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Caprese Empanadas

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

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 Caprese 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 empanada 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. Making things from scratch and with love is great, 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

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

Can these be made ahead of time 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!

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

Can I use fresh 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?

Feel free to use whatever sauce you prefer!

pulling a caprese empanada apart with melty cheese

More Empanada Recipes!

If you love this 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

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!
4.78 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Best Tapas and Appetizers
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 empanadas
Calories: 149kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart


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

  • 1 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup black walnuts toasted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar


  • Make the Walnut Pesto Sauce
  • Combine the parsley, toasted walnuts, olive oil, and vinegar in a food processor.
  • Pulse until chopped fine.
  • Remove and store in a container until ready to use.
  • Make the Caprese Empanadas
  • 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.
  • Fold the disc in half, press out the air, and seal the edges.
  • Fold the edges over and crimp closed or press a fork into the dough to seal the edges closed.
  • Poke a few holes in the top to let the steam escape.
  • Spray with non-stick spray.
  • Place in the air fryer basket, being careful not to overcrowd or let them empanadas touch.
  • Air fry at 325F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Serve with Walnut Pesto sauce.
  • Enjoy!



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


Serving: 1g | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 174mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 704IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1mg
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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 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. Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish – Thai Shrimp Curry
  6. Take Two Tapas – Caprese Empanadas
  7. The Speckled Palate – Cherry Bourbon Slush
  8. West Via Midwest – Cornbread Tamale Pie
  9. Who Needs a Cape? –  Warm Bean Dip a.k.a. Texas Trash

© 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.

4.78 from 18 votes (15 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Julie Menghini

Monday 2nd of August 2021

These Empanadas taste like summer! We loved the delicious caprese filling and my granddaughter thought that I was a genius making these little pockets for a hand-held dinner.

Cherry Bourbon Slush | The Speckled Palate

Thursday 20th of August 2020

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

Lori Vachon

Friday 26th of July 2019

Such a great pocket of flavor! I had never looked for empanada dough in my grocery store, so glad I found it.

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!!