How to Make Empanadas


Empanada RecipeAnother South By South West gone, another week-long hangover to power through. A little less doing this year, due to a whole bunch of other bullshit needing to be done instead, but still managed to hit the highlights: day drink in the sun, play a house show, see a couple of BAD ASS bands, fall off a sidewalk, fall out of a chair, kick a stranger, wander around, lose my cool, lose my memory, get dehydrated, and see some art – not necessarily in that order.

To assist me in my travels, I made some empanadas to take along in my backpack.
Backpack snacks…
To ward off the alcohol poisoning…
I shared them with somebody (two somebodies?) at a party but can’t remember who that was. Anywayzzz…

How to Make Empanadas

Easy Empanadas
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 6
Shortcut vegetarian empanada recipe
  • Premade pie crust
  • 1 (10 oz) box o’ frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 small potato, cooked and diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • As much cheese as you can cram in, probably 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce per empanada
  • Extra flour for rolling
  1. Mix the filling ingredients together: spinach, potatoes and spices.
  2. Pull out your pie crust and unroll it on a lightly floured (and clean!) work space.
  3. Roll it out a little to thin it and increase the size by about half. Should be about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Cut out 6″ circles by tracing a small plate or bowl – you should get 6 circles.
  5. Put a couple tablespoons of your filling and a hunk of cheese on each circle, fold over, and seal with water and pinching (Watch the video to see how!!!)
  6. Put on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Cool completely and put them in some tupperwares to take with you for later enjoyment in some drunken state in the future. You’re welcome.

Here’s a pumpkin empanada recipe with a homemade empanada crust if you’ve got a little more empanada confidence and/or time.


  1. Thomas Andrew on March 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Loved the video! Can't wait to try this recipe out—I've been wanting to try making empanadas for awhile now.

    • Hilah Cooking on March 25, 2010 at 9:37 pm

      Do it! And then tell me how it worked out!

  2. Joy704 on March 24, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I actually cheat and use a empanda press. I like how you form your crust.

  3. Sacre Bleu Wine on March 29, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    We LOVE your show. Great content with attitude galore. More, please!

    • Hilah Cooking on March 30, 2010 at 12:23 am

      We have many more on the way! Send me some wine! 🙂

  4. Charli on April 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I'm going to try this. I need some meat in it though.

    • Hilah Cooking on May 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm

      The best part about empanadas is that you can put pretty much anything in them. Nature’s perfect food pocket.

  5. SteveW on May 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Made some chicken empanadas last Monday. So good! Thanks for the guidance.

    • Hilah Cooking on May 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm

      Sounds delish! Glad to be of service.

  6. SWSYes! « Feminist Music Geek on March 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    […] some industrious folks can pull a Hilah and make potables to nosh on and barter. I will not be one of them, though, as I’ll most […]

  7. T-Dog Shadley on August 19, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Stumbled upon your lovely website & caught the fish taco video! I was like “im home!” The way you do it is simple and fun. Other how to cook websites send my broke ass to Blood Bath & Beyond for tools and gadgets I use once! My girly girlfriend was impressed and happy with what I created for once! Thank You!

    • Hilah on August 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      That is exactly the kind of response I like! I’m real happy to help you please your girly. New episodes are starting Sept 20 so I hope to see you back for more.

  8. Brycen on August 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Oh man, Hilah you and your show are the business!!! I thoroughly enjoy watching your vids, and the food is awesome-tastic!! I am going to try this recipe for dinner tonight, but I’m going to use fresh kale from the farmers market instead of spinache, and also some aged white chedder horseradish cheese. mmmmm cheese.

    • Hilah on August 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Oh Brycen, that sounds awesome! I love aged cheddar and horseradish. Hope they turned out great!

  9. Larry... on August 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Thank’s Hilah… I was wondering if you made the dough or used premade… Whew… Glad you used premade.. ME and Flour.. don’t get along that well… LOL…

    • Hilah on August 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Ha! Yeah, this is a good shortcut method. You could use any filling, though. Thank you for writing, Larry!

  10. RickA on December 2, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Hey, Really from Milwaikee?

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