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How to make empanada dough for frying

How to make homemade empanada dough for frying

This is my easy recipe for homemade empanada dough for frying. The process to make this empanada dough for frying is very similar to the empanada dough for baking. A few differences are that this dough doesn’t include egg, has a little bit less butter, but adds baking powder and little bit of orange juice. The orange juice gives the dough a nice flavor, while the baking powder give the empanadas that light fluffy texture when you fry them.

Homemade fried empanadas

You can use the regular baking empanada dough and fry it, however I prefer the texture that you get from this variation when making fried empanadas. I mainly make this dough to prepare empanadas de viento or fried cheese empanadas, but it can also be used to make any type of fried empanada with the filling of your choice. This is mainly a savory fried empanada dough, though if you want you can add a small amount (~1 tablespoon) of sugar to give the dough a slightly sweeter taste. This will work well with fillings like cheese or cheese and jam/fruit preserves.

Fried empanadas

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Fried empanadas

How to make empanada dough for frying

Easy recipe for making homemade empanada dough for frying. This fried empanada dough is made using all purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, orange juice, and water.
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Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Ecuadorian, Latin
Keyword: Dough, Empanadas, Frying
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 -15 medium size empanadas or 20-25 small empanadas


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar – optional if you want a hint of sweetness in the dough
  • 1 stick of butter 1 stick = 4 oz
  • ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons of orange juice
  • ~2/3 cup sparkling water or still water add more if needed
  • Your choice of fillings
  • Oil for frying


  • Mix the flour, salt, sugar (if using), and baking powder in a food processor.
  • Add the pieces of butter and pulse until mixed.
  • Add the orange juice and sparkling water – start with ½ cup of water and then add more as needed, pulse and mix until clumps of dough start to form.
  • Form a ball with the dough and knead lightly.
  • Place the dough in bowl, coat with small amount of oil, cover and let rest at room temperature for about an hour.
  • To make the empanada discs or rounds, you can either roll out the dough into a thin layer and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate). Or you can make several small balls of dough, about 1.5 oz to 2 oz in weight, then use a tortilla press or a rolling pin to roll them out – they don’t need to be perfectly round. It's really important to get the discs very thin since they cook very quickly when you fry them, if after cutting out the round shapes or pressing them with a tortilla press, they are still thick, try rolling each disc a little more until it is very thin. Some people also use a pasta machine to get the dough very thin.
  • The empanada discs can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator or freezer to use later.

To fill, assemble, and fry the empanadas:

  • Use a spoon to place your choice of filling on to the center of each empanada disc.
  • Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges, first pressing gently with your fingers, then use your fingers to gently twist the edges of the empanada. You can also use a fork to press down and seal, or one of those empanada molds if you have one.
  • If you have time, I recommend chilling the empanadas for 30 minutes to an hour (or longer if you are making them ahead of time), before frying them.
  • The empanadas can be fried either a deep fryer or a simple frying pan, just make sure to have enough oil to cover at least half the empanada if using a pan. Heat the oil, it should bubble when you add the empanadas to the oil, and fry each empanada until they are golden on each side. Don’t overcrowd the pan and if any of them break/leak remove it immediately from the oil.
  • Place the fried empanadas on paper towels to drain any extra oil.
  • Serve warm.


To make the empanada dough by hand, follow the same instruction but use your hands to mix the ingredients together.

Homemade empanada dough for frying

Step by step photos for the preparation of the empanada dough for frying:

Mix the flour with the salt and the baking powder Butter, orange juice, and sparkling water for empanada dough

Add the butter and mix well Add the liquids and mix until clumps of dough start to form

Remove the dough from the food processor, form a ball, and let it rest for about an hour You can either roll out a thin sheet of dough or form the dough into several small balls

Roll each ball out into a circle form You can also use a tortilla press to make the empanada discs Making empanada discs with a tortilla press Add your choice of filling to the empanada discs Empanada dough for frying You can make larger empanadas or minitiure bite sized ones Fry the empanadas in hot oil until golden on each side Place the fried empanadas on paper towels to remove excess oil

Fried cheese empanadas

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  1. Thank you very much for this recipe! I have made it in the past and they are so delicious. I am planning to make the dough again today for a party tomorrow and was wondering what the best make-ahead technique is?
    Make the dough today and fill, assemble, and fry tomorrow?
    Make dough, fill and assemble today but fry tomorrow?
    Appreciate your advice!

  2. This recipe is amazing! The empanadas came out perfectly delicious stuffed with creamy mushrooms and didn’t need sauce. It was my first time making them and wow truly delightful, so soft but yet crispy. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. It’s a keeper.

  3. Took me 2 trials before I managed to make a decent dough.It was delicious.Thank you for this simple recipe!

  4. These were PERFECTION! I juiced an orange and used orange flavored sparkling water, because that’s what I happened to have.
    We stuffed them with slow cooked black beans, potatoes, roasted corn and Jamaican curry seasonings.basically what we had in the fridge already made. We have a similar thing here called Pates here in the Virgin Islands, and we are right next to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and they make Pasteles and Empanadas!
    . The pates are usually stuffed w salt fish, beef or chicken, and this dough KICKS that recipes butt. It’s so much better!
    It was so flaky and the dough was so easy to work with. We are taking them to a beach fire birthday tonite with a Chimmichurri sauce, so thank you!
    Spectacular and will be my go-to recipe, and my husband is a REAL classically trained Chef and is in love with the recipe. I really lucked out finding your website. Muchos Gracias!!!!

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