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Empanada de atún (Tuna empanada) recipe

Empanada de atún (Tuna empanada) recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Pies and tarts
  • Savoury pies and tarts
  • Fish pie

This tuna empanada is a popular Spanish snack - enjoyed anytime, anywhere. It's easy to make and delicious!

14 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 500g tomatoes, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 200g tinned tuna
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
  • 2 sheets empanada or puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook till soft. Add the peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato and salt to taste. Stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tuna and hard boiled egg. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Lay one sheet of pastry over the parchment. Lightly prick the pastry all over with the tongs of a fork. Spoon the tuna mixture over the pastry in a rectangular shape, leaving about a 4 to 5cm edge of pastry. Pull the edges up over the filling.
  5. Prick the second sheet of pastry, then use to top the filling. Trim edges and pinch to seal. If desired, use the trimming to decorate the top of the empanada. Brush the top with beaten egg.
  6. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing.


Empanada de atún (Tuna empanada)

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)

Reviews in English (1)

This the same recipe my Mum makes, I just never wrote down. I made them into little pasties, so my son can have them in his lunch box. I also oiled the parchment so they wouldn't stick. This would be great to make to sell at a fete. Don't over fill them.-05 May 2014

7 authentic Spanish recipes to savour Galicia’s sun, sea and seafood

/>“Today you’re going to make seven dishes for your dinner,” Rocio our chef and soon-to-be tutor at Quinta de San Amaro enthused.

It was already gone 7pm and with a no-work, no-eat task ahead, my group of travel writers felt rather daunted. We were fine with eating to Spanish time, but would we really be able to cook these authentic Spanish recipes in time to actually eat them today?

Next Rocio introduced us to some of the ingredients we’d be using. First she thrust an octopus head-first into the air so its tentacles hung long beneath it. Then she drew our attention to a glass full of long razor clams, their shells open for us to see their occupants. Next up in this seafood fest were clams and mussels, all of whom were firmly hidden away from view, and large, pink prawns also in their shells.

Then she drew our attention to a glass full of long razor clams, their shells open for us to see their occupants. Next up in this seafood fest were clams and mussels, all of whom were firmly hidden away from view, and large, pink prawns also in their shells.

With Spanish recipes like Galician empanada tuna, octopus “a feira”, and seafood rice on the menu, we could only be in one region of the country. Galicia, in the north of Spain, is famous for a long heritage of fishing and, naturally then, it’s fine seafood.

We’d spent already spent a day tasting its other great export – Albariñio wine – the Rias Baíxas’ wine region’s most famous export. And now it was time to pair the wine with Galicia’s most authentic recipes.

In no time, Rocio set us each to work with tasks from chopping onions, to cleaning mussels and rolling pastry for the empanada.

While the octopus boiled in a large pan of water, we beat eggs for Santiago cake, flipped tortilla in a frying pan, and sunk shellfish into the gloop of a seafood rice. Glasses clinking we emulated the likes of television chef Keith Floyd and paired our cooking with a bottle or two of Albariño.

They say many hands make light work, and it couldn’t have been truer that evening. Steam rising, pans clanging, we were soon serving up our meal and feasting family-style over yet more Albariño.

With expanding waistbands we were soon full but happy, having discovered the delicious taste of the Galician kitchen. We also learned a number of super easy to make Spanish recipes that we could take home with us – a great souvenir from our trip. Now it’s your turn to try them for yourself.

History of the Empanada

The origin of the Empanada dates back to the time when people fill their bread with food and vegetables, which they can conveniently carry and eat on the go when they travel or go outdoors. Filling bread with food is more expedient than preparing your meals while on the fields or while at work.

Eventually, the bread was replaced by dough, which wraps the stuff fillings. Wrapping prevents the fillings to fall off from the dough. This style of food preparation would pave the way to similar dishes like Calzone in Italy, the Borker in Turkey and Sfihas and Shawarma in Arab countries.

The idea of empanadas first appeared in ​​Spain in a cookbook called Libre del Coch by Ruperto de Nola. Published in Catalan in 1520, the book mentioned that empanadas are stuffed with seafood and are from the Galician culture. Some historians believe that empanadas were brought by Arabs to Spain during their Moorish invasions in Medieval Iberia and Umayyad Caliphate conquest of Spain dating 711 AD.

