Flaky, portable, chicken-and-cheese-packed hand pies with half the salt and fat of the deep-fried version.
Sidney Fry, MS, RD
December 02, 2013
1 of 4Photo: Randy Mayor
Food doesn't get much tastier than a deep-fried pocket of flaky dough filled with meaty, cheesy goodness. That's the joy of an empanada, a messy delicacy that's best with a dipping sauce and a mountain of napkins. Their popularity is on the rise, thanks to food trucks. The downside is that what seems like a snack-sized food can contain 500 calories and tons of salt and fat. We love them so much, we just had to make them healthier.
Classic 496 calories per empanada 32 grams total fat 841 milligrams sodium
Makeover 309 calories per empanada 16.3 grams total fat 455 milligrams sodium
2 of 4Photo: Randy Mayor
Lighter Empanada Tip #1: Olive Oil
The secret to our tender dough, this heart-healthy fat replaces butter and lard to save 136 calories and 10g sat fat per pie.
3 of 4Photo: Randy Mayor
Lighter Empanada Tip #2: Roasted Salsa
Packs a tart punch into our filling and doubles as a dipping sauce to save 110mg sodium per tablespoon over store-bought.
4 of 4Photo: Randy Mayor
Lighter Empanada Tip #3: Oven-Baked
No need to deep-fry: Our dough bakes up tender and flaky in the oven. Saves 60 calories and 7g fat per pie over fried.