Baked cheese empanadas are a healthier altenative to the traditional fried cheese empanadas known as empanadas de viento. I love empanadas and whiel there are so many different types of empanada fillings, and I have yet to try one that I didn’t like, my favorite is the most basic filling: cheese and onion. It is easiest and quickest filling to make, and if you are using the store bought empanada discs (for baking) the whole process is very quick and produces a great appetizer or breakfast. These savory cheese empanadas contrast well with the sugar on top of the empanadas and this is something characteristically Ecuadorian. We sprinkle sugar on the top of cheese empanadas, both baked and fried versions. This is something that my boys love, if there’s a choice of different empanadas on the table, they will choose the ones with sugar on top.
Simple baked cheese filled empanadas
- 15 medium size or 25 small empanada discs (use homemade empanada dough for baking or store bought)
- 3 cups crumbled fresh queso or grated mozzarella
- ½ white onion, chopped finely
- 1 egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked
- 2-3 tbs demerara sugar
- Mix the cheese and onion together.
- To assemble the empanadas spoon the cheese and onion mixture on the center of the empanada discs.
- Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites (this is will help them seal better and keep the filling from leaking while baking) .
- Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges, use a fork to help seal the empanadas.
- Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk, this will give a nice golden glow when they bake.
- Sprinkle the demerara sugar on the top of the empanadas.
- Chill the empanadas for at least 30 minutes, this will help them seal better and prevent leaks.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- Serve immediately.
The challenge with empanadas, especially cheese empanadas, is to keep them from leaking when they are baking. A good way to keep them from leaking is to use egg whites to help seal the empanadas, and it also helps to let them rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before baking. Despite this I always have at least one empanada that leaks every time, it must be because I overstuff the empanadas, I just can’t resist the idea of having as much gooey cheese as possible.