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Empanadas Venezolanas Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on November 16, 2023

Empanadas venezolanas are a traditional Venezuelan pastry dish made with cornmeal-based dough and seasoned fillings such as beef, chicken, or vegetables.

They are usually fried and served with a cilantro sauce, making them the perfect snack or appetizer. Empanadas venezolanas can be found in most Latin American restaurants and are a popular item at catered events.

In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to make homemade empanadas venezolanas, including a step-by-step guide for making the dough, fillings and sauce. We’ll also give tips on how to store them and what to serve them with. So let’s get started!

Empanadas Venezolanas Recipe

What is empanadas venezolanas ?

As mentioned above, empanadas venezolanas are a traditional Venezuelan pastry dish made with cornmeal-based dough and seasoned fillings. The fillings can range from beef, chicken, or vegetables to cheese and other savory ingredients. They are usually fried until golden brown, which gives them a crunchy exterior and a flaky interior.

The dough for empanadas venezolanas is traditionally made with cornmeal, lard or vegetable shortening, and salt. It typically comes with a cilantro sauce, which gives it another flavor boost.

How Did I get the venezuelan empanadas recipe?

I got the recipe for empanadas venezolanas from a Venezuelan friend of mine. She gave me step-by-step instructions on how to make the dough, fillings and sauce so I could recreate it at home.

What does it taste like?

Empanadas Venezolanas have a savory flavor because of the fillings used in them. The dough is usually lightly sweetened with sugar, and the cilantro sauce adds a zesty note to the dish. It’s also seasoned with spices such as paprika, oregano, and cumin, giving it a unique flavor.

How to make empanadas venezolanas?

Making Venezuelan empanadas is easy and requires only a few simple steps. Anyone can make this dish at home with the right ingredients. To make empanadas venezolanas, you will need the following ingredients:

How to make empanadas venezolanas?

Ingredients For venezuelan empanada recipe

For the Fillings:

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef blade roast, cut into 4 pieces, trimmed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sazon completa
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 scallion, chopped

For the Dough:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups precooked cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for greasing and frying
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the Sauce:

  • 1 medium avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions For empanada venezuela

Step1:

Begin by making the filling. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the beef in a roasting pan and season with bay leaves, salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour or until tender.

Step 2:

While the meat is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, and shallots and cook for about 3 minutes until softened. Add the scallion, paprika, sazon completa, oregano and cumin; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the roasted beef to the skillet along with any accumulated juices from the roasting pan. Cook for a few minutes to combine flavors. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Step 3: 

To make the dough, place the sugar, oil, butter, salt, cornmeal and flour in a food processor and pulse until a smooth dough is formed. Grease a baking sheet with oil or butter. Roll out the dough on the greased baking sheet into an 11-inch diameter circle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 12 wedges using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

Step 4:

Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto each wedge, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges for sealing. Fold over each wedge to form an empanada shape (it should look like a half moon). Seal edges by pressing with a fork or your fingers.

Step 5:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the empanadas for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with your favourite salsa or dipping sauce, if desired.

Step 6: 

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Serve with the empanadas as desired.

Tips For venezuela empanadas

• You can also bake the empanadas instead of frying them – simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

• If you can’t find precooked cornmeal, you can substitute it with 3 1/2 cups fine yellow cornmeal, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.

• If using a food processor for the dough, pulse quickly so the ingredients are not over-processed.

• Keep empanadas warm in a preheated 200 degree F (93 degrees C) oven while preparing the other batches.

Empanadas Venezolanas Recipe

Empanadas Venezolanas Recipe

Empanadas venezolanas are a traditional Venezuelan pastry dish made with cornmeal-based dough and seasoned fillings such as beef, chicken, or vegetables.
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Author: Lori Walker, MS, RD
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 46 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 1 minute
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 284kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Food processor
  • 1 Oven

