These Crab Cake Mac and Cheese Empanadas are made in memory of my trip with my Mom from Texas to Baltimore years ago, and as encouragement, for you to enter the Pillsbury Bake-off® Contest.
For my family-inspired recipe, I created Crab Cake Mac and Cheese Empanadas. These empanadas are no ordinary empanadas. They are loaded with flavor, starting with crab, like Maryland Crab Cakes, and then combined with the ultimate comfort food, mac and cheese, and rolled up in a flaky golden Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crust for the empanadas.
The key to this recipe is to use quality ingredients. Buy the best crab you can find and be sure to use Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crust, located in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.
Where did I come up with this recipe? Let me tell you about my story and my Mom and me.
The doctor gave me bad news. Actually, I think he tried not to give me the news. It was delayed. It was nothing life-threatening but it was not good. It was not a type of surgery a young person should have to go through. It was something one didn’t usually worry about until one is older.
However, I had multiple doctors tell me I needed a shoulder replacement. But wait, I was in my 30’s. I’m too young for this type of surgery. Two of the doctors agreed.
I cried on my Mom’s shoulder. (See how important shoulders are?) She was there to listen to me and she was worried for me too.
But then I got good news. There was another very minor surgery that might prevent or at least delay a shoulder replacement. However, the medical community had mixed reviews about its effectiveness.
None of the doctors I saw in our big Texas city were willing to do this surgery. I take that back. There was one kind doctor who was willing to do the surgery. The only problem was that he had never done this type of surgery before, and for that reason, I was unwilling to give him a chance.
I decided to go to see the doctor who literally “wrote the book” on my condition, and have him do the surgery since it seemed that he had the best success rate for this surgery. The only problem was that he was in Baltimore and I was in Texas.
My medical insurance would cover the surgery but I had to pay for my travel. However, I did not want to travel alone and my husband could not get off work to go. So, my Mom said she would go with me. She wanted to be with me to support me but she was also excited about going to Baltimore. She wanted to see Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium, and a fine arts museum. So we decided to fly up a few days early so we could go sightseeing together before my surgery, and I’m so glad we did. We had a wonderful time.
What made this trip special is that I had my Mom all to myself. That was extremely rare because we had a large family and on holidays had dozens of people over. So there really was no one-on-one time with my Mom.
However, in Maryland, we had several days of one-on-one time. We ate Maryland Crab Cakes on Inner Harbor at M&S Grill. We enjoyed a visit to the National Aquarium. We toured a big old sailing ship in Inner Harbor. We talked and had a good time. I loved having this time with my Mom. Little did I know that this would be our last trip together.
In honor of this trip, I would have made Maryland Crab Cakes, but this blog is about recipes with a Texas twist. So, I spiced up the Maryland crab cakes and turned them into empanadas to give it my Texas twist.
I hope these Crab Cake Mac and Cheese Empanadas inspire you to create a family favorite recipe to enter into the Pillsbury Bake-off® Contest. Be sure to check out the official Contest rules.
To make these Crab Mac and Cheese Empanadas, you will need to pick up some Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crusts in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. They give these empanadas that wonderful flaky golden crust.
This is a great way to use up leftover mac and cheese. You can use store-bought or make your own. I recommend this 15-Minute Stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe.
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Crab Cake Mac and Cheese Empanadas
- 1/2 lb. jumbo lump lump crabmeat
- 2 large eggs divided
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Seafood seasoning like Old Bay
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian style breadcrumbs
- 1-1/2 cups prepared mac and cheese
- 2 packages Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crusts
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- To make the crab cake filling, in a medium bowl, combine the crab, 1 egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, seafood seasoning. Then add the breadcrumbs and stir to combine.
- Stir in the prepared mac and cheese
- Then roll out each refrigerated pie crust dough and using a cutter or a medium bowl, cut circles in the pie crust.
- Place a scoop of filling in the middle of the circle of the dough. Roll half of the dough over to get a fat crescent moon shape. Then with your fork, press your fork into the edges of the empanadas so you see the indentations of the fork along the edges.
- In a small bowl beat the remaining egg with a fork. Brush the empanadas with an egg wash to make them golden brown.
- Bake them for 20 minutes.