Are you in the mood for something sweet, savory, and packed with flavor? Look no further than these delectable sweet potato empanadas! As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I am proud to share this recipe that blends the flavors of both cultures.
With their satisfyingly crunchy exterior and warm, velvety filling, these empanadas are the perfect way to impress your dinner guests or simply treat yourself to a delicious snack. Whether you prefer them baked or fried, these hand pies deliver a delicious taste experience.
And the best part? They’re easy to make! With just a handful of ingredients and simple instructions, anyone can whip up a batch of sweet potato empanadas in no time. So why not indulge in these irresistible treats tonight? Follow me as I walk you through how to make them step-by-step.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you a fan of sweet potatoes and all things baked and fried? Then you’re in for a treat with this Sweet Potato Empanadas recipe! These hand pies are an irresistible combination of flaky pie dough and a delicious sweet potato filling that is infused with warm spices like cumin and cinnamon, giving them a unique flavor profile that’s both savory and sweet.
Not only do these empanadas offer a mouthwatering taste experience, but they’re also incredibly versatile. Looking for a vegetarian option? Swap the ground beef for black beans or crumbled tofu. Want to add some heat? Add a pinch of curry powder to the mix. The possibilities are endless, making this recipe perfect for entertaining or weeknight meals.
But what truly sets this recipe apart is the ease of preparation. With simple ingredients like unsalted butter, cream cheese, and unbleached all-purpose flour, you can easily whip up a batch of dough that’s perfect for baking or frying those little pockets of goodness. And let me tell you, nothing beats the smell of freshly baked empanadas coming out of the oven.
So what are you waiting for? Dive into this easy Sweet Potato Empanadas recipe today, and treat your taste buds to something extraordinary.
Ingredients for the Empanada dough:
- 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, chilled
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) of cream cheese, chilled
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of cold water
Ingredients for the Sweet Potato Filling:
- 2 cups of sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of purple onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed
The Recipe How-To
Now that we’ve covered the ingredient list in detail, it’s time to get cooking! Follow these step-by-step instructions to create the perfect sweet potato empanadas:
Making the Dough
In a medium bowl, mix 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of sugar.
Add 8 tbsp (1 stick) of chilled unsalted butter and 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of chilled cream cheese, chopped into small pieces.
Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse sand.
Add 3-4 tablespoons of ice cold water one tablespoon at a time, mixing as you go until a dough forms.
Knead dough briefly until smooth, flatten into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
Making the Filling
Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C).
In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with 1 pound of ground beef or black beans if you want to make vegetarian empanadas.
Once the meat is browned, add in 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced into small pieces no larger than ½ inch, cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until tender enough to mash with a fork.
Mash sweet potatoes with a fork or by using an immersion blender until creamy.
Season with 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin or curr.y powder, and any other spices you desire.
Add in canned black beans or any other vegetables like onion, garlic or bell peppers if desired, adjust seasoning if needed then let cool.
Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, preferably to about ⅛ inch thickness (the thickness of a nickel).
Use a 4-inch round cutter or an overturned glass to cut dough, then roll each circle a bit thinner.
Place spoonfuls of the filling on one half of the circle.
Fold the other half over to form a half-moon shape, pressing down lightly to seal edges.
Use a fork to crimp the edges or use an empanada press tool for more professional-looking results.
Brush with egg wash made from 1 beaten egg and 1 tbsp water, or melted butter, then poke a few holes in the top with a fork to allow steam to escape.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange empanadas on top.
Bake at 425
Substitutions and Variations
Looking for ways to switch up the flavors of your Sweet Potato Empanadas? Look no further as I have some great substitutions and variations to share.
– Meat: Don’t feel like using ground beef? No problem! Try swapping it with another protein like ground turkey, shredded chicken, or even mushroom for a vegetarian option. It’s all about personal preference!
– Sweet Potatoes: If you can’t find sweet potatoes or just want to mix it up, try using purple sweet potatoes instead. They’re equally delicious with their own unique flavor profile.
