Pizza Empanadas (Empanadillas de Pizza)

Prep 10 mins
Cook 50 mins
Total 1 hr
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Crispy empanada dough is stuffed with mozzarella, pepperoni, and pizza sauce for a fun snack everyone will devour! Pizza Empanadas (also know as Empanadillas de Pizza) are sure to be a new family favorite!

The Ultimate Empanadillas de Pizza!

What were your favorite pizza products when you were a kid? Of course, there was regular pizza: pizza from your favorite pizza place, pizza from the school cafeteria (a whole different creation), and pizza from the frozen section of the grocery store, to name a few.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Empanadillas de Pizza, were my favorite that I could eat almost every day. Once we came to the US, there were also all those… pizza-esque items. Like microwaveable pizza rolls and pockets, mini pizza bagels, and those little pizza-flavored pretzels.

These days, I love pizza, but I don’t love processed food all that much. So I really enjoying whipping up these homemade pizza empanadas for myself and my kids! They are perfect little “pockets” of cheese, pepperoni, and sauce, all in flaky, golden homemade empanada dough

Eight empanadas piled on a wire rack, with a measuring spoon, a cup of pizza sauce, and a few pepperoni nearby.

What Are Empanadas?

Also known as empanadillas in Puerto Rico, empanadas are essentially hand pies, made with a circle of dough folded in half over some type of filling. This makes a semicircular pastry stuffed with filling. You can fry or bake empanadas, and the fillings can be savory or sweet.

Is Empanada Dough the Same as Pizza Dough?

No, empanada dough is closer to pie crust. In fact, if you don’t have empanada dough, you can use pie crust instead! Both pie crust and empanada dough are made without yeast, while pizza crust is made of yeasted dough.

From top left: Shredded mozzarella cheese, egg wash, pizza sauce, pepperoni, and empanada dough.

The Ingredients List

This is a fun recipe to pull together, especially with kids! When I make empanadas, I always try to double the recipe so that we can freeze half. I’m lucky if they last more than a week or two!

  • Empanada Dough: You can use pre-bought, or make a batch of my empanada dough and roll it into twelve 6-inch rounds.
  • Pizza Sauce: You’ll need a small amount of your favorite prepared pizza sauce.
  • Cheese: My favorite cheese for this is mozzarella, but unsmoked provolone is also a good choice.
  • Pepperoni: I use 4 – 6 pepperoni slices for each empanada, which means about 48 total.
  • Egg and Water: To make a simple egg wash. 

How to Make Empanadillas de Pizza

While some empanadas have complicated fillings and recipes, this one couldn’t be simpler! All you have to do is layer on the prepared fillings, fold, and bake! 

  1. Prepare the Baking Sheet and Oven. First, preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray it with nonstick spray. Set it aside. 
  2. Lay Out the Empanadas. Place all of your ingredients out on a clean work surface, including the empanada wrappers. Add 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce to the center of each empanada, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of mozzarella over the sauce, and top with several pepperoni slices. 
  3. Fold and Seal. Fold the empanada in half, and press the edges together. You can twist the edges for that classic empanada look, or press a fork into the edges to make little indentations, like a pie crust. 
  4. Brush with Egg Wash. Carefully place the folded empanadas on your prepared baking sheet. Leave a bit of space between them. Then, in a small bowl, whisk the egg and water together to maek an egg wash. Brush this over the top of each empanada. 
  5. Bake. Place the empanadas in the oven, and let them bake for about for 25 minutes, or until they are a light golden color.
  6. Enjoy! Allow the empanadas to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving. You can serve them with extra pizza sauce or ranch dressing for dipping, if desired!

Tips and Variations

I hope you are inspired to try this easy recipe! I can guarantee that if you do, you will find yourself making them again and again! 

