20 Best Empanada Recipes

Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Empanadas are simple to make with endless filling ideas like these 20 empanada recipes.

Empanadas on a plate.


Flaky, buttery pastry dough is filled with your favorite stuffings and baked golden brown. They can be made in different sizes; smaller for snacks and appetizers or larger for meals. 

These little pockets of joy are pure hand-held perfection. They make a great meal, snack, appetizer, or dessert. Empanada comes from the Spanish word “empanar”, which translates to coat or wrap in bread.

We have a variety of empanada recipes for your empanada-making journey. There are beef, chicken, vegetarian, apple, chocolate, crab, pork, shrimp, and more recipes.

Use your favorite homemade empanada dough or a pie crust to make these recipes. There are also no rules when it comes to your empanada fillings. You can’t go wrong with any of these delightful recipes. 

It’s fun for the whole family to have an empanada-making party.  Take inspiration from these empanada recipes and use them as a jumping-off point for your culinary creations.

Empanadas with guacamole.

1. Chicken Empanadas

Chicken is a popular empanada filling due to its versatility in flavors. This easy recipe blends shredded chicken, cheeses, and spices for a delightful flavor profile. Use a pie crust to make the flaky dough crust. This recipe is a great balance of spice, flavor, and texture for each delicious bite. Also a great way to use leftover chicken.

2. Homemade Beef Empanadas

Cheesy, seasoned ground beef with onion and garlic creates an amazing flavorful empanada. The ground beef is packed with delicious flavors, and the cheddar and Monterey jack cheese melts into an ooey-gooey deliciousness. This popular filling is quite delectable. 

3. Pork Empanadas

This recipe is perfect for using up any leftover pulled pork. Carnitas is full of mouthwatering flavors, so you don’t need a lot of other ingredients. Saute some onions, add a little cilantro, and you’ve got little pockets of big, satisfying flavors. 

4. Shrimp Empanadas

You are going to fall in love with this traditional Portuguese recipe. It has a beautiful lemon pastry dough filled with a creamy shrimp mixture. This unique, classic recipe is simple to make in 45 minutes and has incredible flavor. If you like shrimp, this is a must-try recipe.

5. Spinach And Cheese Empanadas

These little pockets of deliciousness are a cinch to make. Spinach is sautéed in butter with onion and mixed with a sublime blend of cheeses. They are divine meatless appetizers or snacks. However you enjoy them, you can’t eat just one. 

6. Crab Empanadas

Take your empanada-making skills to the next level with this exquisite crab recipe. The empanada dough is made from scratch and then filled with an amazing ceviche-style crab mixture. It’s an upscale, refined empanada sure to impress any crab lover. 

7. Tuna Empanadas

These Spanish-style empanadas are an authentic recipe with big flavors. The empanada filling is a beautiful blend of tuna, onion, garlic, Roma tomatoes, red pepper, and seasonings. These delicious flavors are loaded into the homemade dough to create these little pockets of culinary heaven. 

8. Black Bean Empanadas

This vegetarian recipe has a delicate, flaky crust featuring a cozy, savory-sweet empanada filling. The warm spices are reminiscent of the fall season but taste great all year long. Black beans and sweet potato are combined with onions, garlic, and seasonings for alluring, tasty empanadas. 

9. Chicken Chorizo Empanadas

These Tex-Mex empanadas have a delicious kick. Chicken and chorizo mix with an enticing blend of seasonings and veggies for this appetizing empanada filling. This recipe is a party favorite and is always a big hit. 

Empanadas with bowl of green salsa.

10. Salsa Verde Empanadas

These easy empanadas are similar to chicken enchiladas verde. They have green chilis and salsa verde mixed with shredded chicken and cheese for the empanada filling. These traditional Mexican flavors create an impressive, tasty hand-held pocket of goodness.

