Jerk Lobster Empanadas: A Delicious Handheld Snack

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By Christopher Spiker

Jerk Lobster Empanadas: A Delicious Handheld Snack

Dive into the mouthwatering world of Jerk Lobster Empanadas, a perfect fusion of Caribbean flavors and savory seafood all wrapped up in a golden, flaky pastry. You’ll embark on a culinary adventure as you bite into the tender lobster, seasoned with just the right amount of jerk spices that deliver a delightful kick. These empanadas are not just a treat for your taste buds but an incredibly convenient snack you can take anywhere. Perfect for parties, picnics, or a cozy night in, Jerk Lobster Empanadas are sure to become your new favorite indulgence. Have you ever been in the mood for a snack that’s both delicious and uniquely flavored, bursting with savory spices and fresh seafood? If so, you’re in for a treat! Today, let’s explore the delightful world of Jerk Lobster Empanadas—an irresistible handheld snack that marries Caribbean flair with a beloved pocket pastry. Whether you’ve tasted jerk seasoning before or are new to lobster empanadas, this recipe is a must-try for any foodie.

What Makes Jerk Lobster Empanadas Special?

Jerk Lobster Empanadas are special not only because they combine two luxurious ingredients—lobster and jerk seasoning—but also due to their convenience and versatility. They’re perfect for parties, casual get-togethers, or even a comforting meal at home. Plus, they offer an exciting twist on traditional empanadas.

What is Jerk Seasoning?

Jerk seasoning is a popular spice mix used in Caribbean cuisine, particularly in Jamaica. It’s characterized by a blend of hot and aromatic spices, including allspice, thyme, and Scotch bonnet peppers, among others. This seasoning brings a fiery yet aromatic kick to the lobster, making your empanadas exceptional.

The Magic of Lobster

Lobster is often seen as a luxurious and indulgent seafood choice. It’s rich, tender, and has a slightly sweet flavor that perfectly complements the heat and spice of jerk seasoning. When wrapped in a warm, flaky empanada shell, lobster transforms into a decadent filling that’s hard to resist.


Before diving into the recipe, here’s a comprehensive list of ingredients you’ll need. For convenience, the list is divided into categories:

Empanada Dough

Making your own dough can significantly improve the taste and texture of your empanadas. Here’s what you need:

Ingredient Quantity
All-purpose flour 2 1/2 cups
Salt 1 tsp
Butter 1/2 cup (cold, cubed)
Egg 1 large
Cold water 1/4-1/2 cup

Jerk Lobster Filling

The star of the show! Here are the ingredients to make the filling:

Ingredient Quantity
Lobster meat 2 cups (cooked, chopped)
Jerk seasoning 2 tbsp
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Onion (finely chopped) 1 medium
Garlic (minced) 2 cloves
Red bell pepper (chopped) 1 medium
Green bell pepper (chopped) 1 medium
Thyme (fresh, chopped) 1 tsp
Salt To taste
Black pepper To taste
Lime juice 1 tbsp
Green onions (chopped) 2 sticks
Cream cheese 1/4 cup

Jerk Lobster Empanadas: A Delicious Handheld Snack


The preparation can be broken into two main sections: making the dough and preparing the filling. Both require some time and effort, but the result is well worth it.

Preparing the Dough

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Add Butter: Cut in the cold, cubed butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: In a small bowl, beat the egg and add the cold water. Start with 1/4 cup and add more if needed.
  4. Form the Dough: Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing until a firm dough forms.
  5. Chill: Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.

Preparing the Filling

  1. Cook Vegetables: In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Cook until softened.
  2. Add Lobster: Stir in the chopped lobster meat and cook until heated through.
  3. Season: Add jerk seasoning, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to combine.
  4. Combine Cream Cheese: Mix in the cream cheese until smooth. This will give the filling a creamy texture.
  5. Finish and Cool: Add lime juice and green onions. Let the mixture cool slightly before filling the empanadas.

