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Mini Tuna Empanadas

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This blog post is sponsored by StarKist E.V.O.O.™. We LOVE their tuna and salmon packed in cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil!

We’ve combined two of our favorite things: a classic tuna fish sandwich and the dreamiest, flakiest dough to make these mini tuna empanadas! They’re the perfect way to class up your snack board, whether you’re entertaining friends with an elevated plate of starters, or you’re entertaining little ones and need a fun spin on a sandwich favorite.

A snack board with tuna empanadas and several pouches of StarKist E.V.O.O.™ tuna.

These tuna empanadas are so simple to make, and they are a delicious, healthy little snack! We use  StarKist E.V.O.O.™ Wild-Caught Yellowfin Tuna, and love its rich mellow flavor and tender, flaky texture. The empanada pockets make the perfect vessel for that creamy tuna filling, and we top it all off with two types of dipping sauce- everybody wins!

why you’ll love these tuna empanadas

We’re all about wholesome, elevated recipes, and that’s exactly why we love these tuna empanadas! StarKist E.V.O.O.™ tuna pouches are packed in cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, and are a wonderful source of omega-3s, protein, and other nutrients. Even better, their tuna and salmon pouches are made with entirely wild-caught fish, the tuna is dolphin-safe, and their products are GMO-free, gluten-free, and soy-free. All of that is important to us, and we know you’ll love their quality tuna and salmon pouches as much as we do!

StarKist E.V.O.O.™ offers four different varieties and we use StarKist E.V.O.O.™ Wild-Caught Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato in Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this recipe. The tuna and sun-dried tomato combination gives these tuna empanadas a slight tangy flavor that pairs wonderfully with both the romesco sauce and the lemon dill aioli sauce for dipping.

Tuna empanadas on a snack board.

how to make mini tuna empanadas

These mini tuna empanadas are made with a basic pastry crust that you can always prepare ahead of time. The dough results in a buttery, flaky empanada crust and it’s a cinch to make.

ingredient list

You’ll need the following ingredients to prepare these mini tuna empanadas:

For the crust:

  • all-purpose flour
  • sea salt
  • butter, cut into small pieces
  • egg yolk
  • ice-cold water
  • vinegar

For the tuna empanada filling:

  • StarKist E.V.O.O.™ Wild-Caught Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • tapenade
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • fresh dill, finely chopped
  • shallots, finely chopped
  • whole egg, whisked
  • Manchego cheese, grated
  • egg white whisked with cold water
process photos for making tuna empanadas

the step-by-step process

For all the details, scroll to the bottom of the page to check out the full recipe. Here’s a brief step-by-step of the process so you can see how easy it all comes together!

  1. Make the crust. Add the flour, salt, and butter to a food processor and pulse to combine. In a small dish, whisk the egg, water, and vinegar together and sprinkle it over the flour mixture. Pulse the mixture again until it begins to clump into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly dusted work surface and shape it into a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
  2. Make the tuna filling. Place the StarKist E.V.O.O.™ Wild-Caught Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato in Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a medium dish. Add the tapenade and green onions. Stir the whisked egg into the mixture and then fold in the grated cheese.
  3. Roll and fill the tuna empanadas. On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry dough until it’s 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 4-inch circles, and place the pastry circles on a sheet of parchment paper. Gather the pastry scraps, press them together into a disc, and roll and cut out more 4-inch circles. Make the egg wash. Working with one pastry circle at a time, brush on some egg wash, and holding it in one hand, place some of the tuna mixture inside. Pinch the pastry edges together to close it, then press the edges together with a fork. Repeat with each of the pastry circles.
  4. Bake the empanadas. Brush each of the filled empanadas with egg wash and bake for 10-15 minutes at 400°F or until golden brown. Serve them, slightly cooled, on a serving plate or board with your choice of dips.

Speaking of dips, these mini tuna empanadas are SO GOOD with our smoky Romesco sauce and our lemon dill aioli sauce. While we always prefer homemade, you can certainly find store-bought versions that work well too!

