Healthier Empanada Dough - Masa Para Empanadas Light

Amy Neunsinger/Getty Images
  • 105 mins
  • Prep: 75 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 10 large empanandas (serves 10)
Ratings (16)

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 particular good once the empanadas have cooled to room temperature.

I plugged these ingredients into an online recipe calorie calculator and compared the results to a more traditional empanada dough recipe. This lighter dough weighs in at around 200 calories per empanada, compared to around 400 calories for the traditional dough, a significant difference. Use whole milk greek yogurt in this recipe for best results.

What You'll Need

  • 3 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (whole milk)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup water (or more as needed)

How to Make It

  1. Place the flour in a large bowl. Whisk in 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Add the yogurt and the melted butter to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough starts to come together. Knead dough gently with your hands, adding more water if the dough is too dry. Taste for salt and add another 1/4-1/2 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 dough is too dry, add a bit more water. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour, and knead lightly.
  1. Cover the dough with plastic warp 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.
  2. To make empanadas, divide dough into 10 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough into a 6-inch diameter circle.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of filling (see ideas for empanada fillings here) to the center of a circle of dough. Wet edges of dough lightly with water, then fold dough in half to form a semi-circle, enclosing the filling. Pinch edges of dough together, and crimp dough edge to further seal. (For photos and more instructions on shaping empanadas, How to Fill and Shape Empanadas). Place empanada on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining circles of dough.
  4. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water, and brush empanadas with the egg wash before placing them in the oven. Bake empanadas for 25-30 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 85
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Sodium 444 mg
Carbohydrates 7 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 2 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)