Mini Beef and Sausage Empanadas (Empanaditas de Carne y Chorizo)

Panamanians love empanadas for any meal, for breakfast, snack or as a side dish. Sometimes they have sweet fillings like pinapple or mango. They are commonly sold by street vendors for un medio balboa (fifty cents). These versatile pockets of goodness can be served for causal dinner or parties.
A Pananimanian wife prepares her estufa lorena
(mud clay stove) to make empanadas.

Emoabaduatas de Carne y Chorizo
1/2 pound of ground beef
2 tablespoons of oil with achiote
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 spicy sausages (1 cup), diced 
1/2 cup white whine
1/4 cup raisins 
1/4 cup green olives, sliced
1 tablespoon corn meal
1 1/2 sticks cold butter 
1 3/4 - 2 cups flour
1 egg beaten

  1. Sauté the ground beef in the achiote oil until all the pinkness is gone from the meat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and green onion. Sauté until the onions are transparent. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Mix in the olives, sausage, white wine and raisins. Cook until almost all of the liquid is gone.
  4. Add the corn meal with 3 tablespoons of water and mix well. remove the filling from the stove and allow to cool. The filling may be refrigerated until you are ready to use it.
  5. To make the dough, in a bowl use a fork to cut the cold butter into the flour, by adding the flour a half cup at a time.
  6. When the mixture is small crumbs add a tablespoon of cold water and mix the dough by hand. Continue adding tablespoons of cold water until a cohesive dough is formed. do not kneed the dough.
  7. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.
  8. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut into 3 inch wide circles with a knife or biscuit cutter.
  9. Fill one side of the circles with a spoonful of filling. Fold the circle in half and press the edges closed with a fork.
  10. Brush the empanadas with egg. Then bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees fareinheight or until brown. 
This recipe came from La Prensa, one of the three Panamanian news papers. It was published in the La Mesa section on June, 7 2008.
I am working on writing up how to cook some of the classic Panamanian dishes. Food is very much a part of culture. If you want your own little slice of Panama try some of the recipes here Recipes from Panama.


  1. They look like a lot of work but worth it. Mmm...making me so hungry.

  2. Oh, I can't wait for more! Great photo...and recipe!

  3. I have never made traditional empanadas...maybe its time to give it a try!

  4. Panamanian people is so important because these kind of food is so delicious, I have been in Panama ans I have eaten some delicious dish as Tortillas!22dd