Ingredients

  • 1/4 medium onion diced – One-fourth of a medium onion, diced, providing a sweet and savory flavor to the dish, adding depth and complexity to the overall taste profile.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil – One tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil adding a smooth and fruity richness to the dish, providing a healthy fat source, and enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar – Two teaspoons of white vinegar providing a tangy and acidic element to the dish, adding a bright and refreshing note that balances the flavors.
  • 1/8 tablespoon green bell pepper diced – One-eighth of a tablespoon of green bell pepper, diced, offering a mild and slightly sweet flavor, adding a fresh and crisp element to the dish.
  • Freshly ground pepper – Freshly ground pepper adding a bold and spicy kick to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor profile and adding depth to the meat.
  • 2 bay leaves – Two bay leaves imparting a subtle and aromatic flavor to the dish, adding depth and complexity to the overall taste profile.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar – One and a half tablespoons of sugar adding a touch of sweetness to enhance the flavors of the dish, balancing the savory and aromatic components.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika – One teaspoon of paprika offering a smoky and slightly sweet flavor, adding depth and richness to the dish, and enhancing the overall taste experience.
  • 1/2 shallot diced – Half a shallot, diced, providing a milder and sweeter flavor compared to onions, adding a delicate and aromatic note to the dish.
  • Kosher salt – Kosher salt serving as a fundamental seasoning element, enhancing the flavors of the other ingredients, and ensuring a well-balanced taste.
  • 1 teaspoon sazon completa – One teaspoon of sazon completa a Latin seasoning blend, adding a unique and savory flavor profile to the dish, with a combination of spices that enhance the overall taste experience.
  • 1 clove garlic minced – One clove of garlic, minced, offering a pungent and robust flavor to the dish, infusing it with a savory and aromatic note that enhances the overall taste profile.
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano – One-eighth of a teaspoon of dried oregano offering a fragrant and herbaceous flavor to the dish, adding a hint of earthiness and depth.
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin – One-eighth of a teaspoon of ground cumin providing a warm and earthy flavor, adding depth and complexity to the dish.
  • 1/2 scallion chopped – Half a scallion, chopped, offering a mild and fresh onion flavor to the dish, adding a vibrant and aromatic element that brightens up the flavors.
  • 3/4 tablespoon unsalted butter – Three-fourths of a tablespoon of unsalted butter adding richness and a velvety texture to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • 1 3/4 cups precooked cornmeal – One and three-fourths cups of precooked cornmeal providing a hearty and comforting texture to the dish, with a slightly grainy and nutty flavor.
  • 5/8 cup cilantro leaves and stems – Five-eighths of a cup of cilantro leaves and stems offering a fresh and herbaceous flavor, adding brightness and a vibrant green color to the dish.
  • 1/8 green bell pepper chopped – One-eighth of a green bell pepper, chopped, adding a mild and slightly sweet flavorI apologize, but it seems like the response got cut off. Could you please provide the remaining ingredient(s) so that I can enhance them with additional descriptive phrases?
  • 3/4 pound beef blade roast cut into 4 pieces, trimmed – Three-quarters of a pound of beef blade roast, cut into four pieces and trimmed, providing a tender and flavorful meat base for the dish, with marbling that adds richness and juiciness.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt – One and a half teaspoons of salt serving as a fundamental seasoning element for the cornmeal, enhancing its natural flavors and ensuring a well-balanced taste.
  • 3/4 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more for greasing and frying – Three-fourths of a tablespoon of vegetable oil, used for greasing and frying, providing a neutral flavor and ensuring a crispy and golden exterior for the cornmeal dish.
  • 1/8 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour – One-eighth of a tablespoon plus one teaspoon of all-purpose flour serving as a binding agent and helping to achieve a cohesive texture for the cornmeal dish.
  • 1/2 medium avocado halved, seeded, and peeled – Half a medium avocado, halved, seeded, and peeled, offering a creamy and buttery texture, adding richness and a subtle nutty flavor to the dish.

Instructions

  • Begin by making the filling. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the beef in a roasting pan and season with bay leaves, salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour or until tender.
  • While the meat is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, and shallots and cook for about 3 minutes until softened. Add the scallion, paprika, sazon completa, oregano and cumin; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the roasted beef to the skillet along with any accumulated juices from the roasting pan. Cook for a few minutes to combine flavors. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • To make the dough, place the sugar, oil, butter, salt, cornmeal and flour in a food processor and pulse until a smooth dough is formed. Grease a baking sheet with oil or butter. Roll out the dough on the greased baking sheet into an 11-inch diameter circle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 12 wedges using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.
  • Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto each wedge, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges for sealing. Fold over each wedge to form an empanada shape (it should look like a half moon). Seal edges by pressing with a fork or your fingers.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the empanadas for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with your favourite salsa or dipping sauce, if desired.
  • To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Serve with the empanadas as desired.

Notes

• You can also bake the empanadas instead of frying them – simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
• If you can’t find precooked cornmeal, you can substitute it with 3 1/2 cups fine yellow cornmeal, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.
• If using a food processor for the dough, pulse quickly so the ingredients are not over-processed.
• Keep empanadas warm in a preheated 200 degree F (93 degrees C) oven while preparing the other batches.
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 295 | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 740mg | Cholesterol: 37 mg

What to serve with empanadas venezolanas ?

Empanadas Venezolanas make a delicious appetizer, snack or main dish. Serve with your favorite side dishes such as fried plantains, black beans and rice, refried beans, guacamole, pico de gallo or salsa verde. You can also serve them alongside soups and salads for a light meal.

How to store leftover empanadas venezolanas ?

Leftover empanadas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in a preheated 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven until warmed through before serving. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months and reheat in the same manner when ready to eat.

Can pregnant women eat this?

Yes, pregnant women can eat this dish. It is safe to consume during pregnancy as long as the components are fresh and prepared appropriately. When trying a new meal while pregnant, discussing any worries with your doctor is usually advisable.

FAQs 

Is this dish vegan friendly?

No, this dish contains beef and dairy products, which are not vegan.

Can I use a different type of meat?

Yes, you can use any type of meat that you prefer. Beef is the traditional choice, but you could also try this with chicken or pork. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly depending on the type of meat used.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the filling and dough several hours before assembly. Once assembled, they will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours before cooking. You can also freeze uncooked empanadas for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

What other fillings can I use?

You can get creative and use any type of filling that you like, including meatless options such as mushrooms, potatoes, or beans. Sweet fillings such as apples are also popular in Venezuela. Experiment with different flavor combinations to find your favorite.

are venezuelan empanadas gluten free?

No, empanadas venezolanas contain wheat flour and are not suitable for those following a gluten-free diet. You can substitute the wheat flour with a gluten-free alternative to make them gluten-free friendly.

are empanadas venezuelan?

Yes, empanadas are indeed a part of Venezuelan cuisine. They are typically half-moon shaped pastries made from sweet/savory dough that are traditionally fried. The dough is prepared with pre-cooked cornmeal, which gives them a distinctive taste and texture.

Wrapping up

Empanadas venezolanas are a delicious snack or main dish. They can be filled with your favorite ingredients and served with various side dishes for a complete meal. Keep in mind that the dough contains wheat flour, so it is not gluten-free friendly.

You can make this ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator, and reheat it before serving. Everyone will love this traditional Venezuelan dish!

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions about the recipe or other tips, please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you! Enjoy your homemade empanadas venezolanas!

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My name is Lori Walker. I’m a registered dietitian, food blogger and food enthusiast. I share easy healthy, delicious recipes on my blog and review necessary kitchen items. The recipes I share take less… Read more

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