Appetizers & Snacks, Lunch, Recipes

Ham and Veggie Empanadas with Cranberry Sauce

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These Ham and Veggie Empanadas with Cranberry Sauce are seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce.

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

It has been years since I’ve made empanadas. The last time I made them I bought the dough pre-made at a Mexican grocery store in the bay area that is made specifically for empanadas. Well, I don’t live close to that store anymore and anytime I have searched for them in my neighborhood, I can’t seem to find them. My only option is to purchase pre-made pie crusts, but it’s just not the same thing. Not even close.

So I searched the interwebs and a few cookbooks and finally found one I liked. It came from Margarita Carrillo Arronte’s Mexico Cookbook. It was exactly the empanada dough that I was hoping for. Soft like a bread with a slightly flaky texture when torn apart, but not breaking apart like a pie crust. It held the filling well without letting any of the liquid from the filling seep out when they were baking.

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

The ingredients for the dough were simple enough that I didn’t have to go buy anything else. You probably already have most of these in your fridge and pantry too. This recipe gave me enough dough to make 20 empanadas.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or ½ tsp. table salt)
  • ½ cup butter, cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten

The one ingredient I did change was the sea salt because I didn’t have it. Instead, I used slightly more than 1/2 teaspoon of regular table salt.

To start, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add the butter, eggs, and milk. Knead the dough until it forms a solid ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes.

If you can’t make the empanadas right away, it’s okay. You can also refrigerate the dough overnight. When you are ready to use it, bring it out of the fridge and let it rest 10-15 minutes before rolling it out.

Another thing you can do ahead of time is to prepare some cranberry sauce if you don’t have any. It’s super simple.

For the cranberry sauce, I used:

  • 1 (12 oz) bag cranberries
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 small piloncillo cones

Bring all ingredients to a low boil in a 2-quart size pot. Stir often until all the piloncillo has dissolved. Continue simmering on low until most of the cranberries have popped. This should take about 20-30 minutes.

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

Set the cranberry sauce aside and start making the empanada filling.

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

For the ham and veggie filling, you will need:

  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup asparagus, diced
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups ham, diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 oz chile sauce of your choice

In a large pan, heat olive oil and cook onion, asparagus, and mushrooms until the asparagus is almost fully cooked through. Add the ham, soy sauce and chile sauce. I used salsa negra from Lola’s Mercadito. Continue stirring all ingredients well until the sauces are fully distributed. This should take about 12 minutes total. Allow the filling to cool before filling the empanada circles.

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

Take out the empanada dough from the fridge and let it rest on the counter for about 10-15 minutes before cutting and rolling it out.

Preheat the oven to 450°F with the rack positioned in the center of the oven.

Cut the dough into 20 even pieces. One by one, roll them into a ball, flatten them between two sheets of parchment paper with either a tortilla presser, or a rolling pin. I found it easier to start with a tortilla presser, then rolling it out a little more to make them wider. They should be roughly close to 1/8” thick. A little thinner than that is okay. 

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

Coat the edge of half a circle with the beaten egg, fill the circle with about 1 ½ tablespoons of the filling, fold it in half and pinch the edges shut. When you are all done filling them, seal them completely by pressing the tips of a small fork over the edges.

Brush them with the remaining egg wash before baking.

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

Bake as many as eight at a time on a parchment-lined large baking sheet for 15-17 minutes at 450°F.

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

Once they’re done baking, remove them from the baking sheet and let them cool off on a cooling rack.

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

Serve them with any salsa or leftover cranberry sauce if you have some.

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

 

A great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers is to make empanadas. These empanadas are filled with ham and vegetables that have been seasoned with salsa negra and soy sauce. They go great with leftover cranberry sauce, too!

 

 

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Ham and Veggie Empanadas

Servings 20 Empanadas
Author Stephanie Chavez

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ cup butter, cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten

For the empanada filling

  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup asparagus, diced
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups ham, diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 ounces chile sauce of your choice

Instructions

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add the butter, eggs, and milk. Knead dough until it forms a solid ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Prepare the ham and veggie filling

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil and cook onion, asparagus, and mushrooms until the asparagus is almost fully cooked through. Add the ham, soy sauce and chile sauce. I used salsa negra from Lola’s Mercadito
  2. Continue stirring all ingredients well until the sauces are fully distributed. This should take about 12 minutes total. Allow the filling to cool before filling the empanada circles. 
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F with the rack positioned in the center of the oven.

Roll, fill, and seal the empanadas

  1. Cut the dough into 20 even pieces. One by one, roll them into a ball, flatten them between two sheets of parchment paper with either a tortilla presser, or a rolling pin. I found it easier to start with a tortilla presser, then rolling it out a little more to make them wider. They should be roughly close to 1/8” thick. A little thinner than that is okay.
  2. Coat the edge of half a circle with the egg wash, fill the circle with about 1 ½ tablespoons of the filling, fold it in half and pinch the edges shut. When you are all done filling them, seal them completely by using the tips of a small fork to press the edges shut. Brush them with the egg wash before baking.

  3. Bake as many as eight at a time on a parchment-lined large baking sheet for 15-17 minutes. Once they're done baking, remove them from the baking sheet and let them cool off on a cooling rack. Serve with any salsa or leftover cranberry sauce if you have some.

Recipe Notes

If you can't make the empanadas right away, it's okay. You can also refrigerate the dough overnight. When you are ready to use it, bring it out of the fridge and let it rest 10-15 minutes before rolling it out.