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Baked cheese empanadas or empanadas de queso al horno

Cheese empanadas

These baked cheese empanadas are a healthier alternative to the traditional fried cheese empanadas known as empanadas de viento. I love empanadas and there are so many different types of empanada fillings. I have yet to try one that I didn’t like, however one of my favorites is the most basic filling: cheese and onion.

En Español

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.

Baked cheese empanadas

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. However feel free to omit the cheese if you don’t want that option.

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. For cheese empanadas it also helps if you mix different cheeses, for example queso fresco and mozzarella. You can also fill them with goat cheese and oaxaca cheese, really the combinations for cheese empanadas are endless, but I do recommend using a mix of a melty cheese with a flavorful but less melty cheese.

Cheese empanadas

Baked cheese empanadas {Empanadas de queso al horno}

Easy recipe for homemade baked cheese empanadas
4.83 from 174 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Ecuadorian, Latin
Keyword: Baked empanadas, Cheese empanadas, Empanadas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 15 medium sized or 20-25 small 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 you can use your favorite type of cheese or a mix of different cheeses that you like
  • ½ white onion chopped finely
  • 1 egg white and yolk separated and lightly whisked
  • 2-3 tbs demerara sugar optional


  • 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.
Cheese empanadas
Cheese empanadas
Cheese empanadas
Cheese empanadas
Cheese empanadas
Empanadas de queso or cheese empanadas

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  1. I want to make these for guests tomorrow. I only have brown onion, is that ok? Or should I make a trip to the store? Also, I wonder if I should sauté the onion first. Is this a bad idea? Is it best to put them in raw?

    Any type of onions will work. I’ve also made empanadas using caramelized onions and it’s really good – especially when using cheeses like goat cheese or brie. For these either sauteed or raw will work, the raw ones will cook, but will be a little bit crunchier.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I made the dough, and added more water than your recipe called for. Otherwise I followed all your directions exactly, and they turned out beautifully, with hardly any leaks at all. I took them to a gathering of friends who have been to Ecuador, as I have, and they all agreed they were very authentic and delicious!

  3. Laylita, no encuentro demerara sugar crees que se pueda substituir con brown sugar? o es mas conveniente simplemente omitir el azúcar.

    1. Si, puedes usar cualquier otro tipo de azucar, mientras mas gruesa mejor. O tambien lo puedes omitir y espolvorear un poco de azucar luegos de hornearlas.

  4. I have made these quite a few times already and they have always been a huge hit. My nephew fell in love with them and now he asks for them all the time!!! They are so delish. Now I have to make some this weekend.

  5. Hola amiga estoy muy contenta con tus recetas es lo mejor q e encontrado me paso viendo tadas y hoyooo hecho caldo de bolasde verde y a mis niñas les a gustado mucho les a recordado a comida de nuestro pais gracias por hacerme la cocina muy facil FELICITACIONES T ESCRIBO DESDE MADRID

  6. I just tried your empanadas de viento recipe – delicious! The dough was super crumbly for me, though – maybe because of the altitude here in Quito? I think I will add a little vodka to the dough next time to keep it softer without making it tough.
    I am looking forward to trying these baked ones, too. It will be great to have a little bit healthier option. Thanks for your yummy recipes.

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