Empanada Dough Recipe

empanada 2This week was the first time I have made empanadas.  I was hoping that I could get Max to eat them because I thought empanadas would be the perfect little packages of food.  He liked the package aspect and the flavor of this dough.  He did not go for the filling.  But we did.  That recipe will follow.

I based my recipe on one I found in the cookbook “The Latin Road Home” by Jose Garces.  It’s got some of the flakiness of pie dough but is more sturdy.

Empanada Dough Recipe

24 small empanadas

Empanada Dough Recipe


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup ice water


  1. Put the flours, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse to blend.
  2. Cut the butter up into pieces and add to the flour. Pulse until the butter pieces are roughly the size of peas.
  3. Crack the egg into a small bowl and scramble it with a fork before pouring slowly into the processor while it's running.
  4. Add the ice water to the mixture by the tablespoon while the processor is running until the dough forms a ball. You may not need all of the water, depending on the humidity of your kitchen.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a smooth clean surface and knead just enough to bring the dough together smoothly.
  6. Shape it into a flat round disc and refrigerate for an hour or up to a day.
  7. Preheat oven to 375° when you're ready to make your empanadas.
  8. Roll out the dough to 1/8" thick. Using a round cookie cutter - cut out rounds and fill, crimping the edges shut with a fork. Continue to roll out scraps until you've used up all of the dough.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes.


I used a 3" cookie cutter to make my empanadas. I got about 30 appetizer sized empanadas out of it but I made a few ugly ones from the scraps that were too hard to roll out and cut. Your yield will vary depending on the size you make yours.

Optional: whip up an egg with a little water to brush over the empanadas. I did this with mine so that the cajun seasoning I sprinkled on top would stick.

You can fry these too.