Easy Breakfast Empanadas for a Quick and Tasty Bite

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Are you looking for a delicious and healthy breakfast option that you can prepare in advance and enjoy on busy weekdays? Do you love the savory taste and portable convenience of empanadas but want a lighter and more nutritious version? Then, you are in the right place! In this recipe article, I will share with you my favorite Light Breakfast Empanadas Recipe, which features a flavorful and flaky crust made with cornflour or corn masa dough, a variety of protein-rich fillings such as eggs, cheese, sausage, bacon, and chorizo potato, and some optional vegetables or spices for extra flavor and color. These empanadas are not only easy to make with simple ingredients that you may already have or easily find at any grocery store, but also customizable to your taste preferences or dietary needs. Moreover, they can be baked or air-fried for a crispier texture or pan-fried for a softer one. Whether you want a go-to breakfast empanada recipe to impress your family, fuel your workday mornings, or diversify your brunch menu with guests, this Light Breakfast Empanadas Recipe will not disappoint. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Light Breakfast Empanadas
Light Breakfast Empanadas

Are you looking for a tasty and satisfying breakfast that’s also healthy and won’t leave you feeling weighed down? Look no further than this delicious Light Breakfast Empanadas recipe. With its combination of low-fat cheddar cheese, fresh eggs, and corn masa dough, this breakfast empanada is perfect for those who want to start their day with a go-getter attitude.

This recipe is ideal for busy mornings where you don’t have much time to cook, but still want to enjoy a nutritious meal. You can prepare everything the night before and bake in the morning for an on-the-go breakfast that will keep you fueled all morning long.

Moreover, the recipe ingredients are simple and easy to find in most grocery stores. The preparation process is also relatively quick and simple. You don’t need any special equipment or complicated techniques. Just follow the steps properly and let the oven do most of the work!

Additionally, this breakfast empanada recipe provides several options for substitutions and variations so you can customize it according to your preferences. Whether you are looking for a vegetarian option or want to add a little kick with spicy sausage or chorizo potato filling; this recipe has something for everyone.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a healthy, easy-to-make, and versatile breakfast option that satisfies your taste buds without weighing you down, our light Breakfast Empanadas recipe is perfect! Try it out today and let us know how you like it!

Ingredient List

 Golden and flaky empanadas ready to be served for breakfast
Golden and flaky empanadas ready to be served for breakfast

Empanada Dough

  • Cornflour (1 cup)
  • Water (2 tbsp)
  • Light Butter (1 tbsp, melted)

Breakfast Empanadas Ingredients 1

  • Chorizo Potato Filling
  • Chorizo Sausage (2 ounces), removed casing
  • Potatoes (1/4 cup), diced

Breakfast Empanadas Ingredients 2

  • Bacon and Eggs Filling
  • Turkey Bacon (3 oz)
  • Large Eggs (2)
  • Low-Fat Cheddar Cheese (1/4 cup shredded)

Breakfast Empanadas Ingredients 3

  • Egg and Cheese Filling
  • Large Eggs (4)
  • Low-Fat Cheddar Cheese (1/4 cup shredded)

Whole Wheat Breakfast empanadas Ingredients 1

  • Sausage and Cheese Filling
  • Breakfast Sausage/Ham slices (4 oz), cooked and crumbled
  • low-fat Cheddar Cheese (1/4 cup, shredded)

Whole Wheat Breakfast empanadas Ingredients 2

  • Egg and Cheese Filling with Vegetables
  • Large Eggs (2)
  • Low-fat Cream Cheese (1 tablespoon)
  • Red Pepper (1/4 cup), chopped finely
  • Scallions Onion/Green Onion( 2 tbsp), chopped finely

Store-bought dough options

For those who’d prefer not to make the empanada dough from scratch, any of the following options would be excellent substitutes:

  • Crescent Rolls
  • Whole Wheat Biscuit dough
  • Pie Crusts

Substitution Options

For those who need to substitute any of the ingredients listed above, the following are acceptable substitutes:

  • Instead of cornflour dough, use corn masa dough.
  • Instead of using melted butter, use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Swap out turkey bacon with regular bacon or ham.
  • Instead of low-fat cheddar cheese, try using any shredded cheese of your liking.

Note: Ingredients and fillings can be swapped or combined to create different flavor combinations!

The Recipe How-To

 Filling and satisfying breakfast bites in the form of empanadas
Filling and satisfying breakfast bites in the form of empanadas

Now, let’s move on to the most exciting part of this article: cooking the breakfast empanadas! This recipe can make 8-10 empanadas, and you will need a few basic kitchen tools such as a non-stick pan, rolling pin, and a cutter.

Ingredient Preparation

To begin with, gather all of your breakfast empanada ingredients and prepare them accordingly. Cook chorizo without casing in a skillet until browned then set it aside. In that same skillet, cook diced potatoes until softened over medium heat.

