Goat Cheese Empanadas

Goat Cheese Empanadas

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hannah McClure  Empanadas are a fried or baked savory turnover with an unclear origin, with claims of originating in Spain, Persia, and Argentina among others. However, for me, they are a trip to the West Side Market in Cleveland, Ohio, and a need to figure out how to make these delicious savory hand pies. What better savory combination than one with potatoes and cheese? Throw in a little spinach, and you’re in for one tasty treat!  

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Empanada Ddough: 

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening  
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3 tablespoons goat milk 
  • 1 egg whisked with water for egg wash 

Empanada Filling: 

  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 medium potatoes 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped 
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn  
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/2 cup spinach, chopped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat milk feta cheese 


  • 1 ripe avocado 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro 
  • 1 lime, juiced 
  • Pinch of sea salt 

Making Empanadas Starts with the Filling! 

  1. In a skillet, heat olive oil on a medium high heat. Add in potatoes with salt and pepper as desired and cook for about 10 minutes. Be sure to stir often so the potatoes do not scorch on any side.  
  2. Add in minced garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. 
  3. Add in corn and chili powder and continue to cook till corn and potatoes are cooked through. 
  4. Toss in chopped spinach and cook an additional 2 minutes.  
  5. Remove from heat and evenly spread feta over the top of the potato mixture. 

Prepare the Dough! 

  1. In a small mixing bowl, use your fingers to mix together flour, shortening, and salt till a grainy consistency forms.  
  2. In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, lightly beat together egg and goat milk. 
  3. Mix egg mixture in with flour mixture till mixture becomes dough. Do not over mix. 
  4. If the dough is too dry/crumbles and doesn’t hold a ball shape, add an additional tablespoon of goat milk.  
  5. Cover and refrigerate dough for 15- 20 minutes. 
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Let’s Assemble the Empanadas!  

  1. On a floured surface, roll out dough to desired thickness. Keep in mind, your dough should be thick enough to support being filled but thin enough to fold easily and bake within a 30 minute window. 
  2. Using the lip of a cup or a round cookie cutter (about 3 to 4 inches around), cut dough into circles. You may re-roll out excess dough bits and cut more to prevent waste. 
  3. Using a spoon, put some filling on half of your round dough, being careful to leave an edge. Dab a little water around the edge of the entire circle and fold the empty side over the filled side.  
  4. Press the edges together using a fork to ensure they remain closed during baking. 
  5. Once all round doughs are filled and sealed, line them up on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash. 
  6. BAKE in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. 

Don’t forget the sauce! 

In a food processor, blend together avocado, cilantro, garlic, lime zest, and lime juice till blended. Stir in a pinch of sea salt. 

Once the Empanadas are done baking, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve with sauce on the side or drizzled over top. 


Originally published in the May/June 2023 issue of Goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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