Tuna & Tomato Empanadillas

I had the yen to make some Cornish pasties, but not having all the necessary ingredients and not wanting to brave the ugly madness that is Bethnal Green on a Saturday afternoon to get them, I made these instead.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Skill level: Medium
Makes: 20

(When I made this I had lots of filling left over, so I’ve halved the amount here)


  • tomatoes – skinned and finely chopped – 250g
  • onion – finely chopped – 1tbsp
  • tuna – 100g (half a tin)
  • black salted olives – finely chopped – 1/2 tbsp
  • thyme – 1/2 tsp
  • red chilli – 1/2 small – de-seeded and finely chopped
  • garlic 1 clove – finely chopped
  • olive oil – 1tbsp


  • self-raising flour – 275g
  • olive oil – 4tbsp
  • white wine – 2tbsp
  • water – 150ml
  • salt – 1/2 tsp

Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until they start to colour.

Add the tomatoes, chilli, olives and thyme and cook for 10 minutes by which time the sauce should be good and thick. Add the drained tuna and cook for another minute. Season and set aside to cool.

Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Heat the oil, wine and water until it hot enough to hurt when you stick your finger in it. Add to the flour and knead to form a smooth and elastic dough.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C (mark 6)

Roll the dough into a sausage and cut into 20 pieces.

Roll each piece of dough into a circle roughly 12cm in diameter and then using an 11cm pastry cutter cut out a perfect circle.

Place a small amount of filling into the centre of each disk, wet the edges and fold over to form the semi-circular empanadilla. Seal the edge using a fork. You will need less filling than you think, otherwise the filling will ooze out and make a mess.

Place on a large oiled baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Eat while still warm.

Verdict: These make a tasty little snack. Next time I’ll make them a little spicier.

Drink: This was a pre-pub snack so we lined our stomachs with plenty of water.

Entertainment: ‘Still Game’, series 6, episode 1. Craiglang is experiencing a rare heatwave and Jack and Victor try to outwit Tam and Winston to get the best seat in the park. Pure joy.


  1. Great photo, they look great!

  2. Hi Richard,

    What I’ve been searching for is a good veg pastie recipe. Looked all over the web and a dozen cookery books but haven’t turned up anything remotely appetising.
    I could easily duplicate Greggs Cheese and Onion, but those hardly scream PASTIE to me.

  3. Hi Bob

    The closest thing we have made is this Mediterranean Vegetable Pie:

    However, we have cooked this Simon Hopkinson Cheese and onion pie many times and it is possibly the most delicious pie we have ever tasted … couldn’t recommend it highly enough.




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