Delicious Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento Recipe

Close your eyes and picture this: A warm, crunchy golden dough sprinkled with sugar and stuffed with stringy cheese and onions resting inside, creating an explosion of flavors that make your taste buds dance with joy. It’s “Empanada de Viento,” one of the most beloved street foods throughout Ecuador.

If you haven’t heard of Empanada de viento, let me tell you it’s a delicious combination of melted cheese and onions wrapped in a thin layer of airy empanadas dough. The recipe is widely known throughout Ecuador and loved as a snack, appetizer or on-the-go meal.

Now, imagine having the chance to create this delicious Ecuadorian dish right in your kitchen. No need to travel across the world or search for a local restaurant that serves it. With this recipe article, you can make Ecuadorian empanadas at home – anytime you want!

Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure? Follow along as I take you through the steps to creating these delightful “Empanadas De Viento” that will have everyone asking for seconds!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento - Cheese Empanadas - Ecuadorean
Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento – Cheese Empanadas – Ecuadorean

Dear foodies and cheese lovers,

This recipe for Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento – Cheese Empanadas – is one that you will absolutely adore! Why, might you ask? Well, let me tell you why.

Firstly, it’s a delicious combination of melted cheese and onions resting inside crunchy fried dough sprinkled with sugar. The stringy cheese and the crispy dough make for an irresistible texture and flavor.

Secondly, it’s a regional Ecuadorian treat that’s been enjoyed throughout Ecuador for generations. The recipe is an excellent representation of the country’s street food and culinary culture.

Thirdly, it’s easy to make! You only need simple and readily available ingredients such as all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, shortening, warm water, sugar, lemon juice, and of course, the star of the show – queso ecuatoriano (Ecuadorian cheese) or any other melting cheese of your choice!

Lastly, this recipe offers versatility. You can substitute or add variations to the recipe to suit your taste buds. For instance, you can stuff it with beef or even a combination of beef and cheese. Perhaps you can also try incorporating some herbs or spices like cumin or coriander to give it some extra oomph.

So there you have it folks! If you’re looking for a homemade empanada dough recipe that makes tasty empanadas fritas just like in Ecuador, then look no further than these delicias de viento! Trust me; they are simply divine!

Ingredient List

 A close-up of golden cheese empanadas that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
A close-up of golden cheese empanadas that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Before getting started on this delicious Ecuadorian treat, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 2 cups of shortening
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • Sugar and lemon juice for sprinkling
  • 1 pound of cheese (stringy cheese like Andino or queso ecuatoriano work best)
  • 1 onion, diced

Don’t be intimidated by the amount of ingredients, most of them are staples in any kitchen pantry. If you don’t have shortening, butter can be a good substitute as well. The key to the perfect empanada dough is the right ratio of flour, salt, and baking powder, so make sure to measure those out precisely.

Now that you have everything ready and at hand let’s move onto how to put these ingredients together with our next section – The Recipe How-To.

The Recipe How-To

 These empanadas are a staple of Ecuadorian cuisine - they're filled with melting cheese and best enjoyed hot out of the pan.
These empanadas are a staple of Ecuadorian cuisine – they’re filled with melting cheese and best enjoyed hot out of the pan.

Step 1: Making the Dough

First, in a mixing bowl, I would add 3 cups of all-purpose flour mixed with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking powder. Mix these ingredients together until incorporated evenly.

Next, in another mixing bowl, add ½ cup of shortening and mix it well until it turns creamy. Then gradually incorporate the dry mixture into the creamed shortening using your hands.

Once you have mixed everything into a crumbly consistency begin adding 2 cups of warm water slowly, mixing and folding with your hands until it becomes doughy. Roll the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth enough to not stick.

Form a ball with the dough and let it rest in a clean bowl covered with a damp towel for about 10 minutes. This will help you to work with the dough better later.

Step 2: Preparing the Cheese Filling

While you let the dough rest, prepare the cheese filling by mixing together some Ecuadorian Andino Cheese, which is ideal but hard to find in many places. Instead, you can use mozzarella cheese or string cheese sliced thinly.

Add some finely chopped onions or green onions if desired as this will give extra flavor and texture to your empanadas. Assemble the cheese slices inside each empanada dough with onions resting inside for added crunchiness.

Step 3: Making Empanadas

Take some of the rested dough and flatten it on a floured surface using a rolling pin. The flattened dough must be thin about two-to-three inches in diameter which is ideal for making empanadas de viento.

Spread some filling (about 2 tablespoons) throughout the center of each flattened piece of dough that you have prepared. Now fold it over – you might need to wet your fingers to seal it or use a fork to press gently.

