Ham and cheese AND humita empanadas

Last week was my husband’s birthday which meant making lots of party food (although it was only 6 of us!). These two types of empanadas are PERFECT for parties as the two fillings are super duper easy to make and absolutely delicious!

The two types of empanadas we are making are: Humita and Ham & Cheese! Humita is a creamy sweet corn chowder which is an absolute classic in South America and 100% vegetarian. Ham and cheese is extremely popular in Argentina and as a pair, we think it goes with everything!

Back home in Argentina, you can buy the empanadas dough ready, already cut into individual circles. Although we are yet not as blessed in the UK, this empanada dough recipe is extremely easy (and cheap!) to make and an absolute fool proof recipe that makes the most amazing empanadas!

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This recipe made 36 empanadas – 18 ham and cheese and 18 humita empanadas!


For the dough:

  • 21 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 24 tbsp water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1kg of flour (you may need more!)
  • salt and pepper

For the ham and cheese filling:

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 finely medium chopped onion
  • 175g grated cheddar
  • 1/2 very finely chopped red pepper
  • 200g good quality ham
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 beaten egg (2/3 will be used in filling and 1/3 will be used as part of the egg wash)

For the humita filling:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 finely medium chopped onion
  • 1/2 very finely chopped red pepper
  • 6 grated corn on the cobs
  • 2 cans of 200g sweetcorn (165g when drained)
  • 90-100ml milk
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (depending on your taste buds!)

For the making of the empanadas:

  • a bowl of water to seal the empanadas
  • a bowl 13cm in diameter to use as the cutter
  • 1 beaten egg for egg wash


To make the humita filling:

  1. Grate 6 corn on the cobs until you have a creamy mixture of corn. Discard the empty cobs!
  2. In a pan, heat the olive oil and when hot, add the chopped onion and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chopped pepper and continue to stir until the onion and pepper are well cooked.
  4. Reduce the temperature and add the 6 grated corn on the cobs and the two drained cans of sweet corn. To this, add the chilli flakes and more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Continue to cook for 10 minutes whilst stirring (and at low temperature!) to ensure it does not burn.
  6. Add the tablespoon of plain flour and the milk, slowly and in small amounts. Continue to stir until a creamy humita is formed. You may not need all the milk (you don’t want to add too much milk as otherwise you may need more flour to thicken it!)
  7. Once the creamy humita is ready, let it cool completely – it will thicken further when cold!

To make the ham and cheese filling:

  1. In a pan, heat the olive oil and when hot, add the chopped onion and stir a good pinch of salt, pepper and 1/4 tsp of chilli flakes. Stir and add the chopped red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or so until the pepper and onion are well cooked.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the grated cheddar cheese and the ham. To this add the hot onion/ pepper mix, dried oregano and 2/3 of the beaten egg (the other 1/3 will be used to egg wash!).
  3. Stir well and tah dah! (can it get any easier!?)

To make the empanadas dough:

  1. Add the vegetable oil, water, salt, pepper and eggs and whisk well.
  2. Add flour until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Move the dough onto a clean floured surface and continue to knead (and add flour if needed) until a soft uniform dough is formed.
  4. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

To make the empanadas:

  1. Remove the dough from fridge and add extra flour if the dough is oily and knead for a few extra minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200 degree Celsius.
  3. Roll the dough thinly onto a clean floured surface and use the cutter to cut circles.
  4. Put the dough circle into the cup of your hand and add either of the fillings into the middle of the circle. Be generous (but don’t overfill!)
  5. Dip your finger into the water and cover the edge of the circle with water.
  6. Close your circle in half and seal your empanada.
  7. Crimple your empanada from one end all the way to the other end. You may want to do different crimples on the empanadas to differentiate between ham & cheese empanadas and humita empanadas.
  8. Put empanadas on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.
  9. Once all empanadas are done, egg wash them with a brush and bake for at least 30 minutes. The empanadas are done when golden and the dough is no longer see through.

I CANNOT wait to hear your thoughts on these amazing empanadas and to see them!

Buen provecho 🙂

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