People across the United States filled their bellies with some good food on Thursday (April 8) for National Empanada Day. For those who are unfamiliar with empanadas, they’re similar to fried turnovers, with a lot more room to pack with different fillings. Empanadas are loaded with everything from meat to cheese to fruit.
Depending where in the world you are eating empanadas, the pastry will take on a life of its own. In Argentina, they have a version called La Rioja where they add hard-boiled egg, red bell pepper, olives and raisins. In the coastal regions of Chile, seafood is stuffed into their empanadas. Ecuadorian empanadas are sometimes filled with stringy cheese and onion and sprinkled with sugar after they are done baking.
While empanadas are known as an appetizer to many people, these days, the dish is filling enough to serve as an entire meal at some restaurants. In the U.S., chefs are known to get very adventurous with them. Here is a look at some of the different empanadas that people are eating—from the east to west coast.
Empanadas de Cambray
At La Casa Del Pan in Union, New Jersey, you can order empanadas de cambray, a sweet empanada known mostly throughout Colombia. Many are filled with cheese, honey, cloves and cinnamon. Guava is sometimes added to the recipe, too.
The empaburger is a combination of exactly what it sounds like: an empanada and a hamburger. You can order these bad boys from Nonna’s Empanadas in Beverly Hills. They are made with ground beef, American cheese, tomato, onion and sweet chili sauce. Other empanadas you can eat there are the chicken alfredo empanada and the Cuban empanada made with oven-roasted pork, ham, mustard, provolone cheese and pickles.
Fat Tummy Empanadas
Fat Tummy is the name of a restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, that has a menu full of different types of empanadas. Try the humita empanadas that are filled with sweet corn, onions, bell peppers and cheeses or the chile poblano empanada with caramelized onions, corn and cheese. Fat Tummy is so popular, it was once featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives with host and foodie Guy Fieri.
Julio’s on Main in Vineland, New Jersey, serves up empanadas filled with birria, which is a Mexican dish from the state of Jalisco. It is traditionally made from goat meat but can also be made from beef or mutton.
Philly Cheesesteak Empanadas
Over at Empanada Harry’s in Miami, Florida, chefs are baking their versions of empanadas from Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru. They even have an empanada with guava and cream cheese and one they made specifically for Valentine’s Day with roasted beets, goat and ricotta cheeses, walnuts and toasted garlic. They’re also incorporating flavors from around the U.S. like the famous Philly Cheesesteak.