Continue to repeat this process until you’ve used all of the empanada dough or cheese filling.

At this point, take the assembled and filled empanadas, being careful not to let them break. Remember that empanadas de viento need air in the center so avoid sealing them all the way. Heat some oil in a deep frying pan. Maintain heat throughout cooking at a medium level.

Once ready, fry each empanada until it is crispy and golden-brown before straining out excess oil.

Sprinkle some sugar or lemon juice over them as desired for extra taste. Serve warm with some ají hot sauce which is a typical condiment served with street foods in Ecuador.

That’s it! You’ve created delicious Empanadas De Viento that can be enjoyed as a snack, lunch or dinner item depending on your mood or occasion.

Substitutions and Variations

 No need to go to Ecuador to try these cheesy empanadas; grab your ingredients, and get ready to cook!
No need to go to Ecuador to try these cheesy empanadas; grab your ingredients, and get ready to cook!

When it comes to empanadas de viento, the possibilities are endless. Here are a few substitutions and variations that you can try to add some extra flavor or to accommodate dietary restrictions.

– Gluten-Free: To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour blend. Keep in mind that the texture may be slightly different, but the flavor will still be delicious.

– Vegetarian: For a vegetarian version of this recipe, omit the beef filling and replace it with sautéed vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, zucchini, or mushrooms. Alternatively, you can add cooked beans or lentils for extra protein.

– Sweet Empanadas: Empanadas de viento are typically savory, but you can also make them sweet by substituting the cheese filling with fruit jam or dulce de leche. Sprinkle them with sugar to give them a delicious crunch.

– Cheese Variations: While queso ecuatoriano is the traditional cheese used in this recipe, you can try using other varieties such as mozzarella, cheddar, or even feta. Just make sure to use a cheese that melts well and has a stringy texture when melted.

– Meat Variations: While beef empanadas are the classic choice for Ecuadorian empanadas de viento, you can try using other meats such as chicken or pork. You can also add spices such as cumin or smoked paprika to give it an extra kick.

Whatever variation you choose, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and ingredients until you find your perfect recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 Frying the empanadas gives them their signature crunch, while the cheese filling is like a warm hug in your mouth.
Frying the empanadas gives them their signature crunch, while the cheese filling is like a warm hug in your mouth.

Once your empanadas de viento are ready, they make for a delicious snack any time of day. These Ecuadorian treats are often enjoyed as a street food snack and can be served on their own or with a side of hot sauce or ají.

For a savory pairing, try serving your empanadas with a fresh green salad or a side of rice and beans. The cheese and onion filling pairs nicely with tangy and acidic flavors like citrus juices or pickled veggies.

If you have a sweet tooth, try sprinkling the tops of your empanadas with some sugar mixed with lemon juice. The sweet and sour combination is irresistible.

These crunchy fried cheese empanadas are perfect for an appetizer, snack, or as part of a larger meal. They go well with beer or wine if you’re looking to enjoy them as part of an evening get-together.

No matter how you choose to serve them, these Ecuadorian empanadas de viento will be sure to impress any guests with their delicious combination of melted cheese, onions resting inside crunchy fried dough, and sprinkled sugar on top.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Cracked black pepper adds extra zing to the creamy, savory cheese filling.
Cracked black pepper adds extra zing to the creamy, savory cheese filling.

Once you’ve made these delicious Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento, you may want to prepare them in advance, store them, or reheat them for later consumption. Fortunately, this versatile baked good is easy to store and reheat without compromising its flavor and texture.

If you’re making the empanadas ahead of time, bake them as usual and allow them to cool completely before storing. Once cooled, place the empanadas in an airtight container or ziplock bag and keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 2 months.

If you choose to freeze the empanadas, it’s important to thaw them properly before reheating. To do this, simply take the desired amount of empanadas out of the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge overnight.

To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until they are heated through and crispy.

Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you can reheat the empanadas in a microwave for 30 seconds or until they are warm throughout.

When reheating cheese empanadas, use low heat so that the cheese melts gently without turning it into a runny mess.

In summary, these Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento can be stored easily in either the fridge or freezer for later consumption. Plus, they’re simple to reheat via oven or microwave without changing its delicious taste and texture – making them even more convenient for busy cooks who want to enjoy their tantalizing crispy flaky crust stuffed with warm melted cheese onions that rest inside crunchy fried dough sprinkled with sugar.

Tips for Perfect Results

 These empanadas are perfect for a mid
These empanadas are perfect for a mid

Making empanadas de viento can be quite tricky if not done correctly. Here are a few tips to ensure you get the perfect Ecuadorian empanadas every time.

