Empanadas are fun to make. You can play around with the ingredients in hundreds of different ways and there’s really no official way to make them. It’s one of those dishes where you can just play jazz in the kitchen and see what you come up with.
You can make them with chicken, beef, pork or other meats. I happen to like the way pork tastes inside of empanadas, which is why I went with it in this recipe. Pork provides a savory flavor that really works well and provides protein to help you feel satisfied.
To get the flavor of the pork to be just right it’s important to add in the essential complementary ingredients. For these empanadas I went with garlic, chili flakes, oregano, and a little salt and pepper. The chili flakes give it a little bit of a kick so if you don’t like spicy dishes you can leave them out.
Ground pork works best because it’s stuffed inside the empanada dough so when you take a bite you don’t have to bite through pieces of pork. I recommend that whichever meat you end up using you go with ground because of the way it stuffs so well.
Getting the dough right is probably the most important part of this recipe. Empanadas have a very specific feel to them and if you get that wrong then the recipe just doesn’t work. I found that almond flour works best to get the right consistency, but you need to add a few additional flours to make sure that it comes out just right. A combination of sesame seed flour and tapioca flour helps to offset the almond flour for awesome results.
You’ll know you got the dough right when your empanadas turn out with a thick crust that is still flaky and contains a lot of flavor. As an added bonus these empanadas come with plenty of fiber built in because almond flour is much higher in fiber than all-purpose flour.
You may be wondering why there’s hard boiled eggs in these empanadas. Pork and eggs doesn’t really sound like a match, but one day I had some hard-boiled eggs on hand and added them in. They made them taste so good I can’t imagine having these without them.
The black olives were a late addition, and they do a great job of accentuating the flavor of the pork and finishing off these unique empanadas. Fry these up in a little olive oil and you’ve got one seriously delicious Paleo meal on your hands.
- For the dough
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup sesame seed flour
- ¾ cup tapioca flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- For the filling
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 black olives, pitted and chopped
- 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cubed
- salt and black pepper to taste
- For brushing
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 1 egg white, beaten
- To make the dough, in a medium bowl combine the almond flour, sesame flour, tapioca flour, salt and baking powder. In another bowl whisk eggs with olive oil. Add egg mixture to almond flour mixture and mix well until combine. The dough should be thick but not sticky. If the dough is too sticky add 1 tablespoon of almond flour at a time until you get the right consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground pork and cook for 10 minutes or until browned. Add the chili flakes and oregano and mix well to combine. Add the chopped eggs and olives and gently toss to combine. Season to taste and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 8 balls. Place the balls between two pieces of baking paper and roll out each ball to a 6 inch round. Add 2 tablespoons of filing to the middle of each round. Brush the edges with egg white and fold in half. Use a fork to press and seal the edges closed. Place the empanadas on the prepared baking sheet and brush them with egg yolk. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with your favorite salsa.