Delicious Ham and Cheese Empanadas Recipe

Do you want to elevate your snacking game to a whole new level? Are you tired of the same old boring snacks and looking for something flavorful and exciting? Look no further because I have the perfect recipe for you: Ham and Cheese Empanadas!

Empanadas are a traditional Latin pastry that comes in various forms, and today we will explore the savory flavor of a ham and cheese empanada that combines American and Argentinian culture. These delicious pockets of goodness are filled with baked ham, cheddar cheese, onion powder, and brown sugar. The filling is then enclosed in a fluffy pastry dough and baked to golden perfection.

Not only are these empanadas incredibly easy to make, but they are also perfect for a quick snack or as party appetizers. Their portability makes them an ideal option for on-the-go meals or for taking to picnics and potlucks. Plus, they can be frozen and reheated later, making them an incredibly versatile food option.

With so many benefits and flavors packed into one dish, it’s no wonder why Ham and Cheese Empanadas are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. So why not try making them yourself? With this recipe, you will be able to enjoy the tasty savory flavors without leaving your kitchen.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Ham and Cheese Empanadas
Ham and Cheese Empanadas

If you’re looking for a quick and easy snack or meal that’s both delicious and satisfying, then you’ll definitely want to try this ham and cheese empanadas recipe. And let me tell you, once you taste these delectable treats, you’ll be hooked!

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can serve them as a tasty appetizer at your next party or gathering, as a quick and easy lunch or dinner option, or even as a snack while binge-watching your favorite show.

Another reason to love this recipe is its simplicity. The ingredient list is short and sweet, with just a few basic items that you probably already have in your kitchen. Plus, the instructions are easy to follow, making it a great option for even the most novice of cooks.

But let’s not forget about the star of the show – the combination of ham and cheese! These two ingredients complement each other perfectly, creating a flavor explosion in every bite. The diced ham provides saltiness and richness, while the cheddar cheese adds creaminess and depth.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of substitutions and variations that you can try to make this recipe your own. From using different types of cheese to experimenting with different meats or fillings, the possibilities are endless.

So go ahead and give this ham and cheese empanadas recipe a try – I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 These ham and cheese empanadas are the perfect hand-held comfort food to snack on!
These ham and cheese empanadas are the perfect hand-held comfort food to snack on!

The List of Ingredients You Will Need

Here is everything that you will need to make these delicious ham and cheese empanadas:

  • 1 cup cooked ham, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups corn masa dough or puff pastry
  • Flour (1 cup all-purpose flour)
  • Milk (2/3 cup milk)
  • 1 cup grated smoked gouda or edam (similar to argentinian ham and cheese empanadas)
  • Pie crust

You can find most of these ingredients in your local grocery store. If you want to make the corn masa dough from scratch, simply mix 2 cups of masa harina with about 1.5 cups of warm water and a pinch of salt until it forms a smooth dough.

The Recipe How-To

 The oozing cheese inside each empanada is a sight to behold.
The oozing cheese inside each empanada is a sight to behold.

Once you have all your ingredients for the empanadas recipe, it’s time to get into action. Making these ham and cheese empanadas is easy and fun, especially if you have a partner to help. To start, preheat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C).

Step 1: Prepare the Ham-Cheese Filling

First, combine 1 cup of cooked and diced ham with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Then, add 1 tbsp of brown sugar, ½ tsp of onion powder and mix well.

Step 2: Cut the Pastry Dough

Next, take your dough, whether it is puff pastry or pie crust, and cut out circles about four inches in diameter. A biscuit cutter or a glass works great.

Step 3: Add the Filling

Spoon two tablespoons of the ham-cheese mixture onto one half of each circle. Leave a little space around the edges to avoid overfilling.

Step 4: Fold the Dough

Now gently fold the dough over the filling to create a semi-circle. Press edges lightly with a fork to seal. Repeat this process until all circles are filled with ham and cheese mixture.

Step 5: Brush with Eggwash

In a small bowl, whisk one egg until light and frothy. With a brush, spread the egg over the empanadas before placing them in the oven – this will give your baked empanadas that golden and shiny look.

Step 6: Bake or Fry

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately fifteen minutes or until golden brown or alternatively deep fry them until they are lightly browned on both sides.

Once ready, serve your hot cheese empanadas as appetizers or entrees alongside a good dip or just plain with a glass of cold milk.

