We absolutely love empanadas of all varieties. And, our kids love spinach, so we knew this empanada recipe should be a hit. The flaky, soft dough is filled with spinach, mushrooms, onion, garlic and cheese. It’s great for a simple family meal or with such a fancy little package, it’s the perfect treat for dinner when company’s coming over. They’re surprisingly simple to make; the most difficult part is waiting for the dough to proof in the refrigerator. I sometimes find myself staring longingly at the dough disk. I had a little helper assist with the dough rolling and circle-cutting (I just so happen to have a container top that’s the perfect size for the circles).
Kristi @ onceamonthmeals.com Adapted from Food Network
For the dough:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1.25 cups flour
- 0.25 teaspoons salt
For the filling:
- 8 ounces mushrooms, canned (I dice mine small)
- 0.5 tablespoon liquid smoke or bacon salt
- 15 ounces spinach, frozen (or 1.5 pounds fresh, chopped and cooked until wilted)
- 0.33 cups onion, diced (I used red)
- 4 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 cup cottage or ricotta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten (for brushing over dough)
Beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until very smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour, little by little, and the salt, and process until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a slightly floured surface and knead lightly. Form the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess water, transferring to a colander to further drain. Set aside.
Add olive oil to a skillet and heat to medium then add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain mushrooms and combine with bacon salt. Add the reserved spinach, bacon-salted mushrooms, cottage cheese and salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 350.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, working on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/8-inch thick. Using a small bowl or saucer as a guide, cut the dough into as many 5-inch circles as possible. (About 3 per serving.) Divide the spinach filling evenly among the dough circles. Using your fingers, lightly moisten the edges with some of the beaten egg, then fold 1 side over so that the edges meet, and press to seal. Crimp the edges using the tines of a fork and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all of the empanadas are assembled. Brush the tops of each empanada with some of the beaten egg.
On a lightly greased baking sheet, bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
BEFORE baking, flash freeze on a baking sheet; divide among freezer bags and freeze.
To serve: Thaw. Bake at 350 on a lightly greased baking sheet until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
Servings: 4 (10-12 empanadas, mine yielded a baker’s dozen)
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