Baked Crab and Corn Empanadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce


I’ve been really into fruit salsas this summer and when the hot, steamy weather last week left me craving watermelon, I decided to make a Latin American style meal featuring light and fresh summer flavors. These crab and corn empanadas were a huge hit! The crust was crispy and flakey and, while the flavor of the filling was unexpected, it just worked. The smokey and complex flavor of the poblano sauce paired perfectly with the rest of the meal — I based it off the enchilada sauce that I made for my pork and pineapple stacked enchilada and I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be good without being baked with cheese, but it definitely held its own in this dish. The pool of sauce under the empanada made for a gorgeous plate and I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this to guests. Actually, it would make a perfect dinner party dish, since the prep work is very quick and can be done ahead of time.

The empanadas were also great left over! I think they may have even gotten better after spending the night in the fridge. To reheat them, I just popped the in the toaster oven on “light” for 2 minutes — just enough to crisp up the outside and warm them through.

I served these with sauteed plantains and watermelon salsa (watermelon, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt). The meal was light and refreshing. If you want a more substantial dinner, they would also be great with a side of black beans.

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Baked Crab and Corn Empanadas
  • 1 can crab meat
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup corn
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten together with 1 Tbs water
  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed

In a large bowl, combine the crab meat, scallions, corn, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 4 squares. Place one rounded tablespoon of the crab and corn mixture into the center of each square. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg, then fold it over to form a triangle with the filling inside. Use the tines of a fork to seal the pastry by crimping the edges together. Brush the top of the pastry with the remaining egg.

Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serves 8. Approx. 280 calories, 16 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 8.5 grams protein


[print_this]Roasted Poblano Sauce

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 tomatillos
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch

Light a grill or broiler to high. Place the chiles on the grill/under the broiler and cook for several minutes until the skins turn black and begin to blister. Remove and allow to cool. Remove the papery leaves from the tomatillos and add those. Cook 1-2 minutes or until they just begin to soften. Remove and let cool.

Remove the stem and seed core from the peppers. Use a knife to scrape away the outermost layer of skin (it will be very thin and film-like and should peel off fairly easily). Chop.

Use a blender or food processor to puree the tomatillos. Add the tomatillo puree, chopped chiles, broth, onion, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch and let simmer another 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.

Yields approx. 1.5 cups sauce



  1. These look delicious! I can totally see them being even better the next day, after the flavors have settled into one another more. And I’m a huge leftover fan, which makes this recipe pretty perfect for me. Thanks for sharing!

  2. These look amazing. I am in Maryland and have the luxury of fresh crab. Can’t wait to give these a try. Thanks for posting.

  3. I’ve been loving the pairing of fruit in savory dishes lately as well. That sauce looks so rich and delicious…the perfect summer meal!

  4. oh wow this rocks love empanadas and with crab this is amazing

  5. Empanadas are amongst the few things I learned to love to eat while living in Chile. This is such a great twist on them–and much easier than making dough.

  6. RavieNomNoms says:

    This look really good! Thank you for sharing! I have never seen an empanada with crab before, but it sure does look appetizing!

  7. These are perfect little bites.

  8. I wish I wasn’t allergic to crab! I will have to find my own filling, maybe ground turkey with the corn?

  9. Great idea to use puff pastry for the empanadas. Love the use of crab with a poblano sauce – nice contrast.

  10. This looks like a very tasty dish. Great combination of flavors and a refreshing side of watermelon salsa.

  11. Are those maduros or fried plantains with them?

  12. I’ve never made empanadas, but I love the idea of simplifying them with puff pastry and a light crab & corn filling. The sauce sounds wonderful too!

  13. OY! Poblano sauce!
    Can i drink it?/
    MMMM get in my belly!

    love this!

  14. oh, that flaky pastry and the delicious sauce–what tremendous components. don’t even get me started on the filling–wowza!

  15. These look fabulous- I love all of those flavors together. Crab is my favorite!

  16. I love the idea of a baked empanada. Those look fantastic. I may have to whip some up since the veggies are looking fab at the market these days. Also, I felt the EXACT same way about the bertolli sauce on the lobster pasta.

  17. I can’t wait to make these! They look delicious! Hmmm…this may be dinner tonight.

  18. You had me a crab! It looks scrumptious!

  19. This sounds really good and not that difficult to make. Thanks!

  20. Yum! This looks like a great meal for a hot day.

  21. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for ages and we finally made this tonight. They were SUPER easy and SO friggin’ good. My husband absolutely loved them. Thanks for a great recipe–we’ll definitely make these again! Plus, we have two left over, and they’ll be breakfast tomorrow! :)

  22. I have printed out the recipe and I’m on my way to the store right no! Thanks!

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