Homemade Empanadas and a Day of Fun

People say that winter in Mallorca is boring.

They are wrong.

For this whole month of March and probably for the month of April too, I’m going to show you what great fun you can have in Mallorca in the winter.

Through the blog you are going to become a member of our Winter Activities group and you’ll be stepping into my shoes to discover all the great things that we do in Mallorca in the winter.

This time last year, a huge group of friends got together to learn how to make empanadas. We roped Toni’s family into it too!

Empanadas Santa Maria

Making Empanadas at the Finca

Toni’s abuela (grandmother) lives in Santa Maria in a townhouse. She also owns a finca in the country in Santa Maria. No one lives in the finca but it’s a great venue for parties and get-togethers, it being an old typical Mallorcan farmhouse on the top of a hill with plenty of land around.

The finca has a huge outdoor area and there is still an old typical wood oven that still works. That is where we planned to make the empanadas.


Authentic wood oven at the finca

What is an Empanada?

An empanada is a small individual pie that is normally made especially for Easter, but can be eaten at any time of the year. Each area of Spain has its own version of empanada but we were making the one that’s typical from Mallorca.

The empanada is round with a flat base and a flat lid. Inside it normally contains small pieces of lamb or chicken, peas and sobrassada. But you can put anything you want in there.


Empanada recipe

Empanadas are very fattening but are quite delicious – please don’t be alarmed by the ingredients:

Ingredients for 20 empanadas:

For the pastry:

  • 1 ½ kgs pastry flour
  • 375g  lard – melted
  • 250g olive oil
  • 200ml tepid water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt

For the filling:

  • 1 leg of lamb de-boned and chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 200g fresh or frozen peas (optional)
  • 100g Mallorcan sobrassada torn or sliced into small pieces
  • 100g bacon or pancetta chopped into small pieces
  • Juice of half a lemon


Once we have the lamb pulled away from the bone and diced we leave it to marinate in a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. If you can prepare this in advance and leave it for a few hours, even better.

Now we make our pastry. Mix all the pastry ingredients together and massage the mixture with your fingers until it makes a dough. Leave it to rest while you make your filling.


Make your filling

Mix together your marinaded meat, the peas (if using), your small pieces of sobrassada and the small pieces of bacon or pancetta. Season generously with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Break off portions of approx. 80g of dough and mould into a ball. Push your thumbs into the ball to make a hole and gradually open up the hole until the dough has lost its dough shape and looks like a mini bowl with a flat bottom. Fill it with your filling.


Take another piece of dough and roll it flat so that you can cut a round piece to make the lid for the empanada. Cover the filling with the dough lid and press the edges of the lid together with the edges of the bowl part to seal it.

Make a tiny hole in the top of each empanada and place them on a tray in a preheated oven for 45 minutes at 180ºC. Or if you can use a wood oven like we did, even better.


Serve fresh from the oven or keep them in a cool dry place and serve cold within two days.

Empanadas with Winter Activities

When we all got together to make empanadas last year, there were not many of us who had a clue where to begin. So we nominated some of the local mothers and grandmothers who are used to making them for their own families every year.

Each expert took a team of novices and set to work correcting our every move and trying to keep us under control.

Santa Maria

Before long we had quite a production line going. Those who got fed up with the pie making took control of the sangria.

Santa Maria

Soon we had all our empanadas ready and had progressed to other things. We had a few pizzas on the go, there was a paella being cooked on the barbecue and Toni made a couple of huge salmon pastries that turned out to be delicious.

We picked a few of the men to be in charge of the barbecue and the wood oven and they ran the show like clockwork.

Santa Maria

Sebas and Paula – friends working together

Santa Maria

Toni’s abuela had to save the Mallorcan “coca”


Always use fresh ingredients


A little more olive oil


No Mallorcan lunch is complete without olives


Seamus made pizza – with a little help


Paella on the go on the barbecue


Quality control – gotta taste what you’re making!

I would like to remind you that all the photos used in this blog are my own unless otherwise stated. If you want to see the rest of the photos from this day, see the slideshow below or click here. If you want to know more about Winter Activities, click here.

Filed Under: featuredfood and drinkmallorcamallorca gastronomySanta MariaspainWinter Activities

About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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  1. Julie Benz says:

    The empanada making sounded fun, even if I don’t eat meat. Did the outside oven work well?

    The group sounds refreshingly lively- thanks for making for such entertaining reads.
    I live very close to Can Sureda, so it was a great surprise to find out of their existence. I may well make the 29th March outing, but as a photographer, I’m also keen in meantime to take some photos there too (of the shop, animals, stuff growing- food related is my thing).

    I did send an email enquiry to Can Sureda a few days ago and received no reply. Any tips or contact recommendation please? Thanks. P.S. All Mortitix wines I’ve tried to date are very good, as I see it’s a potential visit!

    • Lisa says:

      Wow, you don’t eat meat? How do you survive in Mallorca?
      The wood oven was great but we need some practice to perfect the temperature.
      Regarding getting in touch with Can Sureda, I wish you luck. They rarely answer the phone in my experience. It’s more a matter of turning up and seeing who’s around. Why don’t you come with us on the day of the visit? You’ll be more than welcome. If you want to join any of our “Winter Activities” just contact Toni via the blog/programme. Though as the winter draws to a close, there will be fewer activities now until next winter.
      Have a great weekend 🙂

  2. zan says:

    March and April are spring…

    The winters on Mallorca are more boring than anything.
    Most Mallorcans even stay in because of the “cold”. No parties (except from an occasional thing with family or such in the outskirts)

    Do not come here from November till April!!!

    • Lisa says:

      I feel sorry for you. What a sad outlook on life.
      I often speak to people who feel this way too. When our summer work starts again in April (yes, in spring) and I ask people over the phone “how was your winter?” and they come out with things like “long… boring… cold… nothing to do…” I seriously pity them. Some people don’t deserve such a beautiful island to call their home.

  3. Noelle says:

    We’ve just spent two weeks in Mallorca. Really enjoyed it and tasting our way through local bakeries. Bought a little panada mold, and found your site looking for a recipe for the dough. Many thanks.

    • Lisa says:

      And how did the panadas turn out? I didn’t even know there was a mold!
      What was your favourite or weirdest thing you ate in Mallorca?

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