Leftover Alchemy: Dom’s Tuna Empanadas

Here is another happy accident/leftover disguise that worked shockingly well. Shu has the benefit of getting lots of leftovers from her cook job, therefore saving us tons of money but giving us some culinary challenges. This week Shu brought home (amongst some other things) a massive bag of prepared tuna salad (e.g. Mayo, celery. Salt & pepper) knowing we wouldn’t be able to go through that much tuna in sandwich form; I decided to roll the dice & try to make empanada. To save time (and mess) I bought my pizza dough from the grocery store, should you want to make your’s from scratch just click the following link. http://pizzatherapy.com/dough.htm

The entire family really enjoyed the dish and barring the mild nuisance of stuffing the individual “pies” fairly easy.



2 pounds risen pizza dough,

a couple of handfuls of either flour or corn muffin mix,

5 tablespoons of olive oil,

2 onions, diced to bits,

2 carrots, diced to bits,

1 green pepper, diced to bits,

2 ounces sliced olives of your choice,

3 cloves of garlic, diced or run through a press,

about 2 pounds of prepared tuna salad,

1 tablespoon of salt,

3 tablespoons paprika,

1 tablespoon Mrs Dash (I know, make fun of me but it’s good)

a hefty dash of soy sauce,

a few shakes of Badia complete (or a few shakes each of garlic & onion powder & some dried parsley)

Sirachi Chili sauce to taste (I left this out of the dish itself since I was feeding the whole family, but I used it copiously on the finished product as I felt it really opened up the flavor)


First make sure that your dough has time to rise properly. As for the filling take a large frying pan and add the olive oil and carrots first, as the carrots take the longest and cook at medium high heat. When the carrots are about halfway cooked, toss in the onions, peppers, garlic and spices & allow to sweat thoroughly at medium heat. Once the vegetables are all cooked through add the tuna salad & fold into the vegetable mixture and simmer for about 10 minutes or so. At this point you might need to add a touch more olive oil to keep the consistency right; basically if it feels a bit dry as you stir it add a little. After you have simmered the tuna and veggies together allow to cool so you can work with it more easily when you introduce it to the dough.


Now time to deal with the dough. Assuming it has risen, dust liberally with flour (or corn muffin mix) and start dividing the dough into balls roughly twice the diameter of a golf ball. When all of our dough is sufficiently “ballified” dust a large cutting board with flour and start to roll them out and stuff them. Basically roll the dough till it’s about 5 inches by 4 inches & roughly ¼ inch thick, and place a big heaping tablespoon of the tuna mixture in the center then pinch shut and placed on a cookie tray that has been liberally sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, check to make sure there has been no disaster then put back in for another ten minutes or so. There you have it, now you know a delicious way to transform a preponderance of tuna salad.


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