Empanada Gallega - Spanish-style Empanada Pie

Empanada Gallega
Stuart West (c) Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images
  • 95 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6.
Ratings (4)

This large, pie-shaped empanada hails from Galicia, Spain. Galicia is interesting in that it is an "autonomous community" within Spain, with its own language - Galician.

Any empanada recipe can be prepared in the shape of a pie, and might be called an "empanada gallega", but the Spanish version has certain unique characteristics.

The dough is slightly different than typical Latin American-style empanada dough, as it is made with olive oil and yeast. The traditional filling is a savory mixture of onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, tuna, and hardboiled eggs, and seasoned with smoky pimenton paprika. The empanada is often baked in a paella pan, thought a pizza pan works just fine. You can add other ingredients to the filling, such as green or black olives, raisins, or even cheese.

What You'll Need

  • For the Dough:
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast (for bread machines)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton dulce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton dulce)
  • Optional: 1 can tuna fish 
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

How to Make It

  1. Prepare the dough: Whisk together the flour, salt, and paprika. Stir the yeast into the water. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the water/yeast mixture, olive oil, and the egg to the well. Stir the mixture until it comes together into a dough, then knead the mixture until it is smooth and elastic, adding a bit more water if dough is too dry, or a bit more flour if dough is too sticky.
  1. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about an hour).
  2. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling: Chop the onion and bell peppers into small dice. Mince the garlic. Grate the tomato with a cheese grater (or finely chop). Peel the hard boiled eggs and chop them into 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. Place the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring, until onion is soft, fragrant, and translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, chopped bell pepper, tomato, and paprika and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and vegetables are soft and fragrant. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the tuna and add to the vegetable mixture.
  5. Assemble empanada: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 15 inch pizza pan, baking sheet, or paella pan with olive oil.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Gently shape each one into a ball and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece of dough into an 18 inch diameter circle, letting dough rest from time to time so that the gluten will relax. Line the bottom of the baking pan with the dough, letting the excess overhang the edges.
  7. Spread the filling over the dough in the pan, and sprinkle the chopped hard boiled egg over the filling. Roll out the second piece of dough in the same manner and place it over the filling.
  8. Seal the edges of the dough together, trimming off any excess, and crimp the edges decoratively. Use the excess dough to decorate the empanada, if desired. Make a small 1/2 inch hole in the center of the empanada. Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the egg wash over the empanada.
  1. Place the empanada in the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  2. Reheat empanada in a large skillet or in the oven. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.