How to make empanadas from Colombia (recipe)

January 9, 2013 at 9:00 am 2 comments

empanadas from Colombia

Celina’s empanadas from Colombia … mmm!

Celina is a mother to two sponsored children in Colombia, and for her, empanadas are her livelihood. She took out a loan through her mothers group to start a business selling empanadas and coffee. (CFCA serves more than 22,000 sponsored children and elderly in Colombia.)

Celina used the income from her business to purchase her first home.

Celina shares her recipe with us, and we invite you to try her delicious empanadas. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Servings: Makes approximately 10 six-inch empanadas.


      • 3 cups corn flour (plus a little more for kneading)
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup cold water
      • 5 eggs (scrambled)
      • 5 potatoes (cooked and smashed)
      • 2 onions (chopped)
      • 3 tomatoes (chopped)
      • 8 oz. meat (cooked beef or chicken)
      • 8 oz. rice (cooked)
      • 4 oz. peas* (cooked) *optional
      • 4 oz. shortening
      • 16 oz. (roughly) Canola oil


1. In a bowl, mix the water, eggs, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, meat, rice and peas. Set mixture aside.

empanadas from Colombia

2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt.

3. Cut the shortening into the flour mix with a mixer or two butter knives. Mix until dough is formed.

5. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.

6. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Tip: Dough can be frozen and used later.

7. After dough has set for 1 hour in refrigerator, place dough on lightly floured surface and flatten with a rolling pin until dough is less than 1 inch thick.

8. Cut the dough into medium-size pieces, and place a spoonful of the liquid ingredients in the middle of the dough. Fold the dough in half and pinch the ends together using a fork.

empanadas from Colombia

9. Heat oil in a deep skillet.

empanadas from Colombia

10. Once oil has been heated, cook empanada for about eight minutes, or until surface is crispy.

empanadas from Colombia

11. Place cooked empanadas on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

12. Cool, serve and enjoy!

Related links

‘Moving on up': Colombian mother buys first home

Entry filed under: Around the World with CFCA, cfca, christian foundation for children and aging, Recipes, South America. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Suzanne McAvoy  |  January 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you so much for your recipe for empanadas! I am so happy to be a part of CFCA and my sponsored child is in Columbia also. His Mom is wonderful also and is learning to do alot too. I love to read stories about all of the good things that CFCA does, how blessed me and my 2 sons are to be a part of CFCA.

  • 2. Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)  |  January 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    So glad you liked the recipe, Suzanne! I hope it makes you feel closer to your sponsored child to see some of the food from his country. Thanks so much for your kind words, and we’re blessed to have you and your family in the CFCA community!

    ~Shanxi, online content manager


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Christian Foundation
for Children and Aging
1 Elmwood Avenue
Kansas City, Kansas 66103

1.800.875.6564 | 913.384.6500

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