  • Check the Dough: If you’re using prepared empanada dough, make sure it is suitable for baking. Some empanada doughs are designed just for frying!
  • Empanada Press: If you plan on making empanadas frequently (and especially if you want to make a lot at a time), you may want to get an empanada press! They make folding and sealing a snap.
  • Don’t Overfill: If you overfill empanadas, they may pop open during baking, causing the filling to leak out and scorch. 
  • Change It Up: You can change up your empanada fillings to reflect what you love! Any typical pizza filling can be used here: sausage crumbles, sliced black olives, thinly-sliced bell pepper or onion, goat cheese, etc. Again, though, be very careful not to overfill!
A batch of homemade empanadas on a work surface.

Yummy Ideas for Serving With Empanadas

To serve your empanadas, all you really need are… the empanadas! And some napkins, too, honestly. Oh and how about some Coquito! Us Puerto Ricans insist on Coquito with every meal from Thanksgiving through Three Kings Day! If you’d like to make your empanadas part of a larger spread, here are a few of my favorites:

Several empanadas on a work surface. One of the empanadas has been cut in half to show the filling.

How to Store and Reheat Pizza Empanadas

  • You can store your empanadas in the refrigerator for up to five days, sealed in an airtight container or a large zip-top bag.  
  • I recommend reheating in the air fryer at 325°F for several minutes, rather than the oven. This helps them get really crispy, but the oven is fine, too! 

Can I Freeze These?

Yes, you can! Empanadas freeze well, and are great for keeping on hand. Here’s how to freeze them and bake them from frozen:

  • If you’d like to freeze them, it’s best to freeze them unbaked. Just wrap the assembled empanadas one by one in plastic wrap, and then in a layer of foil. Store in a freezer bag in the freezer, for up to 3 months.
  • Frozen empanadas can be baked straight from the freezer! Just add an extra 5 minutes or so to the baking time.
Empanadas broken in half to see the insides.

More Latin Recipes To Try

Looking for more delicious latin recipes? Here are a few of our favorites:

Yield: 12

Pizza Empanadas (Empanadillas de Pizza)

Several empanadas on a work surface. One of the empanadas has been cut in half to show the filling.

Crispy empanada dough is stuffed with mozzarella, pepperoni, and pizza sauce for a fun snack everyone will devour! Pizza Empanadas are sure to be a new family favorite!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 12 (6-inch round) empanada dough
  • ½ cup marinara pizza sauce
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 48 pepperoni slices
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray). Set aside.
  2. Lay empanada wrappers on a clean work surface. Add 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce to the center of each wrapper, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides.
  3. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of cheese over the sauce, and add 4 - 6 pepperoni slices (however many can fit without crowding) on top.
  4. Fold the empanada in half, and press the edges together. Twist the edges to form the classic empanada look, or press a fork into the edges like a pie crust. Lay the empanadas evenly out on the prepared baking tray, leaving a little space between them for spreading.
  5. Whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl, and then brush it over the top of each empanada. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the tops are a light golden color.
  6. Remove the empanadas from the oven, and let them cool for 5 - 10 minutes before serving them with extra pizza sauce or ranch dressing, if desired.

Notes

Empanada Wrapper Note:

  • You can use store bough empanada dough in place of my homemade empanada dough if you prefer to save time.
  • You can also substitute pre-made, unbaked pie crust in a pinch. Just cut it into 6-inch circles, and adjust the baking time to 20 - 25 minutes, until light and golden on top.


How to Store and Reheat Pizza Empanadas

  • You can store your empanadas in the refrigerator for up to five days, sealed in an airtight container or a large zip-top bag.  
  • I recommend reheating in the air fryer at 325°F for several minutes, rather than the oven. This helps them get really crispy, but the oven is fine, too!

Can I Freeze These?

  • If you’d like to freeze them, it’s best to freeze them unbaked. Just wrap the assembled empanadas one by one in plastic wrap, and then in a layer of foil. Store in a freezer bag in the freezer, for up to 3 months.
  • Frozen empanadas can be baked straight from the freezer! Just add an extra 5 minutes or so to the baking time.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 345mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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