Empanadas and salteñas are two different savory dishes from two different continents, but one is inspired by the other.
Empanadas are crescent-shaped savory pastries made from dough that is filled with a variety of ingredients from meat, fish to cheese and vegetables. Empanadas originated from Spain during the time of the Moorish invasions.
Salteñas are the Bolivian version of empanadas but instead of being crescent-shaped, they are shaped like an American football and have a brothy stew inside.
These two Latin dishes often get mistaken for each other as their appearance and ingredients are very similar.
As you’ll need to create the dough and the filling of your empanadas/salteñas, it should take you around 4 hours from starting to make them to eating your savory goods.
I’ll be sharing 19 of the most amazing empanadas AND salteñas recipes with you today so you can recreate these tasty treats for yourself at home.
1. Beef Empanadas Salteña by All Recipes
Beef is a classic ingredient you’ll find in empanadas salteña that is traditional to the northern province Salta in Argentina.
The beef is matched with cubed potatoes, bell peppers, onions, and even hard-boiled eggs with spicy seasoning to give it a true Latin touch.
2. Salteña de Carne by The Spruce Eats
This is another classic rendition of the salteñas featuring green olives, beef chuck, beef stock to create the rich broth along with plenty of spices to make it all come together.
The filling in salteñas are a lot juicier than empanadas so take care when you’re biting into them as you don’t want it to drip all over you.
3. Chicken Salteñas by Chipa by the Dozen
If you’re not a fan of red meat, then you can also substitute chicken into the recipe like Chipa by the Dozen has with these salteñas.
You’ll be able to make 20 small salteñas with this recipe so it’s ideal to share and enjoy with family and friends.
4. Steak Empanadas Salteña by Key Ingredient
These crescent-shaped steak empanadas salteñas will go down a right treat on any occasion you bring them to.
The easy-to-follow recipe by Key Ingredient will provide you with tasty meaty fillings with a hint of spice from the cumin and the paprika and allow you to achieve the perfect pastry that will hold everything together.
5. Ground Beef Salteñas by My Latina Table
This Latina Table beef salteña recipe is similar to traditional ones but has some additional ingredients to make it more unique such as turmeric, sugar, parsley, and oregano.
Sometimes the dough with salteñas can come out of the oven looking a bit too pale, so I’m glad that this recipe calls for some food coloring to be added before baking to achieve that crisp golden brown exterior.
6. Chicken Breast Empanadas by MyRecipes
If you’re someone who can handle a bit more spice and heat with their food, then why not try your hand at these chicken breast empanadas. They contain paprika, aji amarillo, annatto, cumin, and plenty of black pepper.
Don’t worry this is still a true Bolivian empanadas so you’ll be able to impress your dinner guests with such an authentic dish.
7. Beef & Dried Plum Empanadas by Dramatic Pancake
There are no boundaries as to what you can put in empanadas, so I love how Kathryn Dramatic Pancake put her own twist on this recipe.
The salty beef paired with the sweet and chewy cranberries and plums is a combination I would never have thought of trying. There’s even some cinnamon added into the mixture to add a warm distinctive flavor.
8. Chicken Stew Salteñas by Serious Eats
Someone who loves to take their time to perfect a recipe? Then this Serious Eats chicken stew salteñas one will be right up your alley.
You’ll be making the stew broth from scratch and you’ll probably have a mountain of dishes to do by the end of it, but trust me, it’s so worth it for these juicy savory bites.
9. Beef & Onion Salteñas by International Cuisine
Another great recipe to recreate this popular savory dish is this one by International Cuisine. The beef & onion salteñas are great for making for the family to eat throughout the week or if you plan on a tray of treats to a party.
In true Bolivian style, you should match these beef & onion salteñas with some rich llawja (spicy Bolivian salsa) which you can also make yourself.
10. Eggplant & Goat’s Cheese Empanadas by Dramatic Pancake
As I said, you can use whatever you want in your empanadas, but I never thought of using eggplant & goat’s cheese before seeing this recipe on Dramatic Pancake.
The recipe uses pre-made empanadas wrappers which will take almost half the time it usually takes for this dish, but you can choose to make the dough yourself.
This is a great dish to make as a vegetarian option and it’ll still taste just as amazing as any of the meat ones on the list.
11. Truffle Butter Leeks & Chicken Empanadas by Spoonacular
This is a European twist on a traditional Latin American dish and is a touch more indulgent than the other recommendations you’ll read today. The creamy filling is created using butter, truffle oil (yes please), leeks, and shredded chicken.
I can just envision these being served up on a summer spread in the yard, but they won’t be around for long as they’re so tasty.
12. Chicken, Potato & Green Pea Empanadas Salteña by Mission Food
These golden pastries stuffed with chicken, potato & green peas are everything you need on a chilly winter’s day.
The recipe makes 26 servings so great for a party, but you can just half the ingredients if you’re looking to make them for yourself.
Make sure that you pack the dough well with the filling so it doesn’t collapse during the baking process, but also don’t overstuff it and make sure the dough is sealed properly so nothing leaks out.
13. Tuna Fish Empanadas by Laylita
If you’re a pescetarian or maybe you’re just not fancying using any meat for this kind of savory dish, then why not try using tuna fish instead.
The filling still has tons of flavor from the other ingredients and spices so it won’t be overpoweringly fishy.
Serve up with a creamy avocado or spicy cilantro and jalapeño dip and get ready to enjoy.
14. Pulled Pork & Pear Empanadas by American Culinary Federation
This is one of my favorite recipes to recreate when I’m feeling a bit more boujee and looking to impress guests with my culinary skills.
These pulled pork & pear empanadas feel like something you’d get at a posh dinner party or even as an amuse-bouche in a classy restaurant.
There is quite the list of ingredients, but just the process and you’ll get to reap the tasty rewards when they’ve finally come out the oven.
15. Chilean Shrimp & Cheese Empanadas by Pilar’s Chilean Food & Garden
These creamy Chilean shrimp & cheese empanadas are just to die for and they’re also some of the most simple to make out of all of my recommendations.
Instead of baking these empanadas, you’ll be frying them in a pan so take care when lowering them in and out.
16. Low Carb Keto Empanadas by The Sugar Free Diva
If you’re following a keto diet then you’ll still get to enjoy empanadas and you can do so by following this low-carb pizzas empanadas recipe made with turkey or beef.
Instead of using traditional dough, you’ll make a low-carb keto flatbread instead.
The ingredients are super simple and you can also add some of your favorite pizza toppings inside to make exactly how you like.
17. Shrimp & White Wine Empanadas by Bon Appetit
Seafood and white wine go hand in hand just like well, seafood and white wine. The recipe was developed by Uruguayan chef Ignacio Mattos and will make around 8-12 servings depending on how big you make each one.
18. Sweet Potato & Bacon Empanadas by The Spruce Eats
Most traditional empanadas recipes will use regular potatoes, but this is one of the first recipes I came across that have used sweet potatoes, and they don’t work well.
The contrast of the sweet potato with the salty bacon along with the queso cheese and caramelized onions is truly something to behold
19. Bake Apple Empanadas by Isabel Eats
If savory goodies are not your thing then try making these baked apple empanadas by Isabel Eats. They’re perfect for fall and winter time and resemble little many apple pies but wrapped in a golden pastry.