Assembling the Empanadas

Now that you have your dough and filling ready, it’s time to assemble your Jerk Lobster Empanadas.

Rolling the Dough

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Roll Out the Dough: On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness.
  3. Cut Circles: Use a cookie cutter or a glass to cut out circles of dough, about 4-5 inches in diameter.

Filling and Sealing

  1. Add Filling: Place a spoonful of the lobster filling in the center of each dough circle.
  2. Seal: Fold the dough over the filling to make a half-moon shape. Press the edges together to seal, and crimp with a fork for a decorative edge.
  3. Egg Wash: Beat an egg and brush the tops of the empanadas to help them achieve a golden color when baked.


  1. Arrange on Baking Sheet: Place your filled empanadas on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Cool: Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Jerk Lobster Empanadas: A Delicious Handheld Snack

Serving Suggestions

Dips and Sauces

Empanadas are fantastic on their own, but you can elevate them by serving with a complementary dip or sauce. Here are a few suggestions:

Sauce/Dip Description
Mango Salsa Fresh and fruity to balance the spice.
Cilantro-Lime Crema Creamy with a zesty kick.
Sweet Chili Sauce Adds a bit of sweetness and heat.

Side Dishes

Pairing these empanadas with tasty side dishes can transform a simple snack into a full meal. Consider these sides:

Side Dish Description
Caribbean Rice and Beans A hearty and flavorful option.
Mixed Green Salad Light and refreshing.
Fried Plantains Sweet and savory balance.

Tips for Perfect Empanadas

Achieving the perfect Jerk Lobster Empanadas requires a bit of finesse. Here are some tips to ensure your empanadas come out perfectly every time:

Dough Tips

  1. Keep it Cold: Ensure your butter and water are cold. This helps create a flaky dough.
  2. Don’t Overwork: Mix just until the dough comes together. Overworking can make the dough tough.

Filling Tips

  1. Season Well: Taste your filling as you go to make sure it’s seasoned properly. The flavors should be bold and balanced.
  2. Cool Filling: If the filling is too hot, it can make the dough soggy and hard to work with. Allow it to cool slightly before using.

Baking Tips

  1. Spacing: Give your empanadas enough space on the baking sheet so they bake evenly.
  2. Watch Closely: Keep an eye on them as they bake to ensure they don’t over-brown.

Jerk Lobster Empanadas: A Delicious Handheld Snack

Common Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions that can help dispel any doubts or concerns you might have about making Jerk Lobster Empanadas.

Can I Use Store-Bought Dough?

Yes, you can certainly use store-bought dough to save time. Puff pastry or pie crust are good alternatives.

Can I Freeze Them?

Absolutely! You can freeze the assembled, unbaked empanadas. Just place them on a baking sheet until frozen, then transfer to a zip-top bag. When you’re ready to cook, bake them directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

What if I Can’t Find Fresh Lobster?

If fresh lobster isn’t available, you can use frozen lobster meat or even substitute with shrimp for a similar taste and texture.

Nutritional Information

Knowing the nutritional breakdown of your food is essential, especially for those with dietary restrictions or specific health goals. Here’s an approximate nutritional analysis per empanada:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 250-300 kcal
Protein 12-15g
Carbohydrates 25-30g
Fat 10-15g
Fiber 2g

*Values are approximate and can vary based on exact ingredients and serving size.

Jerk Lobster Empanadas: A Delicious Handheld Snack


Jerk Lobster Empanadas are more than just a snack—they’re a fusion of flavors that provide a memorable culinary experience. With the fiery kick of jerk seasoning and the luxurious taste of lobster, these empanadas are sure to impress. They’re perfect for any occasion, whether you’re hosting a party or simply indulging yourself.

So why not give them a try? Feel free to get creative with the recipe and make it your own. After all, the best part of cooking is the joy of experimentation and the delight of tasting your creation. Enjoy making and, of course, eating these delicious Jerk Lobster Empanadas!