Sunday, April 14, 2013

Picadillo Empanadas with Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

Watching an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, I saw a chef make Picadillo Empanadas. He served them with a Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa. I remember watching and thinking I know how to make all those things. I could make that. His version was deep fried and the typical half-moon shape of an empanada. I decided I wanted to make it healthier and bake mine. All the components are great on there own. But everything together is really good. It has everything you could want. It is savory and sweet, tangy and spicy, and finally crispy and creamy. The only thing that needs work are my pastry skills. I need some practice making pretty crimp marks. I think I might try larger biscuits like Grands next time and fold the biscuit dough over to make half-moons. Definitely a recipe I plan to make again and again. Try the Picadillo on its own over rice or in lettuce leaves. It really is delicious.

Picadillo Empanadas with Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa
Makes 5 Servings


1 pound lean ground beef (93% lean)
1 small green pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 can (12 oz) flaky layers refrigerated biscuits
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon water
Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa (recipe below)


Heat oven to 375°F.

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, pepper, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Season with salt, black and red pepper. Stir in the tomato sauce, olives, raisins and vinegar. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until raisins are plumped.

Lightly spray large cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Press or roll 5 biscuits into 4-inch circles on cookie sheet.

Place about 1/2 cup picadillo onto center of each circle. Press or roll remaining 5 biscuits into 5-inch circles; place over picadillo on each. Press edges with fork to seal. Mix egg and water; brush over filled biscuits.

Bake 13 minutes or until golden brown. To serve, garnish with Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa.

To reheat: Heat oven to 350°F. Place Empanada on a baking sheet, bake 8 minutes. Watch carefully so that the pastry does not get too dark.




Now for the Salsa! It is so good! My favorite Mexican restaurant Tacomania makes a similar salsa. It is on their salsa bar. I think theirs in made of raw ingredients. I decided to roast mine. It is tangy, spicy and creamy. The avocado emulsifies the salsa and makes it creamy. It keeps in the refrigerator for days. I guess the tomatillos must keep the avocado from turning brown. It was delicious on breakfast tacos with a little sour cream. I loved the sour cream with it. I did not have tortilla chips on hand. I plan to rectify that. Next time I make this salsa I will have a huge bag of tortilla chips ready for dipping. You should make this salsa even if you don't make the Empanadas. It would be great with any Mexican meal.

Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa
Makes about 3-1/2 cups


6 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 medium onion
1 jalapeno chile
1 Hatch chile (Anaheim)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
1 avocado, stone removed and peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Turn the ovens broiler to high. Lightly spray large baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Put the tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, hatch chile and garlic on the baking sheet. Broil until the tomatillos turn olive-green color, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Transfer the tomatillos, onion, garlic and chiles to a blender. Add cilantro and avocado; blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Linking to:
Buns in My Oven: What's Cookin' Wednesday
Life on Lakeshore Drive: A Bouquet of Talent Linky Party
Love Bakes Good Cakes: All My Bloggy Friends
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo 
Six Sisters' Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party
Taste and Tell Thursdays
This Gal Cooks: Marvelous Mondays Link Party


  1. Yum! Empanadas are so good. These look fab! I bake mine, too.

  2. I could eat embarrassing amounts of these empanadas. I mean, what's not to like?! Thank you for linking, Denise.

  3. Zannie here from - I came your way via Social Sunday Link Party... My neighbor used to make Empanadas... we had them at every party she held. But she's since moved away and I haven't had them in so long! I'm gonna give these a try!! Thanks muches!

    1. Thank you! Zannie, I hope you enjoy them. Coming over to visit you shortly. Have a great day!


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