The term “empanada” is derived from the Castilian word “empanar”, which means “to enclose something in dough”. The original Galician empanadas are stuffed with tuna, sardines or chorizo. In Panama, beef, pork and chicken are usually used as fillings for the empanada.

From Spain, empanadas were brought to Latin America by the Spanish conquistadores. The adoption of empanada by different countries resulted in the evolution of different versions. The dish quickly spread throughout Latin America and to Asia particularly the Philippines.

Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month.

Posting day for #FoodieExtravaganza is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!

This month Sue of Palatable Pastime is hosting this month's #FoodieExtravaganza. She asked us to share our favorite empanada recipes for National Empanada Day which is April 8th. Here's the list of our empanada creations.

    from Making Miracles from Sneha's Recipe from Food Lust People Love from A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Empanadas de Atún (Argentinian Tuna Empanadas) from Culinary Adventures with Camilla from Karen's Kitchen Stories from Sara's Tasty Buds from Palatable Pastime

  • 2 tuna filets
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 C sliced black olives
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground paprika
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 egg, beaten for finishing empanadas
  • 1/4 C parsley
  • 3 T vinegar (I prefer sherry vinegar)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
  • 2 T oregano leaves
  • 1 t thyme leaves
  • 2 t crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper, as needed
  • freshly ground salt, as needed

Preheat 400°F. Place tuna filets on a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes. Let cool, then flake the fish with a fork.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the rested dough into 8 equal portions you can certainly make smaller one. Lightly flour a work surface and roll each portion out into a 6- to 8-inch round.

Add about 1/4 cup of filling to the center of the pastry round, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Wet the edges with a finger dipped in water, fold over into a half moon and seal the edges with the tines of a fork or by rolling them up into a scalloped edge. Lay out on a baking sheet.

Brush tops with an egg beaten with a little water.

Place in the preheated oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until browned on top. Serve warm with chimichurri sauce on the side.

Tuna Minilla Empanadas

Insanely practical, that’s what these empanadas are. Perfect to make ahead for gatherings, as you can eat them hot or not. And they are oh, so, comforting: think of a tuna casserole in the good old style, but revamped with great Mexican flair and then flipped and turned into individual size. They withstand hours of travel and will remain delicious until you are ready to take a bite.

With that in mind, I made a full batch last Saturday to bring to a friend’s house. So thrilled were the boys, and I, with the packets as they came out of the oven (crispy on top, soft layers of barely sweet dough as you get close to the middle and a rich tasting filling) that by the time we put our jackets on, and I went back to the kitchen to transfer the empanadas from the baking sheet to a platter, I gasped at the sight of the only two remaining…

2. If you don’t, refrain from telling your friends about the fabulous thing you prepared but couldn’t bring because you finished it before hopping in the car. They won’t like it.

A simple way to describe an empanada is a turnover-looking packet stuffed with one or another kind of filling. The story goes that they’ve existed since the Spanish Crusades as they were perfect travel food. It was the Spaniards who brought them to Mexico.

From the Spanish word “empanar,” which can translate as “the act of covering something with bread or bread dough,” aside from practical, they are also versatile. They can go from mini to giant, from savory to sweet, from a tasty appetizer or funky main meal to a sweet bite, depending on the fillings.

I can think of three things that distinguish empanadas from quesadillas. First, whereas quesadillas are made with flour or corn dough (or flour or corn tortillas) empanadas are made with flour dough. That doesn’t make empanada variations limited. Oh no. There are as many fillings and as many flour doughs as one can think of. One of the fluffiest ones are made with puff pastry, called hojaldre in Spanish.

Delightful, because as it bakes, the seemingly flat dough develops its multilayered structure: paper-thin layers of dough puff up with air, and delicious butter, in between them.

You can make your own puff pastry or simply buy it at the frozen section at the store. Just be sure to thaw before you roll out.

Then make rounds. You can make them as big or as little as you like. Here I am cutting 5” rounds. Brush with egg wash (just a beaten mix of egg and water) around the edges. Then add the filling.

