clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Colombian Empanadas

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 20 to 22 empanadas 1x


  • 2 large russet or baking potatoes
  • Water (Enough to cook the potatoes)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying (Vegetable, canola, corn, sunflower)


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup (90g) red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (100g) Roma tomatoes, finelly chopped (You can remove the skin and seeds if you want)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (You can also use ½ cup of green onion, finely chopped)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (25g) cilantro, finely chopped (Optional)
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin


  • 1 lb ground beef (You can also use cooked shredded beef, chicken or pork)


  • 3 cups (720 ml) hot water
  • 1 chicken bouillon (Optional)
  • ½ tbsp food coloring or all purpose seasoning with color (Any brand)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened (You can also use oil)
  • 3 cups (450 g) precooked corn meal (To make arepas, any brand)


  1. Peel and dice the potatoes. Cook them in enough water and with the salt over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. When ready, drain them and mash them with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.
  3. Guiso: Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, red bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, salt, cilantro (if using) and cumin. Cook the guiso for about 5 minutes or until it thickens.
  4. Filling: Add the beef to the guiso and cook until browned.
  5. Now add the mashed potatoes and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Masa: Place the hot water in a large bowl, add the chicken bouillon, food coloring, salt and butter. Stir well.
  7. Add the precooked corn meal and stir. Once the corn meal has dissolved, start kneading the dough until it is smooth. If the dough is too soft, you can let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  8. Form the empanadas: Form a small ball with the dough, flatten it with a tortilla press of the bottom of a small pot to make a circle. Make sure to cover the ball of dough with plastic to keep it from sticking to the press or pot.
  9. Add about 1 tbsp of the filling into the circle. Fold it in half to create a half moon. Cut the edges with a glass or small bowl to form the empanada.
  10. Deep fry the empanadas in hot oil that has been preheated to 350ºF (180ºC) until they are golden brown. About 7-10 minutes.
  11. Drain the empanadas on paper towels before serving.