1. Use cold shortening: When making the dough, use chilled shortening instead of room temperature butter. This will help create a flaky crust that holds its shape when frying.

2. Use ice-cold water: Along with using cold shortening, it is important to use very cold water to make the dough. Add a few ice cubes to your warm water before starting and use a thermometer to make sure it doesn’t go over 40°F (4°C).

3. Rest the dough: After making the dough, cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least an hour in the refrigerator – this will help relax the gluten in the flour, making it easier to work with.

4. Don’t overfill: Be careful not to overfill your empanadas de viento, or they will burst open when frying. A tablespoon of filling is usually enough for each empanada.

5. Fry at the right temperature: Heat your frying oil to 375°F (190°C) before adding your empanadas. If the oil is too hot, they will burn on the outside before cooking on the inside, and if it’s not hot enough, they will absorb too much oil.

6. Drain excess oil: After frying your empanadas, place them on a paper towel-lined plate to remove any excess oil.

Follow these tips and you’ll have perfect empanadas de viento in no time!


Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about this Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento recipe. It’s always good to clarify any doubts before starting on a recipe and ensure the best possible results. So, let’s dive in!

What are empanadas de viento made of?

The empanadas de viento from Ecuador are a mouth-watering treat that consist of a crispy fried dough filled with gooey melted cheese and onions, topped off with a dusting of sugar. These little bites are so light and airy that you’ll find yourself reaching for more without even realizing it.

What kind of empanadas are in Ecuador?

While empanada de viento is the most widespread type of empanada in Ecuador, there are also a variety of other empanadas to be enjoyed such as the empanada de morocho that is made with corn flour, or the empanada de verde that utilizes green plantains. Additionally, one could try the empanada de mejido, which features a delightful combination of sweet custard, cheese, and raisins.

What region of Ecuador is empanada de viento from?

Ecuadorian empanadas, also known as “empanadas de viento,” are a beloved street food in Quito’s Sangolqui and Quito neighborhoods in the Andes region. These fried cheese empanadas can be found everywhere from markets to Old Town.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

When it comes to the art of making empanadas, no place takes it more seriously than Tucumán. This region is known for their National Empanada Festival and three special fillings: beef, tripe, and chicken. These tasty fillings are wrapped in dough and cooked in beef fat in a traditional clay oven.

Bottom Line

If you are a fan of delicious street food, then you cannot miss out on this Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento recipe. This recipe is not only easy to follow but also uses easily accessible ingredients that you can find at any local store near you.

Whether you are looking for a quick snack, appetizer or even a main dish, these empanadas make a perfect meal for any occasion. Once you taste the combination of melted cheese and savory onions resting inside the crunchy fried dough sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice, you will want to keep making them over and over again.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try out this delicious Ecuadorian treat today. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento - Cheese Empanadas - Ecuadorean

Ecuadorian Empanadas De Viento - Cheese Empanadas - Ecuadorean Recipe

You can get these empanadas everywhere in Ecuador. Some places make a huge one that fills your entire plate. There are usually lightly sprinkled with sugar immediately after frying. These can be served as an appetizer, for breakfast, as a snack or as a light lunch, with a salad. I am providing the recipe for the dough, but you can buy premade dough, called discos, in Latin markets. Goya brand is good. Remember that measurements are by weight, not by cupful. I use monterey jack, mozzarella or muenster cheese for these. I like a cheese that melts well. From Cocinemos Con Kristy, Tomo 1. Warning: These are addictive!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Appetizer/Snack
Cuisine Ecuadorian
Calories 902.5 kcal


  • 12 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ounce lard or 1 ounce shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 lb white cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups oil, for frying


  • Mix flour and baking powder well. Cut in shortening.
  • Mix water, salt and lemon juice. Stir well.
  • Blend water into the flour mixture, a bit at a time until you get a soft dough. Knead it well.
  • Roll out dough until it is pretty thin. Cut circles with a cup or cutter, of the size you desire.
  • Start heating your oil.
  • Put 1 tbsp filling (depending on size of circles you have cut) into the middle of each circle. Fold over and turn the edges to seal well.
  • Fry them in a skillet, with a lot of oil. Spoon hot oil over them as they fry, so that both sides get golden and you don't have to turn them. They puff up as you spoon the oil over them.
  • Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with sugar and serve immediately, as the dough and the cheese hardens when they get cold.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 167gCalories: 902.5kcalCarbohydrates: 45.2gProtein: 5.9gFat: 78.3gSaturated Fat: 11.5gCholesterol: 4.9mgSodium: 256mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 1.6g
Keyword < 15 Mins
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found



Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.