Empanadas de Espinaca (Spinach Empanadas)

Empanadas de Espinaca (Spinach Empanadas)

Empanadas (Empada in Portuguese) are hand pies originally from Portugal and northwestern Spain, Galicia. They can be traced back to the Middle East and India. There are now many variations of empanadas, as settlers brought them to North America, South America, and Asia.

Empanadas de Espinaca were created by a bakery in Cali, Colombia. These empanadas are filled with garlic, spinach, ricotta (or cottage cheese), and Parmesan. They can be baked or fried. I made the baked version.

To seal the edges, a “repulgue” technique is used to create the rope shaped edge. This is the first time I have made empanadas and still had a few burst in the oven. The ones that burst had a weak spot in the front, so I still need to work on the technique a bit. I also rolled the dough a little too thin. Be careful not to overfill the empanadas, as this can also cause bursting.


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch paprika
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup lard or butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 8 ounces whole milk mozzarella or queso quesadilla, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with a splash of water
Read the whole recipe on Tara's Multicultural Table