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Empanadas de Espinaca (Spinach Empanadas)

Course Main
Cuisine Colombian
Keyword cheese, Colombia, Colombian, empanada, spinach
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12 large empanadas



  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch paprika
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup lard or butter melted


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 8 ounces whole milk mozzarella or queso quesadilla shredded
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan grated
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 egg yolk beaten with a splash of water


  • In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and paprika. Slowly pour in the water and melted butter while stirring to make a smooth, cohesive dough. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted, cook the garlic and red chile powder just until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease 2 large baking sheets. Divide dough into 12 large or 24 small equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll a piece of dough into a circle about 3/8 inch thick. Place 2-3 tablespoons filling in the middle for large empanadas or 1-1 1/2 tablespoons filling for small. Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Starting at one end, pull the edge out slightly and fold over, repeating until you reach the other side to create a rope appearance. Repeat with remaining dough. Brush the tops of the empanadas with the egg wash. Bake on prepared baking sheets until golden, 20-25 minutes.