Salsa Llajua Recipe for Your Summer Delights

Quebracho Frozen Spinach and Cheese Empanadas

Add This Recipe to Your Repertoire of Empanada Pairings

As the vibrant days of summer roll in, so does an abundance of fresh and juicy tomatoes – a true treat for food enthusiasts. This season, we're embracing the tomato harvest in Minnesota by creating a delectable tomato salsa that pays homage to the traditional South American salsa llajua.

Salsa llajua, also known as llajwa, is prepared from locotos hot chili peppers and tomatoes. Onion and herbs are sometimes also added to the mix. Originally from Bolivia, this salsa is widely consumed in northwestern Argentina, due to its proximity. There are many regional variations, including the recipe we are featuring today, which includes fresh oregano, olive oil, and a splash of red wine vinegar. This recipe not only complements the beauty of the season but also effortlessly accompanies our favorite frozen spinach and cheese empanadas, making it a match made in culinary heaven.



Empanadas and Tomatoes - A Perfect Union of Convenience and Flavor

With the hustle and bustle of summer activities, the need for quick and convenient meal options becomes paramount. Enter Quebracho's frozen empanadas – a delightful fusion of savory fillings encased in a golden, butter crust. These handheld treasures make for an easy meal solution on those busy days when you're soaking up the sun or exploring the great outdoors. And when paired with the tomato salsa we're about to unveil, you have a winning combination that perfectly balances the ease of preparation with the explosion of flavors.



  • 1 large ripe tomatoes (approximately 1 lb)
  • 1 tsp of fresh chopped oregano (packed)
  • 1/2 tsp of fine salt, or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp of crushed red pepper flakes. (If you are lucky enough to find locoto peppers, by all means use those!) 
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar



  1. Core the tomato and chop lightly. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the chopped oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir to distribute the flavors evenly.
  3. Add the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Stir again.
  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.



Pairing Perfection - Spinach and Cheese Empanadas

While the tomato salsa infuses with rich flavors, it's time to prepare the star of our convenient summer meal – our frozen spinach and cheese empanadas. These empanadas, with their crispy exterior and savory filling, make for a delightful contrast when enjoyed alongside the vibrant tomato salsa.


Assembling Your Flavorful Feast:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 °F.

  2. Place the frozen empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  3. Bake the empanadas for 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.

  4. Once the empanadas are ready, let them cool slightly before serving.

  5. Serve them alongside a generous helping of the tomato salsa, allowing your taste buds to revel in the delightful medley of flavors.


A Taste of Summer Bliss

Minnesota's summer season is a time of beauty, adventure, and culinary exploration. Embrace the convenience of Quebracho's frozen empanadas and the bounty of fresh tomatoes by indulging in this tantalizing tomato salsa inspired by salsa llajua. Elevate your easy summer meals by savoring the harmonious blend of flavors, textures, and colors that this pairing brings to the table. Whether you're lounging on your patio or embarking on a picnic, this tomato-based vinaigrette and frozen empanadas duo promises a taste of summer bliss that you won't want to miss.