A second difference between empanadas and quesadillas is that it is pretty hard to find a quesadilla that is sweet, for a good reason. Whereas not only are there plenty of sweet empanadas but even when they are savory, they have a sweet element to them, like the Tuna Minilla that is going in here….

Minilla is a very popular way of cooking fresh fish and also canned tuna along the Mexican Gulf Coast, especially in Veracruz.

It is so tasty and its flavor shows the impact that kitchens in Veracruz received from it being a port of entry to the Spaniards. It has a base of cooked onion, garlic, plenty of tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, along with the capers, olives, raisins and herbs the Spaniards brought. Pretty much like the Fish a la Veracruzana style. The sauce gets cooked until moist and the flavors have been completely absorbed and combined.

You can eat Minilla as a main dish on top of rice. You can use it to make sandwiches or tortas. But my favorite way to use it is inside of empanadas. And I like to add generous amounts…

Then seal the empanadas by folding the circle over the filling. Then use a fork to not only decorate the edges but to seal them even better. In Mexico, many cooks know a fancy technique of decorating and sealing the edges of the empanadas so they look like encaje or embroidery. I go with the good old fork….

The third thing that distinguishes empanadas from quesadillas, is that empanadas are mostly baked. Not fried or cooked over the stovetop on a comal or skillet.

Once in the oven, the puff pastry layers do what they must… puff and puff and puff, the top crisps, the middle gets moist, and the filling bonds with the packet.

Empanadillas Gallegas (Galician Turnovers)

Empanadillas Gallegas—or Galician turnovers—is one of the most popular dishes from Galicia. Although bigger sizes of these empanadas exist, and even pie-style versions served in slices are common, our smaller empanadillas carry all the flavor in appetizer size.

Baked and not fried, these crispy and flaky empanadillas are filled with tuna or meat, both classic flavors. Our recipe includes the ingredients for both—if you're up for the challenge, double the amounts for the dough to enjoy both tuna and meat fillings, or cut the filling ingredients for each in half. If using two different fillings, we recommend making one shape of empanada per filling for easy recognition—square or half-moon.

Although time-consuming, these empanadillas are worth every minute of work. For a speedier assembly, make the dough and filling ahead and keep them in the fridge for up to a day. These flavorful empanadillas can even be frozen before baking, so you can have at hand a piece of Galicia any time you crave one of these tasty bites. If you can find Spanish pimentón use it in lieu of the paprika, as it will give the dish a truly Spanish flavor.

Receta Empanadas de Atún

Estas Empanadas de Atún me hacen recordar esos calurosos días de verano en la playa de mi ciudad natal de Tampico. Así como recuerdo a los vendedores ambulantes de comida vendiendo todo tipo de platos deliciosos de pescados, y los turistas que pasaban horas bajo las palapas (palmeras), disfrutando de la brisa del océano. No he estado en una playa en 3 o 4 años, pero eso no me impide consentirme con unos deliciosos platos con pescados, como estas Empanadas de Atún.

Lo que me gusta de esta receta es que puedes preparar el relleno de atún un par de días de antelación y mantenerlo en la nevera para cuando estás listo para hacer las empanadas. Son geniales para servir como un aperitivo o como un plato principal para una cena con amigos. También puedes hacer estas empanadas de pescado, simplemente sustituyendo el atún por cualquier pescado al vapor de tu elección.

En este caso, he añadido salsa de Chile Ancho a la masa para darle a las empanadas un poco de color, pero puedes saltarte este paso si quieres, aún así te quedarán deliciosas! En México, tenemos muchos tipos de empanadas: algunas son dulces o saladas, y otras se hacen con masa de maíz (como en esta receta), mientras que otras se hacen con harina de trigo.

Spanish tuna pie (Empanada de atún): picnic ideas for when the weather improves

Today is the beginning of a new time for us in the UK. Lockdown is over and hopefully we will not go back to it again. On top of that, it seems that vaccination roll-out is running successfully (I have received already both jabs, by the way) so there are serious hopes to resume our pre-pandemic lives shortly. By the way: I want to wish the very best to those businesses coming back to its trading activity. You have gone through a very tough time and so you still are, but the glory is awaiting you at the end of the road.

