Pastelillos de Carne (Puerto Rican Turnovers) | Pastelillo Dough Recipe (2022)

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Pastelillos de Carne (Puerto Rico Meat Turnovers) |When I was in college I road several pisicorre or pisa y corre(passenger van buses) to get from my home in the country to my school in the city.

It was a long voyage to get to and from school. The goal was to get a van that had cloth seats and air conditioning. But, more often it had leather seats and no air conditioning.

Pastelillos de Carne (Puerto Rican Turnovers) | Pastelillo Dough Recipe (1)

Right next to the bus terminal was a kiosk that sold pastelillos and cold malta. Every day, on my way back home I would buy myself one of each to eat on the walk home. Pastelillos and malta sustained me during most of the years in high school and college.

Pastelillos vs Empanadas

You may be looking at these little treats and think, OH! Empanadas! But they are not empanadas, they arepastelillos (pas-te-lee-joes).

In Puerto Rico what you may call empanadas we call empanadillas because of empanadas references something that is breaded and fried, think chicken fried steak.

So, what is the difference between empanadillas and pastelillos?

Pastelillos are small turnovers made with a thin dough, similar to a pasta dough that is crimped at the edges and fried.

Empanadillas are a large turnover with a thicker dough with rolled edges. The dough hasa similar texture to pie dough.

Today I am going to show you how to make pastelillos with a homemade pastelillo dough recipe. If making homemade dough sounds intimidating don’t worry you can use frozen.

I like to make my own down because I find it therapeutic but, if I am in a pinch for time I use Goya discos, which can be found in the freezer section of many Latin groceries.

Pastelillos de Carne (Puerto Rican Turnovers) | Pastelillo Dough Recipe (2)

(Video) Puerto Rican Pastelillos de Carne/Meat Turn Over Recipe | Episode 81

Homemade Pastelillo Dough Recipe Ingredients

  • flour
  • baking powder
  • kosher salt
  • vegetable shortening
  • egg
  • water

The pastelillo dough recipe is similar to a pasta dough. To roll the dough I use a KitchenAid pasta rolling dough attachment. It works perfectly!

If the idea of making dough is a little too daunting, you can use Goya discos found in the specialty or Latin food freezer section.But I encourage you to try to make homemade at least once. pastelillo dugh recipe

Mostpastelillos you find at roadside kiosks are filled with a simple meat filling, but the benefit of making them at home is you can fill them with all kinds of goodies.

This filling is made of ground beef, potatoes, olives, raisins, and a savory sauce. It’s very filling and satisfying.pastelillo dough recipe

How to Store Homemade Pastelillo Dough

Once the dough is rolled and cut into discs line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lay the dough discs in a single layer.

Then lay another sheet of parchment over the dough discs and lay another single layer.

Continue stacking in single layers divided by parchment until done. Then place in the freezer.

Once frozen gently separate the discs and transfer to a resealable bag. I use this technique so I don’t end up with a block of discs and I can easily use the individual discs.

Pastelillos de Carne (Puerto Rican Turnovers) | Pastelillo Dough Recipe (3)

How to Fry Pastelillos

Let’s talk frying for a minute. I’ll be honest; Puerto Ricans want to fry all the foods, but frying can be a pain.

Then I got my hands on a Waring Deep Fryerand now frying is a snap, which is dangerous… very dangerous! Fry all the foods!!

Having a countertop deep fryer makes all the difference! I love this fryer because it self-regulates the heat, has a built-in timer and is big enough to fry generous batches without having to overcrowd the basket.

If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can also use a dutch oven or large skillet. If you choose to use a skillet pick a skillet with a heavy bottom that evenly distributes heat.

(Video) Pastelillos (Puerto Rican Turnovers)

Nonstick skillets are great because they are easy to clean out and don’t form that sticky oil buildup. My favorite kind of skillet to use for frying is a cast iron skilletPastelillos de Carne (Puerto Rican Turnovers) | Pastelillo Dough Recipe (4).

Pastelillos de Carne (Puerto Rican Turnovers) | Pastelillo Dough Recipe (5)

Pastelillos can be filled with all kinds of wonderful and delicious foods. The most popular ones found in schools are pizza that is just cheese and tomato sauce.

If you are traveling along the coast of Puerto Rico, you’ll find crab filled pastelillos, and they can even make a wonderful dessert when filled with guava and cream cheese. Looking for more Puerto Rican treats? Try these arepas de coco or tostones.

