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Three baked chiverre empanadas arranged on a doily.

Costa Rican Empanadas de Chiverre Recipe

These Costa Rican empanadas de chiverre are the perfect mix of sweet and savory. Made from scratch and baked to golden perfection, these traditional Costa Rican Easter treats are delicious and fun to make with friends.
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Latin
Keyword baked, Costa Rica, Easter, Holiday
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 25 empanadas


Empanada Ingredients:

  • 3 cups white flour + 2-3 tablespoons extra
  • 2 stick margarine can use butter- room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups miel de chiverre
  • 1 egg
  • spray on cooking oil such as Pam


  • Large bowl
  • Plastic shopping bag cut up into 15-20 3 x 3" squares
  • Tortilla maker
  • Fork
  • 2-3 baking pans


For the dough:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of flour and 2 stick of margarine. Suing your hands, combine until all of the four is integrated into the margarine. The mixture will be a bit crumbly.
    Two sticks of butter resting against each other in a bowl full of flour.
  2. Measure about 1/2 cup whipping cream and add to the dough. Using your hands, combine. From here on out, add cream until the entire mixture is the consistency of cookie dough.
  3. Tips: It is much easier to add the whipping cream slowly to gain the right consistency than to have too much cream and a sticky dough. However, if you do end up in a situation where you added too much whipping cream, you can simply add flour to the dough until you have the right consistency. Once you do, spend a couple of minutes kneading the dough on the counter top just to get everything worked in.
  4. Note- if you used butter instead of margarine, the dough will come out much lighter. The flavor, to me, is about the same.

To form the empanadas:

  1. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into 1" balls.
    Balls of Costa Rican empanada dough piled in a glass bowl.
  2. You can place the balls back in the large mixing bowl until you have completed all of the dough, or you can do each step one at a time. Typically many people are involved in the preparation of the empanadas in Costa Rica, so each person will take a station.
  3. Open your tortilla maker and place one of the pieces of the plastic bag in the center.
  4. Place a single ball of dough in the middle of the plastic bag on the tortilla maker.
  5. Place another piece of the plastic bag on top and close the tortilla maker.
  6. Press down until flat. Note- I used Ziploc bags for this once, and they didn' t work as well as a shopping bag.
  7. Remove the top plastic bag pice and place it back in the tortilla maker.
  8. Move the circle of dough for the empanada, with the plastic bag, to the side.
  9. Using a fork, place about a tablespoon of miel de chiverre on half of the circle of dough.
    Disc of dough with chiverre filling placed on top of it.
  10. 10. Close the other half of the dough over the miel de chiverre and lightly seal.
  11. 11. Using a clean fork, make hash marks all around the edge of the empanada (not on the seam)
  12. 12. Repeat these steps until all the dough has been used.

To bake the empanadas:

  1. Lightly grease a large baking pan.
  2. Lightly place flour on top of the baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg and add a tablespoon of water.
  4. Place the empanadas on the baking pan. These will not expand, so they can be quite close together on the pan with no problems.
  5. Using your finger or a small cooking brush, gently spread the egg wash on the top of the empanadas.
  6. Once the baking tray is full of empanadas, place the empanadas in the oven. They will bake for about 20 minutes- do not remove until they are golden brown. Note- it's pretty hard to outright burn these, but it is easy for them to be undercooked. So let them in a bit longer than you'd think to make sure they get nice and crispy.
    Series of crimped and unbaked empanadas on a baking sheet.
  7. Cool, share and eat!
  8. Heat oven to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven heats fast, then you don't need to do this step until later- it takes about 25 minutes to prepare the first round of empanadas for baking. And if you want to bake them all at once, even longer.
  9. Note: It is typical to make many rounds, or "tandas," of empanada dough. However, this recipe does not double well so it is better to make each batch of dough separately.

Recipe Notes

Note: It is typical to make many rounds, or "tandas," of empanada dough. However, this recipe does not double well so it is better to make each batch of dough separately.