Cheese and Corn Empanadas (Empanadas con Choclo y Queso)

Pies (empanadas)
Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Creative RF/Getty Images
Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Resting Time: 60 mins
Total: 115 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings

These vegetarian empanadas are filled with sweet corn and a creamy cheese sauce. If you prefer something heartier, add some barbecue chicken or pork to the filling.


  • For the Dough:
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 egg
  • egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen corn (or about 4 cups fresh corn kernels)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • For the Cheese Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 10 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • For Assembly:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water

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 cooking.

Prepare the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a bowl, beat the water, egg, egg white, and vinegar together. Set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the 3 cups of flour and salt.

  4. Cut the shortening into the flour mix with a pastry blender or two butter knives.

  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until it becomes stiff.

  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.

  7. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.

Prepare the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and red pepper in the olive oil and butter until soft and fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes.

  3. Add the corn and the water and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes more. Stir in the cilantro and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes.

  4. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the Cheese Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour over medium heat, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Whisk in the milk and cream, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and comes just to a boil.

  4. Stir in the cheeses and cumin, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

  5. Stir vegetable mixture into cheese mixture and let cool (or chill in a refrigerator for a few minutes).

Assemble Empanadas

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 425 F.

  3. Separate empanada dough into golf ball size pieces, and roll each one into a smooth ball. Let rest 5 minutes.

  4. On a floured surface, roll each ball of dough into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.

  5. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the middle of the circle. Brush the edges of the dough along the bottom half of the circle lightly with water.

  6. Fold the top half of the circle of dough over the filling to form a semicircle, and press edges together firmly to seal.

  7. Brush the pressed edge with a little bit of water, and fold the edge over itself, pinching and crimping as you go to make a braid-like effect. (See Tips and Techniques for Beautiful Empanadas). Place empanadas on a baking sheet.

  8. Mix egg yolk with water and brush mixture lightly over the entire surface of each empanada.

  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and slightly puffed.

  10. Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!