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Spanish Style Empanada with Tuna & Pimenton from Galicia

This one of those great weekend baking treats. . If you suffer a mortal fear of pie crust, you really need to make this crust. SO FORGIVING! It won’t tear and break on you and will come out of the oven tasting like a million bucks and you’ll impress the socks off your guests.

I love this crust – a rare thing this is that is so unique with origins in Spain and Portugal.

Ironically, nothing like the French pie crust, the texture of this crust unlike anything we usually come across in the realm of pie crust is one that takes me back to my childhood days. Probably because many bakeries in Mumbai are run by Goans and Parsis and with the Portuguese influence in Goa, this crust pretty much covered many of savory and sweet filling. This and puff pastry of course which as we know is synonymous with delish.

Who would have thought that just a spot of yeast in the dough would entirely change the structure of flavor of this crust? It adds a strength and flakiness without allowing the crust to crumble all over the place.

And it holds its own to the delicious filling we have here – with tuna, loads smoked Spanish paprika, onions, peppers, smoked Spanish chorizo (which I add just because), chopped up fresh tomatoes, parsley, olives, hard boiled eggs….can say yumm?!

The filling, once cooled is what stuffs this crust and gets baked in a an enormous 11 inch x 17 inch baking pan. No small little individual pieces to roll out here. The whole thing once baked gets cut into large squares and served. It’s the way it’s served in Galicia and so should you.

Did I happen to mention it’s great warm or at room temperature too?

Think make-ahead folks! 



Spanish Style Empanada Galicia with Tuna

Shopping list:

3 qty 5 oz cans tuna in oil, drained

yellow onion, to yield 1-1/2 cups chopped

1 green bell pepper

4 garlic cloves, peeled

1-1/2 tsp Imported Spanish paprika Pimenton

2 plum tomatoes

2 tbs tomato paste

2 qty, ¼” thick slices Spanish cured chorizo

fresh parsley, to yield ½ cup chopped

3 large boiled eggs

12 Spanish Manzanilla or other green olives, pitted

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp brown sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 egg, beaten

Pastry crust:

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour + more during rolling out

2 large eggs

1 tsp active dry yeast

2 oz milk

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

4 tbs butter, unsalted & softened

3 tbs olive oil

½ cup dry white wine or sidre (hard apple cider)

Preparation: Preheat the oven to 450 deg F

Eggs: Peel, chop and set side.

Onions: Peel, discard the skin and ends. Chop into ¼” pieces and set aside.

Bell pepper: Cut away the top & discard membranes. Chop into ¼” pieces and set aside.

Garlic: Crush & chop

Chorizo: Finely chop and set aside.

Tomatoes: Cut into halves lengthwise. Remove seeds with a spoon & discard. Chop the tomato and set aside.

Parsley: Separate the leaves from the stem & finely chop.

Spray a 11” x 17” baking tray with non-stick spray & line with parchment paper.



Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add onions, chorizo, tomatoes, pepper & garlic; Add salt, pepper and sauté until vegetables are soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Add the tuna, pimenton, tomato paste, sugar & saute until all the flavors are thoroughly combined. Remove the pan from the stove.

Add chopped boiled eggs, parsley and olives. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper; set aside to cool completely.


In a Pyrex measuring cup, measure out the milk and add sugar. Microwave milk for approx 40 seconds or so until lukewarm. Stir in the yeast and set aside to proof.

Meanwhile in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, add the eggs, wine, butter, olive oil and milk mixture. Using a batter blade, combine the liquids.

Change to the dough blade - add the flour in ½ cup at a time while the motor is still running and process until a dough ball has formed. Remove to a bowl or ziploc bag and set aside for 30 minutes.

To assemble pie:

Roll out ½ the pie crust on a lightly floured surface until 1/8” thick.

Transfer to the lined baking sheet.

Spread filling over the crust, leaving a 1-inch border.

Beat 1 egg in a bowl with a fork. Brush pastry edges with beaten egg.

Roll out second pastry sheet to approx the same size.

Place atop filling, pressing on edges to seal.

Fold & crimp the edges of the bottom pastry edge up over top pastry and seal.

Brush top with beaten egg. Cut a few 1-inch slashes evenly on top of the pastry.

Make ahead tips: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover & chill in the refrigerator.

Bake empanada uncovered until crust is browned and crisp, about 30 minutes.

Slide onto platter. Cool for a few minutes before cutting into large wedges & serve.



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