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Caprese empanadas with tomato, mozzarella, and basil

Caprese empanadas

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.

Caprese empanadas filled mozzarella cheese, tomato, and basil

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.

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Caprese empanadas with basil sauce

Caprese empanadas

Caprese empanadas filled with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil. Served with a basil garlic dipping sauce.
4.73 from 394 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Latin American, Latin fusion
Keyword: Basil, Caprese, Empanadas, Mozzarella, Tomato
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
Servings: 15 medium sized empanadas


  • 8 ounces of grated or crumbled mozzarella cheese
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes any kind, chopped
  • A large handful of basil chopped
  • 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


  • 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.

Tomato mozzarella empanadas with basil garlic sauce

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 :)

Caprese empanadas with basil sauce

Step by step preparation photos for caprese empanadas:

Tomato, grated mozzarella, and basil for the empanada filling Fill the empanadas with the caprese mixture

Seal the empanadas and refrigerate before baking Brush the empanadas with egg wash

Empanadas with a caprese tomato mozzarella filling Empanadas filled with tomato, mozzarella, and basil

Bake the empanadas until golden on top Tomato, mozzarella, and basil filled empanadas with basil sauce

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  1. Hi Layla,
    I ran across your empanada recipe and it looks delicious paired with Rose.
    Quick question…
    Can they be made ahead and frozen?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kathleen – Yes, they can, if you are making your own dough. To bake them from frozen you don’t need to thaw them, just bake them following the same directions, they might need a few more minutes in the oven.
      If you are using store bought frozen empanada discs then I don’t recommend re-freezing them again.

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