An empanada is a Spanish and Portuguese stuffed
bread or pastry, also known as "impanada" in Italy. The name comes
from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanada is
made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing.
Left: Two empanadas.
Spain, empanadas are usually large and circular in shape and are cut
into smaller portions for consumption, whereas in Portugal and South
America empanadas are normally small and semi-circular.
likely that empanadas in the Americas have their
origins in Galicia, Spain and Portugal, where an empanada is
prepared similar to a large pie which is cut in pieces, making it a
portable and hearty meal for working people. The filling of Galician
and Portugal empanada usually includes either tuna, sardines or
chorizo, but can instead contain cod fish or pork loin. The meat or
fish is commonly in a tomato, garlic and onion sauce inside the
bread or pastry casing. Due to the large number of Galician
immigrants in Latin America, the empanada has also become popular in
Many other world cuisines have dishes very similar to the
Börek from Turkey and areas of the
former Ottoman Empire and
Pirozhki from Russia and nearby countries.