Air Fryer Empanadas

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Air Fryer EmpanadasAir Fryer Beef Empanadas are easy, quick and made with no oil!

These easy Air Fryer Empanadas are filled with homemade beef picadillo – they come out crispy and delicious, much healthier than deep frying!

Air Fryer Beef Empanadas
Beef Empanadas Air Fryer Recipe

We LOVE empanadas in my house (Who doesn’t?!). I grew up on them and always have leftover picadillo in my fridge or freezer because I make it at least twice a month. These healthy air fryer empanadas are one of my favorite ways to use up the leftovers. Made with frozen store-bought empanada dough, they only take minutes to cook. They’re also excellent to pack in your kids’ lunchboxes – Madison loves taking them for school lunch. If you have an air fryer and need more dinner ideas you can see all my air fryer recipes here!

Air Fryer Empanadas lunch box

I always have ground beef in my freezer, and one of the ground beef recipes I make all the time is these empanadas with leftover picadillo. These air fryer empanadas are easy to whip up since they use leftover picadillo and frozen empanada discs you can find in the freezer section of many supermarkets. In the past, I would always bake them in the oven, but once I got an air fryer, there was no turning back. These beef empanadas turned out perfectly in the air fryer – golden and flaky on the outside with no oil! They also cook in half the time in the air fryer than in the oven. You can watch me make them here!

As you probably know by now, I love air frying. So much so that I even wrote two cookbooks on it! Last year I got the GoWISE 7-Quart Air Fryer and have really liked it. It’s bigger than my last one and is very powerful. A few reasons why I love air fryers:

How To Cook Empanadas in the Air Fryer

  1. Start by defrosting the frozen empanada dough. If you want to make the dough from scratch you use empanada dough from this recipe. I’ve also had success using my Greek yogurt dough as you can see in these in this taco empanada recipe.
  2. Place about 2 tablespoons of the meat filling of your choice in the center of each disc (see ideas below). Fold in half and use a fork to seal the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  3. Brush the empanadas with egg wash.
  4. Air fry in a single layer, in batches as needed 350F 8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway or until golden.

Empanada Variations:

You can fill empanadas with just about anything!

  • Ground turkey empandas: Use ground turkey instead of beef in your picadillo.
  • Chicken Empanadas: Stuff your empanadas with shredded salsa chicken.
  • Chili empanadas: Use leftover chili instead of picadillo.
  • Make pizza empanadas with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  • Taco empanadas: Use homemade taco meat to make taco empanadas.
  • Lobster Empanadas: See my air fryer lobster empanada recipe here
  • If you can’t find the frozen empanada discos, you can make homemade empanada dough or use store-bought pie dough.
  • For spicy empanadas, add jalapeño to the meat.
  • If you don’t eat eggs, skip the egg wash and just spritz with olive oil.
  • Serve the empanadas with hot sauce, salsa, or guacamole.

How to Bake Empanadas in the Oven

No air fryer, no problem! If you don’t have an air fryer, you can also bake these. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400F degrees on a nonstick baking sheet for about 18 to 20 minutes until golden. The dough won’t have the same blistered texture and they won’t be quite as crisp, but they’ll still be tasty.

Can you Freeze Empanadas

Yes! You can flash freeze uncooked empanadas on a sheet pan. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container for up to three months so you can whip them up anytime.

Air Fry From Frozen: Pop the frozen empanadas right into your air fryer and air fry 350F for about 12 minutes, turning halfway until golden and hot.

Air Fryer EmpanadasBeef Empanadas

More Empanada Recipes You’ll Love:

 

Air Fryer Beef Empanadas
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4.93 from 26 votes
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Air Fryer Beef Empanadas

183 Cals 11 Protein 22 Carbs 5 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 16 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: Latin
These easy beef empanadas made with my homemade beef picadillo are so easy and delicious made in the air fryer!

Ingredients

  • 8 Goya empanada discs, in frozen section, thawed
  • 1 cup picadillo
  • 1 egg white, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon water

Equipment

Instructions

  • Spray the air fryer basket generously with olive oil spray to avoid sticking, or line the basket with air fryer parchment paper.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the picadillo in the center of each disc. Fold in half and use a fork to seal the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough.
    how to cook empanadas in air fryer
  • Whisk the egg whites with water, then brush the tops of the empanadas.
  • Air fry in a single layer, in batches as needed 350F 8 minutes, turning halfway or until golden. Remove from heat and repeat with the remaining empanadas.
    Air Fryer Empanadas

Video

Notes

How to Bake Empanadas in the Oven: If you don’t have an air fryer, you can also bake them in the oven at 400 degrees on a nonstick baking sheet for about 18 to 20 minutes until golden.
How to Freeze Empanadas: You can flash freeze the uncooked empanadas on a sheet pan. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Air Fry From Frozen: Pop the frozen empanadas right into your air fryer and air fry 350F for about 12 minutes, turning halfway until golden and hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1empanada, Calories: 183kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 196mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2.5g
WW Points Plus: 5
Keywords: Air Fryer Beef Empanada Recipe, Air Fryer Recipes, Baked Empanadas, Beef Empanadas, Empanadas, How To Make Air Fryer Empanadas, How To Make Empanadas

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166 comments

  1. I made a Me and now I’m going to stuff the empanadas. Then I’m going to flash freeze them. I’m assuming when I want to cook them then I will put the eggs and water mixture on them before I air fry them correct?

  2. Simple and delicious! I made these with shredded salsa chicken and a little bit of shredded Mexican blend cheese and they were a huge hit. I’ll definitely be making these again – we’re thinking of doing a breakfast empanada!

  3. Hello Gina,
    My husband and I made the chicken empanadas  for dinner today. They were so delicious! Much better than our recent take out empanadas.
    Next we are going to make the beef empanadas.
    Thank you!

  4. I really would have liked a empanada dough recipe along with this recipe for myself and those that like to make their own dough instead of buying the premade disks. 
    This is a great airfryer recipe and thank you for posting it 

    • Look at this recipe https://www.skinnytaste.com/taco-empanadas/?swcfpc=1 – the narrative discusses using the 2 ingredient dough with pointers on how. Hope that helps!

  5. This looks great and I can’t wait to try it! Does the nutrition information include the picadillo, or is it for the rest?

  6. Wow, these are DELICIOUS! I followed your recipe exactly even though I don’t love olives. Really great flavor and cooked perfectly in my Cuisanart Air Fryer. 

  7. Thanks but.. What temp in the Air fryer though? That’s missing in this lovely recipe above. Oven temp is there but different in the AF. 😁

  8. We Loved this tasty meal 

  9. Just so good! So glad I got the Goya Empanada shells – they are really unique and so good!

  10. Just made these for the first time with some leftover Cuban picadillo in my new air fryer! OMG so goooood! And so easy! I ate with some of Gina’s Peruvian green sauce on the side (https://www.skinnytaste.com/peruvian-green-sauce/) which was absolutely PERFECT!

  11. Made these for Cinco de Mayo for the first time!! Delicious! Whole family loved them. Added a bit of Jalapeño for some extra spice. 

  12. If I can’t find the empanadas discs, what could I use in place of? Puff  pastry?

    Thanks

  13. I also looked eveywhere, even the Walmart employee didnt know. I fianlly found them in the frozen food section. I cant wait to try this receipe.

  14. Is this recipe in a cookbook already? Thank you! 

  15. Just made these I loved them!! Instead of beef I used turkey ground meat and they were awesome!!

  16. We dont eat eggs. What can I brush the top with instead? Looks amazing