Chorizo and Potato Breakfast Empanadas

updated May 11, 2021
Chorizo and Potato Breakfast Empanadas

These hearty breakfast pastries start with store-bought biscuit dough, which means they couldn't be easier to assemble.

Serves6 to 8

Makes16 empanadas

Prep40 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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breakfast empanadas sit on a plate with one split open
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Ben Weiner; Prop Styling: Stephanie De Luca

Brunch Fest is our day-long virtual food festival full of pancakes, eggs, games, and fun, starring many of our favorite cooks sharing their essential brunch recipes and tips. Watch the event live at @thekitchn on Instagram May 2 (or check back here if you miss it).

A classic popping can of flaky buttermilk biscuits is an ideal shortcut dough for empanadas. Each biscuit round can be split and quickly rolled out to the perfect size for the filling, and the touch of sweetness in the refrigerated biscuits is reminiscent of the dough used to make Argentinian-style empanadas.

For this recipe, spicy smoked Spanish chorizo and potatoes are diced and sautéed into a savory breakfast hash, then tucked inside the dough and baked. Serve them hot out of the oven as a grab-and-go breakfast or as part of a festive brunch spread. And if you’re feeling inspired, know that the same dough and technique can be used with many other fillings of your choice: Try swapping in a few dollops of jam and cream cheese for a dessert empanada, or repurpose leftover roasted chicken or vegetables from last night’s dinner into a fun handheld lunch. 

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Ben Weiner; Prop Styling: Stephanie De Luca

Chorizo and Potato Breakfast Empanadas

These hearty breakfast pastries start with store-bought biscuit dough, which means they couldn't be easier to assemble.

Prep time 40 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes 16 empanadas

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium russet potato (8 to 10 ounces)

  • 1

    medium red onion

  • 1

    large red bell pepper

  • About 12 ounces

    fully cooked, refrigerated, smoked Spanish chorizo (not dry-cured or fresh) or andouille sausage links

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 3 large cloves

    garlic

  • 1 tablespoon

    smoked Spanish paprika

  • 1 tablespoon

    dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1

    small handful fresh cilantro

  • 1 (about 16-ounce) can

    refrigerated flaky biscuits, such as Pillsbury Grands

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

  • 1

    large egg

  • 2 tablespoons

    water

Instructions

  1. Cut the following into 1/4-inch dice, keeping them separate: 1 medium russet potato (no need to peel), 1 medium red onion, 1 large red bell pepper, and 12 ounces fully cooked chorizo links.

  2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and cook until starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the red onion and bell pepper and cook until the onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes, adding more oil to the pan as needed if the pan becomes too dry.

  3. Grate 3 large garlic cloves on a Microplane directly into the pan and stir to combine. Add the chorizo, 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chorizo has rendered its fat and is slightly crisp, and the potatoes are fully cooked and tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

  4. Finely chop fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems until you have about 1/4 cup. Add to the filling and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Let cool until lukewarm, at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare the biscuits.

  5. Dust a work surface generously with all-purpose flour and rub some flour onto a rolling pin. Pop open 1 can biscuits and separate the 8 biscuits. Working with one biscuit at a time, use your hands to pull it apart into two thinner rounds (the flaky layers should split easily or you can use a serrated knife or plain unwaxed dental floss to gently cut apart). You should now have 16 dough rounds.

  6. Roll out each dough round until about 5 inches wide and 1/8-inch thick. Place on the baking sheets. Refrigerate until the filling is ready.

  7. When the filling is ready, place 1 large egg, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 pinch kosher salt in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Use a pastry brush to brush the edges of half of each biscuit round with the egg wash.

  8. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling on the center of each dough round. Pull the dough over the filling into a half-moon shape and press closed with your fingertips. To seal, either use a fork to crimp the edges or bend and fold into a decorative edge. Brush the tops and edges with the remaining egg wash.

  9. Bake 1 tray at a time (refrigerate the second tray until ready to bake) until the empanadas are puffed up, golden and slightly shiny on top, 15 to 17 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The filling can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Rewarm in a low oven.

Sausage substitute: Fresh sausage can be used in the filling, but should be cooked and crumbled first.