Spinach Empanadillas

Photo by Peter Frank Edwards

Empanadas are a traditional snack across Spain—fried or baked, with different meat and vegetable fillings. My brother and I loved the tuna stuffing our mom made so much that we’d eat it all before she had the time to fill the dough with it. You’ll probably end up doing the same with this spinach-feta mix, a nod to Greek spanakopita. Empanada dough is hard to find in the United States, but frozen wonton wrappers make a perfect shell for anything stuffed and sealed into a little packet: empanadas, ravioli, dumplings.

Makes about 60 empanadillas


  1. Spinach filling:
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced
    • 5 large scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
    • 1 pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, and coarsely chopped
    • 1/3 cup chopped dill
    • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  2. For assembly and serving:
    • 1 (12-ounce) package wonton wrappers
    • Canola Oil for deep-frying
    • Yogurt Sauce, for dipping


  1. For the spinach filling:
    1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and scallions, season with the salt and white pepper, and cook until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
    2. Add the spinach, dill, parsley, and egg to the leek and scallions and mix well. Add the feta and mix until evenly distributed.
    3. Do Ahead: The filling can be made ahead and refrigerated for a day or two.
  2. To assemble the empanadillas:
    1. Arrange 10 or so wonton wrappers on a work surface. Place a scant 1 tablespoon of the spinach filling in the center of a wrapper, brush the edges of the wrapper with water, and fold it over to enclose the filling and form a triangle. Press the edges with the back of a fork to seal and transfer to a baking sheet or tray. Keep the empanadillas covered with a clean kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out while you continue to fill and shape the wrappers.
    2. Line a large platter with paper towels. Heat 2 inches of canola oil to 350°F in a large heavy saucepan. Add the empanadillas to the hot oil in small batches, turning them quickly once they are in the oil to discourage puffing, and fry until crisp and golden on both sides, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the platter. (You can keep them hot in a 200°F oven while you finish making the rest.)
    3. Serve the empanadillas hot with yogurt sauce for dipping.
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