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Paleo Yukka Empanadas

Paleo Yukka Empanadas

Empanadas made with Yukka and Ground lamb

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Latin American
Keyword Empanadas
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 14 Empanadas


Empanada Filling

  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 C Chopped Oinion
  • 1/2 C Diced Bell pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 /2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp tomato powder or 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp smoked mild paprika
  • Salt to taste

Empanada dough

  • 1.5 pound Frozen Yukka Root
  • 1/4 tsp Hungarian paprika ( or ground red pepper of any kind)
  • salt to taste

If needed

  • 2 Tbs Tapioca starch / Cassava flour


  • Avocado or coconut oil

Jalapeno Cilantro Salsa

  • 1 Medium hot Jalapeno
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 shallot
  • small piece of ginger
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • salt to taste


Empanada Dough

  1. Cover Yukka with water and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until fork tender.

    Make sure to check at 15 minute mark. You don't want to overcook these.

  2. When yukka is fork tender, drain and mash to a smooth consistency. I used a potato ricer and it worked well. You don't want any tough fibers in this dough.

  3. Allow to cool and then Add salt and paprika and knead to a smooth dough like consistency. 

Make the filling

  1. Heat a saute pan, add the oil. Then add the onions and cook until they soften. 

  2. Add the peppers, cumin, coriander and stir to mix.

  3. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the ground lamb. Stir to combine and cook until lamb is done - about 5 to 7 minutes. 

  4. Add the tomato power or paste and mix to combine. Add in the smoked paprika. 

  5. Switch off the heat. Allow this mixture to cool

Make Empanadas

  1. Make 12 to 15 small dough balls from the yukka dough

  2. If the dough is sticky, apply a little tapioca flour to your hands so the dough won't stick. Or chill the dough in the refrigerator for a bit. 

  3. Working with one dough ball at a time, flatten the dough into a 3 to 4 inch circle. These circles will be somewhat thick. Don't make them thin.

  4. Place about 2 tsp of lamb mix into the center of this circle, fold one edge of the circle onto the other, encasing the filling in the middle.

  5. Take a fork and press it on the edges to seal them - making the empanadas into a  half moon shape.

  6. Repeat for the rest of the dough and filling

  7. Heat the oil for frying to a nice 375 F. Add in the empanadas a couple at a time and fry until golden.

  8. Remove to a cooling rack to let the oil drip out. Serve with Jalapeno Cilantro salsa.

Jalapeno Cilantro Salsa

  1. Pulse together the lemon juice, shallot, ginger, jalapeno, salt and cilantro until it reaches a consistency you like. I like to keep some texture in it so i don't blend it  too much.

Recipe Notes

These Empanadas were inspired by the Dominican  style yucca empanadas. These are non traditional by design!