– Sauce: Add a little kick to your empanadas by serving them with a dipping sauce like cilantro lime aioli or chipotle ranch dressing. These sauces complement the spiciness of the dish and give it an extra burst of flavor.
– Cheese: Want to add even more richness to your Sweet Potato Empanadas? Consider stuffing them with cream cheese or mozzarella cheese for a cheesy twist on this classic recipe.
– Curry: For those who love bold, spicy flavors, try adding Indian curry powder and a dash of cumin to your sweet potato filling. You’ll be surprised at how well these flavors complement each other.
– Pie Crust: Give your empanadas a new spin by using store-bought pie crust instead of making your dough from scratch. It can save time without sacrificing taste, making this recipe even easier and more accessible.
These are just some exciting variations that you can try with this recipe. Get creative and make it your own!
Serving and Pairing
Now that your sweet potato empanadas are ready, here’s how you can serve and pair them. These empanadas are the perfect appetizer or snack for your next get-together with family and friends.
1. Serve hot: First things first, serve these empanadas hot out of the oven or fryer; this way, they will be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making for the ideal texture.
2. Pairing with sauce: These sweet potato empanadas pair well with almost any sauce, but I recommend serving them with a homemade cilantro lime dipping sauce or a spicy chipotle dipping sauce.
3. Side dishes: As far as side dishes go, you can’t go wrong with a simple salad of mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing or guacamole dip served with tortilla chips.
4. Wine pairing: If you’re hosting an adult gathering, these empanadas pair beautifully with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. The citrusy notes of the wine complement the savory and slightly sweet flavor of the empanadas perfectly.
5. Presentation: To add some flair to your serving platter, sprinkle some chopped cilantro or chives over the top of the empanadas before serving. It’s a simple yet effective way to make your dish look more attractive and professional.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about serving and pairing these delicious sweet potato empanadas!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
One of the best things about these Sweet Potato Empanadas is that you can make them ahead of time! Prepare the empanadas up to three days in advance and store them in the refrigerator. If you want to save them for a later time, you can freeze the unbaked empanadas for up to two months.
To store the unbaked sweet potato empanadas, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake them, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, simply follow the baking instructions as normal.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat your sweet potato empanadas, simply pop them into the oven at 350°F for 10-12 minutes until heated through. You can also reheat them in the microwave for a quick and easy option.
Whether you’re making these as a make-ahead meal or using leftovers, storing and reheating is just as easy as preparing this delicious empanada recipe!
Tips for Perfect Results
When making Sweet Potato Empanadas, there are some tips you can follow to ensure the best results. Here are a few recommendations that will help you bring out the full potential of this delicious recipe.
First and foremost, take your time when preparing the dough. It is crucial to achieve the right consistency – not too soft or too hard. To achieve this, add cold water slowly to the flour mixture until you get a smooth dough. Kneading the dough is also important to activate the gluten in the flour, but avoid overdoing it as it may make the dough tough.
Another useful tip is to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before using it. This will give it time to rest and firm up, which makes it easier to roll out and shape into empanadas.
When making the filling for your empanadas, make sure you cook the sweet potatoes or potatoes until they’re tender but not overdone. Overcooking can result in mashed potatoes that are too wet, making it difficult to fill and shape the empanadas. Similarly, if using ground beef, cook it until no longer pink and evenly crumbled.
If you’re struggling with sealing your empanadas, try brushing a bit of beaten egg around the edges of the dough before folding and crimping. This will help them stick together and prevent filling from escaping during baking or frying.
When cooking your sweet potato empanadas, make sure you preheat your oven or oil to the correct temperature as specified in the recipe, which can be an important factor in achieving optimal texture and flavor.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavor combinations! The beauty of empanadas is that they can be versatile and customized according to your preferences – whether savory or sweet. Try pairing them with different sauces or dips for added flavor or serving them as hand pies instead of traditional empanadas.
