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Delightful American Fried Empanadas Recipe: A Culinary Fusion Journey!

American Fried Empanadas

Who doesn’t love a delightful, crispy, and flavorful snack? Enter empanadas! These delectable stuffed pastries have become an inseparable part of American cuisine, offering a perfect combination of crunch and taste. In this article, we’ll take you on a culinary journey to create your very own American fried empanadas. So, let’s get our hands flour-dusted and dive into the art of making these mouthwatering treats!



Empanadas, the delightful stuffed pastries that have captured the hearts and taste buds of many, have a rich and diverse history that spans across continents and centuries. The origins of empanadas can be traced back to medieval times when the concept of enclosing food in dough was already popular in various cultures.

The word “empanada” itself has Spanish and Portuguese roots, coming from the verb “empanar,” which means “to wrap or coat in bread.” It is believed that empanadas first appeared in the Iberian Peninsula, with Spanish and Portuguese sailors and traders carrying this culinary treasure to different parts of the world during their voyages.

As empanadas traveled across the seas, they evolved and adapted to the local ingredients and flavors of different regions. When exploring the history of American fried empanadas, we find that empanadas made their way to the Americas through the Spanish colonization of Latin America.

In Latin America, empanadas quickly became a beloved street food and a culinary icon in various countries, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Each country added its unique twist to the recipe, resulting in a wide array of fillings and preparation methods.

In the United States, the influence of Latin American culture and cuisine brought the empanada to the American palate. With a melting pot of cultures, the U.S. embraced this delectable snack, and American fried empanadas soon became a popular treat in various states.

As empanadas gained popularity, they also underwent further transformation to cater to the American taste preferences. While traditional empanadas were often baked or fried, the American version leaned more towards the fried variation, which offered a delightful crispy texture and a delicious contrast to the savory fillings.

Over the years, American fried empanadas have become a staple in festivals, events, and food trucks, captivating both locals and tourists alike. The convenience and portability of empanadas have made them a favorite on-the-go snack or a delightful addition to any gathering.

Empanadas have not only become a part of American cuisine but have also found their way into the hearts of individuals from diverse backgrounds, reflecting the nation’s love for fusion foods and culinary diversity.

Today, American fried empanadas continue to thrive, and home cooks have embraced the art of making these savory pockets of joy in their own kitchens. With the freedom to experiment with fillings, seasonings, and cooking methods, the possibilities are endless, making each empanada a unique and delicious creation.


StepTime (approx.)
Preparing the Empanada Dough30 minutes
Choosing the Perfect Filling15 minutes
Assembling the Empanadas20 minutes
Frying the Empanadas20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes

Please note that the times provided are approximate and may vary based on individual cooking speed and experience. Enjoy making your delicious empanadas!


Empanada DoughFilling Options
1 cup all-purpose flour1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder1/4 cup diced onions
2 tablespoons cold butter1/4 cup sliced olives (optional)
1/4 cup cold water1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for Frying
Vegetable oil or canola oil

Please ensure to adjust the ingredient quantities if you plan to make more servings. Enjoy cooking your scrumptious American Fried Empanadas!


Step 1: Preparing the Empanada Dough

In this step, we’ll create the perfect canvas for our empanadas with homemade empanada dough. Follow these simple steps:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well to ensure even distribution of ingredients.
  2. Add the cold butter to the dry mixture and work it into the flour using your fingertips or a pastry cutter. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Gradually add the cold water to the dough, little by little, and mix until the dough comes together. Knead the dough gently until it forms a smooth and elastic ball.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This resting period allows the gluten to relax, making the dough easier to work with later.

Step 2: Choosing the Perfect Filling

The filling is the heart and soul of your empanadas. Choose from our delicious filling options or get creative with your own:

  1. For the Classic Beef and Cheese Filling, cook the ground beef in a pan over medium heat until it’s browned. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Add the diced onions, sliced olives (if using), ground cumin, salt, and pepper to the cooked beef. Stir everything together and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.
  3. Remove the filling from the heat and mix in the shredded cheese until it’s well incorporated.
  4. For other filling options like Chicken and Vegetable or Vegetarian Black Bean, follow similar steps with the respective ingredients.

Step 3: Assembling the Empanadas

Now that our dough and filling are ready, it’s time to assemble our empanadas:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) if you plan to bake the empanadas.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out the empanada dough into thin circles, about 6 inches in diameter.
  3. Place a spoonful of your chosen filling in the center of each dough circle.
  4. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Use your fingers to press the edges together, sealing the empanada.

Step 4: Frying the Empanadas

If you prefer the delightful crunch of fried empanadas, let’s move on to frying:

  1. In a deep skillet or frying pan, heat enough vegetable oil or canola oil to cover the empanadas.
  2. Test the oil temperature by dropping a small piece of dough into it. It should sizzle and float to the top.
  3. Fry the empanadas in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook each batch for about 2-3 minutes per side or until they turn golden brown and crispy.
  4. Once fried to perfection, remove the empanadas from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Step 5: Serving Suggestions

Your American fried empanadas are now ready to be enjoyed! Consider these serving suggestions to complete your culinary adventure:

  1. Serve the empanadas with your favorite dipping sauces, such as tangy salsa, creamy guacamole, or zesty chimichurri.
  2. Pair your empanadas with side dishes like a fresh green salad, rice and beans, or a refreshing coleslaw for a wholesome meal.
  3. Enjoy your empanadas with a chilled soda, a fruity mocktail, or a traditional Argentine mate tea for a delightful beverage pairing.

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

NutrientAmount per Serving
Serving Size1 empanada
Calories250 calories
Total Fat14g
– Saturated Fat6g
– Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates20g
– Dietary Fiber1g
– Sugars1g
Vitamin D2% DV
Calcium6% DV
Iron10% DV
Potassium4% DV

Please note that the nutrition information provided is an estimate and may vary based on specific ingredients used and portion sizes. Enjoy your delicious and nourishing American Fried Empanadas!


  • Chill the Dough: For a flakier and easier-to-work-with dough, ensure that the butter and water used to make the empanada dough are cold. Cold ingredients help prevent the dough from becoming too sticky or tough.
  • Experiment with Fillings: Embrace your creativity and try different fillings to cater to your taste preferences. From traditional savory options to sweet variations, the possibilities are endless.
  • Avoid Overstuffing: While it’s tempting to pack in as much filling as possible, avoid overstuffing the empanadas. Overfilling can lead to leaks and difficulty sealing the edges, resulting in messy empanadas.
  • Use Egg Wash: To achieve a beautiful golden brown crust, brush the empanadas with a beaten egg wash before baking or frying them. This simple step adds an appealing shine and color to your finished product.
  • Seal the Edges Well: To prevent the filling from spilling out during frying or baking, ensure a proper seal by pressing the edges of the dough firmly together. You can also use a fork to crimp the edges for a decorative touch.
  • Test Oil Temperature: If frying the empanadas, make sure the oil is at the right temperature before adding them. Too hot, and the empanadas might burn; too cold, and they’ll absorb excess oil. The ideal frying temperature is around 350°F (175°C).
  • Fry in Batches: To avoid overcrowding the frying pan and ensure even cooking, fry the empanadas in small batches. This helps maintain consistent oil temperature and results in crispy, evenly cooked empanadas.
  • Drain Excess Oil: After frying, place the cooked empanadas on a plate lined with paper towels to remove any excess oil. This step helps keep the empanadas crispy without being greasy.

Pros & Cons

✅ Delicious and flavorful❌ High in calories
✅ Crispy and satisfying❌ Contains saturated fat
✅ Versatile fillings and variations❌ Time-consuming to make
✅ Great for parties and gatherings❌ Not suitable for gluten-free diets
✅ Easy to customize and experiment❌ Can be messy to assemble


In conclusion, American Fried Empanadas are a delightful culinary adventure that promises to take your taste buds on a thrilling ride. These delectable stuffed pastries offer a perfect balance of crunchy exteriors and flavorful fillings, making them an irresistible treat for any occasion.

The joy of preparing your very own empanadas is not only in the satisfaction of creating something delicious but also in the freedom to experiment with various fillings and flavors. From classic beef and cheese to vegetarian black bean or sweet dessert variations, the possibilities are as vast as your imagination.

While making empanadas might require a bit of time and effort, the end result is undoubtedly worth it. The crispy texture, the burst of flavors, and the satisfaction of enjoying a homemade, handcrafted snack make it all worthwhile.

Whether you’re hosting a party, looking for a scrumptious snack, or seeking to explore the fusion of American and Latin American cuisines, American Fried Empanadas are a must-try recipe.

So, don your apron, dust your hands with flour, and let the culinary artist in you shine. Embrace the process of rolling out the dough, filling it with your chosen ingredients, and savoring the delightful crunch of a freshly fried empanada.

Invite your friends and family to join in the fun and discover the joy of making and sharing these delectable treats together. Create fond memories and new traditions as you indulge in the art of making American Fried Empanadas.

The kitchen is your canvas, and with this recipe as your guide, you have the power to unleash your creativity and personalize these savory delights to suit your taste preferences. So, what are you waiting for? Let your taste buds embark on a tantalizing journey and experience the pure delight of American Fried Empanadas!

Remember, good food is meant to be savored and shared. So, gather your loved ones, serve up some mouthwatering empanadas, and relish in the joy of good company and great flavors.

Happy cooking, and bon appétit! 🍽️


  • 🌮 Fact 1: A Global Journey 🌎
    • Did you know that empanadas trace their origins back to the Middle Ages in Spain? These delightful stuffed pastries have traveled across continents and cultures, adapting and evolving along the way. From the medieval kitchens of Spain to the bustling street food stalls of Latin America and now the American dinner tables, empanadas have become a beloved and versatile treat worldwide.
  • 🧁 Fact 2: Empanada Variety Galore! 🎉
    • Empanadas come in an incredible array of fillings and flavors, catering to every palate. From the savory classics like beef and cheese to the creative combinations of chicken and vegetable or even sweet dessert variations, there’s an empanada for everyone. So, unleash your culinary creativity and experiment with diverse fillings to create your perfect pocket of deliciousness.
  • 🍳 Fact 3: From Baking to Frying – Choose Your Adventure! 🔥
    • Empanadas offer culinary adventurers two delightful cooking methods: baking and frying. For health-conscious foodies, baking provides a lighter option with a golden crust. On the other hand, frying promises an indulgent crispy bite that captures the essence of Latin American street food. The choice is yours, so flip a coin or better yet, try both for the ultimate empanada exploration!
  • 💃 Fact 4: A Dance of Tradition and Culture 🕺
    • In Latin American countries, empanadas have become a cherished part of cultural celebrations and traditions. These mouthwatering delights often take center stage during festivals, family gatherings, and holidays. Whether it’s Argentina’s Independence Day, Chile’s Fiestas Patrias, or Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, empanadas add a flavorful dance to the festivities.
  • 🍻 Fact 5: Pairing Perfection 🍹
    • The art of enjoying empanadas extends beyond the pastry itself. To elevate the experience, pair your savory treats with refreshing beverages and delightful dips. From tangy salsas and creamy guacamole to a chilled soda, a fruity mocktail, or even a traditional Argentine mate tea, the pairing possibilities are endless. So, take a sip, take a bite, and savor the perfect harmony of flavors!


Can I make the empanada dough in advance?

Absolutely! You can prepare the empanada dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just make sure to wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.

Can I freeze the empanadas before frying or baking them?

Yes, you can freeze the assembled but uncooked empanadas for future use. Simply arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze until firm, and then transfer them to a resealable bag for storage. When you’re ready to enjoy them, fry or bake the frozen empanadas directly from the freezer, adjusting the cooking time accordingly.

What oil is best for frying empanadas?

For frying empanadas, use high-heat oils such as vegetable oil or canola oil. These oils have a high smoke point, which means they can withstand the heat required for frying without burning or smoking excessively.

Can I make vegetarian empanadas?

Absolutely! Embrace a plant-based diet by creating vegetarian empanadas. Use ingredients like mushrooms, spinach, tofu, or plant-based proteins as substitutes for meat and cheese to craft delicious and flavorful vegetarian fillings.

Is it possible to make gluten-free empanadas?

Yes, you can make gluten-free empanadas by using gluten-free all-purpose flour for the dough. Simply follow the same steps for preparing and resting the dough, making sure to use a gluten-free flour blend.

How do I prevent the filling from oozing out during frying?

To prevent the filling from leaking out, ensure a proper seal when assembling the empanadas. Press the edges of the dough firmly together, and use a fork to crimp the edges for extra security. Avoid overfilling the empanadas, as this can lead to leaks.

Can I bake the empanadas instead of frying them?

Yes, you can opt for a healthier option and bake the empanadas. Simply place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush them with an egg wash, and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

How do I reheat leftover empanadas?

To reheat leftover empanadas, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake them for 10-15 minutes or until they regain their crispy texture. Avoid using the microwave, as it can make the empanadas soggy.

Can I make mini empanadas for snacking or appetizers?

Absolutely! To make mini empanadas, use a smaller cutter to create circles of dough, reduce the filling quantity, and fold them into mini half-moon shapes. These bite-sized treats are perfect for snacking or serving as appetizers at parties.

Are there sweet empanada variations?

Yes, you can create sweet dessert empanadas by using fillings like Nutella and banana, apple pie filling, or sweet cream cheese with berries. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top after baking for an extra touch of sweetness.