Skip to Content

Hearts of Palm Hand Pies: Brazilian Empadinha de Palmito

These hearts of palm hand pies are not only easy to make but also taste excellent! If you’re looking for a savory mini pie, this Brazilian snack is right up your alley!

Hearts of palm hand pies Pinterest graphic

Easy hearts of palm hand pies

These hearts of palm hand pies are nicely salty, creamy, and full of flavor.

While the crumbly crust is flaky and slightly disintegrates when you bite, the heart of palm filling is creamy and balances out the crust’s dryness–it’s a perfect combination.

In Brazil, these savory hand pies are a popular snack, and together with coxinha, pastel, kibbeh, and cheese bread, they are a fundamental part of traditional Brazilian food.

Besides, we have many other fillings for empadinha (Portuguese word for hand pie) than palmito (Portuguese word for hearts of palm), as I will talk about below.

Still, these mini hearts of palm hand pies are simply delicious; that’s why it deserves to be shared!

Hearts of palm hand pies
These hearts of palm hand pies are so delicious!

What are hearts of palm?

Hearts of palm are a vegetable harvest from the inner core of some palm trees.

What do hearts of palm taste like?

Heart of palm is a delicate, slightly nutty, vegetable often compared to artichokes. Texture-wise, this vegetable is crunchy and creamy at the same time, which makes it perfect for a wide variety of dishes.

Is hearts of palm good for you?

Absolutely! Heart of palm is a natural source of protein, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, and more. And, that’s not all–this vegetable is waistline-friendly as it is low in calories; about 40 calories in a cup![1]

Hearts of palm hand pies

Can you eat hearts of palm raw?

Yes, in fact, we often eat it raw in this delicious Brazilian hearts of palm salad–it’s divine!

Where do I find heart of palm?

You should be able to find hearts of palm in the canned goods section in the grocery store.

However, if you can’t find it there, you can also buy it online–thanks, Google!

For how long can I keep these savory hand pies?

You can keep the baked hand pies in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months in an air-tight container.

To thaw them, bake the frozen hand pies for about 35 minutes at 350°F/180°C.

Hearts of palm hand pies is called empadinha de palmito in Brazilian Portuguese

What will you need to make this recipe

  • Muffin pan – standard size (Or egg tart molds, but in that case, you’ll also need a baking sheet)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Pastry brush
  • Skillet and wooden spoon
  • Cutting board and a sharp knife

How to serve heart of palm hand pies?

You can serve it either cold, at room temperature, or warm, but for this flavor, I particularly enjoy it warm.

In Brazil, we serve it during birthday parties, family reunions, or just as an afternoon snack. It always tastes excellent!

Oh, and if you like spicy sauces, you might want to serve it with this homemade Brazilian hot sauce–it’s a delicious pairing!

Hearts of palm hand pies

Some other fillings for your mini pies

There are hand pies of all flavors in Brazil, from the sweet ones–for those who have a sweet tooth (like me)–to the savory pies that make a delicious snack.

Here are some other fillings:

  • Chicken and cream cheese (my husband’s favorite)
  • Chicken (it doesn’t have cream cheese, but it’s still delicious!)
  • Shrimp
  • Jerky
  • Ham and cheese
  • Cheese pizza (cheese, tomato, and oregano)
  • Chocolate and strawberry
  • Dulce de leche
  • Sweetened condensed milk
Savory hand pies with hearts of palm filling

Tips for making perfect mini pies

  • If your dough turns out very sticky, add more flour. If it turns out too dry, add some more butter.
  • Make it in batches: cover half of the muffin pan with dough, then stuff them with the filling. It saves time.
  • As mentioned above, I made these mini pies in a muffin pan, but you can also use egg tart molds. In Brazil, we have what we call empadinha molds, but these are pretty similar.

How to make these savory hand pies

Crumbly crust

In a large bowl, add half of the flour, all the butter, egg yolk, and salt.

Using your hands, knead the flour mixture well until all ingredients are incorporated. It will be a sticky dough, but that will improve.

Now, gradually add the remaining flour and knead the dough until it isn’t sticking to your hand anymore.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it in the fridge for 20 minutes. In the meantime, you can make the filling.

Savory hand pies with hearts of palm filling

Mini pie filling

In a skillet, saute the onion until translucent in butter over medium-low heat.

Then, add the garlic and let it saute for 1-2 minutes. Alternatively, you can use this delicious Brazilian sofrito recipe.

Add the diced hearts of palm and saute it further for about 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and flour, and stir it until it becomes a smooth cream.

Next, add the frozen peas, stir it well, cook it for 2 minutes, and turn off the heat.

Hearts of palm filling

Add the cream cheese, olives, and parsley, and mix it again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Assembling the hand pies

Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.

Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, grab a small dough ball measure in your hands, and make a flat disc to place in the muffin pan.

Gently press the dough onto the muffin pan covering the bottom and sides. Make sure there is a little extra dough hanging off the edges.

Using a spoon, stuff the dough with the filling until it is slightly higher than the edge.

Grab another small portion of dough, and make a new disc with your hands. Use this small piece of dough to cover the filling. Gently press the sides to close each mini pie and remove the excess dough, if any.

Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling. Once they’re all assembled, brush the hand pies with egg wash.

Bake them for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve and bom apetite! Enjoy!

Pin it or share this recipe with a friend who might like it too!

Hearts of palm hand pies Pinterest graphic
Savory hand pies with hearts of palm filling

Hearts of Palm Hand Pies

Yield: About 10-12
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

These hearts of palm hand pies are not only easy to make but also taste excellent! If you’re looking for a savory mini pie, this Brazilian snack is right up your alley!

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups (100 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Egg wash to brush over the hand pies

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups (300 grams) heart of palm, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) peas, frozen
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) olives, diced
  • 1/2 cup (15 grams) fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

Crumbly crust

  1. In a large bowl, add half of the flour, all the butter, egg yolk, and salt.
  2. Using your hands, knead the flour mixture well until all ingredients are incorporated. It will be a sticky dough, but that will improve.
  3. Now, gradually add the remaining flour and knead the dough until it isn't sticking to your hand anymore.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it in the fridge for 20 minutes. In the meantime, you can make the filling.

Mini pie filling

  1. In a skillet, saute the onion until translucent in butter over medium-low heat.
  2. Then, add the garlic and let it saute for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the diced hearts of palm and saute it further for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and flour, and stir it until it becomes a smooth cream.
  5. Next, add the frozen peas, stir it well, cook it for 2 minutes, and turn off the heat. Add the cream cheese, olives, and parsley, and mix it again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Assembling the hand pies

  1. Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.
  2. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, grab a small dough ball measure in your hands, and make a flat disc to place in the muffin pan.
  3. Gently press the dough onto the muffin pan covering the bottom and sides. Make sure there is a little extra dough hanging off the edges.
  4. Using a spoon, stuff the dough with the filling until it is slightly higher than the edge.
  5. Grab another small portion of dough, and make a new disc with your hands. Use this small piece of dough to cover the filling. Gently press the sides to close each mini pie and remove the excess dough, if any.
  6. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling. Once they're all assembled, brush the hand pies with egg wash.
  7. Bake them for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes

The number of hand pies might vary depending on the muffin pan size as well as on the amount of filling you add to each pastry.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 583mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g

Like this recipe?

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram! Snap a photo and share it with me tagging @iheartbrazilofficial!

Brazilian Potato Salad: Easy & Creamy Potato Salad
← Previous
Creamy Chicken Hand Pies: Empadinha de Frango
Next →

Sharing is caring!