Empanada Recipes, How to Make Empanadas of Argentina, Mexican, Colombian style and Many More


What is an empanada? Fried or baked empanadas? How is the exact name: empanadas, empandas, enpanadas empenadas, empinadas, empanaditas or empanadillas? Savory or sweet fillings? There are so many questions, with several answers.

Let’s tackle with the name: Empanada

Empanada is a Spanish term that doesn’t have a translation to English language, this is why you can find different spelled and misspelled names. Empanaditas or empanadillas are small empanadas usually, eaten as snack, and the ending “…itas” or “..illas” means small-mini, very common terms in Spanish language (Español)

What is an Empanada?

Empanadas came out of the Spanish verb “empanar”, in other words to coat or wrap in bread. They are done with pastry dough (often also with phyllo dough) and the filling can be your total creativity inside the kitchen.
The most popular are with beef, chicken, seafood, cheese, vegetables, spicy, pumpkin, apple and all have different sauces inside as well as shapes. Folding dough around your stuffing and sealing it, presto, you get an empanada!

Empanada Origin

The empanada-history is apparently from Spain, and a different version of Portugal, but it seems that, obviously, folded dough and yummy stuffing appeared in numerous parts of the world. We have the famous Indian samosas or the Italian calzone and many more, to name only a few.
Where the Spanish people were, they appeared empanadas, spreading in all Latin America, Caribbean countries and the Philippines.

More common shapes are circular and half-moon or semi-circular. When you’ve dozens and assorted empanada fillings on your table, it is important to have very clear the shapes and/or individual marks on each, to distinguish the diverse fillings. It isn’t the first time, that you begin eating an empanada thinking on a specific taste and the result is completely different after the first bite.

Baked or Fried Empanadas?

Tough question, fried are crispier than baked ones, and often baked empanadas can take longer to be done, but they are healthier. I think that every now and then, a fried empanada is good for your palate but in my case, as a general rule, is a baked one.

Savory or Sweet Empanadas Fillings?

Savory wins so far in proportions but, as you guess, the sweet ones are for my liking too. Frequently sweet empanadas (empanadas dulces) in my country Uruguay are with dulce de leche or cajeta, with chocolate, ricotta with raisins and streusel style (apple empanadas); usually you can sprinkle powder sugar on top to differentiate them of the savory ones. Empanadas can match perfectly with red wines and sweet white wines.


I’ve made lot of batches of empanadas recently. When you begin, you can make different fillings and even store them in the freezer for future dinners. Afterwards, you need only to defrost and later bake or fry them, according to your taste.

Empanada Recipes, How to Make Empanadas of Argentina, Mexican, Colombian style and Many More

In my pantry now, I’ve beef empanadas (empanadas de carne) here called “empanadas Criollas”, empanadas Argentinas-style like Mendocinas, Salteñas (also there are Salteñas from Bolivia), and the popular empanadas Chilenas too. As I explained in my article about Uruguay, Anthony Bourdain and beef, here the beef is the King and Queen. Anyway, pss vegetarians (there are here wonderful veggie empanadas too, totally meatless)
As it’s a typical Spanish custom imported into Latin America, I’m putting the names in Spanish language too (Español)

Alternately to the meat empanadas, are immensely popular the chicken empanadas (empanadas de pollo), seafood empanadas like tuna empanadas (empanadas de atun), and empanada Gallega (originally a big cake).
The cheese empanadas (empanadas de queso) are gorgeous to try with your favorite cheese selection.

There are endless variants, sauces and mix of ingredients for them that you can imagine.
Of course, there are industrial empanadas, done with a machine, but nothing compares to homemade ones, warm just took out of the oven.

Are there Uruguayan Empanadas?

As most of the people came from Spain (principally from Galicia) and Italy, they took empanadas with their culinary traditions. Usually, the empanada dough is with wheat flour and in lesser cases, of corn flour dough.
The empanadas of Uruguay are similar to the Argentine empanadas and you can find them everywhere.

Are there gourmet empanadas? Certainly, there are “empanadas gourmet” with highly sophisticated fillings that deserve this title and they can be so addictive, indeed.
The empanadas together with the alfajores with dulce de leche, milanesas a la napolitana, faina and Uruguayan chivitos are some of the snacks-dishes very popular in Uruguay.

Want to know how to make empanadas from scratch? Also, would you like to know, how to make fantastic empanada fillings, in an easy way with delicious recipes?
I’m sharing below lot of empanada recipes (recetas de empanadas) for your delight.

