How to Make Pastellios


Puerto Rican pastellios belong to a long list of empanada variants. They all share the same basic dough and preparation method, but the similarities end when the fillings start. Tomatoes, olives, garlic, onions and peppers abound in Puerto Rican cuisine, and form the base ingredients of most pastellio dishes. Start with base ingredients and you can make any pastellio filling you wish without a recipe. For example, add beef for pastellios de carne, or chicken for pastellios de pollo. One guideline: You have to fully cook the meat or seafood you'll use in the filling before you make the pastellios.

Things You'll Need

  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Rolling pin
  • Filling, such as shrimp, pork, beef or vegetable
  • Vegetable oil
  • Instant-read thermometer

Dough and Filling

  • Add 3 parts flour to a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt each cup of flour used. Three cups of flour makes about 10 6-inch pastellios or 18 to 20 3-inch pastellios.

  • Mix in 2 parts ice-cold butter, cut into cubes, using a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

  • Beat 1 part ice water and 1 whole egg for every 3 cups of flour used in a separate bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the beaten egg in it.

  • Mix the egg and flour mixture until a rough dough forms using a fork. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.

  • Knead the dough gently with the heels of your palms until it just comes together, about 30 seconds. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

  • Dust the work surface with flour and roll the dough to about 1/8- to 1/6-inch thick. Cut the dough in rounds; 3 inches across is the typical for a pastellio, but you can make them any size you like. Cut the rounds with a cookie cutter, plastic cup or a knife.

  • Spoon filling into each round a bit off-center. The exact amount varies for the size of the pastellio, but a 3-inch round holds about a tablespoon of filling.

  • Moisten the edge of the dough rounds with water, just enough to help the dough stick together. Fold each round in half over the filling, forming a half circle.

  • Crimp the edges of each pastellio together using a fork to make a scalloped edge. Transfer the pastellios to a lightly floured plate and chill them in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook.


  • Heat 1 or 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Check the temperature of the oil after about 5 minutes; adjust the stove as required to keep the oil between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Lay the pastellios gently in the frying pan. Space each about 1/2 to 1 inch apart.

  • Fry the pastellios on both sides until golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes in total. Turn them over after about 2 minutes using tongs.

  • Take the pastellios from the pan and drain them on a couple of layers of paper towel. They should have an internal temperature of 165 F.

Tips & Warnings

  • As alternative to frying, brush the tops of pastellios and bake them in a 350 F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling has an internal temperature of 165 F.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Daniel Korzeniewski/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

13 Delicious Thanksgiving Sides That'll Make Turkey Insignificant

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!