Bite Into These 7 Scrumptious Hudson Valley Empanadas
Whether you like ‘em with chicken, beef, or corn and goat cheese, you’ll find every kind of empanada in the Hudson Valley.
Adobe Stock / Brent Hofacker
Biting into an empanada is bliss. In one mouthful, the harmony of flaky dough and flavorful fillings delivers the best kind of edible comfort. Like mac and cheese or homemade chocolate cake, the handheld pockets soothe the soul and satisfy the stomach. Sized somewhere between Italian calzones and Asian dumplings, the Spanish-style pita pockets come stuffed with everything from beef and chicken to cheese and vegetables.
While empanadas are still on the up-and-up in the Hudson Valley (tacos continue to lead the way when it comes to local food trends), the mostly savory, sometimes sweet half-moons are fast developing a cult following among locals in the know. Take a scroll through some of our favorite empanada spots in the area, then get ready for a foodie field trip!
Order: Chicken Pot Pie
As if Baked by Susan’s cupcakes and pies weren’t enough of a temptation, the Croton bakery’s homemade empanadas are all the savory excuse you need to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner there. Susan’s all-butter crust tastes like a cross between traditional empanada dough, puff pastry, and pie crust in the best way. Fillings, meanwhile, vary across the board from go-to beef and black bean and cheddar to comfort food-friendly chicken pot pie, zucchini and cheddar, and oven-roasted potato. Whether you pick up a few for an impromptu dinner or order a box for a family get-together, you’ll be surprised you never sampled Susan’s savory stuff sooner.
Order: Pernil Empanada
Based in Monroe, the red Empanada Master food truck is worth tracking down at fairs and festivals. Traditionally fried, the sizeable pockets get stuffed with beef, beef and cheese, chicken, plain cheese, or pernil (pork). If you want a vegetarian option, try out the veggie version made with spinach, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and feta. Don’t forget to save room for dessert! The apple pie and strawberry cheesecake versions are delightful in their own right.
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Order: Veggie Empanada
One bite of this home-cooked, Peruvian empanada is all it takes to fall in love with the menu at Maura's. Dunk the handheld into the accompanying green sauce and prepare to relish the crunchy goodness. Pair your empanada platter with a side of sweet plantains or an avocado salad, then stick around for the homemade flan for dessert.
Order: Empanadas de Picadillo
As the winner of “Best Empanadas” in our 2018 Best of Hudson Valley Awards, Ramiro’s 954 is the place to go if you’ve never before sampled the magic of empanadas. Skip the main menu and go straight for the appetizer spread, where you’ll find empanadas de picadillo, a twist on the classic that spices ground beef with onion, garlic, pepper, olives, raisins, and…wait for it…red wine. Topped with a sweet chipotle sauce, they’re addicting enough to merit a double order.
Order: Empanadillas de Picadillo
If you love to munch on small bites instead of diving into a serious dinner spread, you'll be all over the options at Rojo Tapas. Order a nice glass of Spanish red, then pair it with the empanadillas de picadillo, the Cuban-style pockets stuffed with spiced ground beef. Whether you split them with a friend or enjoy them all on your own, you'll be amazed by the hidden flavor inside the bite-sized treats.
Order: Pepperoni Pizza Empanada
If Sasha’s isn’t on your radar yet, it’s time for a road trip to Westtown to find the “famous” dough pockets that locals can’t stop eating. Begin with the original beef, cheese, or chicken versions if you want to sample the basic flavor or munch on the pepperoni pizza one for a fun American twist. If you’re looking for a vegetarian version, the spinach and mozzarella cheese rendition is a treat for everyone.
Order: Corn and Goat Cheese Empanada
Specializing in baked Argentinian empanadas, Twisted Soul offers options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Keep it classic with the chicken or beef versions or delight your taste buds with the corn and goat cheese or, when available, the sweet potato variety. Take the first few bites unadulterated to sample the pure, slightly spicy notes, then dunk them headfirst into the accompanying chimichurri sauce for a flavor that you won’t be able to forget. P.S. Go for the three for $8 deal if you’re looking for an under-$10 lunch that doesn’t sacrifice on taste.