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CAPRESE EMPANADAS {Cheesy Mozzarella and Tomato Hand Pies}

Enjoy all the delicious flavors of a Caprese salad in a portable, flaky Caprese Empanadas. Creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, rich sun-dried tomatoes, and spicy arrabbiata all rolled into a buttery crust!

close up of empanadas on a serving board

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

ITALIAN EMPANADAS

Do you love a portable lunch? With my crazy days, I love something that I can eat while walking around, moving laundry from the washer to the dryer, and trying to photograph all the awesome recipes that I have in my head, I need something I can eat on the run.

What’s better than an empanada? A savory hand pie, full of gooey cheese, that will satisfy all your hunger needs!

What is an empanada? A baked or fried pastry filled with meat, cheese, or any other ingredients, originating in Latin and Filipino regions. The Spanish word empanada comes from the verb “empanar” which translates as “enbreaded” or wrapped and coated in bread.

The bread in this case is the buttery and flaky pastry which holds all the yummy fillings inside the empanada.

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picture of caprese empanada cut open

HOW TO MAKE EMPANADAS

Empanadas are easy to make. It’s easy! Pastry and filling! You can choose meat, veggies, just cheese, as long as it’s yummy. Whether it’s spicy or not, the pastry just holds all you crave.

You can make the dough from scratch, if you are so inclined. A great recipe for dough is this one from the Flavor Bender.

Dini so generously guest posted a spicy empanada recipe here when I was having a hard time and I have made it so many times since then.

If you can’t or don’t have time to make the sough from scratch, no judgement as I love a shortcut, I use these empanada dough discs from Goya. I haven’t come across them in the freezer section until we moved to Atlanta. I saw them while looking for Pizza Rolls for Connor and I grabbed all 17 packs of them.

You can use them for sweet or savory empanadas! I love a great shortcut so if I can find dough already made, it has to be good mind you, I will use it. I love the idea of making things from scratch and with love, but let’s be honest…

I am busy, I have kids, I want to write recipes for you instead of kneading dough, and I need extra time to drink tequila so pre-made dough is my jam right now.

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

picture of the inside of a caprese empanada before cooking

CAPRESE EMPANADAS RECIPE

The most fun things about these empanadas is the Caprese part! I mean, who can deny fresh mozzarella, spicy tomato sauce, and a fresh basil leaf? All the best flavors all rolled up in a flaky and buttery crust.

Pack these for lunch or serve them for brunch! Along with these Antipasto salad stacks!

This Caprese Empanadas recipe is inspired by Julie’s Cheese and Mushroom Empanada.

CAN THESE BE MADE AHEAD AND FROZEN?

I would not recommend freezing the cooked or uncooked empanadas as the mozzarella cheese will get a funky texture in the process.

CAN YOU USE PIE CRUST INSTEAD OF EMPANADA DOUGH?

Yes, you can. You can use pie crust or even puff pastry. Julie used puff pastry so feel free to use whatever is handy!

CAN I USE FRESH TOMATOES INSTEAD OF SUN DRIED TOMATOES?

I wouldn’t recommend it. Fresh tomato is full of water so when it cooks, it will release a ton of water which will not allow the pastry to stay flaky.

CAN I USE MY FAVORITE TOMATO SAUCE OR DO I HAVE TO USE ARRABBIATA SAUCE?

Feel free to use whatever sauce you prefer!

pulling a caprese empanada apart with melty cheese

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OTHER EMPANADAS TO TRY!

If you love this Caprese Empanadas Recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

Caprese empanada pinterest pin collage picture
empanadas on a serving board on black table with a drink

Caprese Empanadas

Yield: 10 empanadas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Enjoy all the delicious flavors of a Caprese salad in a portable, flaky Caprese empanadas. Creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, rich sun-dried tomatoes, and spicy arrabbiata all rolled into a buttery crust!

Ingredients

Caprese Empanadas

  • 10 empanada dough discs
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin

Walnut Parsley Pesto

Instructions

  1. Make the Walnut Pesto Sauce
  2. Combine the parsley, toasted walnuts, olive oil, and vinegar in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until chopped fine.
  4. Remove and store in a container until ready to use.
  5. Make the Caprese Empanadas
  6. In the center of an empanada dough disc, add 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce, 1 slice of mozzarella cheese, 2 slices of sun-dried tomato, and a fresh basil leaf.
  7. Fold the disc in half, press out the air, and seal the edges.
  8. Fold the edges over and crimp closed or press a fork into the dough to seal the edges closed.
  9. Poke a few holes in the top to let the steam escape.
  10. Spray with non-stick spray.
  11. Place in the air fryer basket, being careful not to overcrowd or let them empanadas touch.
  12. Air fry at 325F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.
  14. Serve with Walnut Pesto sauce.
  15. Enjoy!

Notes

*If you like this recipe, please let me a comment and rate it with 5 stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 2 empanadas
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 118gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 4gUnsaturated Fat: 74gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 2440mgCarbohydrates: 167gFiber: 12gSugar: 10gProtein: 62g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

Did you make this recipe?

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Other Freaky Friday Recipes that I have made include, marinate olives, corn dip, and pepperoni pizza packets, but I have never had the pleasure of making one from Julie’s blog, Hostess at Heart.

I was so excited because I have known Julie for many years, almost all the years I have been blogging, and I get to meet her in person next month. But, I have made her recipes for years.

Some of my favorite ones are Pizza Knots, Quick Fajita Pizza, and these Meat Pies. She had so many dips that I want to try but she is known for her bread making.

Julie can knead dough better than any one I know! Check out her Almost No-Knead Bread, Garlic Batard, Cuban Medianoche, and this Caramelized Onion Gouda Casatiello!

Definitely check out all of Julie’s recipes, you won’t be disappointed!

Take a look at all of our Summer 2019 Freaky Friday Recipes:

  1. An Affair from the Heart –Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Dressing
  2. Aunt Bee’s Recipes –  Greek Chicken Salad with Lemon Oregano Dressing
  3. Bowl Me Over –  Mexican Coleslaw
  4. House of Nash Eats – Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
  5. LeMoine Family Kitchen –  Easy White Pizza Tarts
  6. Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish – Thai Shrimp Curry
  7. Take Two Tapas – Caprese Empanadas
  8. The Speckled Palate – Cherry Bourbon Slush
  9. West Via Midwest – Cornbread Tamale Pie
  10. Who Needs a Cape? –  Warm Bean Dip a.k.a. Texas Trash

@TakeTwoTapas.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Cherry Bourbon Slush | The Speckled Palate

Thursday 20th of August 2020

[…] Take Two Tapas – Caprese Empanadas […]

Brandi Burgess

Thursday 25th of July 2019

I love everything about this recipe!!!

Michaela Kenkel

Tuesday 23rd of July 2019

These look really good! I am with you -- portable food is where it's at!!

Amy

Monday 22nd of July 2019

These empanadas were so delicious and easy! I'm so glad you pointed me in the direction of the premade empanada dough because it was such a time (and mess!) saver!

Erin Parker

Monday 22nd of July 2019

I am OBSESSED with the sound of these empanadas! I've never made empanadas at home, but I clearly need to because these sound fantastic and contain some of my favorite summertime flavors!

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