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Cheese Empanadas

A simple, 5-ingredient recipe for cheese empanadas. In this post, we'll teach you how to make them, freeze them, and cook them in the air fryer or on the stove!
Prep 45 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 55 minutes
Fat 13
Carbs 22
Protein 10
Yield 4


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 4 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese ~1cup
  • 1-2 cups canola oil for frying


  • In a bowl add the all purpose flour, salt, and 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix together. It should start to look a little crumbly.
  • Next start adding the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring it until it becomes very coarse and crumbly.
    dough in bowl.
  • Shape the dough into a disk and tightly cover the dough with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • After the dough has rested, cut the disk into 8 triangles. On a floured surface roll out each piece into a circle, roughly 4 inches.
    sliced dough.
  • Place 1-2 tablespoons of cheese into the center of the empanada. Dip your finger into some water and trace it along the outside of one half of the empanada. Fold the dough over and press the edges together to seal completely.
    cheese in the center of empanada.
  • To pan-fry: Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat and add 2 cups of oil. When the oil has become fragrant place 2-4 empanadas in the skillet. Fry for 2-3 minutes on one side, flip and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes. Or until golden brown.
    pan frying empanadas.
  • To air fry: Preheat your air fryer to 400℉. Spray your air fryer with cooking spray and place 2-4 empanadas in the basket. Fry for 3 minutes, flip and fry for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve by themselves or dip into your favorite salsas!

Tips & Notes

  • The air-fried empanadas do not get golden brown, more of a light gold color. They still have a crunch, just less color.
  • To freeze the empanadas: make them as is, but do not cook them. Wrap them individually in parchment paper and store them in a freezer storage bag for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat from frozen: follow steps 6 or 7. Cooking times were the same.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0g