How To Cook The Best Pork Empanada

Are you looking for a meal and a snack in one? Why not try this fulfilling dish that will surely give a delightful smile on your face!! Let us satisfy our cravings by getting to know more about how to cook pork empanada

If you are too busy and always running out of time just to prepare your meal and snacks, then, your solution could be this recipe. Keep on and let us help you. Pork empanada is a convenient meal and a snack at the same time. 

What are you waiting for? Grab your notes and list down all essential tips and techniques we will share with you. Don’t miss the chance to know all about this dish. From scratch, learn how to turn it into an incredible meal and snack. Ready, set, cook!

What Is Pork Empanada

(photo Credits to: salu-salo)

Empanada is a baked or fried pastry with meat fillings inside. The stuffing can be ground pork, chicken, or beef with a mix of vegetables or even fruits. Furthermore, it is a kind of bread or pastry that is most common in several countries like Latin America and the South of Europe. 

The name comes from the verb empanar,” which means to wrap or coat in bread. Therefore, it is made basically by folding a dough or a bread pastry around the stuffing. 

Hence, we will be more specific in pork as its main ingredients for fillings and just set aside other varieties like chicken and beef. 

What Is The Origin Of Pork Empanada 

(Photo Credits to: simply recipes)

Empanada has its origins in Galicia (Spain) and Portugal. They first appeared during the time of Moorish invasions. One of the cookbooks published in Catalan says that the first version of Empanada was the fillings from varieties of seafood. 

In some parts of the world like Galicia and Portugal, an empanada is prepared similarly to a large pie, which is cut in pieces, making it a hearty meal. It usually includes sardines, tuna, or chorizo in partners with tomato, garlic, and onion sauce inside the bread of pastry casing. 

Later on, this dish (Empanada) was carried to Latin America and the Philippines by Spanish colonists, where they remain popular today. 

In the Philippines, Empanada usually uses ground pork mixed with chopped potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, onions, raisins, garlic, and seasonings, then wrapped with wheat flour bread. These empanadas have a slight sweetness as Filipinos do love that a little added sweetness in their food, including savory. There are two kinds available: the baked sort and the flaky fried type.

What Does Pork Empanada Pastry Make Of

To wrap your fillings, you neat to do this pastry along with the following ingredients. 

  • Flour – this is the main ingredient in the pastry of our pork empanada. The primary function of flour in baking is mainly to build the structure. When the protein found in wheat flour is hydrated, it interacts with each other, forming the dough. Afterward, the dough will be elastic that you can now create figures with it. Perhaps, your pork empanada’s wrapper looks like a half-circle because of the dough molds.
  • Sugar – of course, you will need sugar for the sweetness of your pastry. Sugar plays a vital role in baking to keep baked goods moist and soft. Also, the bond between sugar and water allows sugar to lock in moisture so that the baked goods won’t dry out too fast. It also helps to create tenderness and crunch to your pastries. 
  • Baking Powder – as it named itself, it is essential in baking. It is because it adds the volume of your pastries and also lightens the texture. It works by releasing carbon dioxide into your dough into an acid-based reaction causing the mixture to expand and leavens it. 
  • Salt – for general, it gives taste in your pastries. Also, it plays a vital role in controlling yeast growth, which means extending the shelf life of your cakes. 
  • Shortening – it is any type of fat that is solid at room temperature. One best example is margarine. Somehow it looks like a solid cheese. 
  • Water – this is essential as it provides moisture to the dough. It is also needed to form the gluten and give the mixture consistency. Water also refrains the pastries from dehydration even when baked.
  • Cooking oil – using vegetable oil in baking, such as canola oil can help prevent dry pastries. Its significant role also is to give moisture. 

