Sardine Empanadas


Sardine Empanadas

Sardine Empanadas

Empanadas de Sardina 

Recipe Yield

20 Empanadas

Cooking time

1 hour

Rate this recipe

4.34 from 12 votes


  • 1 pound frozen puff pastry
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion chopped
  • 2 cups white button mushrooms cleaned and diced 8 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ripe Roma tomatoes chopped about 1/2 pound
  • 1/2 cup manzanilla olives stuffed with pimientos chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños chopped
  • 2 cans (3-4 ounces) of sardines in oil broken into chunks
  • 2 eggs separated
  • All-purpose flour for rolling out puff pastry

To Prepare

  • Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and let it thaw on your countertop.
  • Heat the oil in a medium casserole or a sauté pan set over medium heat. Once hot, cook the onion for 3 to 4 minutes until it softens. Incorporate the mushrooms, sprinkle in the salt and pepper, and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, until the juices come out and they begin to dry out, and the mushrooms start browning a bit. Add the tomatoes and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until they start breaking down and becoming mushy and soft. Add the olives and jalapeños, mix well, and cook for another minute.
  • Remove from the heat, add the sardines, combine well and set aside.
  • Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks in two small bowls. Use a fork or a whisk to beat them separately.
  • Place the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Lightly sprinkle flour on the countertop and rub some on the rolling pin. Roll out the puff pastry to thinner than 1/4-inch and use a 4-to-5-inch round mold to cut circles. Add a generous tablespoon of the sardine filling in the middle of each round. Brush a bit of the beaten egg white around the edges each round. Fold each one into a half moon shape and press the sides.
  • Using a fork, press the side of the empanada to help seal and decorate it. Brush the egg yolk on top of the empanadas and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Place the empanadas in the oven. Bake anywhere from 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops of the empanadas have puffed and are a shiny golden brown.


43comments inSardine Empanadas

  1. Kels

    Sep 26

    I caught this episode on my local PBS (Detroit) a couple weekends ago and these looked so interesting, as I’ve only had sardines on a cracker.

    I came searching for the recipe and saw all the wonderful reviews. I decided on my next shopping trip to pick up all the ingredients and make them to find out for myself

    These are fantastic! The pop of jalapeno really makes these special! My friends think I’m nuts for even trying this recipe, but I’ll be so excited to report back to them it’s amazing and they need to try it themselves.

    Thank you, Pati! I can’t wait to try more!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 05

      So very glad you liked this empanadas and decided to give them a try Kels, gracias!

  2. Stephanie

    Sep 16

    My father got me eating sardines, too! I used to take them to school for lunch. (Yeah, I wasn’t popular. lol ) Thank you for this recipe. I will definitely try it!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 20

      Hahaha, hope you like them!

  3. Solimar Hillier

    Jun 30

    I will certainly make this. I love sardines!! Thanks for the recipe!!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 03

      My pleasure Solimar, enjoy!

  4. Terry

    Aug 23

    Pati, you. are. a. F-a-b-u-l-o-u-s Chef! I have tried many of your recipes watching your tv show. Every–single–recipe is out of this world! Muy Delicioso! There is not one chef on tv (which I’m familiar with, which I should add) that has a consistent delicious menu of recipes like yourself. You knock it out of the park, (for the lack of a better term) each time I make your dishes! I have become a better cook because of your expertise! Thank you Pati, you are a Rock Star Cook in my recipe collection. Love your sweet personality on tv & never miss an episode!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 05

      This is incredibly sweet of you Terry, thanks so much. Abrazos!

  5. Alex Wilson

    Aug 19

    Wife can’t have gluten so I cooked the filling, put the sardines in a bowl added a squeeze of lemon juice and assembled in a gluten free tortilla (cassava, chickpea, rice…all good). Folded over brushed with evoo and put in oven until light brown (not long). Also good but not really an empanada would be to serve this as a relleno. Gotta be inventive with diet restrictions. Lastly, yours is THE ONLY cooking show I watch. You are my northstar.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 05

      Alex thanks so much for the kind words! An bravo for taking care of your wife’s diet needs 🙂

  6. Joy

    Dec 28

    Hi Pati! Love your show. I was just wondering, what happens if you use sardines in water, instead of oil? My father’s a heart patient, so it might be healthier for him.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      Go ahead Joy, sardines in water work as well. Un abrazo to you and your dad!

  7. Linda J

    Dec 04

    Can’t wait to try these – I haven’t had sardines since my year in Costa Rica where they were served for Easter dinner!
    They sound delicious. Thanks for showing us something so different.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      Thanks to you for following Linda, un abrazo!