Explore more Puerto Rican flavors by visiting my entire collection ofpuerto rican recipes.

more savory turnover recipes

Yield: 12 - 18

Pastelillos de Carne (Puerto Rican Turnovers) | Pastelillo Dough Recipe (6)

Pastelillos de carne are a Puerto Rican street food staple. This recipe is made with a homemade dough and flavor-packed beef filling.

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Time45 minutes

Additional Time1 hour

Total Time2 hours 5 minutes

(Video) How to make Pastelillos (Empanadillas) - Easy Puerto Rican Recipe

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 cups Puerto Rican picadillo

Instructions

Dough

  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Add flour and shortening in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork cut the shortening into the flour. Add the egg and mix using a fork.
  3. Add the water a little at a time, mixing with a fork. When done mixing the dough will be brittle or in pieces.
  4. Dust a work surface with flour, turn the dough out on the work surface. Press the dough together into a rough ball. Knead the dough using your palm, as if you were washing clothes on an old washboard.
  5. Knead until the dough is soft and smooth. Form into a ball, cover with a plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll dough out into a rope about 15 inches long. (I roll, pull and squeeze) Once rolled out cut off disks about ¾ of an inch thick. Dust your rolling pin and workspace and roll out into a 1/8 thin circle.
  7. If you have a pasta roller, you can use it to roll out the dough rounds. Lay dough rounds on a prepared sheet pan and cover with a clean kitchen towel. If you need to layer, the rounds place a piece of parchment between the layers.

Assemble

  1. Take a round of dough and place 1 spoonful of picadillo or filling of choice in the center. Be careful not to get any food along the edges or it will not seal properly.
  2. Using the tip of your fingers wet the edges of the dough with water. Fold over to make a half-moon. Pinch the dough together using your fingers, then go over it, pressing it with the teeth of a fork. Return to sheet pan and cover. Repeat with remaining rounds and filling.
  3. Line a large plate with paper towels. Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 350 degrees in a large deep skillet. Working in batches, carefully place turnovers into the oil.
  4. They should almost immediately begin to puff and float, cook on each side about 2 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Transfer to a plate to drain and let cool.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 239Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 402mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 9g

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One More Thing!

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(Video) PUERTO RICAN Beef EMPANADAS / PASTELILLOS // Easy and simple

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FAQs

What can I use for empanada dough? ›

What Can You Substitute for Empanada Dough? If you're looking for a shortcut, store-bought pie dough can be used to make empanadas. You may need to roll the dough out slightly thinner—it will produce a flakier result than typical empanada dough and is better for baking than frying.

What are Puerto Rican empanadas made of? ›

These Puerto Rican Empanadillas are made with fried buttery pie dough stuffed with seasoned ground beef, peppers and olives. Many Puerto Rican recipes use the classic Picadillo filling we're making today, like these Alcapurrias I'm sure you'll love if you enjoy these Empanadillas.

Are turnovers the same as empanadas? ›

Empanadas, or beef turnovers, are discs of pastry packed with meat. Some turnover recipes call for all manner of fillings, but this GOYA® Empanada recipe features a delicious tomato, onion, garlic and beef mixture. You can enjoy Empanadas as an appetizer, a main dish, or even after your main course.

Are empanadas and Pastelitos the same? ›

Pastelitos are similar to empanadas, too, but they're made with a lighter pastry dough and they can be either baked or fried. If you want to get busy in the kitchen and try one or more of these delicious little pies for yourself, here are some recipes to get you started.

Is empanada dough the same as pizza dough? ›

These empanadas are similar to calzones (stuffed pizza), except that empanada dough is much more tender, flaky, and less chewy than the pizza crust dough that is typically used to make calzones. These empanadas are excellent on the small side and can serve as an appetizer with extra marinara sauce for dipping.

Why do you put vinegar in empanada dough? ›

Secret ingredient: Use a dash of apple cider vinegar in your pie dough. Add 1 teaspoon to your current favorite recipe at the time in which you're adding your ice water. Vinegar helps prevent the formation of gluten which makes for a tough crust.

What do Puerto Ricans call empanada? ›

Puerto Rico has the eternal debate of what to call the pastelillo, empanada, empanadilla, pastel etc. “In the south of the island they call everything an empanadilla; while, in the center of the island and the north, they call it pastelillo.

Is empanadas Mexican or Puerto Rican? ›

Puerto Rican Empanadas, sometimes known as Empanadillas or Pastelillos are turnovers filled with beef, chicken, cheese or even pizza toppings. These crispy empanadas can be fried or oven baked.

