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Galician Tuna Pie Recipe - Empanada Gallega de Bonito


Empanada Gallega - Galician Tuna Pie

Empanada Gallega - Galician Tuna Pie

Lisa Sierra (c) 2012 Licensed to About.com Inc.

Large pies or turnovers called empanadas are traditional in the cuisine of Galicia, a region located in northwest Spain. The Galicians prepare many types of fillings for their "empanadas," from sweet to salty. Although meat fillings are popular, the filling made of bonito or tuna, mixed with boiled egg, onion, red pepper and tomato sauce is a classic. Bake in the oven until the crust is flakey and golden brown.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 Servings


  • Crust:
  • 2-3 oz milk
  • (20 gr) fresh yeast or 8 gr dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 oz (100 gr) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 oz white wine
  • 2-3 oz olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 3/4 cups (640 gr) white flour
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • Filling:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 large onion, (8-9 oz)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 30 oz tuna or albacore in oil, drained
  • salt to taste


This recipe makes an empanada or pie, in a 9-inch by 13-inch glass baking dish.

Tip: The filling for empanadas can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated.

Make the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are room temperature (70F or 21C) before beginning. Warm the milk slightly and dissolve the yeast in the milk. Pour into a medium size mixing bowl. Add butter, eggs, wine, oil and salt. Mix using a hand mixer on low speed. Gradually add the flour to the bowl, mixing by hand until it forms a doughy consistency. Using your hands, kneed it briefly until it forms a ball. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave in a warm spot while you make the filling (about 30 minutes.)

Make the Filling: Place the eggs in boiling water and boil them until hard. Drain the water and immediately place in cold water to cool. When cooled, set aside for later.

Peel and finely chop the onion. De-stem and de-seed pepper. Slice into strips. Pour the olive oil into a large heavy-bottom frying pan and heat on medium. When the oil is hot, add the pepper and onion and sauté until onion is translucent. Be sure to continue stirring to cook the onions on all sides and ensure that they do not burn. Stir in the crushed tomatoes. Simmer this sofrito for 20 minutes or so.

While the sofrito cooks, open the tuna cans and drain tuna thoroughly, squeezing the liquid that the tuna is packed in. In a mixing bowl, flake tuna into pieces with a fork. Add to the sofrito and mix to make a moist filling. Salt to taste. Remove from the stove and allow to cool.

Pre-heat oven to 400F (200C) while assembling the empanada.

Assemble the Empanada: Divide the dough into two pieces. Cover cutting board with a small amount of flour to prevent dough from sticking. Roll out half of the dough onto a cutting board, slightly larger than the baking dish. Line the dish with the dough, pressing into the corners.

Pour tuna-tomato filling into the glass dish. Slice the hard-boiled eggs and lay the slices on top.

Roll out the other half of dough. Lay dough on top. Cut and crimp edges to seal. Using scraps, cut long strips and lay on top in a lattice pattern. Beat egg. Using a brush, paint the top of your crust with an egg wash.

Bake in oven on center rack for 30-45 minutes, or until crust is golden.

Galician Regional Cuisine

Are you looking for a Spanish tapa or snack? Empanadillas are individual turnovers, popular all over Spain and Latin America, but originally from region of Galicia.

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