Empanadas are fried, baked, or air fryer hand pies that have either a savory or sweet filling, which is very popular in South America. They are also known as empanadillas (or pastelillos), depending on which country they are from. In the states, we know them as a turnover type of pastry —or as a sandwich. The name empanada is Spanish for “to bread” and they are usually filled with meat, cheese, fish veggies or a combination.
What Kind of Dough is Needed for Empanadas?
Pizza or pie dough can be used to make empanadas. Empanada dough can easily be made from scratch. I have included a couple of recipes for homemade dough below. It’s super easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. Beginners will be able to make their own dough in no time.
What is the Best Cooking Method for Empanadas?
Empanadas are delicious either fried or baked. Baking uses less oil and so does the air fryer, but they both are wonderful. If you would like to make empanadas in the oven, they will still come out crispy and tasty. Scroll down below to find 50 different ways to make empanadas, from the meat lover’s version to the vegetarian choices. All mouth-watering appetizers or small main course, great served alone or with a salad or rice and beans for a more filling meal.
Related: 4-Ingredient PB&J Turnovers Will Make Your Coffee Break
What is the Best Way to Seal Empanadas?
There are multiple ways to seal empanada dough, depending on preference. I prefer to use a fork to crimp the edge. You can crimp the edges of the pastries using a fork by simply pressing along the edges with the tines, fold the edges with your fingers in a purse-like shape, or simply roll the edges.
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Crimping with a fork is one option, or another way is to fold the edges with your fingers. Afterward, brush the edges with water or a beaten egg wash to make sure that the empanada is sealed closed. Try not to overstuff the empanada, or else you will have a big mess with empanadas bursting.
Can Empanadas Be Made Ahead of Time?
Empanada dough can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for up to two days. The filling can also be refrigerated overnight.
Empanada recipes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. They can be baked, fried, or air-fried right before guests arrive. They are popular and delicious to serve at any dinner party.
Related: Empanadas for Every Taste: 15 Great Recipes!
What are the Different Choices of Dough for Empanadas?
- Make your own dough using one of the recipes found below.
- Use a store-bought pie dough found in the freezer section at the market.
- Or use GOYA discos, which can be found in the freezer section at your local grocery store with other international foods.
50 Best Empanada Recipes
Easy Ham and Honey Mustard Empanadas
The honey mustard in these ham empanadas gives them an extra boost of flavor.
Get the recipe: Easy Ham and Honey Mustard Empanadas
Chicken, Cheese and Mushroom Empanadas
These empanadas are filled with shredded chicken, onions, garlic, mushrooms and cheese.
Get the recipe: Chicken, Cheese and Mushroom Empanadas
Taco Turkey Empanadas
These empanadas have ground turkey, chiles and salsa with a cheesy jalapeño dipping sauce.
Get the recipe: Taco Turkey Empanadas
Caramel Apple Empanadas
Complete with Granny Smith apples cooked in a spiced caramel sauce and a flaky, buttery pie crust, they are the best caramel apple hand pies ever.
Get the recipe: Caramel Apple Empanadas
Pumpkin Empanadas Recipe
Similar to pumpkin pasties or mini pumpkin hand pies.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Empanadas Recipe
Baked Puerto Rican meat pies.
Get the recipe: Baked Empanadas
Chicken Empanada Recipe
Deliciously buttery, flaky and flavorful little pillows of chicken with caramelized onions.
Get the recipe: Chicken Empanada Recipe
Portuguese Shrimp Empanadas
Soft, delectable dough, with a creamy shrimp filling.
Get the recipe: Portuguese Shrimp Empanadas
Empanada Dough Recipe
Delicious with any filling, it’s flaky, buttery and so delicious.
Get the recipe: Empanada Dough Recipe
Cheesy Ground Beef Empanadas
Full of deliciously seasoned ground beef, loaded with two types of cheese and then baked to perfection.
Get the recipe: Cheesy Ground Beef Empanadas
Rib Eye Breakfast Empanadas
Breakfast empanadas with rib eye? Yes please!
Get the recipe: Rib Eye Breakfast Empanadas
Low-Carb Beef and Chorizo Empanadas
To make these low-carb and gluten-free empanadas, a variation of fathead dough is used.
Get the recipe: Low-Carb Beef and Chorizo Empanadas
Strawberry Empanadas Recipe
A delicious hand-held dessert that’s made with fresh strawberries and only four ingredients.
Get the recipe: Strawberry Empanadas Recipe
Beef and Potato Empanadas
These empanadas are filled with garlic, ground beef, potatoes, olives and veggies.
Get the recipe: Beef and Potato Empanadas
Related: 9 Easy Latin Recipes to Transform Your Thanksgiving Leftovers
Jalapeño Popper Empanadas
The delicious filling that’s made with cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese and jalapeños.
Get the recipe: Jalapeño Popper Empanadas
Turkey, Stuffing & Cranberry Empanadas
Thanksgiving dinner in an empanada.
Get the recipe: Turkey, Stuffing & Cranberry Empanadas
3-Ingredient Chicken Empanadas
This recipe can’t get any easier.
Get the recipe: 3-Ingredient Chicken Empanadas
With only 3g of net carbs in each empanada, the crust is flaky and the filling is savory and spicy.
Get the recipe: Keto Empanadas
Easy Chicken Empanadas
Made simple with rotisserie chicken leftovers.
