These squash, sausage, sage empanadas with goat cheese are one of my most favorite things to make. Basically, I think empanadas are the perfect meal. Because you can fill them with just about anything you have in your kitchen. Plus, they make great leftover lunches being all cute and easy to fit in your hand.
Since we have an abundance of kabocha squash (or is it buttercup, I have no idea) we have been incorporating it into all of our meals. For lunch I made mashed squash potatoes. And for dinner before we took this same concept of squash, sausage, sage and goat cheese and made baked pasta. Cooking rigatoni noodles and combining them with these ingredients (basically the filling for these empandas), placing in a large baked dish. Topping them off with bread crumbs and baking for 30 minutes. Then place under the broiler for a few minutes just to golden things up.
But back to this recipe....
Try not to overfill the empandas, its hard, you want stuff them full. But it will backfire on you and be hard to seal up the edges.
Note, you can easily make this without the sausage. Just use the whole onion instead of half.
Squash, Sausage + Sage Empanadas with Goat Cheese
makes about 12 small or 6 medium empanadas
Empanada Dough Recipe
I followed this one
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 large egg
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
In a large bowl mix together flour and salt, then using a pastry blender cut the butter into flour creating pea-size pieces.
In a small bowl beat together egg, water and white vinegar. Add to large bowl and stir until just combined.
On a lightly floured mixture, knead together the dough until you can form a ball. Gently flatten into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Squash, Sausage, Sage Filling
1 small buttercup, kabocha or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 pound of ground sausage (can be seasoned liked spicy italian, or plain, just remember to add in additional seasonings)
1/2 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
6 sage leaves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
5 ounces goat cheese
1 egg + splash of water for egg wash
In a large frying pan, brown sausage until completely cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add olive oil to the pan (if there is plenty of sausage oil remaining in the pan you can skip the olive oil, or drain the sausage grease). Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Toss in the cubed squash, sage and thyme leaves with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 10-15 minutes until golden and cooked through. Place the sausage back into the pan, give it a good stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the empanada dough until 1/8" thick. Using a 4" cutter for small ones (which is what I used) or a larger cutter like 6-8", cut out dough. Rolling back out scraps and continuing until all dough has been used. Place 2 tablespoons of filling on top of each dough circles. Top with a dollop of goat cheese. Fold over the dough, pressing tightly with your fingers on the edge, creating a seal. Then, go back over the edge with the fork. Place the filled empanadas on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue to fill each empanada. Brush the tops with egg wash. Top with a pinch of flaky sea salt if desired and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
They are also fantastic cold as leftovers.