Cooking the tomatillos first softens them up so they turn saucy when the empanadas are fried. Using uncooked corn in the filling allows the kernels to retain their sweetness and crunch. If you have cilantro on hand, chop it up and mix it in with the cheese.
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Channel
45 min
15 min
30 min
10 empanadas


  • 1 large ear sweet corn, shucked
  • 5 ounces pepper Jack cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 10 empanada wrappers, plain or with annatto
  • 5 ounces tomatillos, husked (about 4 medium)


Preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Halve the tomatillos and place them cut-side down on the foil. Broil until softened and lightly charred in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and broil again until golden brown but not black (the tomatillos should be tender but not mushy), 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board, cool slightly, then chop the tomatillos coarsely. 

While the tomatillos are broiling, stand the ear of corn in a bowl with a flat bottom and slice the kernels off right into the bowl. Grate the cheese on top of the corn. Add the chopped tomatillos and a big pinch of salt, and then toss to combine. 

Heat the oil in a 10-inch, high-sided skillet over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer inserted in the oil registers 340 degrees F. 

Have a little bowl of cool water on hand. Lay the empanada wrappers on a cutting board. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of the tomatillo filling in a short strip in the center of one wrapper. Then brush a little water on the bottom edge of the wrapper and fold the top half over, creating a half-moon shape. Press to seal with your fingers, and then crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers. 

Fry the empanadas, 5 at a time, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and fry until deep golden brown, another 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on a rack and serve immediately. 

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