Tuna empanadas with two bowls of dip and a pouch of StarKist E.V.O.O.™ tuna.

what to serve with tuna empanadas

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile and will work well with almost any other starter. If you’re looking for other apps to fill out that snack board, check out a few of our favorites:

  • Our Fast and Easy French Onion Soup Dip is a party favorite that’s nearly impossible to walk away from! And that’s completely okay, because our version is a healthy take on the original.
  • Roasted artichokes with garlic are a simple and easy vegetable appetizer that we can’t get enough of!
  • Herbed olive oil dip is the perfect appetizer if you need one in a pinch! It’s hard to beat the combination of fresh herbs, garlic, and a delicious olive oil- just make sure you have enough crusty bread on hand!
Close up shot of tuna empanadas and a pouch of Tuna empanadas with two bowls of dip and a pouch of StarKist E.V.O.O.™ tuna.

We know you’ll love these mini tuna empanadas- they’re unique and so easy to assemble. Flaky dough pockets filled with creamy tuna and a rich dipping sauce will give any snack board a sophisticated vibe. These little beauties will certainly go quickly. 😉 Enjoy!

This is a sponsored post written by myself on behalf of StarKist E.V.O.O.™.

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A snack board with tuna empanadas and several pouches of StarKist E.V.O.O.™ tuna.

Tuna Empanada Bites

Yield: 20 appetizers
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Mini tuna empanadas that are perfect for an appetizer snack board. A tender, flaky crust is stuffed with a savory tuna filling then served with two dips that will please everyone.

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1-1/3 cups (160g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cube butter, (8 tablespoons) cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4-5 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Filling:

  • 2 pouches of StarKist E.V.O.O.™ Wild-Caught Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup tapenade
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 1 whole egg, whisked
  • 2 ounces Manchego cheese, grated
  • 1 egg whites whisked with 1 tablespoon cold water

For the dips:

Instructions

For the Crust

  1. Add the flour, salt, and butter to a food processor and pulse to combine until crumbly and small pieces of butter are still visible.
  2. In a small dish, whisk the egg, water, and vinegar together and sprinkle over the flour mixture. Pulse the mixture until it begins to clump into a ball. 
  3. Turn the pastry onto a lightly dusted work surface and gently shape into a round disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

For the filling

  1. In a medium size dish, add the tuna, tapenade and green onions.  Whisk the egg with a fork and stir into the mixture.  Add the grated cheese and fold into the filling mixture.  
  2. Roll and Fill the Empanadillas:
  3. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8-inch. Cut into 4-inch circles. 
  4. Place the circles of pastry on a sheet of parchment as you cut them. Then gather the pastry scraps and lightly press into a disc, roll and cut. 
  5. In a small dish, prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg and water together. 
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
  7. Working with one pastry circle at a time, brush the edge with some of the egg wash. Pick it up in your hand as shown in the photo and add 1 tablespoons of the meat mixture inside; then pinch the pastry closed around the edges. Lay the closed empanada on the work surface and lightly press the edges together with a fork. 
  8. Place the filled empanada on the prepared baking sheet and proceed with filling the remaining pastry circles. 
  9. Brush the filled empanadas with egg wash and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  10. When cool, arrange on an attractive serving plate/board with your choice of one or two dips.

To serve:

  1. Serve warm or cold along with romesco sauce and lemon dill aioli sauce for dipping.
    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 7g

    Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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    Rahul

    Wednesday 19th of August 2020

    You got me drooling over here Dahn! I love tuna and this is such a creative appetizer. I have to try these

    Dahn Boquist

    Thursday 20th of August 2020

    Thanks Rahul, I hope you enjoy them.

    Emily

    Wednesday 19th of August 2020

    These mini tuna empadanadas were so delicious! I've been trying to eat more tuna lately and this hit the spot!

    Dahn Boquist

    Thursday 20th of August 2020

    glad you enjoyed them

    Lauren Vavala | DeliciousLittleBites

    Wednesday 19th of August 2020

    What a creative use of tuna! I love empanadas - this looks so good!

    Dahn Boquist

    Wednesday 19th of August 2020

    Thanks Lauren

    Emily Liao

    Wednesday 19th of August 2020

    Loved these tuna empanadas! I had some tuna leftover and was wondering what to do with them.

    Dahn Boquist

    Wednesday 19th of August 2020

    So glad you enjoyed them Emily!

    Jessica Formicola

    Wednesday 19th of August 2020

    These empanadas look incredible! I can't wait to make them- I know my family will love them!

    Dahn Boquist

    Wednesday 19th of August 2020

    Thanks Jessica, hope everyone loves them.

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