Substitutions and Variations

 These crispy pastry pockets are filled with salty ham and gooey cheese - a match made in heaven!
These crispy pastry pockets are filled with salty ham and gooey cheese – a match made in heaven!

Making substitutions and variations in a classic ham and cheese empanadas recipe can open up a world of flavors and textures. Here are some ideas to help you get creative with this recipe:

– Beef Empanadas: Replace the ham with ground beef, and you’ll have a savory alternative that’s just as delicious. You can also add some bell peppers or jalapenos to give it a bit of a kick.

– Pineapple Empanadas: For a sweet and tangy variation, substitute the ham with canned pineapples. Add some brown sugar, onion powder, and cream cheese to the filling for an extra burst of flavor.

– Cream Cheese and Ham Empanadas: If you love cream cheese, try swapping out the cheddar cheese in the recipe for cream cheese. This will give your empanadas a smoother texture and a subtle tangy taste.

– Shredded Mozzarella and Ham Empanadas: If you prefer your cheese stringy and gooey, use shredded mozzarella instead of cheddar cheese. This combination will bring out the smoky flavors in the ham.

– Leftover Baked Ham Empanadas: Got some leftover baked ham? Don’t let it go to waste! Chop it into small pieces and use it as a filling for your empanadas. This will add great depth of flavor to your dish.

Remember, making substitutions and variations in any recipe is all about experimenting with new ingredients and finding what works best for your taste buds. So feel free to play around with this classic ham and cheese empanadas recipe to create your own unique version that will leave you wanting more!

Serving and Pairing

 One bite of these empanadas and you'll be transported to the streets of Brazil.
One bite of these empanadas and you’ll be transported to the streets of Brazil.

These ham and cheese empanadas are a delicious and savory treat that can be served as an appetizer or main dish. They pair well with a wide variety of sides and beverages, making them a versatile addition to any meal.

For a complete meal, serve them with a side salad of mixed greens or try serving them with traditional Brazilian black beans and rice. You could also serve these empanadas as part of a tapas-style spread alongside other small plates like beef empanadas, pineapple empanadas, or cream cheese stuffed empanadas.

To enhance the flavors in these ham and cheese empanadas, pair them with a light red wine like Pinot Noir or an amber ale. If you prefer something non-alcoholic, try pairing them with agua fresca or a sparkling lemonade.

These empanadas also make great party food. Serve them alongside colorful fruit skewers or fresh vegetable crudité to balance out the savory flavors. Regardless of how you choose to serve them, these ham and cheese empanadas are sure to be a hit with any crowd.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The smell of warm empanadas straight from the oven is hard to resist.
The smell of warm empanadas straight from the oven is hard to resist.

One of the best things about this ham and cheese empanadas recipe is that it’s versatile in terms of make-ahead, storing, and reheating. You can prepare the empanadas hours or even a day before, then simply reheat them in the oven for a quick, easy and delicious meal.

To make sure that your ham and cheese empanadas maintain their texture and taste, it’s important to follow some simple guidelines while storing and reheating them. If you plan on eating them within two days, you can keep the cooked empanadas in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can place them in Ziploc bags, then store them into the freezer for up to one month.

When reheating the empanadas from the refrigerator, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place them directly on a baking tray. Reheat for around 10-15 minutes until they are crispy and heated through.

If you’re reheating frozen empanadas, allow them to defrost in the fridge overnight or set them on your kitchen counter for at least an hour at room temperature. Then simply bake as directed above.

It’s worth noting that while these empanadas can be deep-fried, it’s best not to do so if you plan on storing and reheating them later. The traditional way of deep-frying empanadas may turn out soggy and greasy after reheating.

In summary, you can easily make a batch of delicious ham and cheese empanadas ahead of time and enjoy them hot out of the oven anytime by following these simple storage and reheating instructions.

Tips for Perfect Results

 These empanadas are the ultimate party appetizer that will have guests begging for the recipe.
These empanadas are the ultimate party appetizer that will have guests begging for the recipe.

When it comes to making perfect Ham and Cheese Empanadas, it’s all about the details. Here are some tips to make sure your empanadas come out crispy, flavorful, and delicious:

1. Don’t overfill your empanadas: When filling your empanadas, be sure to leave enough space around the edges to seal them. Too much filling can cause your empanadas to burst open while baking.

