Food & Drink Recipes & Chefs

Easy Mouthwatering Chorizo & Queso Empanadas

December 28, 2015

It is said that empanadas first appeared in Portugal, around the time of the establishments of trade routes to India, which some may believe they were influenced by the Indian samosas.  Could be true, if you think about it, they are very similar in taste, just different fillings.  In Galicia and Portugal, empanadas are prepared similar to a large pie which is then cut into pieces to make it a portable and hearty meal for people at work. The fillings for the Galician and Portuguese empanadas are usually either with tuna, sardines, or chorizo, but can also contain pork. The meat or fish is mixed with a sauce made of tomato, garlic, and onion. When the Portuguese colonization began in Brazil and a large number of Galician immigrants came to Latin America, the empanadas also become popular in those areas.

Not only were empanadas introduced to Brazil and Indonesia by the Portuguese, it was also introduced to Hispanic America and the Philippines by the Spanish colonizers. However, empanadas in Latin America, the Philippines, and Indonesia have various fillings.  For example, Mexican empanadas can be a dessert or breakfast treat, and tend to contain a variety of sweetened fillings which change drastically from region to region; these include pumpkin, yams, sweet potato, and cream, as well as a wide variety of fruit fillings. Meat, cheese, and vegetable fillings are less common in some states, but still well-known and eaten fairly regularly. Depending on local preferences and particular recipes, the dough can also vary.

Since it’s the season to eat, I thought I would share one of my favorite empanada recipes with you.  Depending on how you like your spice level, I added extra jalapenos to my chorizo and queso recipe topped with a jalapeno sauce.  If you’re not a fan of spice, then I would recommend a mild chorizo and don’t add the jalapenos to the filling.  Either way, you’ll fall in love with this easy recipe.

Wine Pairing:   Grand Cuvee Brut Rose

Mouthwatering Chorizo & Queso Empanadas Recipe

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Category: Food & Drink, Recipes & Chefs

Servings: 24 empanadas

Mouthwatering Chorizo & Queso Empanadas Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 lb. Mexican style fresh chorizo
  • 3 cups or 12 ounces of Oaxaca cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • jalapeno slices (optional)
  • 1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 egg yolk, plus 1 tablespoon water whisked together to use as egg wash to brush on empanadas


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium low heat, add the diced onions and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the chorizo from the casings, break it up in chunks and add it to the onions. Cook the chorizo on medium heat until its fully cooked; stir frequently to help break up the pieces. Let the chorizo cool down completely before using.
  3. Mix the grated mozzarella with the queso fresco.
  4. Remove 1 pie crust from pouch; unroll on cutting board. With rolling pin, roll out crust until 18 inches in diameter. With 2 1/2 to 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut 12 rounds from pie crust.
  5. Working with 1 dough round at a time, top each with a spoonful of chorizo and one teaspoon of cheese mix on to the center. For extra spice, add slices of fresh jalapenos.
  6. Moisten the edges of dough with water, fold dough over and press with fingers to seal. Use fork to create design around edge. Place on cookie sheet, close together but not touching.
  7. Brush tops lightly with egg mixture.
  8. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly heated in center.

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  • Reply Lauren December 28, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    I need to try these with the jalepeño slices! 🙂 that’ll be something I add next time I make empanadas!

    • Reply Lala Castro December 28, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Sooooooo good and spicy! 🙂

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