Easy Air Fryer Empanadas
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Want an easy air fryer recipe?
Try making these quick and simple ground turkey empanadas as a delicious snack or main dish recipe using your air fryer! Empanadas are a Spanish or Latin American pastry turnover filled with a variety of savory ingredients and baked or fried – and they are DELICIOUS. Here’s a fun and easy way to make a similar version at home!
Try this flavorful empanada filling!
There are so many different ways to fill empanadas! You can make your favorite taco meat, use leftover shredded chicken, or even make a sloppy joe filling if your family would like that. A simple rice and bean mixture would be a yummy vegetarian option, too.
Today I’m sharing a quick skillet picadillo inspired meat sauce I made featuring green olives, garlic, onion, cilantro, and tomato sauce. It has a delicious flavor, and you can use ground turkey or beef.
Hip Tip: To make things even easier, I cut circles out of store-bought pie crust to make these empanadas. You can create a homemade dough, or some stores carry pre-made empanada dough already cut into disks.
Easy Air Fryer Empanadas
yield: 15 SERVINGS
prep time: 20 MINUTES
cook time: 8 MINUTES
total time: 28 MINUTES
Soft pie crust with savory ground beef filling for a quick air fryer appetizer, or main dish.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 pound ground turkey or beef
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons chopped green olives
- 1/2 teaspoon juice from the olive jar
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 package of store bought refrigerated pie crusts (2-ct)
- coconut oil (for greasing air fryer inner-basket)
Heat the olive oil in a skillet on the stove on medium heat, and add onions and garlic. Saute those for a few minutes, then crumble and cook ground turkey.
To the skillet, add in tomato sauce, seasonings, green olives, juice from jar of olives, and chopped cilantro. Stir and heat.
Unroll pie pastry on floured counter top or cutting board. Use a 4-inch wide cup or round cookie cutter to cut circles in the dough. Roll out scrap pieces of dough for more circles.
Place a couple teaspoons of filling inside each circle. Fold over and use a fork to press down and seal edges.
Grease air fryer inner basket using coconut oil to keep the dough from sticking. Set a single layer of empanadas into the air fryer.
Cook at 330 degrees for 8 minutes, until dough is cooked and slightly browned. Carefully remove and serve warm. This made about 15 empanadas for me.
Don’t have an air fryer? Alternative Oven Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place each empanada on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for about 13-15 minutes, until browned.
Make these empanadas ASAP!
My kids loved helping me make this recipe, and they tasted so yummy. Plus, I love that this is a pretty easy idea with simple ingredients. I love using my air fryer and this is such a fun recipe to try!
Make these Keto Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers ASAP!
I love empanadas! I make mine using Goya Discos (found in the freezer section of many ethnic markets) and fill them w/ beef, onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and jalapeño. And thank you for acknowledging the actual name and origin of the dish! <3
Yes those would work great! Thanks for the tip 👍
Lina, thanks so much for taking the time to post all of the amazing air fryer recipes. Really appreciate it. As a newbie to using my air fryer (received it for Christmas), I am trying to find new recipes my kids will love. This looks like another winner! 🙂
Oh yay! Thanks for stopping by Mary! Enjoy your air fryer – I love mine. 🤗
Awesome air fryer idea! You can also use filo dough and use the same meat or a vegetarian option and make samosas .. or empanadas this way. Before the invention of the air fryer we used to pan fry samosas this way and they’re delicious! So with just a spray of olive oil in the air fryer I’m sure this would be awesome too!
Ooh! My husband loves his new air fryer and it’s been a while since he’s made breakfast empanadas for me! Using scrambled eggs, sausage, green peppers, etc. and if you freeze them individually they’re great reheated in microwave. Excited about trying this more authentic recipe!
What a good idea to freeze them. Ill be thankful for that during the week when we are running late. 👍
How do you package / wrap / store them for the freezer? And how are you reheating them?
I would store them in a covered container or freezer bag. You could reheat in the air fryer or microwave 👍
We’ve made these for years, it’s nice to see them called empanadas – we’ve always called them pastelillos interchangeably. I like mine filled with cheddar cheese (just cut off a chunk from a block), which my grandmother always made along with meat-filled ones.
We call them pastelillos in Puerto Rico. 🙂
Wonder if that would work for won tons?
I tried to print this recipe and the chicken nuggets one, put they’re not formatting correctly. Is anyone else experiencing this or is it my crazy computer?
oh darn. I just checked and it worked fine for me. Sorry you’re experiencing issues though!
Thank you so much! Just bought my Air Fryer and really want to try it out!
I am not an olive person. I know I can take out the olives, but would you recommend replacing the juice with anything in the recipe?
Thank you Again!
Do you like capers? That’s give a similar taste 👍 if not omit.
I was told egg wash helps to if you don’t want to use oil
egg wash after 4 minutes makes them a nice golden color.