Masa Para Empanadas: Empanada Dough

Empanada dough

The Spruce

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Chill Time: 60 mins
  • Yield: 10-12 empanadas (10-12 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
190 Calories
17g Fat
8g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10-12 empanadas (10-12 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 190
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 43mg 14%
Sodium 422mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 2g
Calcium 24mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you've wanted to learn how to make empanada dough, then you've come to the right place. This recipe produces a slightly sweet pastry that contrasts perfectly with savory fillings. Empanada dough is less flaky than pie crust (although you can substitute frozen pie crust dough in a pinch). It has a more tender texture that soaks up the filling without becoming soggy.

This dough can be used for baked or fried empanadas, which are both great handheld dishes. The term empanada roughly translates to "wrap in bread," a fitting name as they are made by wrapping the dough around a filling. If you are going to fry the empanadas, omit the egg yolk and roll the dough out slightly thinner (less than 1/4-inch in thickness).


Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together

Empanadas are originally from the northwest of Spain, but many countries in Latin America have their own recipes. Empanadas can have many different types of filling including beef, chicken, beans, cheese, and yes, even pizza. Some restaurants have even begun making sweet empanadas by filling them with fruit pie filling or chocolate. Once you've made this dough, you can choose to go as traditional or creative with the filling as you please. Make sure your empanadas don't leak in the oven!


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (chilled)
  • 3/4 cup chilled lard or vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 to 1 cup water
  • 2 egg yolks

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Empanada Dough Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and the sugar.

    Empanada Dough Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Blend the butter and shortening (or lard) into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, or with two knives, until fairly well blended.

    Empanada Dough Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Whisk the egg yolks with 3/4 cups water. Stir in the 1/2 cup of the water-egg mixture, a little bit at a time, until the dough starts to come together smoothly.

    Empanada Dough Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Keep kneading the dough, adding more of the water-egg mixture as needed (you may need a few tablespoons extra of water), until the dough is smooth. The dough will seem a bit saggy until it has thoroughly chilled. Taste for salt and add more if needed.

    Empanada Dough Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour. When ready to use, the dough should be soft and smooth, not elastic. If you poke a hole in the dough with your finger, the indentation should remain.

    Empanada Dough Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll into desired thickness before cutting.

    Empanada Dough Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Use in your desired recipe and enjoy!


  • The dough can also be kept in the fridge for up to two days, if you decide you'd like to make it in advance.