Empanada/ hand pie/ meat pie tips and tricks?

I’m participating in a meat pie cook off this coming weekend and am thinking of making pollo a la brasa stuffed hand pies (easier to dip in the white and green sauces and good presentation instead of a slice or scoop of a larger pie.) I’ll marinate the chicken Friday and grill the chicken Saturday morning, then make the filling and assemble, cook just prior to leaving.

An empanada dough seems like the best fit to me instead of a traditional American pie dough. Baked since I’ll have to drive 30-40 minutes with them and know fried just wouldn’t hold up as well.

Does anyone have a tried and true Empanada dough recipe and have any tips or tricks for both making and transporting? It’s all just for fun but it’s my first year participating and want to make a good show of it. :slight_smile:


The few times I’ve made them I’ve used commercial puff pastry, which makes them quite special. Good warm or even room temperature. I do use an egg wash and crimp them very well with a fork so they can survive the baking process without splitting open. Good luck! I will say people LOVE them and they disappear fast. I just used a Piccadillo filling.

Sounds yummy but store bought crusts aren’t allowed- I don’t think I have time (or to be honest… the patience,) to do puff pastry from scratch this week!!! I do love picadillo but there are quite a few participants so I need something unexpected!

Gotcha @WeezieD! Best of luck and have fun with it. Please be sure to crimp well!

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I’m going to like this! I remember a post that included " Jamaican Beef Patties" several years ago. Not sure which site. I think it was here. .

Anyway, my favorite tip was using Salteña empanada wrappers for baking.

But no store bought crusts.

For later!

Stumbled on this. Sort of old, but I thought it was interesting.

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I’ve used this recipe before. I typically freeze them before I deep fry. Delicious.

I use a small winco hand roller to roll them out. It’s got wheels on each end of the handle that are small and smaller. It costs like 3 dollars.

The dough is not difficult to prepare at all. It will keep in your freezer for several weeks if need be.

Folding the edges is probably the most challenging part - but you’ll get it down after a few ugly ones.


I like browsing Epicurious. I like the fact that the recipes have ratings. I also carefully read the notes left by other cooks, to see what tweaks they think are necessary. If enough people pile on, I’ll use there tweak and I’m generally happy with the result.

Good luck in the contest. Take some photos, and let us know how it turns out!

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re transport, I’ve been successful transporting hot foods to an event by heating bricks in the oven, then wrapping them in toweling and placing in the bottom of an ice chest, making a bed for your wrapped hot food.


I already have the ice chest handy but the bricks are a great suggestion- thank you!

Thanks for the link- have you ever tried baking them? I don’t think fried will hold up as long as I need them to.

Thanks for the links… but I shouldn’t have read them before lunch! I’m absolutely starving now!

Btw, that’s the first time I’ve even seen a Chowhound page in a few years and all of those ads are horrible! Don’t miss it there one bit!


Sorry! What ads? I didn’t notice! Is it my brain or my software?

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We didn’t love them baked so this pan of them will be fried- then we have to decide and do it- we’re supposed to be there in 3 1/2 hours with ready to eat food and not be covered in flour!

The filling is awesome, though- totally nailed it. :+1:


Looks good! Good luck today!

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Thank you! It’ll be fun no matter what. :grin:

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This is exciting!

When you’re ready; Which recipe did you end up using?

You also nailed the almost impossible (for me) turning/twisting of the closure. Anyone can come up with a great filling, but not your lovely crimp!


Agreed, the edging is beautiful.


I used j89k’s link to Epicurious in the end. It was easy to handle and fried up nicely.

I didn’t win but ours was the only platter empty at the end of the night (and I made A LOT of them! ) so they were clearly liked by several people. Some had never had Peruvian food and liked the flavors (the sauces were a hit,) so that was cool. It’s not a super foodie crowd- hot rods, kustom kulture, racing and vintage houses/clothing/housewares are what ties us all together.

It was a lot of fun- looking for the next get together there!