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Empanada Dough Recipe - Masa para Empanadas

User Rating 4 Star Rating (8 Reviews)


Rolling out dough for empanadas
Lara Hata/Photodisc/Getty Images

This recipe produces a sweet dough that contrasts perfectly with savory fillings. Empanada dough is less flaky than pie crust (although you can substitute frozen pie crust dough in a pinch) - it has a tender texture that soaks up the filling.

This dough can be used for baked or fried empanandas. If you are going to fry the empanadas, omit the egg yolk and roll the dough out slightly thinner (less than 1/4" thickness).


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, chilled
  • 12 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 3/4 - 1 cup water
  • 2 egg yolks


  1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in the salt and the sugar.

  2. Blend the butter and shortening (or lard) into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or with two knives, until fairly well blended.

  3. Whisk the egg yolks wiht 3/4 cups water. Stir in the 1/2 cup of water/egg mixture, a little at a time until the dough starts to come together smoothly. Keep kneading the dough, adding more water/egg a little bit at a time as necessary (you made need a few tablespoons extra of water), until the dough is smooth. The dough will seem a bit shaggy until it has thoroughly chilled.

  4. Cover the dough with saran wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. (Dough can also be kept overnight (or a couple of days) in the refrigerator) Dough should be soft and smooth, and not elastic - if you poke a hole in it with your finger, the indentation should remain.

  5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and roll into desired thickness.

  6. Makes enough dough for 10-12 large empanadas.
[blockquote shade=grur]Guide's Response to User Reviews
"Thank you for the comment about using a pie crust. I agree that it is not as good as empanada dough. If you want to make small appetizer-size empanadas and want to deep fry them instead of bake them, thinly rolled out pie crust does work well. Sometimes puff pastry (masa hojaldre) can also be used for baked empanadas, as in this recipe for ham and cheese empanadas." - Marian Blazes, Guide to South American Food

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Don't have shortening?, Member amdale0

I REALLY wanted empanadas but I live in Copenhagen, where it's hard to find shortening or lard. So I substituted with ghee, a type of soft clarified butter used in Indian cooking. It worked PERFECTLY! The dough was soft and flaky and just delicious. So if you find yourself without shortening, but near an Asian or Indian food store, try it out! I substituted it exactly - IE 12 Tblsp ghee in place of 12 Tblsp shortening.

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

See all 8 reviews

Related Video
How to Make Empanada Dough
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