I was planning to share the recipe for these tomato mozzarella caprese empanadas several months ago. My kids (and I) are obsessed with anything caprese style and get withdrawals if we don’t have it frequently. This mix of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil is one of my favorite fillings for grilled cheese or as a topping for grilled crostini.
Usually anything that would be good on pizza, crostini, grilled cheese, or a savory tart also makes a good empanada filling. These cheesy tomato caprese empanadas can be made either in the oven or fried – depending on your preference. I recommend serving the empanadas with a garlicky basil olive oil sauce or with a balsamic chimichurri sauce.
Caprese empanadas filled with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil. Served with a basil garlic dipping sauce.
- 8 ounces of grated or crumbled mozzarella cheese
- 2 medium sized tomatoes (any kind), chopped
- A large handful of basil, chopped
- 12-15 empanada discs, can use store-bought or make your own empanada dough for baking or for frying
- 1 egg, whisked - to be used as egg wash
- Basil garlic sauce
- Mix the grated mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, and basil in a bowl.
- To assemble the empanadas, place a spoonful or two of the cheese mixture on the middle of each empanada disc.
- Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges. You can either use a fork to help seal the empanadas, or use your fingers to twist and curl the edges creating a churito or curl type seal. You can also use an empanada mold to seal the empanadas.
- If you have time, for best results, especially since these empanadas contain cheese, chill the empanadas for at least 30 minutes before baking, this will help them seal better and prevent leaks.
- Before baking, brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give a nice golden glow when they bake.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400F for 18-20 minutes or until golden.
- Serve the caprese empanadas with your choice of dipping sauce.
These caprese empanadas can also be fried - they will be less likely to leak out the cheese filling if they are fried. To fry them you can use a deep fryer or a basic frying pan, make sure to have enough oil to cover at least half the empanada if using a pan. Heat the oil and fry each empanada until they are golden on each side. Place them on paper towels to remove any excess oil.
These caprese empanadas are perfect appetizer for a party. You can use store bought empanada dough as a shortcut and assemble the empanadas ahead of time. You can either fry them or bake them. Baking them is easier since it’s just a matter of popping them in the oven, however since they have a cheese filling they might leak a little when baking. Frying them is much faster and as a result they cook quicker and are less likely to leak (just make sure to seal them well), but it does need to be done in batches. I love them both ways :)
Step by step preparation photos for caprese empanadas: