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Homemade empanada dough is easy to make and makes the best empanadas! I’ll show you how to make an Easy Empanada Dough Recipe you can use with any filling, that’s flaky, buttery, and so delicious. You will love this empanada dough recipe.
Baked and fried empanadas are both a staple at our house. My family is wild about them! I’ve made everything from savory to sweet empanadas with flavors like classic beef, chicken, caramel apple, and pumpkin.
While you can use premade empanada discs, I love to use my recipe for empanada dough for the shells. There is nothing like the taste and texture of fresh pastry! They’re so buttery and flaky.
You can use this easy empanada dough recipe for fried or baked empanadas.
I will never use another dough recipe. I tried it and it came out perfect. I has the perfect pull to it. Thank you for this awesome recipe.Jillian on Pinterest
Empanadas Dough Ingredients
- all-purpose flour
If you’re making sweet empanada dough, you will also need sugar.
How to Make Empanadas Dough
- Add flour, butter cut into small pieces, egg, water, and a pinch of salt to a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Wrap the ball of dough tightly in the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the dough from the fridge. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and roll out the dough as thinly as possible with a floured rolling pin.
- Use a 5-inch round bowl or plate to cut discs from the dough. The dough must be formed into a ball and rolled out several times to cut all the rounds.
- Store or use immediately.
- Fill with no more than two tablespoons of preferred filling when ready to fill to prevent bursting and make the empanadas easier to seal.
- Seal the edges by rolling or pinching the edges with your fingers or pressing down on the edges with the tines of a fork.
- Brush with egg wash (beaten egg mixed with water) for best results.
Empanadas Dough Recipe Tips
- Refrigerating the dough for 15-30 minutes before using it will result in flakier dough because the gluten in the dough relaxes.
- You can also refrigerate empanadas after sealing them. Do this for 30 minutes and they will hold their shape better.
- Use the dough as soon as you make it so it doesn’t crack, or store it in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic for no more than 1-2 days.
- Always brush your empanadas with a bit of egg wash for golden brown pastries. Egg wash is a mixture of beaten egg and water.
- Using a food processor makes mixing the dough easier, but it isn’t necessary. You can mix the dough by hand, as well.
- Generally, 375 degrees Fahrenheit will be perfect for baking empanadas. They’re ready to take out of the oven when they’re golden brown all over.
Sweet Empanada Dough Instructions
For sweet empanada dough, adding ½ cup of sugar when mixing the dough is key. This is the only difference between savory and sweet. Otherwise, you make the dough the exact same way following the instructions above.
Empanada Dough Recipe FAQs
Empanadas are essentially hand pies. They’re fried or baked pastries filled with savory or sweet fillings. Empanadas are Mexican food, but you can find the same type of dish all over the world, from Puerto Rico’s Empanadillas (or Pastelillos) to Portugal’s Rissóis.
You can use any kind of dough you like to make your empanadas, from pizza dough to pie dough. I like to make my own recipe for empanada dough that’s super easy and uses simple ingredients. Even a total beginner to baking can make this dough.
Empanadas are delicious either fried or baked. Baking uses less oil and is therefore a little more wholesome than frying, but as far as taste goes, they’re both delicious. It isn’t difficult to make crispy, satisfying empanadas using your oven. Honestly, I like them both ways, and so does my family.
There are multiple ways to seal empanada dough, depending on preference. I prefer to use a fork to crimp the edge. You can crimp the edges of the pastries using a fork by simply pressing along the edges with the tines, fold the edges with your fingers in a purse-like shape, or simply roll the edges.
No matter which method you use, brush the inside edge with a bit of water or egg wash to help seal the empanadas closed. Be sure not to over-stuff your pastry with filling or it may burst when baking or make it hard to seal.
The easiest way to freeze empanada dough is to roll the dough out into discs, then stack them with a piece of parchment paper in between each disc. Store them in a freezer bag labeled with the date. When ready to use, let them thaw for about 20 minutes. Dough lasts about 3 months in the freezer.
How to Store Empanadas Dough
To store leftover empanada dough, wrap it tightly with plastic and place it in the fridge for no more than 1-2 days. If possible, it’s better to use the dough immediately.
How to Freeze Empanada Dough
The best way to freeze empanada dough is to form discs and then stack them with a piece of parchment paper in between each disc. Store them in a freezer bag labeled with the date. When ready to use, let them thaw for about 20 minutes. Dough lasts about three months in the freezer.
You can fill your empanadas any way you like. There are endless options to choose from! These are some of my favorite, easy-hand pie recipes you can make using my empanada dough recipe. Leftover ham is also a great option for filling empanadas.
Empanada Dough Recipe
- Food processor (optional)
- rolling pin
- 5 to 6 inch round bowl or plate
Add for sweet empanadas
- ½ Tablespoon granulated sugar
See our Cooking Conversions Chart for help converting measurements!
- Add 2½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 stick butter, 1 egg, ¼ cup cold water, and 1 pinch salt to a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. See notes if mixing by hand.1 stick butter, 1 egg, ¼ cup cold water, 1 pinch salt, 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- Pour dough mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Use your hands to form the mixture into a ball. Once shaped, wrap tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and roll out the dough as thinly as possible with a floured rolling pin.
- Use a 5 or 6-inch round bowl or plate to cut discs from the dough by running the knife around the bowl. As you run out of dough, form it into a ball and roll it out again to cut more discs until all the dough is used.
- Store or use immediately. Fill with no more than 2 tablespoons of preferred filling when ready to fill, to prevent bursting and make the empanadas easier to seal.
- Seal by rolling or pursing the edges with your fingers, or pressing down on the edges with the tines of a fork. Brush with egg wash (beaten egg mixed with water) for best results.
- Note: nutritional value is not calculated to include optional sugar.
- Using a fork, a pastry cutter, or your hands, cut the cold cubed butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in the salt and give it a stir.
- Add water and egg and mix until it forms a dough. Knead to form a ball on the counter for about 5 minutes.
- Follow the instructions in the recipe card to roll out the dough and cut into discs. Enjoy!