Epic Empanadas

Empanadas are beloved the world over.

Which is why we are so excited to celebrate National Empanada Day with you and share our favorite whole food, plant-based version of this classic.

But first, let’s find out a bit more about the empanada.

What Is an Empanada Anyway?

cinnamon sticksEver scratched your head and wondered what exactly is an empanada?

Wikipedia defines it as ‘a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried throughout the Americas and in Spain.’

The word empanada comes from the Spanish verb empanar, which means ‘to wrap or coat in bread.’

The empanada comes wrapped in a flaky bread and can be stuffed with a variety of fillings including vegetables or fruits.

Although it originated in Spain, the empanada can be found almost everywhere. As a result, this ultimate ‘pocket food’ is served with different ingredients depending on the country you live in:

  • In Belize, empanadas are known as panades and are made with corn dough stuffed with fish, chicken, or beans.
  • In Indonesia, the empanada is referred to as panada, a bread snack filled with spicy tuna.
  • In Sicily, the empanada is known as ‘Mpanatigghi and is filled with a mixture of almonds, walnuts, chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and minced beef.

Fun Facts About Empanadas

Below are some of the interesting food facts about empanadas:

  • The traditional empanada dates back to as early as 1520.
  •  It is believed that empanadas (and calzones, which are quite similar) are both derived from samosas, which are Arabic meat-filled pies.
  • Empanadas are prepared like pies in Portugal. Easily cut into pieces, this pie-style of empanada is a portable and filling meal for working people who are unable to return home for lunch.
  • Cubans eat empanadas at any meal, but they usually consume them during lunch or as a snack.
  • Originally empanadas were made with bread dough, but now they can also be prepared using pastry dough.

Dr. Rosane Oliveira and Baked EmpanadasHow to Celebrate National Empanada Day

Celebrate National Empanada Day by preparing a delicious whole food, plant-based empanada that both tastes good and is great for you!

Here is our favorite empanada recipe: Baked Empanadas.