What Does Pork Empanada Filling Made Of

  • Ground Pork – this is the typical main ingredient of pork empanada as it named itself. Filipinos prefer this instead of using other meats from chicken and beef. The calories you can get for every 100 grams of ground pork is approximately 250 cal. Pork is high in various healthy vitamins and minerals, as well as high-quality proteins. These ingredients make your Empanada juicier, meaty, and savory. 
  • Garlic – you should use the minced garlic in your pork empanada. Adding garlic on it makes it gourmet and flavorful.
  • Onions – here, the yellow or white onions are the suggested onion to use as it gives more flavorful taste and aroma to the food. The feeling of it as mild, aromatic flavors presents your Empanada more interesting. 
  • Potato cube – the dull and mild taste of potatoes that blends to other ingredients taste makes your pork empanada delicious. This vegetable is an excellent provider of vitamin B6. Also, it plays a vital role in your energy and metabolism. So, slice and chop it and taste. Yummy! 
  • Carrots – like potatoes, these are right ingredients of pork empanada, too. Carrots give the food crunchiness as you bite it. Carrots also are essential in providing us beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin k1, potassium, and antioxidants. Thus, this is good for your body and your food, too.
  • Red bell pepper – this gives spice to your pork empanada and a crunch-taste also. Mixing these in your filling provides health benefits, too. They are loaded with proper nutrition such as low in calories, a source of vitamins A and C. Besides, the spicy ones liven up your pork empanada makes it more satisfying. 
  • Ground black pepper is to season your dish and enhance the intense spice flavors of it. 
  • Salt – of course, the salt will never be absent as it provides salty taste in your pork empanada fillings. It also enhances the flavors of each ingredient. 
  • Water – enough amount of water is essential to hydrate your fillings.
  • Sugar – for Filipinos, they like more sweet not only to this dish but to other individual dishes. By that, they prefer to add more sugar here. Sugar is essential for the preservation of all other ingredients to prolong the shelf-life and for not spoiling quickly. Also, it gives and maintains the balanced taste of each filling element. 
  • Tomato Sauce is optional because other countries that serve Empanada don’t include it to mix with the fillings. The sauce adds saucy, sweet, and sour flavors to the stuffing. 
  • Cooking oil – this is used when frying the pork empanada. It is done after the dough has baked, and the filling is already added inside it. 

Variation Of Pork Empanada

To extend your knowledge on how to make the best pork empanada, let us give and share the different styles you can choose from. 

Three Sisters Empanada

(Photo Credits to: The Kitchn)

This recipe is named for the three vegetable fillings. By that, it is made up of beans, squash, and corn. It depends on you if you add your ground pork. For vegetarians, they love to cook it because they will just omit the ground pork then proceed to cook. 

Pork Empanada with Mushroom and cheese

(Photo Credits to: Parade)

Because of cheese, kids learned to like it more. Mushrooms and cheese compliment the taste of the given fillings. 

Pork Empanadas with barbeque sauce 

(Photo Credits to: Pinterest)

You can’t get enough by the barbeque sauce that matches the fillings. Here, instead of tomato sauce, we will add barbeque sauce on the stuffing. It enhances the meaty taste of ground pork. They are even better when wrapped and baked in perfection. The finger-licking bite after cooking is so addictive!

Orange-almond Pork Empanada 

(Photo Credits to: Pinterest)

It is not always the veggie that will come after your filling but also a nutritious fruit like orange. You can also have an additional twist by adding the nutty taste of chopped almonds to it. Try to believe it. 

Creamy Jalapeno Pork Empanadas 

(Photo Credits to: Pinterest)

This version will add more delight in your dish. So, spice up your pork empanada with this pepper-stuffed recipe. It is very delicious because of creamy salsa in partners with the given fillings and the crunchy crust. 

Baked Pork Empanada 

(Photo Credits to: Sugar Salt Magic)

This is the most traditional way you can do in your empanadas. One piece of advice you can get to us is before baking, brush the top and sides of empanadas with egg wash to give them shine and color. It is a savory and crispy snack to enjoy. 

Pizza Pork Empanada 

(Photo Credits to: Facebook)

Make way for pizza lovers out there as we introduce you to this version! To do so, make it traditionally with the same filling, but to highlight the pizza version, simply include mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce altogether. It will surely hook you! 


Like cooking, baking will not always be easy. These tips may help you in the baking process of your pork empanada

  • If it gets too dry, it can be a cause of excess flour or baking powder. A sufficient amount of flour is essential in baking this dish. So, follow it as suggested.
  • If your dough is too crumbly, in some instances, that your dough breaks and crumbles when you roll it out, it is probably too dry. Just sprinkle some cold water over the dough and roll it again gently until the dough comes together. 


Empanadas came with different versions, as mentioned above. These are the countries that lead in serving the best empanadas. 

