Dinner of the Week: Spicy Shrimp Empanadas

Empanadas are the perfect comfort food to me.  They make for a delicious dinner, a great little snack, and the best appetizer to pass around at summer BBQs.  I concocted this shrimp empanada recipe recently and it’s one that I’ll make again and again.  This recipe is extremely versatile, for the shrimp can be substituted for any kind of meat (or go vegetarian!) and the spice level can be taken down a notch if you are faint at heart.  But if you love shrimp and hot peppers as much as I do, you will absolutely love this recipe as-is.

Spicy Shrimp Empanadas

Ingredients: 
– 1/2 pound raw, thawed, and peeled shrimp
– 1/2 cup frozen corn
– 1 bell pepper, diced
– 1 jalapeno, diced
– 2 tsp. cumin
– 2 tsp. chili powder
– 2 tsp. coriander powder
– 2 tsp. black pepper
– 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
– 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese
– 3/4 package fat free cream cheese
– 1 package refrigerated pie crust dough (for two pies)
– 1 egg

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the peeled shrimp, frozen corn, diced bell pepper and jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, coriander powder, and black pepper into a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, until the shrimp is cooked through.
Remove the skillet from the heat and place the shrimp on a cutting board.  Chop the shrimp into small, bite-sized pieces.

Add the shrimp, bell pepper and corn mixture, cheeses, and cilantro to a mixing bowl.

Blend well using a Kitchenaid stand mixer or a handheld mixer, until the cream cheese coats everything nicely.

Then, roll out the refrigerated pie crust dough onto a lightly-floured countertop.  Use a rolling pin to make it as thin as possible without tearing it.

Use a pint glass to cut out circles in the dough.  Once done, ball up the leftover dough and roll it out again using the rolling pin.  Repeat until both pie crusts are used.

Use a cookie scoop or small spoon to place small dollops of shrimp empanada mixture into the middle of each dough circle.
Wet the tip of your finger with warm water and rub it along the edges of the dough circle.  Fold the circle in half and crimp it using the tines of a fork.

Place each empanada onto a non-stick cookie sheet.  Crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk it well.  Use a basting brush to apply the egg wash to the tops of each empanada so it’ll brown nicely in the oven.
Bake the empanadas into the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until the tops of the empanadas have browned nicely. Halfway through, pull out the cookie sheets and sprinkle extra shredded cheese over top.

Once done, serve with your favorite salsa and enjoy!

I love the creamy, flaky, and crispy texture of these empanadas. They’re perfect paired with salsa, queso, sour cream, or guacamole as your dipping sauce.  

They are tiny, fiery little buggers. The shrimp, corn, and pepper filling is paired wonderfully with oozy and smoky cheeses and spices. These empanadas would be perfect for dinner, appetizers, or for parties.  

Hope you love them as much as we do!

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