How to Make Perfect Pastel de Atum

Pastel are fried dough pockets filled with spiced tuna and veggies. They can also be stuffed with other ingredients like meat or just vegetables.

Like the Argentinian empanadas I made a few videos back they are fried in oil, but you can also bake them to lower the fat content. But who are we kidding here? Deep fried is the way to go!

The proper way of making these is with tinned tuna. But not just the cheapest stuff from the bottom shelf. Try and get good quality tinned tuna packed in olive oil. I used Spanish tinned tuna and it tasted really nice.

Making the dough is a super simple process, but if you are feeling lazy, then you could use store-bought empanada discs. Handmade dough will be nicer though.

You could make this recipe in just a couple of hours on the same day. Or you could make the filling and the dough balls a day ahead of time and then finish shaping and frying on the next day. That will give you some flexibility when making this.

The recipe yields 8 decently sized pastel. I can eat 4, but then I must lay down for a while. If you would like to make more, then simply multiply the amount of ingredients.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

200g (7oz) white flour

1 egg, around 50g (1.75oz)

4g (0.14oz) salt

5g (0.17oz) baking powder

20g (0.7oz) olive oil

50g (1.75oz) water


For the filling –

300g (10.6oz) good quality tinned tuna packed in olive oil, drained

100g (3.5oz) onion, finely diced

10g (0.35oz) garlic, finely chopped

70g (2.5oz) red peppers, diced

20g (0.7oz) oil

20g (0.7oz) chopped coriander

1g (0.03oz) ground black pepper

1g (0.03oz) garlic powder

1g (0.03oz) onion powder

2g (0.06oz) paprika

3g (0.1oz) salt


Oil for frying


  1. Make the filling. In a medium sized pan cook the garlic, onion, and peppers in oil for around 7 minutes on high heat until the ingredients soften and start browning. Add the tuna and break it up. Add the spices. Mix well, turn the heat down low and keep cooking for another 3 minutes. Stir in the coriander. Transfer the filling to a bowl and leave to cool down completely.
  2. Make the dough. In a bowl combine the water, salt, egg, baking powder, and oil. Mix well to dissolve the salt. Add the flour and mix to a dough.
  3. Tip the dough out on your table and knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Divide into 8 equal pieces and shape into balls.
  5. Cover and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  6. Roll out the dough ball nice and thin. Place 1/8th the filling on one side of the dough disc.
  7. Fold it over in the middle and seal it all the way around. Crimp the edge. Watch the video for full instructions on this.
  8. Cover the ready-made pastel while you are making the next ones to prevent them from drying out.
  9. Fry the pastel in hot oil at 170C (340F) for around 4 minutes. Flip them every minute.
  10. Drain on some kitchen paper and tuck in!


I had them with some sweet chilli sauce dip, and it was awesome.

Check out some more Baking World Tour videos while you’re enjoying your delicious tuna pastel.

Watch the video here

More Posts In This Category