Ham & Leek Empanadas
This is a french inspired "cheater's" version of an empanada. This recipe uses store bought puff pastry instead of a traditional home made pastry dough and is stuffed with a savory filling of diced hame, sautéed leeks, spinach and gruyere cheese. It's an excellent lunch or savory first course.
- 3/4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3/4 cups small-diced leeks, white and light green parts only
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche
- 2 ounces smoked ham such as Black Forest, cut into 1/4″ dice
- 2 ounces Gruyère cheese grated
- 1 ounces 1 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. julienned basil leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper plus more for sprinkling
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- All-purpose flour for rolling
- 1.5 sheets frozen puff pastry defrosted (1 package)
- Fleur de sel or sea salt for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium saute pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender but not browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in crème fraîche and simmer 1 minute. Set aside
- In a medium bowl, mix ham and Gruyère. Add leek mixture, spinach, basil, Parmesan, salt, and black pepper. Mix and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk
- Sprinkle a cutting board with flour, roll out 1 sheet of the puff pastry to an 11" x 11" square, and cut into 4 equal squares. Trim the edges for clean sides. (Tip: Use a pizza cutter to cut the pastry dough.)
- Brush edges of each square with egg wash. Place 1/3 cup of the ham and cheese filling in the center of each square. Fold each square diagonally to form a triangle, lining up edges of pastry.
- Press edges with tines of a fork to seal.
- Place empanadas on prepared sheet pans and brush each with egg wash and sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper.
- Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead Pro Tips!
- To make ahead and freeze, assemble completely but do not bake. Place assembled empanadas on the sheet pan in the freezer. When frozen, transfer empanadas to a resealable plastic bag or vacuum seal.
You don’t have to thaw before baking, but you might have to add a couple of minutes to the baking time.
- To make ahead and refrigerate, assemble completely and refrigerate up to 2 days in advance of baking. Bake according to instructions.