Empanada Dough Recipe

This empanada dough recipe will render you flaky, melt-in-your-mouth empanadas that you will love. You can fill it with sweet or savory fillings for a superbly tasty treat.

Empanadas are very popular in many countries. In Latin America you will find that every country has their own version of these. You can fill them with cheese, chicken, beef, pork, veggies ot sweet fillings like dulce de leche. The dough is the most important component of your empanada. You need a flaky and tender dough to complement your filling. This recipe will give you exactly that.

When you are making this dough you will think you did something wrong as it will not be incorporated when you dump it on your board. Do not worry about this. Simply get it together by using the heels of your hands. If you knead this dough you will turn it tough and hard. Treat it delicately for an ultimate result.

Here is what you need for this perfect empanada dough recipe:

Makes about 50 small empanadas

1 egg
2 TBS milk
1/8 tsp. salt
2 ¼ cups sifted flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ cup cold butter – sliced
1 TBS cider or white vinegar
1/3 cup ice cold water

Place the egg, milk and 1/8th tsp. salt in a bowl and whisk it with a fork. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the sifted flour and the 1 ½ tsp. salt. Mix well. Add the butter and incorporate it into the flour, using your clean hands, 2 knives or a food processor. Mix until the flour resembles bread crumbs.

Add the egg mixture, the vinegar and the water to the flour. Use your fork to incorporate all the ingredients.

Dump the dough on a clean, floured counter top. Carefully bring it all together – do not knead it – until you have a ball. This should take 2 to 3 pressing with the heel of your hands. Do not over-work the dough. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for 1 hour.

After an hour, divide the dough in half and place it on a clean, floured counter top. Roll it out until you have about 1/8th inch thickness. Use a glass or round cookie cutter – any size you prefer – and cut the dough. Reuse the left over dough until you have no more left over.

Place your filling in the middle of your circle and fold. Make sure to press the edges so they stick together. You can leave them like this, press them with a fork, or form a ‘rope’ by overlapping it.

Deep fry in very hot oil for about 10 minutes or bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Print the Empanada Dough Recipe Here


Imprima su receta aca

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  • I just found your website and already I’ve gotten so many great tips and recipes. Thank you so much!

  • Hi Gary!
    This empanada dough is really very good. It will render you a very tasty empanada. If your dough is too wet just add a little bit of flour to it. Thank you for stopping by.
    Mary Ann

  • Love your dough recipe. I add curry powder to the dry ingredients and make perfect Jamaican beef patties with it.

  • Hi Lorry!
    That sounds like such a great idea. Thank you. I will give it a try. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting! Take care.
    Mary Ann

  • Hi there is it plain flour for this recipe? And I’m just curious (please humour me as this is my first attempt at cooking empanadas coming from a completely Aussie household) I thought they were made with cornmeal? Or is that just arapas? Cheers!

  • Hi Elle!
    These are made with plain white all-purpose flour. Empanadas are not made with cornmeal. We use Masa Harina for making tortillas, arepas, pupusas, etc. Masa harina is made from yellow corn but it is different from the cornmeal that we use in the US to make corn bread. Cornmeal is a little coarser.

    I hope you make these and that they come out perfect for you! Thank you so much for stopping by!

    Mary Ann

  • Hi! I love your website. Can I use bread flour instead of all purpose for this dough?

  • Hi Nicole!

    Bread flour has more gluten in it which allows it to rise more than all purpose flour does. However, I think you should be fine with this. I have never done it but it sounds to me that you should be okay. Thank you for stopping by!

    Mary Ann

  • Hello! I made this today and it is delicious. My husband and I love the filling and it’s spiciness. We had it for lunch. I just made the empanadas and they’re cooling right now. I have a question, can I make it ahead and freeze them? If so, do I need to thaw it out before cooking or can I just pop them in the oven? How long would be the cooking time? Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe.

  • Hi Shirley!

    I am so happy you liked these. Thank you for making them. You can freeze these before baking them. Separate them with some wax paper or foil so they don’t stick to each other. Place them in a very hot oven and bake them for about 35 minutes. Please keep an eye on them and make sure the bottoms are not burning. I hope these come out perfect for you! Thanks again!

    Mary Ann

  • Hello! Thank you for the recipe!

    I made these today (without vinegar), but they came out flaky and a bit dry. Any ideas why? My goal is to make them soft and dough-y.

    Thank you!

  • Hi Christine!
    Thanks for stopping by! If you left out the vinegar your dough was too dry. Next time add a little more liquid to replace the vinegar. Thanks!
    Mary Ann

  • I’m a real fan of your empanada dough !! I will be starting up a food truck in the near future showcasing traditional Colombian recipes and your dough just beat out a bunch of other recipes that I was experimenting with. I will also add a little sugar to it for my dessert empanadas.
    Thank you for sharing your recipes…. Don’t tell my mom, but your dough recipe is better!!?

  • Hi Rick!
    I am so happy to hear that you love this recipe! I personally love it as well. How exciting to start a food truck! Where are you located? Maybe I can come over and eat sometime! Good luck and don’t worry your secret is safe with me! Take care!
    Mary Ann

  • I made these for a baby shower and was so surprised with how good this dough is. I make pies and tarts often, this dough handles well and is so flaky. As an empanada eater and maker all my life it is great to find a recipe that makes a baked empanada that is great, I grew up with only fried.
    Thanks so much for this recipe!
    Note, I did a test and made one batch by hand the other in the food processor. The batch by hand was outstanding even better that the food processor ones, I recommend the video.

  • Hi Mercedes!
    Thank you so much for letting me know how this dough worked for you. I really appreciate it! I am very happy that you liked the final result. Take care!
    Mary Ann

  • Good day:)
    I chanced upon this site today and will try to follow this.
    I just have a question. What if the empanada dough is left longer in the fridge? Like overnight? What will happen then? 😀 thank you!!

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