Authentic Puerto Rican Masa Para Empanadillas (Masa Para Empanadillas Puertoriqueñas). Easy to make, perfectly flaky and delicious.
If you are Puerto Rican or have visited Puerto Rico, you absolutely know what empanadillas are!
You know how satisfyingly delicious they are!
Empanadillas (Puerto Rican Empanadas), are found all over the island! They are sold in beach stands, street kiosks, fairs and festivals, local restaurants and even sold in your higher end restaurants!
It’s an easy, quick and delicious food that is enjoyed anytime of the day! Breakfast, lunch and dinner!
It always the go to food while on the go road and served in family gatherings.
What is an Empanadilla?
If you do not know what an empanadilla is, let me visually show you with this recipe first, Empanadillas de Carne (Puerto Rican Empanadas).
Here’s a caption from that recipe post…
“Empanadillas which are sometimes called “pastelillos” is a sort of turnover that is made with a thin dough, filled with a savory or sweet filling and then crimped on the edges. Although you can bake an empandilla, it is usually fried. It looks very similar to an empanada.”
Now if you have been following Mexican Appetizers and More then you are probably familiar with my 3 ingredient easy empanadilla dough recipe. That particular recipe is perfect for everyone! Especially if you happen to be limited on ingredients!
Although, I absolutely love that recipe and I know my foodie friends loved that recipe too, it was meant to help fill the so many gap holes when it comes to finding a quick and easy empanadilla recipe.
In that post, I made a promise to bring you a full authentic “masa para empanadillas puertoriqueñas” recipe, since then, I have received quite a few messages asking me “when is it coming?,” “where is it?,” “did I miss it?”
Well I am happy to say, finally here it is!
So yes, if you love Puerto Rican empanadillas, and have been waiting or looking for a real authentic recipe for masa para empanadillas puertoriqueñas, then, this recipe is for you!
Ingredients You Will Need for Empanadilla Dough
To make empanadilla dough as authentic as possible, you will need achiote oil or achiote powder (annatto oil or annatto powder).
*Don’t worry, making homemade achiote oil is super easy and only takes ten minutes.
*You can also simply buy achiote powder. You can find it in the Latin section of your local supermarket.
So here we go! You will need:
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour (do not buy “self rising flour” or you will end up with very “floury” empanadillas)
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 tbsp achiote powder or 2 tbsp of achiote oil (achiote powder can be found in Latin section of grocery store)
- 1 Sazón envelope
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 cup ice cold water
- ½ tsp salt
Parchment or waxed paper (to place discs in between sheets)
How to Make Puerto Rican Empanadilla Dough (Como Hacer Masa Para Empanadillas Puertoriqueñas)
In a large bowl, add flour, achiote powder, sazon and salt. Mix well.
Add shortening to flour. Using a fork or pastry cutter, break shortening into flour well.
Note: If using achiote oil, stir in when you add the shortening and break into flour well.
Make a well in the center of flour and add the water and vinegar.
Stir well with a fork until a crumbly dough starts to form.
Knead dough with your hands for a minute and form a large dough ball.
You are now ready to roll out your dough!
Pull a “baseball” sized piece of dough from dough and form into a ball in your hands.
(I like to work in small sections when rolling my dough but you can choose to roll it all at once if you like)
Add a little bit of flour to a clean surface and a little more on your rolling pin as well.
Using a rolling pin, roll dough to about an 1/8 of an inch.
Time to form the empanadilla discs!
You can use several methods to form discs.
- Use a cookie cutter to make mini empanadilla discs.
- Use a bowl and press down on dough to form disc.
- Use the lid to your blender to press down on dough and form disc.
- Use a bowl and with a knife, cut around bowl.
As you are making empanadillas, place discs in between parchment sheets or wax paper. (I cut my parchment/wax paper into 7 x 7 inches)
After forming all discs, you can use and cook immediately.
What Fillings Can You Use for Masa de Empanadillas?
There are many fillings you can add to empanadillas, here are a few ideas:
- Fill dough with Carne Molida (Puerto Rican Picadillo)
- Fill with cheddar cheese (use block cheddar cheese and slice into ½ inch slices.)
- Add mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce and pepperoni to make pizza empanadillas
- Add monterey jack cheese.
- Add guava or pineapple to make sweet empanadillas.
Add about two tablespoons of filling to center of disc and fold over to form a half moon.
Crimp edges of empanadilla with a fork.
Flip empanadilla over and crimp the other side.
To fry empanadillas follow cooking instructions in my Empanadillas de Carne (Puerto Rican Empanadas) recipe.
Storing and Freezing Discs or Filled Empanadillas
Like the pictures above display, you can place empanadilla discs between parchment or wax paper and stack on top of each other.
You can refrigerate for a few days or freeze for 3 months.
If freezing, place discs in a freezer ziploc bag.
You can also refrigerate or freeze the whole empanadilla dough ball before forming into discs.
If putting it in the refrigerator for a night or two, wrap dough ball in plastic wrap.
If freezing, place dough ball in a freezer ziploc bag.
Another option is to prefill the empanadillas and store in refrigerator for a day before using or freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer ziploc bag.
Cooking Empanadillas from Frozen
If cooking from frozen, first allow dough discs or prefill empanadillas to thaw for 10-20 minutes on counter top.
Proceed as normal.
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Puerto Rican Masa Para Empanadillas
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup shortening
- 1 tbsp achiote powder or 2 tbsp of achiote oil found in Latin section of grocery store
- 1 Sazón envelope found in Latin section of grocery store
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 cup ice cold water
- ½ tsp salt
- parchment or waxed paper
- In a large bowl, add flour, achiote powder, sazon and salt. Mix well.
- Add shortening to flour. Using a fork or pastry cutter, break shortening into flour well.Note: If using achiote oil, stir in when you add the shortening and break into flour well.
- Make a well in the center of flour and add the water and vinegar.
- Stir well with a fork until a crumbly dough starts to form.
- Knead dough with your hands for a minute and form a large ball.
- Pull a "baseball" sized piece of dough off of dough and form into a ball in your hands.(I like to work in small batches when rolling my dough but you can choose to roll it all at once if you like)
- Add a little bit of flour to a clean surface and a little more on your rolling pin as well.Using a rolling pin, roll dough to about an 1/8 of an inch.
Form Empanadilla Discs
- You can use several methods to form discs.Use a cookie cutter to make mini empanadilla discs.Use a bowl and press down on dough to form disc.Use the lid to your blender to press down on dough and form disc.Use a bowl and with a knife, cut around bowl.
- Once you have made your first few discs, repeat procedure with the rest of the dough.
- As you are making empanadillas, place discs in between parchment sheets or wax paper. (I cut my parchment/wax paper into 7 x 7 inches)