Sardine Empanadas

Sardine Empanadas

Empanadas de Sardina 
20 Empanadas
Pati Jinich
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Empanadas, fish, pati's mexican table, sardines
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Sardine Empanadas from Pati's Mexican Table, Season 7, Episode 7 "La Paz: The Heart of Baja Sur"


  • 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.

27 comments on “Sardine Empanadas

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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 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 😉

  4. 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. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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. 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.

  9. 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. 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 😉

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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!