Bolivian Salteñas

Recipe By: Calphalon Team  -  Originally Published: 10/12/2012


Bolivian Salteñas

As a Bolivian empanada, these savory hand-held pastries are filled with a meat and vegetable mixture that is saucier and sweeter (and can be spicier) than most other empanadas.

  • Servings: Yields 50
  • Prep Time: Less than 60 Minutes
  • Cook Time: More than 60 Minutes
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Course: Appetizer


For the filling:
1 c. lard or margarine

1 c. ground cayenne pepper mixed with water

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed 

1 1/2 Tbsp. salt

2 c. white onion, cut into small cubes

1 1/2 c. green onion, finely chopped

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vinegar

1/2 c. fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 c. potato, peeled, cooked and cut into small cubes

1/2 c. cooked green peas

3 lbs. lean meat, cut into small cubes

2 spoonfuls unflavored gelatin, dissolved in 3 c. water

25 black olives, sliced in half (1 half per salteña)

150 raisins (3 per salteña)

9 hard-boiled eggs (1 slice per salteña)

For the dough:
12 c. flour

1 1/2 c. lard or margarine (boiling)

6 whole eggs

1/2 c. sugar

2 1/4 c. lukewarm water (more or less)

3 tsp. salt


​To prepare the filling, combine the margarine and the cayenne pepper in a sauté pan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the margarine separates from the pepper. Add cumin, ground black pepper, oregano and salt. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes and stir constantly so that the mixture does not stick. 

Add the white onion and let it cook for 5 minutes; add the green onion.

Remove the pan from the heat; add the sugar, vinegar, parsley, potato and peas.

In another sauté pan, add the 3 c. gelatin/water mixture. Let it cook over high heat and as soon as it starts to boil, add the meat. Mix quickly and remove from the heat.

Mix the first preparation (vegetables) with the gelatin and meat. Let it cool in the refrigerator overnight or until it thickens. You may add the olives, raisins and egg before it thickens or add them directly on the dough when preparing the salteñas.

To prepare the dough, sift the flour in a bowl and add the boiling lard or margarine. Mix quickly with a wood spoon. Let it cool for a few minutes and add the eggs, sugar, lukewarm water and salt. Mix to combine.

Knead the dough with your hands until dough becomes dry. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest for ten minutes.

Divide all the dough into 50 small balls and thin them out one by one with a roller, making round-shaped pieces (about 1/4 in. thick x 5 in. diameter).

On each round-shaped piece, place a spoonful of the filling with the olive, raisins and egg if these ingredients were not mixed before.

Dampen the edges of each piece with water, fold each one and join the edges very well so that each salteña is closed perfectly. Leave the closing along the top.

Place salteñas on a baking sheet sprinkled with flour (make sure they do not touch each other). 

Preheat oven to 575°F/300°C.

Bake salteñas for 7 - 10 minutes. Serve warm.

If desired, paint salteñas before baking them. In a frying pan, add 6 spoonfuls of lard or margarine, 2 spicy red peppers (ground), 4 spoonfuls of water and 1 tsp. of salt. Mix the ingredients and cook them over low heat until the water evaporates. Remove the mixture from the heat and paint each salteña with a kitchen brush.​