An overhead shot of a variety of colorful empanadas with fillings from different Latin American countries

A World of Flavors: Exploring the Diverse Fillings of Empanadas Across Latin America

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Empanadas are a staple in Latin American cuisine, and they are enjoyed throughout the region in various forms. These small, handheld pastries are filled with a variety of ingredients, making them a versatile and tasty snack. In this article, we will explore the different fillings of empanadas across Latin America.

History of Empanadas

The origins of empanadas can be traced back to medieval Spain, where they were first made as a portable meal for farmers and travelers. Empanadas were introduced to Latin America during the colonization period, and they quickly became popular due to their portability and versatility. Today, empanadas are a staple in many Latin American countries, with each region adding its own unique twist to the dish.

Empanada Fillings


Argentinian empanadas are typically filled with ground beef, onions, and spices. Some variations include hard-boiled eggs, raisins, and olives. These empanadas are often served with chimichurri sauce, a tangy herb-based condiment.


Chilean empanadas are filled with seasoned ground beef, onions, and sometimes raisins and black olives. They are typically baked, and the dough is often made with cornmeal.


Colombian empanadas are made with cornmeal and filled with ground beef, potatoes, and spices. They are often served with a spicy aji sauce made with tomatoes and chili peppers.


Peruvian empanadas are filled with seasoned ground beef, onions, hard-boiled eggs, and olives. The dough is made with wheat flour and butter, giving it a flaky texture.

Preparation of Empanadas

To make empanadas, a dough is typically prepared from flour, water, and butter or lard. The dough is then rolled out and cut into circles. The filling is then placed in the center of the circle, and the edges are folded over and crimped to seal the empanada. Empanadas can be cooked by baking, frying, or grilling.

Popularity of Empanadas

Empanadas are a common snack in Latin America, and they are available in restaurants, street vendors, and markets. They are often sold as a portable meal or a quick snack, making them a popular choice for busy people on the go.


Empanadas are a beloved dish across Latin America, and their popularity continues to grow as they are introduced to new regions around the world. With so many different fillings to choose from, there is an empanada for everyone. Whether enjoyed as a snack or a full meal, empanadas are a delicious and versatile part of Latin American cuisine.

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