BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Senorita Black’s Empanada Emporium

  • Prep Time 0:45
  • Cook Time 0:40 (plus 12 hours in the slow-cooker)
  • Estimated Cost $17.00 ($.85 per empanada)

I’m fascinated with Spanish culture. I love hearing the rapid and intrinsic passion when played from a Spanish guitar I love the vibrant colors found in clothes, pottery and flowers. I love the hot-looking men, the beautiful women and the succulent and spicy food. Upon visiting Spain a couple of years ago, I became submerged in the world of tapas. Tapas are bite size morsels of goodness, varying in ingredients, designed to curb a Spaniard’s appetite before sitting down to big dinner, which comes late in the evening.

Like a moth to a flame, I found myself seeking out tapas recipes, which is how I discovered empanadas—small meat pies (although the filling inside can also be 100% vegetarian-just sub 2 cans of cooked black beans for the meat and/or double up on the bell peppers and use other fresh ingredients like spinach or carrots.

If you’re looking for something hot, quick and healthy, try making empanadas. I’ve used them as a bartering tool for legal advice, website design, and yard work. I double up on the recipe whenever I make them, because they’re real crowd-pleasers!


  • ½ pound of chicken thighs (I like the darker meat, but chicken breasts work too) or ½ pound of pork tenderloin $4.00
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, or 8 oz can chicken stock $1.50
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil plus more for greasing cookie sheet Pantry
  • 1 garlic clove Pantry
  • salt (a few pinches) Pantry
  • pepper (multiple pinches) Pantry
  • cumin (multiple pinches) $1.50 for 1 oz
  • 1 hot pepper, ie: jalapeno, with seeds. (1/2 used when cooking meat and the other ½ for later) $1.00
  • 2 sweet onions (1 for cooking with meat and one for later) $1.00
  • 1 fresh bunch of cilantro (use the flowery portion and some of the stalk) $1.00
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.00
  • 1 green or yellow pepper $1.00
  • 1 cup shredded jack or cheddar cheese $3.00
  • 2 packages of discos (empanada dough). You can find these in the frozen food section at your local Spanish grocery store $2.00


  1. Leave the discos out at room temperature until defrosted (at least an hour) and then put them into the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
  2. Place the first nine ingredients into a slow cooker (I have a crock pot I picked up for $5 at the Thrift Store. Cook on the lowest heat setting for 12 hours. It works well to do this overnight.
  3. Remove meat and residual onion and drain liquid. Pull the meat off of the bones and put it into a large bowl.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 - 400 degrees, depending on your oven. 
  5. Finely chop, or use a food processor (my food processor was yet another empanada barter) to cut up the second onion, peppers, and cilantro. Stir these ingredients in with the meat.
  6. Use a table spoon of filling and place into the middle of each round of empanada dough, add cheese. Fold over and lay onto lightly greased (olive oil works) cookie sheet. Use the back of a fork to close the ends together; making a decorative pattern. Set timer for 20 minutes. Flip empanadas over and bake for another 20 minutes, or until each side is golden brown. Yum.
  7. Eat while hot, or refrigerate for later and reheat. I’ve even frozen them.

Makes 20 small empanadas.

One more tip: I love dipping my hot empanadas into a bowl of cool guacamole.

Category: Meals

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What They're Saying

Donna George Storey, on Mar 6, 10:07 AM, wrote:

These sound like the perfect savory treat for a Friday night. Thanks for the “budget” mini-vacation to Spain!

Miles Budimir, on Mar 6, 01:32 PM, wrote:

Let me just offer a confirmation to all out there in the InterWebs that Neve’s empanadas simply rock. And I’m happy to be on the bartering receiving end

Michelle, on Mar 21, 09:49 PM, wrote:

I tried these & they were delicious. In brokeass fashion I used leftover chicken (from a crockpot dish similar to this). The “discos” dough is so easy to work with. These were very easy, yummy & looked impressive, as if I slaved away all day making the dough (I didn’t). Thanks for a great recipe!

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