How to Make Empanadas

  • 01 of 07

    It's Easy to Make Your Own Empanadas

    Close-Up Of Fresh Empanada On Tissue Paper In Bowl
    Michael Wongsing / EyeEm/Getty Images

    Perhaps you've enjoyed an empanada—a sort of a hand-held enclosed pie where the dough is wrapped around either a savory or sweet filling—and wondered if you could make your own. Thankfully, it is easy to put together your own empanadas once you have mastered making and shaping the dough. This step-by-step is an example of assembling traditional beef empanadas, but this dough works for any empanada recipe.


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  • 02 of 07

    Make the Empanada Dough

    Rolling out dough for empanadas
    Lara Hata/Photodisc/Getty Images

    The empanada dough is simple to make, using ingredients you probably have in your fridge and pantry, like eggs and flour. Once you put this dough together it is time to roll and shape the empanadas, but the dough can also be frozen for later use. 

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  • 03 of 07

    Roll Out and Cut the Empanada Dough

    How to Make Empanadas Step 2. Roll out the dough.
    Roll out the dough. © 2006 Hector Rodriguez

    Place the empanada dough on a floured counter top. Roll out the dough into a 1/8-inch-thick layer.

    Next, you need to cut the dough into circles with round cookie cutters or biscuit cutters. For large empanadas, use 6-inch cutters; for empanaditas (mini empanadas) use 3-inch cutters. If you don't have these kinds of dough cutters handy, you can use a coffee can (rinse it out first), or other metal can. Continue cutting until you fill up the dough with circles (the dough recipe makes about 10...MORE six-inch circles).

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  • 04 of 07

    Place the Filling in the Middle

    How to Make Empanadas Step 3. Spread out the filling.
    Place the filling in the middle. © 2006 Hector Rodriguez

    Remove the excess dough from the cut out circles. If there is enough scrap, combine and re-roll the remaining dough to cut out. Place your filling of choice in the center of each circle. (See the last step for more empanada filling ideas.)

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  • 05 of 07

    Crimp the Edges

    How to Make Empanadas 4. Crimp the edges.
    Crimp the edges. © 2006 Hector Rodriguez

    Carefully fold the dough over the filling to form a semicircle. Crimp down the edges with a fork to seal. If the edges won't stick together, wet your finger and rub it along the inside edge of the dough and try again.

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  • 06 of 07

    Cook the Empanadas

    Empanadas frying in a large pot.
    Margie Politzer/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    Finish the empanadas by deep frying in vegetable oil at 360 F for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly golden. Drain on paper towels and serve warm with salsa and/or guacamole on the side.

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  • 07 of 07

    More Empanada Fillings

    Chef making empanadas in commercial kitchen
    Terry Vine/J Patrick Lane/Blend Images/Getty Images

    Once you've learned how easy it is to make empanadas, you'll want to try them with different fillings. Just use the basic dough recipe from step 2 and have fun with the following empanada recipes: