An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Empanadas Verdes

Tiny pies filled with mashed plantains and cheese.

Filling Ingredients
1 medium plantains (green)
1/2 medium red onion (cut in 1/4-inch strips)
cheese ((any cheese that does well with heat like Queso Fresco or mozzarella))
Masa (dough) Ingredients
3 cups flour ((plus more for sprinkling and dusting))
1/4 cup butter ((the colder the better))
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (with ice)
oil (for frying)

Filling Directions

  1. Boil the plantain.
  2. While the plantain is boiling, sauté the onion in olive oil until caramelized.
  3. Set onions aside.
  4. When the plantain is fork-tender, drain the water and reserve the liquid.
  5. Mash the plantain, adding the liquid as necessary (it should be the consistency of mashed potatoes).
  6. Add olive oil and salt to taste and set aside.
  7. Set cheese to the side along with mashed plantains and onions.

Masa (dough) Directions

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Cut the butter/lard into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients.
  3. With your hands, work the butter into the flour until the batter is uniformly like bread crumbs.
  4. Add the cream and water.
  5. Keep mixing and kneading until well mixed, adding flour or more ice water as needed.
  6. It should make a nice dough ball.
  7. Divide the dough in half and refrigerate one half while you work with the other half.
  8. Don’t overwork the dough, or the butter will melt and change the consistency and texture.

Empanada Directions

  1. Grab a small piece of dough and make a ball.
  2. Flour your workspace and roll the ball out thin to the size of a softball.
  3. Fill with a tablespoon or so of filling.
  4. Add a bit of cheese and onions in the center.
  5. Fold the dough over to make a half-circle and crimp the edges with a fork.
  6. Repeat this process with all the remaining dough and filling.
  7. Heat oil for frying in a large pot.
  8. Fry empanadas until golden brown.
Meal Type: Lunch, Dinner, Snack
Food group: Vegetables, Dairy, Grains
Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall