Video: Italian Sub Empanadas

When Volpi foods asked me to do some fun stuff with cured meats, it didn’t take me long to come up with something. Italian subs are probably my favorite food item that makes use of cured meats, but how to reinvent? A calzone or pizza is too obvious, but you still want some carbs with those meats. My answer? Empanadas. These are like little calzones, but you don’t have to make a yeasty dough that needs rising time, so from start to finish it’s much quicker than making calzones. But also, butter. Butter. Butter. Butter. This dough is full of it. And that’s all that needs to be said. Recipe after the break.

Italian Sub Empanadas


  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • 2/3 c water
  • ¼ c fresh oregano
  • 1 stick butter, cut into small pieces


  • 2 oz mortadella
  • 2 oz spicy sopressata
  • 2 oz hot capocollo
  • 2 oz pepperoni
  • 6 c arugula
  • ½ c pepperoncini
  • ½ c roasted red pepper
  • ½ c red onion
  • ¼ lb provolone cheese
  • 2-3 T Italian dressing


  • 1 large can crushed san marzano tomatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c sweet onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 T fresh oregano
  • 2 T fresh basil


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T water
  • Sesame seeds to top empanadas

– Mix all your dough ingredients and knead into a cohesive ball. If you have a stand mixer, use it until it’s not really mixing the dough anymore (it’s pretty dense, you’ll be able to see when it’s just getting pushed around and not mixing anymore), then finish kneading on some parchment paper. If no mixer, just knead by hand the whole way (not as bad as it sounds).

– Wrap dough in parchment once finished and smooth and set aside.

– Let rest at room temp for 1 hour

– Chop onions, garlic, basil, and oregano; add all but basil to pot and start cooking down.

– Add enough salt and pepper for just what’s in the pot.

– Add tomatoes and basil, add enough salt for the tomatoes you just put in, and simmer for 5 minutes

– Remove from heat, blend sauce, and set aside

– Chop up meats, red onion, roasted red pepper, pepperoncini, arugula, and provolone cheese

– Mix chopped ingredients with Italian dressing (something bought is best here, as that will give the truly authentic Italian deli taste)

– Preheat oven to 375 F

– Pull dough apart into 12 equal portions, roll into balls, and then roll out into thin circles

– Mix eggs and water

– Brush halfway around the edge on the dough circles

– Fill each with about ¼ c of filling

– Fold non-egg washed side over, being careful to keep filling in the middle, and press to seal the empanadas

– Either roll the edges or press hard with the prongs of a fork to finish the seal

– Brush empanadas w/ egg wash

– Poke ventilation holes into the tops of the empanadas with a fork

– Sprinkle sesame seeds on top

– Bake for 25 minutes or until browned on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; return sauce to low low heat to keep warm once empanadas go into oven

– Serve empanadas with dipping sauce on side

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