Can Goya empanada dough be baked? ›

Prepare delicious and crispy empanadas right at home! GOYA® Discos – Dough for Turnover Pastries for Baking come ready to be filled with your favorite ingredients, no matter if they're sweet or savory. Just fill and bake!

Can you buy empanada dough already made? ›

11.6 oz. Enjoy homemade recipes with the delicious and convenient GOYA® Empanada Dough-Puff Pastry for Baking. This flaky round pastry comes ready to make wonderful empanadas, cakes, tarts and endless recipes.

What ingredients are in Goya empanada dough? ›

Ingredients. WHEAT FLOUR, MARGARINE (PALM OIL, RAPESEED OIL, WATER, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES OF FATTY ACIDS), WATER, SALT, WHEAT GLUTEN, PRESERVATIVES (CALCIUM PROPIONATE AND SORBIC ACID), MONOGLYCERIDES OF FATTY ACIDS, CITRIC ACID AND L-CYSTEINE. CONTAINS: WHEAT.

How do you seal empanada dough? ›

How to Seal an Empanada - YouTube

What are pastelitos made of? ›

What are they made of? Pastelitos are made with a puff pastry style wrapper and can have either savory or sweet fillings. Some are fried while others are baked. Guava and cheese, coconut and dulce de leche are all popular sweet fillings.

What's the difference between pastelitos and Pastelillos? ›

However, this cuisine often has a minor adjustment in dough content, giving a yellow hue before and after frying. Pastelitos is another name for this dish that many people are familiar with. A “Pastelito” is a type of Pastelillo that we will bake instead of frying its pastry dough.

Can you freeze pastelitos? ›

Freezing pastelitos: Unbaked pastelitos can be frozen on the baking sheet and then transferred and stored in an airtight resealable bag for up to 2 weeks; they bake perfectly from freezer to oven in the same amount of time.

Why is my empanada dough sticky? ›

Why is my empanada dough sticky? A dough that is too wet can become sticky. Too much water will alter the fat-to-flour ratio and cause gluten to develop. Water should be added gradually to the dough.

Why is my empanada dough breaking? ›

The main ingredients are water and corn flour. If you don't work quickly, the dough will dry out and start to crack. Cracked empanada dough means that your empanadas will also have cracks in them, which means oil seeping into your filling in the fryer and drying out your empanada. Or, worse, causing an explosion.

What is another name for empanada? ›

These are a few of the known names: Meat Pies (American) Empanadas (Latin/Spanish) Pastelillos (Latin/Spanish)

Is it better to use butter or Crisco for pie crust? ›

The pros: Shortening has a higher melting point than lard or butter, so it's easy to incorporate into pie dough and roll out. It's also helpful when making any kind of decorative pie crust, because doughs made with shortening hold their shape the best during baking.

What does adding vinegar to pastry do? ›

But there are two much more important perks to using vinegar: it provides a little insurance against overworking the dough. And, that splash of vinegar will keep your dough from oxidizing and turning gray. Fresh All-Butter Pie Dough with vinegar (right) and without (left).

Does butter or lard make the best pie crust? ›

Butter pie crust has the most flavor out of the three fats. This pie crust bakes up nice and golden brown, with plenty of flaky layers. Butter pie crust is the most sturdy and will support the weight of your favorite pie fillings.

Do Puerto Ricans cook cumin? ›

Cumin-heavy sazón is among the most commonly used spice blends in Puerto Rican cooking, and is also popular throughout Latin America.

What are some Puerto Rican appetizers? ›

Lunch and dinner generally begin with sizzling-hot appetizers such as bacalaitos, crunchy cod fritters; surullitos, sweet plump cornmeal fingers; and empanadillas, crescent-shaped turnovers filled with lobster, crab, conch, or beef. Soups are a popular beginning for meals on Puerto Rico.

What are 3 types of empanadas? ›

There's surely something to please everybody in this list.
  • Easy Ham and Honey Empanadas. ...
  • Potato Empanadas. ...
  • Apple and Dulce de Leche Empanadas. ...
  • Chilean Chicken Empanadas. ...
  • Beef Pastelitos. ...
  • Tuna Empanadas. ...
  • Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pastelitos. ...
  • Pork and Apple Empanadas.
4 Dec 2013

What country makes the best empanadas? ›

Argentina is the South American country perhaps most associated with the empanada, at least when it comes to visitors from around the world.

What is the difference between empanadas and Empanadillas? ›

The difference between terms are as follows: An empanada is a larger folded meat pie usually consumed at dinner. An empanadilla is smaller than an empanada and traditionally eaten at lunchtime. A pastelillo is a snack and is sweeter, more like a pastry.

