Veracruz-Style Empanadas (Empanadas Veracruzanas)

I nearly always think of empanadas as part of a Spanish tapas plate, but there are some outstanding ones served in Mexico, each with its own regional twist and nearly all of them made with corn dough instead of wheat. The ones served in Veracruz are my favorite, closely marrying Spanish elements like raisins, capers, and olives with Mexican ingredients like corn and chiles for little hand-held flavor bombs that always entice me to eat way more of the little fried corn pockets than I should.
By / Photography By Jason Wyrick | December 01, 2016


Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion in the oil for 10 minutes, until it is well caramelized. Add the almonds, tomatoes, garlic, green olives, capers, rosemary, serrano, raisins, salt and pepper to the skillet and cook 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and immediately stir in the parsley.

Fill a medium skillet with about 1½ inches of corn oil and heat it to medium-high heat. The oil should be hot, but not smoking. Roll the prepared masa into 10 balls, each about 1¼ inches in diameter. Cover them with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Using a tortilla press, press each one into a tortilla 4 inches in diameter. Alternatively, you can place them between 2 sheets of wax paper and flatten them into tortillas with your palm or a heavy pan. Fill each mini-tortilla with 1 tablespoon of filling, fold it in half, and pinch it closed. Fry each one about 1 minute per side, then set on a paper towel to cool and drain. These are best if eaten within a few minutes of coming out of the oil. Serve with salsa.

About this recipe

Excerpted from Vegan Mexico, copyright © 2016 by Jason Wyrick. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

Related Stories & Recipes

Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick

We’ve been fans of Jason Wyrick and his vegan cooking since he told his “I was a junk food vegan” story in the pages of Edible Phoenix many years ago. His latest effort, Vegan Tacos, is not just a rec...

I Was a Junk Food Vegan

Original Pringles? Vegan. Blue Sky Cherry Vanilla soda? Vegan. Soy Delicious Peanut Butter Zig Zag ice cream? Vegan. Eating a Vegan diet? Yes. Eating healthy? Not if you’re a junk food vegan. I know. ...


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 pitted brine-cured green olives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ¾ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup prepared masa
  • Corn oil
  • Your favorite salsa, for serving
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60