And what about the weather? That must improve too because the last spring showers will turn us mad! We are all looking forward to go out on picnic, enjoy a cold beer in the sunshine and share some good food with our friends and family. And today’s recipe is the perfect meal for these kind of occasions.

Tuna pie (Empanada de atún in Spanish) is one of those preparations made to be shared. It is very popular in Galicia, the region where it has been cooked for many centuries. Traditionally it contains vegetables, boiled egg and a meaty ingredient ranging from fish (the most popular) to any kind of red meat. Households versions, however, tend to also include tomato in order to make it more juicy. You can also choose how you eat it: warm, straight from the oven or cold after stored in the fridge overnight. Either way, it is a fantastic and multifunctional food that is cooked in no time.

British gastronomy has succulent pies such chicken and mushroom, steak and Guinness or fish, my favourite all the way. Let me tell you beforehand that this is completely different to what you were probably expecting after reading the title. It is just a mere language adjusting so it makes sense. I hope you like, try and enjoy the recipe as much as me.


  • Canned tuna (160 g)
  • Puff pastry sheets (2)
  • Small onion (1)
  • Large green pepper (half)
  • Large red pepper (half)
  • Canned tomato (400 g)
  • Boiled egg (1)
  • Beaten egg for egg wash (1)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Grated parmiggiano cheese (optional)


  1. Begin by cooking the filling. Chop both the onion and peppers and simmer in a pan. Later on, add the tuna and sprinkle the egg. Add also a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to integrate.

2. Pour the tomato and cook until all the water has evaporated. Grate the cheese on top (only if you wish, of course), add the oregano and stir. Check for the salt and pepper levels and add some more if needed. Once finished, shut the fire off and reserve.

3. Extend one of the pastry sheets and pierce it. Distribute the filling evenly all over the area, but leave the margins free for a correct sealing.

4. Place then the other sheet on top. Seal all sides of the pie using a fork. Then, gently divide it with a knife in eight equal sections and apply egg wash. Now it’s ready to get into the oven.

5. Bake at 180 Celsius for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Serve warm or cold.

Tuna Empanadas

These Tuna Empanadas remind me of those hot summer days on the beach in my hometown of Tampico. Along come memories of the roaming food vendors selling all sorts of tasty seafood fare, and the visitors that spent hours under the “palapas” (palm roofs), enjoying the ocean breeze. I haven’t been to a beach in 3 or 4 years, but that doesn’t stop me from treating myself to some delicious seafood dishes, like these Tuna Empanadas (“Empanadas de Atún”).

What I like about this recipe is that you can prepare the tuna filling a couple of days in advance and keep it in the fridge for when you’re ready to form the empanadas. They are great to serve as an appetizer or as a main dish for a dinner with friends. You can also make these empanadas out of fish, simply substitute the tuna for any steamed fish of your choice.

In this case, I added some Chile Ancho salsa to the dough in order to give the empanadas some color, but you can skip this step if you want, they will still come out delicious! In Mexico, we have many types of empanadas: some are sweet and others are savory, and some are made with corn masa (like in this recipe) while others are made with wheat flour.

Empanada gallega/ Galician empanada

Esta receta la hice porque mi hija ama el pay de atún, pero lo quería hacer diferente al normal que siempre se encuentra. Mi mamá compra un pay de atún congelado de una pastelería súper famosa y deliciosa de la Ciudad de México que por el COVID-19 está cerrada hasta julio.

Así que cuando mi hija me dijo que, si se la podía hacer yo en vez de esperar a julio que abran la pastelería, me fui a las fotos de nuestro último viaje a España en donde vimos muchas empanadas gallegas y en mis listas de cosas que quiero cocinar, estaba ya anotadísima y con muchas notas mías, pues en dónde veía cosas que me gustaban preguntaba y los españoles muy amables te comparten recetas, tips y qué nunca debemos hacer, así que hice la receta que en esa época había escrito y quedó deliciosa. Y con esta libertad de hacerla yo pude adaptarla a lo que me gusta, pues la mayoría de las veces es más un atún a la vizcaína con aceitunas y pimientos, pero las aceitunas no me gustan (no me maten) y los pimientos me caen fatal.