Empanada Recipes (Recetas de Empanadas)

Baked and Fried Empanadas (Empanadas de Horno y Fritas)

* Kristina’s Apple Cheesecake Empanadas

* The Pumpkin Moon Empanadas

* Colombian Empanadas (Empanadas Colombianas)

* Identity Bites, Part II: Empanadobos

* Empanada de Chorizo

* Chicken, Leek and Green Pepper Empanadas–Empanadas de Pollo, Puerro y Pimiento

* Empanadas de Carne Argentinas

* Empanadas Mendocinas for Empanada of the Month

* Beef Empanadas

* So Many Ways to Fill It

* Cheese and prawns Flaky Dough Empanadas (Empanadas de Hojaldre con Gambas o Camarones y Queso)

* Discos (Recipe: Goat Cheese-Olive Empanadas)

* Empanadas with Beef Picadillo

* Tortas? Savory Empanadas? Whatever the name, they’re delicious!

Which is your favorite filling? Are you with the healthier baked or the fried ones? Tell me, your tasty experiences in comments.

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Gera is a techie & foodie passionate about how to succeed in social media. He focuses also on successful blogging tips and food connections. You can connect with him on Google +. Subscribe to his Free WPulsar Newsletter about WordPress Plugin & Theme Reviews, Blogging and Social Media.


wow love this post I must have one, send me one of yours!!!

Tangled Noodle

What a fantastic post with such great information about empanadas! I grew up with the Filipino version, which was meat-filled and included raisins, adding a nice bit of sweetness to the savory flavor. Thank you so much for including my empanadobos in this list, which I'm bookmarking right now so that I have ready access to all the other great recipes!

Barbara Bakes

What's not to love about an empanada! The dessert ones are calling my name tonight!
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I guess Tangled Noodle explained it already. 🙂 I also grew up with the meat-filled empanadas with raisins. But I want to try something else so thanks for the link.


Muchisimas gracias for the link to my post, "The Pumpkin Mooon Empanadas"! I love all sorts of empanadas. They are like nice wrapped gifts in the lovely shape of half moons. Delicioso!
Another favorite: Puerto Rican style pastelillos, filled with savory meat filling and fried. I am thinking about Lucy's pastelillos right now . . .
My recent post Love Means Never Having To Say I Won't Cook You Pickled Pig's Feet


Empanadas, yummy! I've eaten the beef variety, and never the sweet version. These remind me of a calzone or stromboli. Many of the pizzarias here offer both., it's a dough thing 🙂 Of course I make my own. Calzones from my hometown are filled with ricotta, mozerella, and sometimes veges. The stromboli, my personal choice, is filled with meats and cheeses of your liking. Nice info Gera, I might just try making these!
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Hi Gera, first thank you for the facts and trivia about this wonderful food. I want to share to you when I visited a province in the Philippines, they also have an empanada, I believe this was brought during the Spanish colonization. The filling contains ground beef, a rich portion of sliced sweet sausages and a slice of salted egg. It is cooked deep fried and served with a very spiced vinegar.


This was a great post Gera! Also, thank you for including Kristina's recipe in your line up of how to make them!


I have always wanted to try these boy you really have given me a reason pumpkin? wow and pineapple man those sound great thanks for sharing will be trying these over the weekend for sure~
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Thanks for the interesting and informative post! I love that speciality. Until now, I have only made the savory version…


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These all look good! But, apple cheesecake? What could be better then that!!
My recent post Fast Food


Gera – this is so timely. I have been in the mood for a savory empanada and here you are with dozens of recipes. I will bake mine. Thanks so much!
My recent post Beef Rollatinis – a whirl of ingredients and winners of ABC Italiano

Cajun Chef Ryan

The empanadas are such a great food and the tradition is history is fascinating, thanks for sharing that with us Gera. The variations among sweet and savory options is amazing as well.
Reminds me of the meat pies that are famous in Louisiana.
My recent post Raisin Bread

Joie de vivre

You're speaking to my soul right now. Empanadas are some serious comfort food!
My recent post Tuesday in Food


Beautiful post! And Gera those are so perfectly done!!!!!

I might be the weird one, but i like the fruit filled ones. We make something called Gujiyas in India.. which have sweet filling and are shaped like empanadas . I had posted quite a long time back….


You should try the sweet versions!! The calzones are popular here too, with assorted combinations of ingredients, all delicious 🙂


I can send them by courier 🙂


Yes, I know the Filipino version is tantalizing! It's similar to the criollas here. If you try one recipe, just let me know 😉


The sweet empanadas are often in my menu too 🙂


You've several recipes of empanadas to explore 🙂


Por nada Clementina! Puerto Rican pastelillos are fabulous too the same root.. Spain!


Yes the Filipino empanadas are worldwide known and outstanding. However, I didn’t know about the spiced vinegar, good point 😉


Thanks, happy you like it!


Thanks to you Shelby! Wonderful empanada recipe 🙂


I'm sure, I'll be enjoying empanadas in your blog soon!

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