I’m so pumped to send out this special edition of my Fave Five all about one of my fave things to make: the baked empanada! I’ll tell you, finding these bakeable empanada shells in my freezer section has been a game changer for me. I’m all about quick meal ideas and while I always seem to have dinner ideas at my fingertips, lunch always stumps me. Finding these shells means I can make baked empanadas in less than 30 minutes, sometimes using leftovers and always making something new and yummy. Let me repeat- this never gets old!! Best of all, come on – you know what I’m about to say- it’s Toddler Approved!!
Once you make empanadas once (and really after seeing the video) you’ll be an expert, but there are a few steps to ensure success from the start:
- Make sure the empanada shells are defrosted. If they are frozen they won’t be pliable enough to fold and will crack. If they’re too defrosted they may be hard to mold too as they will become sticky in your hands. I find it best to take it down from the freezer about 45 minutes before use. They will still be a bit frozen but will become more pliable in your hands as you fold them.
- Have all the fillings ready beforehand. Do I even have to say this?? This will make the process go so much quicker and will ensure a more stress-free
- Don’t overfill them. If you overfill them they will be hard to close and may pop in the baking process. Less is more!
- Season before placing in the oven. I cannot stress enough how important it is to season your shells before placing in the oven. It ensures the yumminess begins at the first bite!
- Don’t over or under bake them. Annoying, I know, but golden brown is what you want. Cooking tie really does vary and not just based on your oven but based on the fillings, where in your oven you place them, how defrosted they are upon going in, and a bunch of other factors. There’s not an exact science to cooking time so go based off of the color: golden brown + flaky = perfection!!
That’s it! These are so easy and so quick. Don’t believe me? Check out this video tutorial:
Ready to jump in? Let’s go! Here’s the basic recipe:
- Frozen Empanada Shells (they need to say they are for baking or "para el horno"
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Take shells out of the oven 45 minutes prior to prep time.
- Have all ingredients ready when it's time to fill them.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large baking sheet.
- To assemble: lay 2 empanada rounds side by side and place a spoonful of filling in the center. Fold in half and crimp edges. Repeat 100 times.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes (or longer depending on your oven). They are done when they are golden brown and look flaky.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before devouring.
But that’s not all, to make sure these become part of your diet I’ve included 5 of my fave fool proof recipes here, because it’s Friday and this is the Fave Five!
- Crab Stuffed Baked Empanada: I made these empanadas during a cross-collab I did with Megan from the Pink to Green Blog and they’re some of my fave I’ve made to date!
- Shepherd’s Pie Baked Empanada: Just like the title, these empanadas were stuffed with all the goodies from a Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie I made back in early winter. The lesson here? Got leftovers? Repurpose them for your family by stuffing them into an empanadas (or egg roll wrappers).
- Pizza Empanadas: These are calzones, but what’s to stop you from stuffing sauce, cheese, meat, or veggies into an empanada and making Pizza Empanadas?? Nothing- absolutely nothing at all!!
- Enchilada Empanadas: My fave new enchilada recipe stuffed into an empanada and served with some more of that absolutely perfect enchilada sauce as a dip?? This has “party appetizer” written all over it!
- Turkey, Brie, and Cranberry Baked Empanada: The perfect Thanksgiving leftover meal made beautiful. I could also see turkey + mashed potato empanadas, turkey + stuffing +brussel sprout empanadas, or sweet potato + cranberry sauce empanadas- just off the top of my head. The possibilities really are endless!!
That’s not all- I’m actually sharing 2 more empanada recipes- 1 savory and 1 sweet (mind blown- I know!) in my newsletter this week. It would be a shame if you missed it so don’t miss it! Sign up NOW!