Esta versión tiene mucho aceite de oliva, como en casi toda la comida española, y no quieren quitarle aceite ya que cuando está listo el atún sacas aceite de ahí con todo el sabor de la cebolla, ajo, atún, paprika para hacer la masa que queda súper suavecita y elástica.

Si quieren le pueden agregar pimientos y aceitunas, pero así como está queda deliciosa y es una nueva forma de preparar el atún.

Empanada gallega

1 cucharada aceite de oliva extra virgen

11 gr levadura instantánea

160 ml agua (más la necesaria para que quede la bola homogénea)

350 gr atún drenado (yo uso Tuny finas hierbas en sobre y no tiene líquido ni soya)

200 gr cebolla finamente picada

1 cucharada perejil fresco picado

½ taza aceite de oliva de buena calidad (parece mucho, pero una buena parte se va a la masa, no lo reduzcas para que la masa te quede deliciosa)

  1. En un sartén calentar el aceite de oliva
  2. Freír la cebolla hasta que esté traslúcida
  3. Agregar el ajo y freír por 30 segundos
  4. Agregar la paprika y puré de tomate y mezclar bien cuidando que la paprika no se queme porque se amarga
  5. Agregar el atún y cocinar hasta que todo esté bien integrado
  6. Sazonar con sal y pimienta al gusto
  7. Agregar el perejil y cocinar por 5 minutos
  8. Colar una parte de la mezcla para sacar el aceite para la masa
  1. Entibiar el agua y agregar la levadura. Dejar reposar hasta que esponje
  2. En una batidora con el gancho o con la mano, mezclar la harina, sal, perejil, aceite de oliva, aceite del relleno, vino blanco y el agua con la levadura
  3. Amasar hasta que se haga una bola homogénea suave. Si es necesario agregar más agua una cucharada a la vez
  4. Formar una bola, tapar con un plástico en un bowl y dejar que doble su tamaño
  1. Precalentar el horno a 180°C
  2. Dividir la masa en dos partes del mismo peso
  3. Extender una de las mitades de masa hasta que mida 35 cm de diámetro (14 pulgadas)
  4. Pasar la base a una charola para horno con tapete de silicón
  5. Esparcir el relleno en toda la base dejando 1 cm de orilla para poder cerrar
  6. Esparcir el huevo cocido encima del relleno
  7. Extender la otra mitad de masa y ponerla encima del relleno
  8. Cortar el exceso de masa para que quede redonda y con 1 cm de orilla nada más
  9. Pellizcar la orilla completa
  10. Barnizar con el huevo
  11. Con lo que queda de masa cortar adornos para la parte de arriba y pegarlas a la masa ya barnizada
  12. Volver a barnizar
  13. Hornear hasta que la masa esté cocida y empiece a dorar
  14. Sacar del horno y dejar reposar 5 minutos
  15. Servir

I made this recipe because my daughter loves tuna pie, but I wanted to make it different from the normal one she always found. My mom buys a frozen tuna pie from a very famous and delicious bakery shop which will be closed until July for COVID-19.

So when my daughter asked me if I could make it instead of waiting until July for the bakery to open the bakery, I went to the photos of our last trip to Spain where we saw many galician empanadas and which was already in my list of things I want to cook. It already had many notations and little notes, because where ever I saw things that I liked I asked and the very friendly Spaniards shared their recipes, tips and what we should never. So, I made the recipe that at that time I had written, and it was delicious. With this freedom to do it myself, I was able to adapt it to what I like, because most of the time it is more a Vizcaino tuna with olives and peppers, but I don’t like olives (don’t kill me) and peppers don’t agree with me.

This version has a lot of olive oil, as in almost all Spanish food, and you do not want to reduce oil because when the tuna is ready you will use the oil from the tuna with all the flavors of onion, garlic, tuna, paprika to make the dough that is super soft and elastic.

If you want you can add peppers and olives, but just as it is it is delicious, and it is a new way to prepare tuna.

¼ cup oil from the cooked tuna

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

160 ml water (plus the one needed to form the homogeneous dough ball)

350 gr drained tuna (I use Tuny brand wit fine herbs in a pouch which has no liquid or soy protein)

200 gr finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

½ cup good quality olive oil (it looks like a lot, but a good part goes to the dough, don’t reduce it so the dough stays delicious)