This weekend we hosted my mom as she made a pit stop on her way to vacation in the Dominican Republic. Before leaving for her flight I asked her if there was anything she’d want me to cook and although at first she modestly stated that whatever I chose to make would be fine, I eventually coaxed out of her that she had been craving some of the yummy foods I’ve been creating right here: the empanadas, the homemade pasta, the pesto, the grilled sausages, and everything in between.
With that said, I made it my mission to cook as much delicious food for her as would fit into a weekend. I’m happy to say that not only was I successful, but I also created a few new recipes that have become instant faves: like these Pesto Salmon Empanadas.
Spoiler alert: these are BOMB. When I first decided to try empanadas with salmon I wracked my brain for what to pair them with. My husband suggested potatoes and at first I balked. I had already made the chorizo, shrimp, and potato empanadas a few weeks ago and wanted these to be different but the idea stuck with me and the turmeric potatoes ended up being the secret sauce in these empanadas. They seriously took these empanadas from good to heavenly.
I usually try to make all my recipes quick and easy but I’m going to keep it 100 and say these were neither quick nor easy. In total, this probably took about a little over an hour to make from cooking the salmon to assembling the empanadas and waiting for them to bake. While each item isn’t particularly difficult to cook, preparing them so that they come together as quickly and easily as possible can be headache inducing. Luckily, I’m here to help make things as easy for you as possible.
- 1/2 cup cooked salmon
- 2 tbsp pesto
- 1 cup red bliss potatoes, cut into small cubes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 package Goya empanada shells for baking
- salt + pepper to taste
- Remove empanada shells from freezer.
- Season salmon with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil and place into a cold oven set to 400.
- Cook for 20 minutes, remove from oven, spread on a thin layer of pesto, and place back in the oven for 5-6 minutes until fully cooked.
- While the salmon cooks, heat butter in sauce pan over medium heat.
- Chop potatoes into small cubes and place into hot pan with smashed garlic clove.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and turmeric.
- Once the potatoes begin to stick add 2 tbsp water and partially cover allowing potatoes to steam and water to be absorbed. Repeat 2-3 times, each time potatoes begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, until potatoes are fully cooked. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
- Once fully cooked, allow potatoes and salmon to cool.
- Lay out empanada shells (which should be defrosted enough to peel from packaging and fold without cracking) and in the center of each one place a spoonful of salmon and a spoonful of potatoes. (You can also add an extra drizzle of pesto if you, like me, are a pesto lover)
- Pinch each end closed and repeat.
- Season closed empanadas with salt and pepper on top.
- Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve hot or warm with avocado dill dipping sauce and citrus honey mustard sauce.
You guys, this is now my favorite empanada EVER!! Even my mom who initially was grossed out by the idea of a salmon empanada couldn’t stop raving about them! The salmon is so flavorful and the turmeric potatoes blend in so perfectly. They are packed with flavor and the turmeric gives it a very earthy and grounded flavor. If I could have changed one thing it would have been adding chopped green olives or capers to add a bit of bright saltiness- but trust I’ll be testing it out sooner rather than later because I haven’t stopped craving them since my last bite!
It was such a light lunch served with the 2 dipping sauces which I’ll be sharing in this week’s newsletter, and some homemade baked plantain chips which I’ll also be sharing in the newsletter. This recipe was also Julian approved and he preferred these to the beef and potato empanadas I made in case he wasn’t a fan of the salmon empanadas. Well, he was a HUGE fan and loved the avocado dill sauce so much he was scooping spoonfuls into his little greedy mouth. I can’t complain- nothing makes me happier than people being satisfied with the food I cook for them- especially my babe whose my number 1 food critic.
I hope you’ll run out to make these Pesto Salmon Empanadas ASAP, but first, tell me what’s the best thing you ate all weekend??