Get the recipe: Easy Chicken Empanadas
Mexican Chicken Empanadas
Stuffed with chicken, black beans, bell peppers and cheese.
Get the recipe: Mexican Chicken Empanadas
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas
Buffalo chicken empanadas have all the familiar spicy flavors of Buffalo wings tucked inside a flaky pastry and baked to crispy deliciousness.
Get the recipe: Buffalo Chicken Empanadas
Related: 20 Easy, Authentic and Remixed Mexican Desserts for Cinco De Mayo
Mexican Street Corn Empanadas
Light, flaky and cooked in an air fryer for fewer calories.
Get the recipe: Mexican Street Corn Empanadas
Made with homemade empanada dough, ground beef, Mexican spices and cheese.
Get the recipe: Taco Empanadas
Beef Empanadas (Argentina)
The filling is made with ground beef, onion, spices and green olives and baked in flaky empanada dough until golden brown.
Get the recipe: Beef Empanadas (Argentina)
Dark Chocolate Mole Empanadas
Full of rich mole sauce and shredded chicken, baked in a fluffy puff pastry shell.
Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate Mole Empanadas
Mexican Pineapple Empanadas
The dough is like a pie crust and the pineapple is sweet, but not overly sweet.
Get the recipe: Mexican Pineapple Empanadas
Apple Cinnamon Empanadas
Like a hand-held warm apple pie.
Get the recipe: Apple Cinnamon Empanadas
Pumpkin Pie Empanadas
They’re like a mini handheld pumpkin pie, soft and flaky on the outside, with pumpkin goodness on the inside.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pie Empanadas
Related: 35 Mexican Appetizers Your Cinco de Mayo Party Needs
Costa Rican cheese empanadas are made from corn dough and filled with salty white cheese before frying.
Get the recipe: Cheese Empanadas
Chiverre Squash Empanadas
Made from a flour-based dough that’s baked not fried.
Get the recipe: Chiverre Squash Empanadas
Bean and Cheese Empanadas
Gluten-free corn dough filled with refried black beans and mozzarella cheese and fried in a half-circle.
Get the recipe: Bean and Cheese Empanadas
These crisp and buttery Costa Rican caramel empanadas are filled with a delicious caramel-like spread made with goat’s milk.
Get the recipe: Caramel Empanadas
Costa Rican Beef Picadillo Empanadas
Includes red pepper, garlic, onion, cilantro, salsa and beef.
Get the recipe: Costa Rican Beef Picadillo Empanadas
Tender flakey empanadas loaded with ground beef, potatoes, peas and Mexican spices.
Get the recipe: Easy Empanadas
Matt’s Argentinian Empanadas
To assemble add the meat mixture, a slice of hard-boiled egg and sliced olive.
Get the recipe: Matt’s Argentinian Empanadas
Related: 15 Creative Margarita Recipes You Have to Try
Traditional Argentinian baked empanadas filled with beef, onions, paprika, chili powder, cumin, oregano, hard-boiled egg and olives.
Get the recipe: Empanadas Mendocinas
Filled with slow cooker tri-tip and salsa verde.
Get the recipe: Beef Empanadas
Baked Rhubarb Empanadas
The sweet, tart and delectable fruit juice drips through the cracks of the flakey and tender empanada dough that’s been baked to a golden brown.
Get the recipe: Baked Rhubarb Empanadas
These Cuban-style beef empanadas are filled with a flavorful picadillo.
Get the recipe: Cuban Empanadas
Ground turkey empanadas are made with a savory tomato sauce flavored with onions, garlic, spices and olives.
Get the recipe: Turkey Empanadas
Baked Beef Empanadas
These beef empanadas are baked not fried.
Get the recipe: Baked Beef Empanadas
Puerto Rican Empanadillas
These Puerto Rican Empanadillas are made with fried buttery pie dough stuffed with seasoned ground beef, peppers and olives.
Get the recipe: Puerto Rican Empanadillas
5-Ingredient Empanada Dough
Made with just five ingredients (flour, butter, salt, egg, and water), this dough comes together in less than an hour.
Get the recipe: 5-Ingredients Empanada Dough
Jamaican Beef Patties
Very similar to baked empanadas, but are classically Jamaican in flavor.
Get the recipe: Jamaican Beef Patties
Cuban Sandwich Empanadas
A creative twist on empanadas filled with the flavors of a classic Cuban sandwich.
Get the recipe: Cuban Sandwich Empanadas
Venezuelan Black Bean and Cheese Domino Empanadas
Domino Empanadas hail from Venezuela and feature a black and white filling reminiscent of domino tiles.
Get the recipe: Venezuelan Black Bean and Cheese Domino Empanadas
Ham and Cheese Empanadas
Filled with a creamy cheese filling studded with smoky bites of ham.
Get the recipe: Ham and Cheese Empanadas
Argentinian Beef Empanadas
The additions of hard-boiled eggs and scallions take this beef filling up a notch.
Get the recipe: Argentinian Beef Empanadas
Sweet Potato Black Bean Empanadas
These vegetarian empanadas are flaky with a savory-sweet filling.
Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Black Bean Empanadas
Related: Spice Up Your Thanksgiving With 6 Latin Sweet Potato Recipes
Potato and Chorizo Empanadas
Stuffed with spicy chorizo and potato filling, wrapped in a buttery, golden, flaky pastry.
Get the recipe: Potato and Chorizo Empanadas