Shrimp and cheese empanadas

Shrimp and cheese empanadas

This recipe for shrimp and cheese empanadas is made with a delicious filling of tender seasoned shrimp, Manchego cheese and a rich Spanish-style tomato sauce.

Feel free to change this recipe with various flavored tomato sauces, using different cheese blends, as if you were making a Mexican four-cheese blend.


  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour and a little more for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 220 grams or 8 ounces tomato paste
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • ½ green pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ ripe tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 300 grams of medium raw shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 cups (220 grams) of grated Manchego cheese
  • Oil for frying
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. To make the batter, add water, egg, egg white and vinegar in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour and salt.
  2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Then make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center.
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together with your hands until the dough stiffens, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth. Then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the tomato sauce, green pepper, garlic, tomato, olive oil and onion, stir well and bring to a simmer.
  5. Place shrimp in the pan with the tomato sauce mixture. Add cheese, stir well and cook shrimp until shrimp turn pink, 3 to 5 minutes maximum. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. To make the shrimp and Manchego cheese empanadas, roll the dough on a floured surface until 1/8-inch thick. (Approximately 0.3 centimeters).
  7. Cut the dough into circles with a 6-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, spoon the shrimp filling by the tablespoonful into the center of the circles.
  8. Fold the dough over the filling in a half-circle shape and crimp the edges with a fork. If the edges don’t stay sealed, you can dip the fork in water before folding or use an egg wash.
  9. Heat enough oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat until sizzling, fry each filled empanada for 2 minutes or until golden brown.


  • Never leave the dough in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours. If you want to keep it longer than that, you can freeze it.
  • Instead of frying the empanadas you can bake them in the oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.
  • To make large empanadas use 6 inch cutters, for smaller ones use 3 inch cutters.
  • Don’t overfill your shrimp and cheese empanadas. They will burst and you will lose the filling in the oil.
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