2. Use cold ingredients: Make sure your dough is chilled and that your filling ingredients are cooled before assembling your empanadas. This will help with the consistency of the dough and prevent the filling from spilling over.

3. Seal your edges well: Be sure to press down on the pastry edges firmly when sealing your empanadas. This will ensure that they stay sealed during baking.

4. Bake at a high temperature: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) before baking your empanadas. This high temperature will help create a golden, crispy crust.

5. Use an egg wash: Brushing an egg wash on top of the empanadas before baking will give them a beautiful shine and enhance their flavor.

6. Experiment with different fillings: Once you’ve mastered the Ham and Cheese Empanada recipe, try experimenting with different fillings such as beef, pineapple, or cream cheese.

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to making perfect Ham and Cheese Empanadas every time!


To ensure that you are able to make this tasty Ham and Cheese Empanadas recipe with ease, I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and their answers based on my experience. If you’re looking to troubleshoot an issue with the recipe or would like some additional information on specific ingredients, preparation methods, or serving suggestions, the following FAQ section is for you. Keep reading to get all your questions answered.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

In the region of Tucumán, which is known for the National Empanada Festival, the locals have perfected the art of creating delicious empanadas with three specialty fillings – beef, tripe, and chicken. These flavorful fillings are carefully encased in dough and then cooked to perfection using beef fat in a traditional clay oven.

Is it better to fry or bake empanadas?

When it comes to creating mouth-watering empanadas, there are two cooking methods that reign supreme. Depending on your preferences and available time, you can either opt for the healthier option of baking them in the oven or the quicker route of frying them. Regardless of the approach you choose, both methods are guaranteed to produce delicious results.

What is the difference between Spanish empanadas and Mexican empanadas?

As opposed to the Spanish empanada that is crafted from bread dough, its Mexican counterpart utilizes corn masa dough. The history of the Mexican empanada dates far back, with each region in Mexico having their own unique adaptation of the snack. The varied versions of the empanada throughout the country employ different doughs, using either wheat flour or corn masa, and are prepared through either deep-frying or baking.

What are empanadas usually filled with?

When it comes to handheld snacks, empanadas are a popular and delicious option. These crescent-shaped pastries are made with dough and can be stuffed with a range of tasty ingredients. From meat and seafood to veggies and cheese, the filling choices are endless. Once the empanadas are assembled, they are cooked until crispy and golden.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Ham and Cheese Empanadas recipe is a great addition to your recipe book. It’s a perfect blend of cheesy goodness and rich ham flavor that will leave you and your guests craving for more. Plus, it’s flexible enough to accommodate substitutions and variations that suit your preferences or dietary requirements.

Whether baked or deep-fried, these empanadas are easy to make with simple ingredients that you can easily find in your pantry or local grocery store. Moreover, they are versatile enough to be served as a snack, appetizer, or main course. You can pair them with various dips or sauces and even add other ingredients such as pineapple for a unique twist.

To ensure perfect results, follow the tips and recommendations provided in this recipe article. From preparing the ingredients correctly to storing and reheating leftovers, every step is crucial in achieving the desired level of taste and texture. And finally, don’t forget to experiment with different combinations of cheese and ham to create your signature empanadas filling.

In conclusion, this Ham and Cheese Empanadas recipe is a perfect choice when you want something delicious, easy to make, and versatile. It’s ideal for parties, gatherings, or any occasion that calls for quick bites that pack a punch. Follow the instructions carefully and enjoy a tasty treat that will satisfy your cravings anytime!

Ham and Cheese Empanadas

Ham and Cheese Empanadas Recipe

A simple and tasty way to make empanadas!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 108.4 kcal


  • 20 empanada wrappers (thawed)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package diced ham
  • 1 (16 ounce) package shredded cheese (i use mozz.)
  • vegetable oil


  • Seperate empanada wraps.
  • Mix diced ham and cheese in a bowl and set aside.
  • Fill empanada wrapers with small handful of filling.
  • Fold empanada wrapers over into half circle and fold the ends closed.
  • Heat about 1 inch of oil in electric skillet.
  • Fry empanadas for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Cool for about 5 min and serve!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 45gCalories: 108.4kcalCarbohydrates: 1.9gProtein: 9.5gFat: 6.8gSaturated Fat: 3.9gCholesterol: 26.3mgSodium: 562.9mg
Keyword < 30 Mins, Easy, For Large Groups
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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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.