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Traditional Colombian empanadas

These bite-sized finger foods are great for entertaining.



  • 907 grams ground beef
  • 1 796 milliliter can diced tomatoes, drained, no liquid
  • 1 cup diced Spanish onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 2 cups Yukon Gold potato, peeled, diced small
  • 3 tablespoon canola oil

Masa Dough:

  • 5 cups masa seca
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 4 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt



  1. Season ground beef with salt, pepper, and all the spices.
  2. Pan fry with canola oil and minced garlic, until brown; look for the meat to separate and crumble.
  3. Add drained canned tomatoes and diced onions.
  4. Simmer until the whole mix comes together and the potatoes are nice and tender, approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Cool mix before using.


  1. Mix all ingredients together until a dough starts to form; the dough should be slightly wet and sticky, add more water if needed.
  2. Keep the dough covered with a damp towel.


  1. With the assistance of a tortilla press, press small balls of dough into a flat circle.
  2. If you do not have a tortilla press, you can gently press the dough between two small cutting boards, or a rolling pin.
  3. Placing the dough on parchment paper, or in clean zip lock bags, works really well.
  4. Add one tablespoon of the meat filling to tortilla and fold to resemble a half moon.
  5. Pan-fry patties until golden brown in a sauté pan with canola oil; flip half way through the cooking process.
  6. Before frying, make ahead and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to a month. Fry to serve.

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