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A modern reinterpretation of the famous Galician (north-western Spanish) and Portuguese tuna pie, prepared in a smaller hand-held individual format, called an empanada (like a turnover); combining a filling of cooked tuna, peppers, onions, tomatoes, olives and hard-boiled eggs and encased in crunchy flavourful pie crust.

Historically the Galician tuna pie resembles a thick disk with pie crust on the bottom, the sides and on top, enclosing this delicious filling and then sliced and served.

The pie dough is made with white wine or beer or cider which evaporates quicker than water when baking and creating a crunchier and flakier dough.

This version is smaller and better for hand-held or simple individual servings, taking a bit longer to make but allowing you to eat only what you think you’ll need and freezing the extras, before baking them or saving them for another day..

A delicious meal or snack whether eaten warm or cold and perfect for eating at home or outdoors such as lunchboxes and picnics.

So what are you waiting for ? … :)

tuna & vegetable empanadas


8 empanadas x 155 grams each


dough (650 grams for 8 disks) :

  • 375 grams (3 cups) all-purpose or bread flour (or a mix with 1 cup each of whole-wheat, all-purpose and bread flour)
  • 87 grams (6 tbsp) butter, cold and cubed
  • 90 ml (6 tbsp) white wine or beer or apple cider, cold
  • 87 grams (6 tbsp or 2 whole medium) eggs, beaten
  • 5 grams (1 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 4 grams (1 tsp) sugar
  • 1,25 grams (½ tsp) sweet paprika
  • 4 grams (1 tsp) baking powder
  • 43 grams (3 tbsp or 1 whole) egg, beaten (for sealing and brushing)

filling (650 grams or 4 cups after cooking) :

  • 250 grams (1 ¾ cups) tuna in oil, weight when drained but oil saved separately
  • 40 grams (3 tbsp) oil from tuna
  • 40 grams (3 tbsp) olive oil
  • 125 grams (1 ½ cups) red, yellow and green bell pepper, long thin slices
  • 125 grams (1 ½ cups) white and red onion, long thin slices
  • optional : 5 grams (2 tbsp) carrot, grated
  • optional : 5 grams (2 tbsp) celery, grated
  • 15 grams (1 ½ tbsp) garlic, crushed
  • 200 grams (1 cup) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 gram (2 whole) bay leaves
  • 7,5 grams (1 ½ tsp) fine sea salt
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) black pepper
  • 2 grams (¾ tsp) sweet paprika
  • 2 grams (¾ tsp) smoked paprika
  • 0,75 gram (1 tsp) dried oregano
  • 35 grams (¼ cup) green olives, pitted (from an initial weight of 50 grams)
  • 2,5 grams (2 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 120 grams (2-3 whole) boiled eggs, peeled & sliced


dough :

  • prepare the dough by cubing the cold butter and chilling it in the freezer for 5 minutes
  • mix the flours together with the salt, sugar, baking powder and paprika and place inside a food processor (or use a a large bowl if you will use a pastry blender instead) and mix together
  • combine the chilled butter and dry ingredients until sandy, then add the beaten eggs and the chilled liquid (wine or beer or cider) and mix/pulse until it all comes together
  • transfer to a floured work surface, compress and shape into a large ball and chill for 30 minutes, then remove from the fridge, form into 8 balls and flatten into 8 disks of 15 cm each on a floured work surface and reserve in the refrigerator, covered with plastic film

filling :

  • drain the tuna and reserve the oil and tuna separately
  • place the oil from the tuna and some olive oil in a large pan, add the bay leaves and heat at medium-high heat and add the sliced onions and bell peppers and simmer for 10 minutes until softened, then add the crushed garlic, grated carrot and grated celery and salt and spices and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, then add the crushed tomato and simmer for another 2-3 minutes and finally the tuna flakes, the pitted olives and parsley leaves and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, then set aside and let it cool down
  • boil the eggs for 5 minutes, then cool down in cold water, peel them and thickly slice into 8 slices and reserve, chop up the white ends and add them to the filling (if the eggs are too small, boil 3 eggs instead)

assembly & baking : 

  • use a large 15 cm turnover mould (or do it by hand) to fill each 15 cm floured disk with ½ cup each of the filling on one side, add a thick slice of boiled egg in the middle, leave a large edge that you will brush with some beaten egg and fold over and seal, brush the exterior with more beaten egg and sprinkle with some extra paprika powder and set aside on a baking dish covered with baking paper
  • repeat the process until all 8 medium-sized empanadas are assembled
  • chill the empanadas as you preheat the oven at 200°C for 15 minutes
  • bake the empanadas for 25 minutes until golden and puffed up and serve with some salad.
  • *note : if you do not need to bake all the empanadas immediately (2 per person are enough) then place them in the freezer, wait until they are frozen solid and transfer them to freezer bags or seal them hermetically and keep in the freezer until needed, then defrost them for several hours before baking …