  • Argentina – In this place, empanadas are usually filled with ground or minced beef. Ham and cheese, chicken or swiss chard. It is also prepared and served with Becharrel-like sauce called salsa. 
  • Philippines – Philippine empanadas are slightly sweet as Filipinos love that a little added sweetness in their foods, including these savories. This is the distinction of their empanadas to other versions. They also use ground pork as the main ingredient as they love the taste of pork among others. 
  • Chile – For Chile, empanadas is one of their iconic foods. The most traditional empanada filling is called “pino.” It is a seasoned mixture of ground beef, minced onions, raisins and black olives and are topped with hard boiled eggs. Pino taste its best whenever it is made before and around to rest overnight before filling the empanadas. 
  • Columbia – Empanadas in Columbia is quite different to compare to others. These empanadas are tasty turnovers made with savory yellow corn dough stuffed with either pork and beef. It also has cooked  potatoes. They make their empanadas flavorful and tastier aqs they prefer strong taste for foods and snacks. 


As you get through with these tips, you will know how to make your pork empanadas more special.

  • To make your empanada crust crispier, reheat your empanadas for about 10 minutes in your oven with 300 degrees Fahrenheit. When you are almost done, you can cover them with an aluminum foil for the last 3 minutes. After 10 minutes, all in all, check if you are satisfied with the crispiness.
  • If you’re craving delicious pork empanadas, you will be willing to wait because it will take too long to prepare before cooking. After mixing all your fillings, refrigerate it overnight. You will find it less messy when you fill it up with the flatten dough.
  • If you have leftover fillings, you can still freeze it for later consumption. Just make sure they have completely cooled down before storing it in the freezer. Put it in a ziplock bag so it will prevent moisture from entering within. 

Best Served With

To give you a more satisfying taste of pork empanada, choose the foods that best compliment with it. Here’s the list of the foods. 

  • Sweet and Sour Sauce – some people prefer pork empanadas as ugly as it is. However, some like to dip it with sweet and sour cream sauce. Ketchup can replace it, too, as a dipping sauce. 
  • Potato Chips – the fatty taste of potato chips is perfect with the savory and meaty taste of pork empanadas.
  • Ice Cream – the cold and creamy taste of ice creams compliments to our recipe
  • Spaghetti – you can prepare these two, especially with occasions or parties.
  • Carbonara – no problem if you can’t have spaghetti. This will be the best substitute for it.
  • Crab and Corn Soup – the pork empanada is better with a slurp of crab and corn soup, perfect for cold weather.
  • Hot Coffee or Hot Choco – sipping your favorite hot cocoa or hot coffee is best to serve with Pork Empanada


Pork empanadas proved that your snack or so-called appetizer could also be your meal! It is not because you are limiting your budget, then you will also limit yourself from having this delicious dish. No need to go to a fancy restaurant just to taste it, you can try this at home! 

Now that you know how to make pork empanadas as well as the varieties it can offer, why not try those. After all, it is you who will choose from having the greatest dish ever! Share the love by giving these delicious overload empanadas as your gift for your loved ones. Enjoy!

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

pork empanada in a plate
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5 from 1 vote

Best Pork Empanada Recipe

Course Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Pork Recipes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 1781kcal
Cost $5-20


For Pastry

  • 6 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Suga
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 6 tbsp Shortening
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 cups Cooking oil

For Filling

  • 4 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 pcs White Onion cubed
  • 2 lbs Ground Pork
  • 2 tsp Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 2 pcs Potato large size, cubed
  • 1 pc Carrot small size, cubed
  • 1 pc Red bell pepper cubed
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 3 tsp Sugar


  • Prepare the pastry by combining flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. Mix well.
  • Then add the shortening and water. Mix well for 10 minutes until it gets smooth. Cover and set aside.
  • Cook the filling by heating oil in a pan.
  • Saute garlic and onion for 5 minutes. Then add the ground pork, season with salt and pepper. Stir continuously until it boils or until the pork turns brown.
  • Then pour-in water and boil for another 10 minutes over low heat.
  • After 10 minutes, add the potatoes and carrots. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Once the potatoes soften, add the bell pepper and sugar. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Get the pastry and transfer into a flat surface. Mold a large sphere out of it. Separate in half, and then create a disk shaped figure on each piece of pastry.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoon of pork filling in the center of the circular pastry. Secure it by folding both sides of the pastry towards each other. Use your thumb and index finger to pinch the sides for it to cling to each other. Secure it even more by pressing the tip of a fork on the sides of the empanada. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in pan. Fry the empanada until brown over low heat.
  • Then remove from the pan. Let it cool down.
  • Serve while hot. Enjoy!


Calories: 1781kcal | Carbohydrates: 180g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 90g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 1131mg | Potassium: 895mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 12mg
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