Costa Rica

Spice up dinner tonight with Costa Rican Empanadas!

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Recipe: Costa Rican Empanadas

If you’re looking to make a tasty and light snack, empanadas (em-pah-NAH-duh) may be worth giving a try in the kitchen. The name ‘empanada’ is derived from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap in bread. The baked or fried dough can be filled with nearly anything your heart desires. Originating from Spain, the pastry is well known throughout many countries in Latin America, including Costa Rica. Costa Rican empanadas are usually made of corn meal and filled with chicken, beef, beans, or pork. Empanadas are commonly known as the sandwich of Costa Rica; served and enjoyed any time of day.

costa rican empanadas recipe2

Prep: 20 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Servings: 12

Dough Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. corn flour
  • ½ lb. dough flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water

Filling ingredients:

  • ½ cup Monterey jack cheese, grated
  • ½ onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Lizano sauce (or chicken flavoring)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup seasoned chicken, cooked


  1. In a large bowl, combine dough flour, corn flour and salt. Mix and stir in water gradually. Allow dough to be smooth & slightly sticky.
  2. Prepare the filling by adding pre-cooked chicken, onions, salt, pepper, and Lizano sauce.
  3. Roll dough out into 1/8-1/4 thick circles. Brush the edges with water. Place 2 teaspoons of chicken filling and 1 teaspoon of cheese in the middle of the dough circle.
  4. Fold dough over filling and seal by pinching the edges with your fingers or by crimping with a fork
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add in the empanadas and cook until slightly brown.

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