Healthier Empanada Dough - Masa Para Empanadas Light

Amy Neunsinger/Getty Images
Prep: 75 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
189 Calories
5g Fat
30g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 354mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 73mg 2%
*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.)

If you enjoy the traditional taste of lard in your empanada dough, this recipe may not be for you. But yogurt does a reasonable job as a substitute for the lard (or vegetable shortening) here and helps to drop the calorie count by half. The dough will not be as flaky as traditional empanada dough, but it has a tender texture and a bit of tang and is particularly good once the empanadas have cooled to room temperature.

There is a significant difference between the traditional dough and this healthier empanada dough. Use whole milk greek yogurt in this recipe for best results.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup water, or more as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the flour in a large bowl. Whisk in 1 teaspoon salt.

  3. Add the yogurt and the melted butter to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon.

  4. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough starts to come together.

  5. Knead dough gently with your hands, adding more water if the dough is too dry. Taste for salt and add another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon if desired. Knead mixture very gently and briefly until you obtain a relatively smooth dough, but do not overwork the dough. It's fine if the dough appears a bit shaggy and unevenly mixed (something like pie crust), but it should have enough moisture to come together in a cohesive ball. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more water. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour, and knead lightly.

  6. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rest and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Dough may be prepared the day before and chilled overnight.

Baking Tip

To make empanadas, preheat oven to 350 F and divide the dough into 10 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough into a 6-inch diameter circle. Add 1/4 cup of filling to the center of a circle of dough. Wet edges of dough lightly with water, then fold the dough in half to form a semi-circle, enclosing the filling. Pinch edges of dough together, and crimp dough edge to further seal. Place empanada on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining circles of dough. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water, and brush empanadas with the egg wash before placing them in the oven. Bake empanadas for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.