Brazilian Meat Pies

This meat pie is a spin on the South American empanada – a traditional savoury pie originating from the Brazilian state of Goiás. The recipe includes pork and chicken, but the versatility of empanada makes it easily adaptable to any filling you want!

Time: 2 hours

Serves: 15


  • 45ml olive oil
  • 250g pork loin
  • 250g boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 150g pork sausages, (see note)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g ripe tomatoes
  • 125g all-purpose potatoes, boiled and finely diced
  • 8 pitted black olives, chopped
  • 8 pitted green olives, chopped
  • 1 large handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 large handful coriander, chopped
  • 100g palm hearts, drained and roughly chopped, (see glossary)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  • 250ml oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1.25kg plain flour, sifted


To make the dough, combine 500ml water with the oil, eggs, butter and baking powder in a large bowl. Gradually add the flour, stirring until all the flour is incorporated. Firmly knead the dough for 5–10 ­minutes, until it no longer sticks to your hands. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave it to rest at room temperature for 2 ­hours.

Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Cook the pork loin, chicken and sausages with the garlic over a high heat, turning once, for 4–5 ­minutes, or until cooked. Season the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow to cool, then cut the pork, chicken and sausages into small pieces. Set aside.

Purée the tomatoes in a blender, then pour into the frying pan. Stir in the remaining olive oil. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8–10 minutes, or until thickened. Return the chopped pork, chicken and sausages to the pan. Stir in the chopped potatoes, olives, parsley, coriander and palm hearts. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease 15­ Texas muffin tin holes with butter. Set aside one-quarter of the dough. Divide the remaining dough into 15 equal portions. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into 18cm circles and use them to line the muffin holes. Spoon the filling into the muffin holes. Divide the reserved dough into 15 equal portions. Roll out the dough into 10 cm circles and use them to cover the tops of the pies. Crimp the edges of the pastry to seal the pies. Let stand for 15­ minutes.

Whisk the egg yolk with the milk and brush it over the tops of the pies. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve the pies hot.


Use any good quality pork sausages, such as chorizo or pork and fennel sausages.

Recipe taken from This is Brazil by Fernanda de Paula and Shelley Hepworth

Discover the taste of Brazil’s rich cultural heritage with This Is Brazil. Brazil is a nation that loves to celebrate. Go to any football match, family barbecue, after-work drinks or the famous carnival street parades, and the playful atmosphere is contagious. This festive spirit carries over into every arena of life, including the kitchen. This Is Brazil gives you a taste of both Brazil’s rich heritage and the warm embrace of its people, with fun, easy-to-prepare dishes perfect for sharing with family and friends. So make yourself a cold caipirinha and enjoy cooking the Brazilian way! Join Fernanda and Shelley on their culinary exploration of this beautiful and diverse land. Sample recipes from all corners of the country, from the salt cod fritters and cheese balls enjoyed in urban Brazil’s many bars and botecos; to the classic, more substantial meals like moqueca bahiana (seafood stew), feijoada (pork and bean stew) and arroz com mariscos (rice with shellfish); and indulgent sweet treats like coconut mousse and Brigadeiro chocolate truffles. With all the colour of Carnival and recipes designed for sharing, This Is Brazil will take you there in no time.

You can purchase This is Brazil at

Published by Hardie Grant Books.

Related articles:
Thai Chicken Pies
Spaghetti Bolognese Pies
Roasted Pumpkin Pies

Written by Amelia Theodorakis

A writer and communications specialist with eight years’ in startups, SMEs, not-for-profits and corporates. Interests and expertise in gender studies, history, finance, banking, human interest, literature and poetry.

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