Little Piggy’s Yam Empanadas

Written by Christabel Padmore

• 4 cups Yam, peeled and cut into ¼” cubes

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 2 cloves of garlic, minced

• 1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and minced

• 1 tsp salt

• ½ tsp black pepper

• 1 tsp cumin

• 1 Tbsp coriander seed

• 1 Tbsp Ancho chilli powder (or similar)

• ¼ tsp cinnamon

• ¼ tsp all spice

• 1 egg (for eggwash)

• Cornmeal for garnish

• 4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

• One recipe of Empanada Dough (see below)


Yields 8-10 empanadas


Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl add yams and 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Toss. Spread yams on a bakesheet and bake until tender (around 15min).


While the yams are baking, heat remaining oil in a sauté pan. Add onions, garlic and jalapeño pepper. Sauté at medium heat, until onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and cool.


When the yams are cooked, remove from the oven and cool. Add the yam and onion mixture together in a large bowl. Toast seasonings in a dry pan to release oils and enhance flavours. If using whole spices, grind after toasting. Add seasonings to yam and onion mixture and stir. Taste to ensure seasoning is to your taste.


Roll out chilled dough on a large flat surface. Using a 5” round cutter, cut out as many pieces of dough as possible. Beat the egg with a fork and set aside for eggwash. Place approximately one ounce of filling on each round.  With a pastry brush, anoint each pastry round edge with eggwash, to secure closure.


Bring the top and bottom of the pastry round together enclosing the yam mixture. Using your fingers, or a fork, crimp the pastry closed. Repeat until all the mixture is used. Before baking, eggwash the empanada and sprinkle with cornstarch.Bake for approximately 15-18 min at 350F.

Cool and serve with mango preserves.

(emapandas can be frozen unbaked for up to a month)



• 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

• 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

• 1 large egg

• 1/3 cup ice water

• 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


Mix flour with salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size lumps. In another bowl beat egg, water and vinegar with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with a fork until just blended. On a floured countertop, turn out mixture and gather together. Knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill the fridge for at least 1 hour.

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