  8. Regina

    Jan 26

    I love sardines and plan on making these this weekend. My mouth is already watering! Any idea how well the empanadas freeze? I would love to be able to make a batch and have on hand for those spur of the moment cravings. Thank you Pati!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 01

      These actually freeze pretty well Regina, either once baked or before baking (which I would prefer, then thaw and bake and they come out like fresh) 😉

  9. Kathy

    Dec 24

    I saw your show where you prepared these, and had to try them. Unfortunately, both of my kids hate sardines so I substituted ground pork and did everything else the same. They were still delicious! And so much fun to make, both kids join in to help whenever I make them. Thank you so much for the great recipe!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 24

      So glad you guys liked the empanadas Kathy, the pork filling sounds like a great option 😉

  10. Keiko stong

    Aug 12

    It’s good though a little fishy. Of cause it’s a fish recipe 😆. My husband I enjoyed it very much with beer.
    I was going to share it with my son in law, but he really doesn’t like sardines, so my husband and I will enjoy them all.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 12

      Sardines have a natural fishy flavor in my opinion, that is why I love them! Thanks Keiko, enjoy 😉

  11. Ginger.

    May 09

    I saw this recipe on TV by chance several months ago. I have made it consistently since then. It is my son’s favorite. Today I am making it again. We love it so much! I never imagined I would enjoy sardines so much in a recipe.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 11

      Thanks Ginger, glad to hear you boy likes them 😉

  12. Anna

    Apr 25

    Saw on your cooking show and had to make, my first empanadas, easier than I thought! My friends and I loved them.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 27

      Thank you Anna! Empanadas can be a bit intimidating at first, especially if you are making the dough from scratch, but if you use frozen puff pastry, they can be done easily and quick 😉

  13. Teresa

    Apr 06

    It’s Lent season and I’m making these for dinner on Friday. What sides do you recommend to serve with the empanadas and what sauce would you recommend to drizzle on top of them?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 06

      Hola Teresa! These empanadas are so intense in flavor that I don’t think they need a sauce, but I would serve them with a green salad that has a very subtle dressing. Enjoy!

  14. Jason

    Jan 20

    We watched your video and discovered we had all of the ingredients in the house! I only had a couple of fresh jalapeños on hand, so we pickled them up real quick. The filling is delicious! They’re in the oven right now, can’t wait. This would also be great just with some crusty bread. I think I’ll have it as an option on the table with the cheese and meat spread this Xmas. Yum. Love your videos.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 21

      That’s a great idea for your Christmas spread, Jason. Enjoy!

  15. Savana

    Jan 19

    First off, I love your videos. Your presentation is always from the heart. You cook with such gusto and joy, one can not want to try all your recipes!!
    These gems are in the oven, we can’t wait to eat these.
    Made 18 out of my puff pastry dough. Did not cut out into rounds, made triangles and rectangle shapes. We are at south Texas enjoying lots of Gulf shrimp, but anxious to try something new.
    Ok, finally out of the oven… AMAZING!!! What a wonderful treat!! All the flavors meld so we’ll together and no fishy taste!! Cook the full time, or longer depending on your oven, to keep pastry extra crispy. For the olive oil, sardine oils and butter in pastry needs time to crisp extra nicely.
    Will definitely be keeping this in my appetizer rotation. I can’t wait for my friends to enjoy, too
    Thank you Patti, you and your recipes are a delight!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 20

      Thrilled to hear the empanadas will be in your rotation, Savana!

  16. Rebecca Moore

    Oct 05

    Good Afternoon Pati,

    I have never really been a fan of sardines but I have to tell you these things are out of this world.
    I just made these as a snack for my family and we all loved them.
    Thank you for sharing your talent

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 07

      I’m so glad you gave sardines and these empanadas a try, Rebecca!

  17. Angelica Santoyo-Avila

    Sep 29

    Hola Pati, these empanadas look delicious. What would you recommend to substitute for the mushrooms. Sadly, I’m allergic to them, but I would love to try this recipe. Thank you.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 11

      No worries…this recipe will taste great without the mushrooms too. Angelica, you can either just skip them, or substitute them for another vegetable of your choice.

      1. Angelica Santoyo-Avila

        Oct 18

        Thank you Pati!

  18. Mark Ikeda

    Apr 27

    Hi Pati

    Is there any chance that the recipe should call for 2 pounds of puff pastry instead of 1? I seemed to have finished the recipe with extra filling (not that that is a big hardship), and not enough pastry.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 02

      I use 1-lb…you might want to add a bit more filling to the empanadas, Mark. I add a generous tablespoon to each empanada. Or just enjoy the extra filling 😉

  19. robert albertson

    Mar 17

    I would like to find emponadias. my x mother inlaw was Mexican and she use to make them for me all the time it is a meat pie.

  20. Linda C. Holdahl

    Jan 14

    Can’t wait to make these! We saw them on your tv show. They look so yummy! Will let you know how they turn out. Made your lasagna- also you featured in your show. My husband and I both agree- one of the best we have ever had. Signed up for your Hola newsletter.. can’t wait for more recipes. Muchas Gracias Pati!

    1. Pati

      Jan 14

      I hope you love all of the recipe, Linda! And thank you for giving them a try.

  21. Sandy

    Nov 05

    Yum! As a child, my mother served me sardine salad sandwiches: sardines in oil drained and broken up with chopped pimento stuffed green olives, chopped tomato and scallion; all mixed with mayonnaise and served on bread or toast (depending on the time of year). This sounds like home to me!

    1. Pati

      Nov 06

      What a great memory, Sandy. Thank you for sharing.

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