The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Graham R. and his dog, Carl. For more of their delicious food ventures, visit them on Instagram @cookingwithcarrrl.
Easter is almost here and that means ham…a lot of ham. Our family always has at least two hams at the table and everyone is sent home with enough leftovers for days on end. Ham is a wonderful thing, but it can get boring pretty quickly! Ham and cheese can only satisfy you for so long! I’ve got a fun recipe that the whole family can help create, making it perfect for these current times!
Now, get a load of these puppies! These “EmPawnadas” will have your whole pack barking for more! These flakey morsels are filled with gooey cheese, potato, fluffy eggs and juicy, fried ham. The empanada dough is very versatile and can be stuffed with anything. The sky is the limit. This is a great recipe to play around with while stuck at home.
I know that making dough can be very intimidating, but this is one of the simplest doughs to make. No rise time, no perfect measurements (who has time for that!?). Just five simple ingredients that you already have stocked in your kitchen. If you’re suffering from holiday burnout, I have another hack for you… use store-bought phyllo dough! I highly recommend making your own dough, as the flavor and texture are top-notch, but if you’re in a bind, these can be thrown together in minutes!
Now grab your family, your ham and let’s get baking!
Leftover Ham Empanadas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 18-20 Empanadas
For the Empanada Dough
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup of water
For the Filling
- 2 cups leftover ham, chopped
- 6 eggs, scrambled
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- Optional – sliced potato, bell peppers, onions, etc.
Note: Make sure you have all of your ingredients ready prior to making the dough. Chop up your leftover ham into small, bite-sized pieces. I like to fry my ham first to add a bit of extra flavor. Also, do not overcook your scrambled eggs! This is key because they will bake for another 20 minutes in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- If making your own dough, mix together flour and salt.
- Add the butter and cut it in with a dough blender. You want the butter pieces to be smaller than a pea. Get that workout in!
- In a separate bowl, add the water and egg. Mix until combined. Add the egg mixture slowly to the other ingredients and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Add additional water one Tbsp. at a time if the dough is not smooth.
- Once smooth, place the dough on a floured countertop and roll it out. You want the dough to be very thin, less than 1/8th- inch. Cut out uniform circles using a cookie cutter or small bowl. If the dough becomes difficult to work with, you can toss it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to let it firm up. Now let’s get to the fun part!
- I find stuffing the empanadas is easiest when you hold the dough in the palm of your hand. I start with the cheese, then the potato and finish with the scrambled eggs and ham.
- Fill them generously as they are easier to seal when they are full! Start at one corner and pinch the empanada closed. You may need to push the filling back down while sealing it. It takes a few times to get the hang of it, but once you get it, you get it!
- Place the empanadas on a baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve immediately with fresh salsa, hot sauce or even ketchup!