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Empanadas made easy by cooking them in the air fryer and using premade pie crusts for the dough! Filled with flavorful ground beef and tender vegetables, you won’t be able to keep yourself from reaching for another.

Empanadas are so tasty and satisfying to eat! If you’re looking for more delicious handheld snacks, try arepas or pupusas next!

Air fryer empanadas on a serving dish. One is broken in half so you can see the filling.

Air Fryer Empanada Recipe

Homemade empanadas are the best. But you know I’m all about ease, so making them in the air fryer is the way to go. These air fryer empanadas are still hearty and cooked to golden-brown perfection, the only difference is that there’s no frying them in oil and they cook up in 10 minutes!

And if you’re not already convinced, this recipe uses premade pie crust for the dough. In other words, even easier prep! It gets packed full with a tasty mixture of seasoned ground beef and veggies that you won’t be able to get enough of.

Ingredient List

Packed with savory ground beef, tender potatoes, and vibrant veggies, these empanadas offer a burst of flavor in every bite. And the best part? You can customize the filling to your heart’s content! Add more spice, swap the peas for corn, or throw in your favorite shredded cheese.

  • Diced Potatoes: Cooked until tender, they add a fluffy base and heartiness to the filling.
  • Lean Ground Beef: The main protein source of the air fryer empanadas. Feel free to substitute with chicken, turkey, or pork.
  • Vegetables: I added a mixture of yellow onion, red bell pepper, frozen peas, and minced garlic to the empanada filling.
  • Spices: Paprika, cumin, oregano, and chili powder bring warmth, depth, and a touch of heat.
  • Tomato Paste: Concentrated tomato flavor that thickens the filling.
  • Beef Broth: Adds moisture and depth of flavor. Vegetable broth or chicken broth will also work!
  • Premade Pie Crusts: Saves time and effort, choose your favorite brand or homemade recipe.
  • Egg Whites and Water: Combined to make an egg wash, it helps seal the empanadas and gives them a golden brown shine.

How to Make Empanadas in the Air Fryer

Forget deep-frying! Air frying these empanadas delivers that satisfying, golden-brown crust without the added fat.

  1. Cook Potatoes: Boil the diced potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain and then set aside.
  2. Sauté Beef and Veggies: In a large frying pan, saute the beef and onion until the ground beef is evenly browned. To the pan add the bell pepper and peas. Saute another 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Mix in Seasonings: Add in the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano, and chili powder, cooked potatoes, tomato paste, and beef broth. Stir to incorporate the spices and liquids well, saute until the liquid has reduced. Then remove the filling from heat.
  4. Cut Dough: Roll the pie dough out. Then, using a cookie cutter or large enough rimmed cup, cut into about 4 inch circles. You will need to gather the scraps, roll them out, and cut more circles to get at least 10.
  5. Prepare Egg Wash: Make egg wash by whisking together the egg whites and water in a small bowl.
  6. Add Filling to the Dough: Place one of the dough circles on a work surface, place about 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of the dough, brush the edge of one side of the dough with a little egg wash.
  7. Fold and Shape: Fold the dough in half over the filling, creating a half circle. Use a fork to crimp the edges together. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling.
  8. Air Fry: Brush each empanada with egg wash and air fry at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through. Work in batches, keeping space between the air fryer empanadas.

Make Sure There’s Airflow!

In order for your empanadas to turn out crispy on the outside and golden brown, you’ll need to make sure you work in batches so there’s enough space between each one. Airflow is so important when it comes to cooking anything in the air fryer, but especially these empanadas!

6-photo collage of the empanadas being assembled.

Pie Crust Dough or Empanada Wrappers?

You can use empanada wrappers, but I find they aren’t always easily accessible. Pie crust dough works perfectly and is so easy to find!

Tips for Successful Air Fryer Empanadas

A few extra ways to make sure your air fryer empanadas turn out perfectly!

  • Work in Batches : Again, cook in batches, leaving space between each air fryer empanada for even airflow and crispy results.
  • Don’t Crowd: Overcrowding the air fryer basket will steam the empanadas instead of crisping them.
  • Serve With Sauces: Serve your air fryer empanadas with your favorite condiment, like salsa, guacamole, or sour cream! I personally love serving them with this cilantro lime sauce.

Empanadas in the basket of an air fryer.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Empanadas

Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

To keep the empanadas crispy on the outside, I like to reheat them in the air fryer. About 5 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit should do the trick!

Top-down view of the empanadas on a serving dish.

More Delicious Latin American Recipes

You’ve had your savory snack, now try something sweet! Here are a few great recipes inspired by Latin American cuisine that are sure to satisfy your taste buds!

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  • Boil the diced potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain and set aside.

  • In a large frying pan, saute the beef and onion until the ground beef is evenly browned. To the pan add the bell pepper and peas. Saute another 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

  • Add in the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano, and chili powder, cooked potatoes, tomato paste, and beef broth. Stir to incorporate the spices and liquids well, saute until the liquid has reduced. Remove the filling from heat.

  • Roll the pie dough out and, using a cookie cutter or large enough rimmed cup, cut into about 4 inch circles. You will need to gather the scraps, roll them out, and cut more circles to get at least 10.

  • Make egg wash by whisking together the egg whites and water in a small bowl.

  • Place one of the dough circles on a work surface, place about 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of the dough, brush the edge of one side of the dough with a little egg wash.

  • Fold the dough in half over the filling, creating a half circle. Use a fork to crimp the edges together. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling.

  • Brush each empanada with egg wash and air fry at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through. Work in batches, keeping space between the empanadas.

Calories: 47kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 6gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 297mgPotassium: 158mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 412IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.



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