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Cool slightly before serving.


Aternately, you can bake the empanadas in a preheated 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes. They should be lightly golden.
Keyword cheese empanada, cheesy empanada with tuna filling, easy empanada recipe, empanada, empanada recipe, simple empanada, tuna empanada, tuna empanada recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

♥Thanks for reading and have a nice day!!♥


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