Easy Empanadas

Empanadas are a fun family project as older kids can get creative with making their fillings, younger ones might like rolling and forming the shells. Everyone loves tasting their own creations.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Filling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 8
Calories 516 kcal


  • 1 Air fryer optional
  • 1 empanada mold optional
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 1 Pastry Brush
  • 1 Chef Knife
  • 1 Spatula


  • 2 Pie Dough Refrigerated Pre-Made Shell
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef Chicken, or Pork
  • 2.5 Cups Shredded Cheese Mexican Blend
  • 1 Onion Medium chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Pickled Jalapenos minced
  • 3 Ounces Tomato Paste 1 half of a small can
  • 1 Cup Diced Tomatoes fresh or canned
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano or Approximately 1 Tablespoon of Fresh
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg for egg wash


  • Gather your ingredients
  • Prepare the filling by adding the olive oil to a skillet and heat on medium
  • Add the onions and cook until translucent
  • Add the garlic let it cook for 1 minute or until you can smell it has released its scent
  • Add the meat and cook fully through
  • Add the tomato paste until incorporated with the meat
  • Add the tomatoes and the jalapenos
  • Simmer until everything is well incorporated, stir and watch the heat, cook until mixture is no longer liquid
  • Let the meat mixture cool to a warm, not hot temperature and then fold in your cheese
  • Place your dough on a lightly floured surface (unroll it if you are using the pre-made pie crust)
  • Roll the dough to 1/6 or 1/4 depending on how thick or thin you like your dough
  • If you have the empanada molds you can cut the circles with the back of the mold spread open, If you do not have the molds, you can use a biscuit cutter to make the circles, or use a knife to form a circle.
  • Place a teaspoon or so of the mixture in the center of the circle. Brush the edges with water If you are using the molds fold it over and press, then remove gently. If you are shaping by hand fold the dough over and press the edges with a fork. Regardless of which method you are using, make sure all the meat is inside the pastry with no chance of leaking out or you will have a mess when cooking.
  • Brush each empanada with the egg wash
  • To air-fry, place empanadas in a 400-degree f preheated air fryer, lined with parchment paper in a single layer not touching. Cook for 10 -11 minutes flip the empanadas very gently halfway.
  • To pan-fry, heat the oil over medium heat once the oil has reached a frying temperature. I test by dropping a tiny drop of dough in a pan if it sizzles its ready. Carefully place the empanadas in the frying pan with a spatula. Flip over once you see the sides start to brown. Cook until both sides are the color you like.
  • To bake, place a Silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet and cook at 400-degrees f for 20 minutes until golden brown.



In the video attached we made the 2-ways Air-fried and Pan-fried. We gave the recipe for both. If pan fried you need to factor in the oil for frying which almost always doubles the calories. 
Here is the pic side by side
The air-fried pie is lighter than the pan-fried pie
If you do not have an air fryer you can also bake the empanadas. we provided that option in the instructions


Calories: 516kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 22gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 1.027mgPotassium: 444mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 799IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 298mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Air-fried, crispy, Crunchy, kid-friendly, Pan-fried
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