Chilean-Style Empanadas de Pino

Chilean-Style Empanadas de Pino

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Chill : 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 18 empanadas
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
351 Calories
20g Fat
31g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 351
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 110mg 37%
Sodium 339mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 236mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You can find as many types of empanadas as cooks in the world. These turnovers are a flavorful portable meal that can be packed with local ingredients. And while empanadas are great as appetizers, many countries in Latin America have a bigger version that can be served as a main dish. Empanadas de pino, one of the most popular in Chile, are an example of a thick, big, and generously stuffed empanada.

From the Mapuche term "pirru," which refers to the onion and beef mixture, "pino" became the name for these marvelous crispy empanadas. Although for outsiders, a filling of beef, raisins, onions, olives, and hard-boiled eggs seems like something unusual, take our word for it. They are amazing.

An easy-to-make empanada dough wraps these savory treats, and both the dough and filling can be made the day before and kept refrigerated until it's time to assemble. Serve with pebre for a traditional Chilean meal.

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"Although making hand pies is a lot of hands-on work, you can break this recipe down over the course of several days. The dough is such a dream to work with, you don't have to worry about keeping it chilled or handling it carefully. The resulting empanadas were rich and delicious—a definite crowd pleaser." —Danielle Centoni

Chilean-Style Empanadas de Pino Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Empanada Dough:

  • 4 cups flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 12 tablespoons chilled lard, or vegetable shortening

  • 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 cup water

For the Beef Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 large onions, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 cube beef bouillon

  • 1/4 cup hot water

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped

For Assembly:

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this empanada dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the dough ingredients.

    Ingredients for empanada dough

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Sift the flour into a bowl and then stir in 1 teaspoon of the salt and all of the sugar.

    flour, salt and sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Mix the butter and shortening (or lard) into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, or with two knives, until fairly well incorporated.

    butter added to the flour mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup of water.

    eggs and water mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Stir in 1/2 cup of the water-egg mixture, a little bit at a time, until the dough starts to come together smoothly.

    egg mixture added to the flour mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Keep kneading the dough, adding more of the water-egg mixture as needed. A few tablespoons of extra water may be needed. The dough will become smooth, although somewhat soggy until it has thoroughly chilled.

    dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour. The dough can also be kept in the fridge for up to two days. When ready to use, the dough should be soft and smooth, not elastic. When poking a hole in the dough with a finger, the indentation should remain. Reserve.

    dough wrapped in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prepare the Beef Filling

  1. Gather the filling ingredients.

    Ingredients for empanada filling

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. 

    oil and butter in a skillet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and fragrant. 

    onions cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

    onions and garlic in a skillet, wooden spoon

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Add the ground beef, cumin, chili powder, paprika, beef bouillon (dissolved in the hot water), and salt and pepper to taste.

    ground meat and spices added to the onions in the skillet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Cook the beef, stirring and crumbling the meat with a spatula, until well-browned.

    beef filling cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Add the flour and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

    flour added to the meat mixture in the skillet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir the raisins and black olives into the beef mixture.

    stir the raisins and black olives into the beef mixture in the skillet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. Let the filling cool completely. The filling will keep up for up to two days in the refrigerator.

    empanada filling in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Assemble the Empanadas

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    egg slices, egg in a glass, and milk

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grab a baking sheet.

    baking sheet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Separate the empanada dough into golf-ball-size pieces and roll into smooth balls.

    dough balls on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Let the dough balls rest for 5 minutes.

    dough balls on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Roll each ball of dough on a floured surface into a 6-inch circle of about 1/4-inch in thickness.

    rolled out dough on a floured cutting board

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Add 1 tablespoon of the ​beef filling and one slice of hardboiled egg into the middle of the circle.

    dough with meat filling and egg

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Brush the edges with water and fold the pastry in half over the filling to make a semi-circle. Seal the edges by pressing down with fingers.

    brush dough edges with water on the empanada

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. Brush the sealed edge lightly with water, then turn the edge toward the middle and press with fingers to seal.

    seal empanada dough

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of milk and brush the empanadas with the mixture.

    empanadas on a baking sheet brushed with egg wash

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

    Chilean-Style Empanadas de Pino on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Can I Freeze Empanadas de Pino?

You can freeze these delicious empanadas once they're assembled. Choose to freeze them with the egg wash on or without. Simply place the empanadas on a baking tray and freeze horizontally for at least 6 hours before transferring them into freezer bags. If you freeze them together they will stick to each other, thus freezing them individually beforehand guarantees they'll keep their shape. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

For cooking, thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add the egg wash if you froze them without, and bake them at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.