Can empanadas be baked instead of fried? ›

Yes! For these beef empanadas I decided to bake them. What is this? Simply brush them with an egg wash (egg and water) and bake them in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Can u bake Goya Discos? ›

Our line of ready-to-use flour dough discs are the #1 ingredient for preparing a wide variety of empanadas, a favorite in Latin America and around the world. Discover our extensive line of products in the freezer section, which includes discs that can be baked or fried, and come in a variety of sizes and colors.

How long does it take to defrost Goya Discos? ›

Store discos in the freezer, and defrost in the refrigerator or at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before using.

How long does empanada dough last in the fridge? ›

Freshly made, dough and empanada filling will last 2-4 days in the fridge stored separately in an airtight container. Wrap the dough in plastic.

Can you air Fry Goya empanadas? ›

Frozen Empanadas in Air Fryer [Goya]

You don't need to thaw them first. Then, spread them out in one even layer into the basket, trying not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. Cook them in the air fryer at 350°F (176°C) for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking.

What size are empanada discs? ›

Cut into 4-inch diameter (10-centimeter) circles for small empanadas, 5-inch (13-centimeter) circles for medium ones, or 6-inch (15-centimeter) circles for large ones.

Are Goya Discos vegan? ›

Our discos do contain gluten but have no eggs, no Animal Source & are Kosher. Our pleasure! Yes, the product is vegan, so no dairy.

Is Goya empanada dough gluten free? ›

that contain gluten.

How do you keep empanadas crispy? ›

The best way to keep fried foods crispy? Just place them on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. If you're frying multiple batches, throw the whole setup into a low oven to keep everything warm as you keep frying and adding to the rack.

How do you properly seal dough? ›

How to Seal Dough
  1. Dip your finger into a tiny bit of water.
  2. Run your finer around the edges of the dough you want to seal, dipping with more water as needed.
  3. Pull the dough over your filling. ...
  4. Use a fork to push the dough together to create the final seal for your dough.
  5. Bake your dough.
  6. Enjoy!
12 Oct 2020

How do you seal dough edges? ›

Brush the edges with egg wash (1 egg + 1 teaspoon water, lightly beaten). Fold crust over and use your fingers to press edges together. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges together to complete the seal.

Do Pastelitos have lard? ›

Traditionally made with lard (or shortening these days), which makes them extra flaky and incomparably crisp, almost all pastelitos are glazed in a thick syrup that becomes a sticky, sweet glue securing pastry flakes to your lips, fingers, and anything else it comes in contact with.

Who invented Pastelitos? ›

Although the origin of the pastelito is widely speculated, “one theory states that slaves working in Spanish and Cuban sugar mills invented the dish, another says that Pastelito was invented in Cuban households where the preparation was served essentially as an appetizer or as a side dish with main meals.” Either way, ...

Where are Pastelillos from? ›

Pastelillos de carne are a Puerto Rican street food staple. This recipe is made with a homemade dough and flavor-packed beef filling.

How do you pronounce Pastelillos? ›

How To Pronounce Pastelitos - YouTube

What do Spanish people call empanadas? ›

The Many Names of Empanadas

For instance, Americans call them meat pies, and Jamaicans call them beef patties. At the same time, Indians call them samosas, and people in Latin America or Spain call them pastelillos or pastelitos.

How many calories are in Pastelillos? ›

Calories in Pastelillos con Carne (Fritters with Meat)
Calories198.9
Sodium682.6 mg
Potassium3.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate22.2 g
Dietary Fiber1.5 g
8 more rows

Can I make empanada dough ahead of time? ›

How to make empanadas ahead of time: The dough can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge for two days before using. The filling can also be cooked and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a day.

Can you leave empanadas out overnight? ›

Can Empanadas Sit Out Overnight? No, empanadas should not sit out overnight. The USDA explains that food left in temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees can grow harmful bacteria at alarming rates. Leftover prepared food, including empanadas, should be refrigerated promptly.

How do you keep empanadas from getting soggy? ›

The best way of keeping your empanadas from becoming soggy is to ensure that the filling is not too wet. If it is, it will make the dough soggy. A good way to take some moisture out of empanada's filling is to put it into a fine-mesh strainer and leave it to drip for an hour or so.