11. Vegetarian Empanadas

Enjoy a meatless meal with vegetarian-filled empanadas. Poblano peppers, onion, corn, cheeses, and spices combine for an exquisite blend of flavors. Serve with Mexican rice to round out a delicious, complete meal. 

12. Street Corn Empanadas

Take the wonderful flavors of elote, traditional Mexican street corn, and wrap them up into a tasty empanada filling with this easy recipe. Spicy, creamy, and insanely delicious, these street corn empanadas are a real treat. Skip the cob, and eat these flavorful little pillows of heaven instead. 

13. Caramel Apple Empanadas

Change up dessert time and make these caramel apple empanadas. They are a culinary mash-up of a caramel apple and an apple pie. Apples are simmered with caramel and spices, then wrapped in buttery, flaky dough, Topped with a sugar and cinnamon blend, it’s the best of both worlds. 

14. Potato And Chorizo Empanadas

Potato and chorizo empanadas are the perfect meat and potatoes of the empanada world. The chorizo gives them a spicy kick, the potatoes add starch and substance, and the onion, garlic, and seasonings add a tasty flavor profile. These make great game day and party appetizers. 

15. Breakfast Empanadas

Put an egg on it and call it breakfast! I love that you can mix eggs into almost anything, and it instantly becomes breakfast. This empanada filling is a delicious blend of chorizo, potatoes, onion, peppers, seasonings, and, you guessed it, eggs. Honestly, these are so good you can eat them any time. 

16. Chili And Pork Empanadas

Hatch chilis with ground pork are the stars of this empanada filling. They are combined with an array of spices and cheese to round out this scrumptious filling. The culinary kicker is the fresh herb sauce to dip these fabulous empanadas in. It’s a masterful blend of flavors you do not want to miss. 

17. Air Fryer Cheese Empanadas

In need of a quick snack or meal? Air fryer cheese empanadas to the rescue. Similar to a grilled cheese sandwich, they have a crispy, buttery outside and creamy cheesy inside. Using the air fryer, they cook up quickly, and in 8 minutes, start to finish, you’ve got a tasty treat.

18. Pumpkin Cheesecake Empanadas

Dessert is taken to the next level with this sweet treat recipe. The flavors of the fall season are wrapped up in these decadent pumpkin cheesecake empanadas. This is a dessert to enjoy regularly during the autumn season, so be sure to make a double batch. Dessert empanadas are great to create individual desserts and bite-sized treats for those holiday parties.

19. S’mores Empanadas

These decadent dessert empanadas are everything you want them to be. The pie shell is filled with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips and then baked. The crust is flaky, the chocolate and marshmallows melt together for that classic S’mores taste, and they taste better than you can imagine. They are so good, you’ll be reaching for S’more! 

20. Ham And Cheese Empanadas

This isn’t your typical ham and cheese dish. These little pockets of deliciousness go above and beyond a regular ham and cheese sandwich. A masterful blend of cheeses, ham, and Dijon mustard along with seasonings create an exceptional empanada filling. They are crazy good and a recipe you don’t want to miss. 

How to store leftover empanadas

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to let them cool off before storing. Reheat in the oven or in the air fryer.

They can also be frozen by placing on a baking sheet in the freezer for 2-3 hours until frozen. Place them in a freezer bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Empanadas on a plate.
No ratings yet

Empanada Recipes

By Heather
A group of delicious empanada recipes. From beef to caramel apple empanadas there is a recipe for everyone.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 2 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 6 empanadas



  • To store leftover empanadas, let them completely cool after cooking. Place in an airtight container or bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • Empanadas can be frozen by letting them cool after cooking. Place on a baking dish and put in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until they have frozen.
  • Put frozen empanadas in a freezer bag or container. They will stay good for up to 3 months.


Calories: 3kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 5mg | Fiber: 0.02g | Iron: 0.04mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Like this? Leave a comment below!


Thank you for visiting Food Lovin’ Family! With 3 kids I know it can be hard getting food on the table. Here you will find easy and delicious recipes that the whole family will enjoy.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating