Galician Tuna Pie (Empanada Gallega de Bonito)

Empanada Gallega de Bonito

JC i Núria/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 pie
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
871 Calories
42g Fat
73g Carbs
48g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 871
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 53%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 209mg 70%
Sodium 916mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 73g 27%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 48g
Vitamin C 35mg 174%
Calcium 111mg 9%
Iron 8mg 42%
Potassium 761mg 16%
*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.)

Large pies or turnovers called empanadas are traditional in the cuisine of Galicia, a region located in northwest Spain. The Galicians prepare many types of fillings for their empanadas, from sweet to salty. Although meat fillings are popular, the filling made of bonito (tuna), mixed with boiled egg, onion, red pepper, and tomato sauce, is a classic. Bake in the oven until the crust is flakey and golden brown.

Tip: The filling for empanadas can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated.


For the Crust:

  • 2 to 3 ounces milk

  • 3/4 ounce fresh yeast, or 1 (1/4-ounce) packet (7 grams) active dry yeast

  • 3 1/2 ounces (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 to 3 ounces white wine

  • 2 to 3 ounces​ ​olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 4 3/4 cups (640 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg, for egg wash

For the Filling:

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 large onion, 8 to 9 ounces

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 30 ounces​ tuna in oil, or albacore, drained

  • Salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

Make the Crust

  1. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature (70 F/21 C) before beginning. Warm the milk slightly and dissolve the yeast in the milk. Pour into a medium-size mixing bowl. Add butter, eggs, wine, oil, and salt. Mix using a hand mixer on low speed. Gradually add the flour to the bowl, mixing by hand until it forms a doughy consistency. Using your hands, ​knead it briefly until it forms a ball. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave in a warm spot while you make the filling (about 30 minutes).

Make the Filling

  1. Place the eggs in boiling water and boil them until hard. Drain the water and immediately place in cold water to cool. When cooled, set aside for later.

  2. Peel and finely chop the onion. De-stem and de-seed the pepper. Slice into strips. Pour the olive oil into a large heavy-bottomed frying pan and heat on medium. When the oil is hot, add the pepper and onion and sauté until onion is translucent. Be sure to continue stirring to cook the onions on all sides and ensure that they do not burn. Stir in the crushed tomatoes. Simmer this sofrito for about 20 minutes.

  3. While the sofrito cooks, open the tuna cans and drain tuna thoroughly, squeezing out all the liquid. In a mixing bowl, flake tuna into pieces with a fork. Add to the sofrito and mix to make a moist filling. Salt to taste. Remove from the stove and allow to cool.

  4. Preheat oven to 400 F/200 C while assembling the empanada.

Assemble the Empanada

  1. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Cover cutting board with a small amount of flour to prevent dough from sticking. Roll out half of the dough onto a cutting board, slightly larger than the baking dish. Line the dish with the dough, pressing into the corners.

  2. Pour tuna-tomato filling into the glass dish. Slice the hard-boiled eggs and lay the slices on top.

  3. Roll out the other half of dough. Lay dough on top. Cut and crimp edges to seal. Using scraps, cut long strips and lay on top in a lattice pattern. Beat egg. Using a brush, paint the top of your crust with an egg wash.

  4. Bake in oven on center rack for 30 to 45 minutes, or until crust is golden.