What are 3 types of empanadas? ›

There's surely something to please everybody in this list.
  • Easy Ham and Honey Empanadas. ...
  • Potato Empanadas. ...
  • Apple and Dulce de Leche Empanadas. ...
  • Chilean Chicken Empanadas. ...
  • Beef Pastelitos. ...
  • Tuna Empanadas. ...
  • Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pastelitos. ...
  • Pork and Apple Empanadas.
4 Dec 2013

Can you buy empanada dough already made? ›

11.6 oz. Enjoy homemade recipes with the delicious and convenient GOYA® Empanada Dough-Puff Pastry for Baking. This flaky round pastry comes ready to make wonderful empanadas, cakes, tarts and endless recipes.

What are empanadas made of? ›

What Is An Empanada? Empanadas are crescent-shaped, savory pastries made of dough and filled with a variety of ingredients. Empanada filling varies greatly, and can include anything from beef, chicken, pork, tuna, shellfish, cheese, and / or vegetables, seasoned vibrantly, then baked or fried to perfection.

Can empanadas be baked instead of fried? ›

Yes! For these beef empanadas I decided to bake them. What is this? Simply brush them with an egg wash (egg and water) and bake them in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Are empanadas Puerto Rican or Mexican? ›

Empanadas have their origins in Galicia (Spain) and Portugal. They first appeared in Medieval Iberia during the time of the Moorish invasions. A cookbook published in Catalan in 1520 mentions empanadas filled with seafood among its recipes of Catalan, Italian, French, and Arabian food.

What are empanadas called in English? ›

The name comes from the Spanish empanar (to bread, i.e., to coat with bread), and translates as 'breaded', that is, wrapped or coated in bread.
...
Empanada.
Empanadillas from Spain
TypePastry
Serving temperatureHot or cold
Main ingredientsMeat, cheese, corn, or other ingredients
VariationsPastel, pasty
5 more rows

What country makes the best empanadas? ›

Argentina is the South American country perhaps most associated with the empanada, at least when it comes to visitors from around the world.

What are Goya Discos made of? ›

Ingredients Enriched, Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (Interesterified Soybean Oil and/or Palm Oil), Salt, Ascorbic Acid, Cultured Wheat Flour, Naturally Fermented Lactic Acid & Enzymes.

Can Goya empanada dough be baked? ›

Prepare delicious and crispy empanadas right at home! GOYA® Discos – Dough for Turnover Pastries for Baking come ready to be filled with your favorite ingredients, no matter if they're sweet or savory. Just fill and bake!

What ingredients are in Goya empanada dough? ›

Ingredients. WHEAT FLOUR, MARGARINE (PALM OIL, RAPESEED OIL, WATER, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES OF FATTY ACIDS), WATER, SALT, WHEAT GLUTEN, PRESERVATIVES (CALCIUM PROPIONATE AND SORBIC ACID), MONOGLYCERIDES OF FATTY ACIDS, CITRIC ACID AND L-CYSTEINE. CONTAINS: WHEAT.

How do you fill empanadas? ›

How to Seal an Empanada - YouTube

How are empanadas traditionally made? ›

These delicious little pastries are made by wrapping a round dough pastry in half over a filling of meat, seafood, vegetables or fruit, forming a semicircle. They are baked or fried. Empanadas are a delicious holiday tradition in many New Mexican homes.

What is the difference between empanadas and Empanadillas? ›

The difference between terms are as follows: An empanada is a larger folded meat pie usually consumed at dinner. An empanadilla is smaller than an empanada and traditionally eaten at lunchtime. A pastelillo is a snack and is sweeter, more like a pastry.

How do you keep empanadas crispy? ›

The best way to keep fried foods crispy? Just place them on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. If you're frying multiple batches, throw the whole setup into a low oven to keep everything warm as you keep frying and adding to the rack.

Why do my empanadas explode? ›

The main ingredients are water and corn flour. If you don't work quickly, the dough will dry out and start to crack. Cracked empanada dough means that your empanadas will also have cracks in them, which means oil seeping into your filling in the fryer and drying out your empanada. Or, worse, causing an explosion.

Can I make empanada dough ahead of time? ›

How to make empanadas ahead of time: The dough can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge for two days before using. The filling can also be cooked and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a day.

Videos

1. Puerto Rican Pastelillos & Sofrito Recipe!
(SimplyyyTish)
2. How to make easy Beef Empanadas
(Evelyn Dominguez)
3. Pastelillos de Carne - Empanadillas - Pastry filled with Seasoned Meat
(bestbitesforever 💜)
4. Easiest Puertorican Empanadas Recipe (homemade dough)
(The Temporary Housewife)
5. How to make Pastelillos (Empanadillas) de Pollo From Scratch - Easy Puerto Rican Recipe
(Jeff and Jo's Puerto Rican Kitchen)
6. Pastelito dough
(Cooking with Sabor)

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