picadillo empanadas


Picadillo Empanadas of the Immaculate Conception

Picadillo Empanadas of the Immaculate Conception

Empanadas de Picadillo de la Inmaculada Concepción

Recipe Yield

15 medium empanadas

Cooking time

1 hour 5 minutes

Rate this recipe

3.84 from 6 votes


For the dough:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz, about 185 g cream cheese or fresh nata at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds

For the picadillo (makes about 4 cups):

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 lb pork shoulder or butt or combination of pork, beef and veal, ground
  • 3/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes pureed, or about 2 cups tomato puree
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup Manzilla olives chopped

To Prepare

To make the dough:

  • Beat the cream cheese with the butter in a mixer at medium speed, until it is creamy. Gently add the flour and salt and continue mixing for a minute more. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate from 15 minutes up to 24 hours.
  • After refrigerating, sprinkle flour over the countertop and roll out half the dough until its about 1/4 inch thick. For medium sized empanadas, cut out rounds of 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Continue until all of the dough is used.
  • Grease a baking sheet with butter. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the picadillo filling into the center of each round. Brush the edges of the round with the beaten egg. Fold a side of the circle over the filling across the other side. Press with your fingers as you close. Without breaking the dough, press with a fork over the edges to seal and make a design.
  • Place the empanadas on the baking sheet. When you fill the baking sheet, lightly brush their tops with the lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake the empanadas anywhere from 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops have a golden tan and dough is cooked through. Serve hot.

To make the picadillo:

  • Heat olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for a couple of minutes, until it becomes translucent and soft. Incorporate chopped garlic and saute for about a minute until it becomes fragrant. Incorporate the meat and the salt and let it cook for about 8 minutes, until cooked and lightly browned.
  • Pour in tomato puree and let it season, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes, until it has deepened its color, thickened in consistency and lost the raw flavor. Pour in the chicken broth or water, cumin, cloves and cinnamon. Stir well and let it cook 15 minutes more.
  • Add the raisins, almond and olives, mix well and taste for seasoning. Cook for 5 more minutes. If needed, add more salt. The filling should be nice and moist.
  • Just remember, once it cools, it will dry a little more as it will absorb the juices. Turn off the heat. You can make the filling up to two days ahead of time, let it cool, cover and refrigerate.


14comments inPicadillo Empanadas of the Immaculate Conception

  1. Maria Teresa Escobar

    Apr 10

    Me encantan las empanadas y esta es una exquisita receta.Espero poder prepararlas corr3ctamente y disfrutarlas con la familia,en el fin de semana.
    Mil gracias Pati,Yo siempre veo todos tus programas cuando salen en TV y hasta he grabado tus episodios.
    Eres una magnífica Chef,hermosa y talentosa.( Y me encanta ver cuando cocina JuJu..)

    Abrazos y éxito siempre.
    Atte.Maria Ateresa Escobar

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 12

      Muchisimas gracias por tus lindas palabras MAria Teresa, abrazos para ti y para tu familia, espero que disfruten las empanadas 🙂

  2. Steve Gutierrez

    Jan 29

    Hola! Wondering if this dough os ok for frying? Was thinking of making some sweet empanadas like sweet potato/pecans or pineapple or is there a different dough recipe?
    Watch your show on Create whenever I get the chance.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Hi Steve, this dough is yummy with a sweet filling because it has some tartness due to the nata. I also have another dough recipe that is perfect for sweet empanadas, here it is in case you want to try it: https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/five-spice-pecan-plum-empanadas/

  3. David

    Dec 21

    Pati, just curious. Can you tell us more about the “Immaculate Conception” in the title. Is this recipe from a church or where?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 21

      Of course David, in this other post your can read more about this story, have fun! https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/empanadas/

  4. Elizabeth, North Dakota

    Feb 10

    Oh my goodness, Pati! These were the most delicious, rich, sweet and savory empanadas I have ever had! SOOOOO good, thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      Glad to hear you loved them Elizabeth!

  5. Jon & Bry

    Jan 03

    We are making the picadillo tomorrow for tacos. Hola from Austin, TX!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 04

      Hola Jon and Bry in Austin! Enjoy the tacos.

  6. Carolina Peraza

    Dec 09

    Mil gracias, Pati!
    Saludos afectuosos desde el estado de Carolina del Norte…
    Nos gustaría tener la receta de las empanadas de dulce de coco que hacen en Mérida, Yucatán. Sabes cómo preparar el dulce de coco para rellenar las empanadas?

    1. Pati

      Dec 22

      Espero suibir esta receta pronto!

  7. Chef Cesar A. Ramos del Campo

    Dec 06

    I prepare this empanadas and are to die for
    Thanks Pati

    1. Pati

      Dec 06

      Thank YOU Cesar!

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