FTY readers, here is the second walnut party appetizer recipe coming your way. Brought to you by California Walnuts. I first tried empanadas a couple years ago from a former co-worker of mine. She is from Colombia and told me that she had been making homemade authentic empanadas for years. She learned the recipe from her Grandmother, and of course the recipe was passed down for generations. She passed one along to me and I absolutely fell in love with them. They kind of reminded me of Jamaican patties but they had much more veggies and other goodies in them. Since then whenever people offer me empanadas I hardly ever say no. I always wish I had asked for that tried and true recipe from my old friend. Here is the California Walnuts take on one of my favourite bite size foods empanadas! Enjoy!

Recipe and photo from California Walnuts. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use California walnuts is strictly from California walnuts and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*

Makes 24 pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Baking time: 15-20 minutes

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 cup California walnut pieces
  • 1 potato, cooked and diced
  • 3/4 cup green peas
  • 1/3 cup tomato, diced
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp each: cumin and nutmeg
  • 2 (400 g or 14 oz) boxes of frozen pie pastry (like Pillsbury)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil, garlic and onion. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add lamb, stirring frequently, until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain excess fat in colander. Transfer lamb to a medium sized mixing bowl and combine remaining ingredients: walnut pieces, potato, green peas, tomato, olives, lemon juice, sea salt, paprika, cumin, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Roll out pie pastry and cut out 24, 4-inch (10 cm) rounds with a bowl or cookie cutter. Brush the outer edge of a round with egg wash and spoon about 1-1/2 tbsp (20 ml) lamb filling into the centre of the pastry. Fold one side over the other and crimp edge with a fork to seal.

Repeat until all the pastry and filling has been used. Brush tops of empanadas with remaining egg wash before baking. Bake in 3 batches on centre rack for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

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