Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > Spanish Tuna Empanada | The Famous Galician Tuna Pie Recipe
All Recipes, Main Dishes / April 12, 2021

Spanish Tuna Empanada | The Famous Galician Tuna Pie Recipe

Spain is known for their empanadas, especially the ones from the region of Galicia, where the first empanada was born. Today, I will show you how to make the famous Spanish Tuna Empanada from Galicia. This Empanada is known in Spain as una Empanada Gallega de Atun.

Spanish Tuna Empanada
This classic empanada has the most incredible flavors, it´s made with very simple ingredients and super easy to put together. Folks, this is one of those dishes that once it´s done, it´s the most incredible feeling of accomplishment.

Spanish Tuna Empanada
To make this empanada, I used Canned Spanish Tuna in olive oil, but you can use any canned tuna you like. But let me tell you, canned Spanish tuna is prized stuff. Known around the world as some of the best.

Spanish Tuna Empanada
TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: I made the empanada dough from scratch, but if you´re short in time, you can just use premade pizza dough. I baked my empanada with the bake + broil option. Which is the bottom and top heat. If your oven can´t do both functions at the same time, just bake for an extra 5 to 10 minutes longer than I did, or until the top dough is baked golden brown.

Spanish Tuna Empanada

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make this Spanish Tuna Empanada

5 from 1 vote

Spanish Tuna Empanada | The Famous Galician Tuna Pie

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 240 grams
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt 3 grams
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 60 ml
  • 1/2 cup water 125 ml


  • 5 cans tuna in olive oil 80 grams / 3 oz each
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (passata) 112 grams
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika 1.30 grams
  • 3 cage-free organic eggs
  • sea salt & black pepper


  • 1 whisked egg


  1. To make the dough, add 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour into a large bowl, along with 1/2 tsp (3 grams) sea salt, mix the dry ingredients together and then make a well, add in 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil and a generous 1/2 cup (125 ml) water, mix together until you form a dough, then get in there with your hands and knead for just 1 to 2 minutes or until the dough is well combined, shape into a ball, place in the bowl and cover with a dishcloth

  2. While the dough is resting, add 3 eggs into a sauce pan, fill with cold water to 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the eggs and heat it with a high heat, once it comes to a boil, place a lid on the pan and turn off the heat, let the eggs sit for 11 to 12 minutes, then drain and add the eggs into a bowl with ice cold water

  3. Meanwhile, drain 5 cans tuna in olive oil (3 oz / 80 grams each) into a sieve with a bowl underneath, mix the tuna around to remove any excess olive oil, reserve the olive oil in the bowl

  4. Heat a fry pan with a medium-high heat and add in 3 tbsp (45ml) of the reserved olive oil from the tuna, after 1 minute add in 1/2 onion finely diced and 1/2 red & 1/2 green bell pepper finely chopped, mix with the olive oil, after 5 minutes and the vegetables are lightly sauteed, add in a generous 1/2 tsp (1.30 grams) sweet smoked paprika and quickly mix together, then add in 1/2 cup (112 grams) tomato sauce and season with sea salt & black pepper, mix together and simmer for 2 minutes or until the tomato sauce has thickned up, then turn off the heat in the pan, add the drained tuna and mix together until well mixed, set aside

  5. Sprinkle a clean flat surface with some all-purpose flour, add the ball of dough on top, cut into 2 evenly sized pieces and shape each one into a ball

  6. Roll out one of the doughs, you want a rectangular design with a thickness of 1/8 of an inch (.30 cm)

  7. Add the rolled out piece of dough into a baking tray lined with parchment paper, add the tuna & vegetable mixture over the dough, in a single flat layer, leaving a border of 1 inch (2.5 cm) on the outer edges, then add in the hardboiled eggs (I cut each one into 1/4 inch - .65 cm thick rounds) over the tuna mixture

  8. Roll out the other ball of dough, again you want a rectangular design with a 1/8 inch (.30 cm) thickness, once it´s rolled out cut off a little bit from one side and reserve, as you want this dough to be smaller, add over the tuna & eggs and roll the bottom dough over the top one, pinching the outer edges to seal the empanada

  9. Grab the left over dough and cut into strips, twist and add over the empanada in a X design, this is optional, but it gives the empanada a beautiful design, lightly pierce the top dough with a fork and brush one whisked egg all over the empanada

  10. Add into a preheated oven, bake + broil option 190 C - 375 F and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top dough achieves a golden baked color, then remove from the oven and serve, enjoy!

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  2. Mike

    Thanks for giving me the courage to try a hot tuna dish, using Ortiz tuna. I had always thought hot dishes using U.S.-style tuna were not very appetizing, but I will give a version of this a try!

    04 . Jan . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      Hope you enjoy! Much love 🙂

      05 . Jan . 2023
  3. Ellen

    Just wondering if I can make this in a pie plate instead of doing it free form as I’ll be transporting it to the hostess’s house.

    19 . Sep . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      Absolutely!! Much love 🙂

      19 . Sep . 2022
  4. Marion

    5 stars
    This recipe looks so beautiful, and I love its simplicity and strong, interesting flavors. Also like Wynne Prescott’s suggestion (above) about splitting it up into little individual empanadas – would be so nice for a picnic or a dinner party. ALSO – another YouTube commenter mentioned that this empanada is super-delicious as a cold leftover, so if you live by yourself, don’t be afraid to make this dish — it’ll be even better the next day in your lunchbox, or served alongside a salad or soup.

    29 . Jun . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love!!

      29 . Jun . 2022
  5. Joseph

    So excited to make this! Why do you think some Galician empanada recipes call for yeast and others don’t? Is there any specific advantage to using yeast?

    10 . Jun . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      Using yeast adds a different flavor, but most I have had do not contain yeast 🙂 much love

      11 . Jun . 2022
  6. Wynne Prescott

    Can you cut the dough into 5 Inch Diameter Circles and make several hand held pies?

    20 . Mar . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      Absolutely! Much love 🙂

      20 . Mar . 2022
  7. Gayle Lopes

    Just making sure l didn’t miss anything about yeast. Is there a reason that yeast is not needed?

    22 . Nov . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      No need for the flour to rise in an empanada 🙂 much love

      22 . Nov . 2021
  8. Marin

    What side dish would you recommend serving this with?

    19 . Apr . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      Some roasted potatoes and a salad 🙂 much love

      20 . Apr . 2021
  9. Mary bopp

    Did I miss the addition of eggs? I guess you would finely chopped and add last to cooked mixture?

    12 . Apr . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      It´s on step 7, after you add the tuna & vegetable mixture, add the eggs thinly sliced over the mixture 🙂 much love

      12 . Apr . 2021
  10. Ramya

    will be making this soon with few subs perfect for my after office snacks and meals will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    12 . Apr . 2021
    • Spain on a Fork

      Sounds great Ramya 🙂 Thanks for the comment! Much love

      12 . Apr . 2021

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