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Empanada sauce | RecipeTin Eats

This is an empanada sauce created especially for serving with the homemade empanadas I shared today. Loosely based on a traditional Colombian sauce called hogao, it has a wickedly good smokey flavour from char-roasting tomatoes in the oven. Use leftovers as a dip!

Dipping Beef empanada in sauce

I’m a firm believer than empanadas should be so great, you want to grab them straight out of the oven and eat them plain. Make the beef empanadas – and you will! Hot and crispy on the outside, juicy and flavourful on the inside, it’s everything an empanada should be!

But it is nice to have something wet to dip empanadas into because the reality is that there is only so juicy you can make the empanada filling without compromising the crispiness of the base. Empanadas are not like, say, Aussie meat pies which have molten gravy fillings.

While the beef empanada recipe includes various simple sauce options, this empanada sauce was created especially and is by far the best!

Empanada sauce with empanadas

Ingredients in empanada sauce

This empanada sauce is based on a traditional Colombian sauce called hogao and is made with tomato that’s roasted until charred for beautiful smoky flavour.

Empanada sauce ingredients
  • Tomatoes – 2 medium ones, about 125g/4oz each.

  • Garlic cloves – Peel the skin off but keep them whole.

  • Spices – cumin for flavour and cayenne pepper for a warm buzz.

  • Sugar – just a tiny amount, to balance the flavour

  • Lime juice – for freshness/sour. Substitute with lemon or a vinegar (it’s only a small amount so substitutions are flexible)

  • Green onion – for a bit of freshness and nice bits of green in the sauce

How to make Empanada sauce

Two simple steps:

  1. Roast the tomato and garlic until you get nice charred edges which gives the sauce its special smokey flavour; then

  2. Blitz!

Making Empanada sauce
Roast the tomatoes until charred on the edges for a lovely smokey flavour

Serve with fresh, homemade empanadas.

Weep with joy.

No recipe video for this one because it’s an extra recipe for the beef empanadas and relatively straight forward. Though I can never resist if there’s demand, so leave your request below if you’d like a recipe video! – Nagi x

Dipping empanada in Empanada sauce

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Empanada sauce with empanadas

Empanada dipping sauce

This is a dipping sauce to accompany the beef empanadas that I published today, though it can be used for any type of empanadas – or used as a dip for corn chips, veggie sticks etc! Loosely based on a traditional Colombian sauce called hogao. Makes enough for 1 batch beef empanadas.


  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F (200°C fan).

  • Roast tomato 20 min – Toss the tomatoes and garlic with the olive oil in a bowl. Place the tomatoes on the tray, cut side up, then roast for 20 minutes.

  • Roast garlic 15 min – Add garlic to the tray and roast for another 15 minutes until the edges of the tomato are browned. Remove from oven and cool on tray.

  • Blitz – Transfer to a container that just fits the head of a stick blender. Add all remaining ingredients except the green onion. Blitz until smooth – about 5 seconds. Add the green onion and blitz until it’s finely chopped.

  • Serve with empanadas – or corn chips, vegetable sticks, bread!

Recipe Notes:

Leftovers will keep for 5 days in the fridge. or freezer for 3 months.
Nutrition for whole batch.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 182cal (9%)Carbohydrates: 13g (4%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 15g (23%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 596mg (26%)Potassium: 621mg (18%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 7g (8%)Vitamin A: 2057IU (41%)Vitamin C: 38mg (46%)Calcium: 39mg (4%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Life of Dozer

He doesn’t realise this sauce comes with beefy empanadas. You snooze, you lose Dozer!

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