By following these tips, you can elevate your sweet potato empanadas to the next level and create a memorable dish that is sure to impress.
Before you embark on making this delicious sweet potato empanadas recipe, here are some frequently asked questions that may help clear up any doubts or concerns you have. From tips on dough preparation to ingredient substitutions, these FAQ will ensure that you create tasty and successful empanadas every time. So let’s dive in!
Is empanada dough the same as pie dough?
When it comes to empanada dough, there are some key differences compared to pie crust. While frozen pie crust can be a last-minute substitute in a pinch, empanada dough has a softer texture that allows it to absorb the fillings without getting soggy. It’s versatile enough to be used for both baked and fried dishes, making it a popular choice for handheld meals.
Should empanadas be baked or fried?
You can prepare empanadas using two cooking techniques, both of which result in equally delicious treats. If you prefer a healthier option, baking them in the oven is the way to go. Conversely, if you’re pressed for time, frying them is your best bet.
What are sweet empanadas called?
Get ready to indulge in some deliciously sweet and flaky hand pies filled with homemade floral quince jam that boasts a beautiful deep orange color. These pies are known as Empanadas de Membrillo, and they are a delightful treat that you won’t be able to resist.
your experience of cooking Sweet Potato Empanadas with my recipe, and I am sure that you have enjoyed every step of it.
What makes this recipe stand apart is its versatility. You can customize the filling as per your taste preferences or even make vegetarian empanadas by substituting meat for veggies like spinach or cheese. Additionally, these empanadas offer you an easy way to incorporate healthy and delicious sweet potatoes into your diet.
Serve them hot with a side of black bean salad or guacamole, and you have the perfect comfort meal for any occasion. And you know what the best part is? You can quickly reheat them in the oven or microwave to enjoy them again.
So give this recipe a try, and I am confident that it will become a staple in your kitchen. Be sure to share it with your friends and family members so they too can enjoy the deliciousness of Sweet Potato Empanadas.
Sweet Potato Empanadas Recipe
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 lbs jewel yams or 2 1/2 lbs garnet yams
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Dough: Cream the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer at medium speed.
- When well mixed, add the flour and salt in two or three additions and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.
- Turn out the dough and knead a few times to form a cohesive ball.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for at least three hours and up to a few days.
- Filling: Peel the yams and slice them into equal-sized chunks.
- Rinse the yams off and place them in a medium pot with about two inches of cold water.
- Bring to a boil, and then simmer until tender. 15 - 25 minutes depending on the size of the yams.
- When you can slide a knife easily into the yams, remove from heat and drain.
- Add butter, cumin, salt and a few grinds of black pepper and mash together until smooth.
- Chill filling until cool. If you make the filling right after the dough, they will both be ready at the same time, or you can cover and keep in the fridge for a few days.
- Assembly:Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Divide dough in half. Roll out one half to 1/8" thickness. This will be easier if the dough has only chilled for three hours, but if it has been overnight, it is still possible, just a little harder. Do not let the dough set out a room temperature.
- Cut out circles using a 3" biscuit cutter or a glass.
- Place your dough rounds on a cookie sheet, separating layers with waxed paper. Continue with the other dough half. The remainders can be re-rolled once to no ill effect. The dough rounds can be used right away, or kept wrapped in plastic in the fridge for up to two days.
- Place about a teaspoon of filling in a dough round and fold in half. Pinch the edges together to form the empanads. There is no need to seal the edges with anything other than your fingers, although the tines of a fork make an interesting design.
- Place each filled empanada on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat about one inch apart.
- Make the egg wash by beating the egg with the water.
- Brush the egg wash on each pastry being sure to cover the entire empanada.
- Make a small slit in the top of each empanada with a sharp paring knife.
- At this point, I like to chill the empanadas for an additional 10 minutes to be sure that they keep their shape in the oven.
- Bake each tray at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes until they are golden. Cool on racks.
Add Your Own Notes
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.