In a mixing bowl, add corn masa, water, extra virgin olive oil, and mix everything together. You can use your hands for this step. Make sure your dough is not too wet or too dry.

Take about 2 tablespoons of the empanada dough, form it into a ball, flatten it into an oval shape using your palms, and use a rolling pin to flatten it further. Repeat until all of the dough is used up.

Adding The Filling

Take each piece of empanada dough and place 1-2 tablespoons of filling over one half of the circle. Top with shredded low-fat cheddar cheese and fold over the other half to enclose the filling within.

Seal the edges by pressing them together with your fingers or a fork to prevent any leakage during frying time.

Repeat until all empanadas are filled.

Cooking The Empanadas

You have two options for cooking these delicious breakfast empanadas: oil frying or using an air fryer.

Oil Frying

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2-3 empanadas and cook until golden brown on each side (approximately 3 minutes per side). Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Air Fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Coat the empanada dough with water and cook them in the air fryer basket for 9-10 minutes. You don’t need to grease the air fryer because they will not stick.

Cook until the crust is lightly browned, then turn them over halfway through cooking.

Once done, remove from air fryer basket and let cool.

Serving Suggestions

This breakfast empanadas recipe can be served on its own or with your choice of dipping sauce. I personally like to serve mine with a side of fresh fruit and a hot cup of coffee.


Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect breakfast on-the-go: light and flavorful empanadas
The perfect breakfast on-the-go: light and flavorful empanadas

Are you looking to switch things up and try out some new variations in your breakfast empanadas? Here are some ingredients you can substitute or add to create your own twist on this classic recipe.

1. Empanada Dough Substitutions:

If you don’t have corn masa dough on hand or wish to have a milder crust, try using whole wheat biscuit dough or crescent rolls as an alternative. You can also use pie crust if that is your preference.

2. Meat Substitutions:

In place of the chorizo sausage or bacon, try using ground beef, chicken, or turkey for a leaner option. Alternatively, you can swap out the meats altogether and opt for vegetarian filling with ingredients like beans, mushrooms, or tofu.

3. Cheese Substitutions:

For a lower-fat option, swap out the cheddar cheese for low-fat cream cheese, feta cheese, or goat cheese. You can also incorporate other cheeses such as provolone, pepper jack, and mozzarella for added flavor depth.

4. Vegetable Additions:

To make your breakfast empanadas even more nutritious and delicious, try adding some fresh vegetables to the mix. Bell peppers, onion, spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini are all great options that will bring different textures and flavors to the recipe.

5. Air Fryer Option:

For those who enjoy a crispy crust without the use of excess oil or who don’t have access to an oven, consider using an air fryer to cook your empanadas.

By using these substitutions and variations, you can customize your breakfast empanadas recipe to your liking while still maintaining the same delicious and satisfying result. So go ahead and experiment until you find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 These empanadas are not just tasty but also visually appealing
These empanadas are not just tasty but also visually appealing

Once you have prepared a batch of these delicious empanadas, it’s time to decide how to serve and pair them!

First of all, these light breakfast empanadas are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast or brunch option. You can pack a couple in your bag and enjoy them on your way to work or school. They are neat and easy to eat, making them an ideal portable breakfast.

If, however, you want to sit down and enjoy your breakfast empanada, consider pairing it with some fresh fruit or a side salad. The lightness of the fluffy egg filling and the crispness of the masa dough crust make it a perfect match for sweet strawberries or tangy oranges, for example.

Alternatively, you could pair your breakfast empanada with some savory sides like salsa, guacamole, or shredded lettuce. These sides would add some texture and flavor to your eating experience.

These empanadas also make a great appetizer for a breakfast-themed party or gathering. Set out several plates of different breakfast empanadas like bacon and egg or chorizo potato, along with some dipping sauces like hot sauce or sour cream for your guests to create their own tapas-style meal.

Overall, the serving and pairing possibilities for these light breakfast empanadas are endless! Try different combinations until you find your favorite one.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A fusion of Brazilian and American flavors in one delicious empanada
A fusion of Brazilian and American flavors in one delicious empanada

Making breakfast empanadas ahead of time is a great way to save time in the morning rush. The recipe for light breakfast empanadas can be made up to two days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Store these empanadas in an air-tight container or zip-lock bag to keep them fresh. However, avoid storing them for more than three days, as they may lose their freshness.

If you want to freeze your breakfast empanadas, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer-safe container. They will last for up to three months in the freezer.

Reheating these breakfast empanadas is very easy. To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the empanadas on a baking sheet. Bake the empanadas for about 5 minutes or until they are heated through.

Alternatively, you can also use your air fryer to reheat your breakfast empanadas. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) and place the empanadas inside the basket. Air fry them for about 4 minutes or until they are heated through.

Keep in mind that if you’re reheating frozen empanadas, allow them to defrost at room temperature before reheating them according to the instructions above.

With these simple make-ahead, storing and reheating tips, you can always have a delicious and satisfying breakfast on hand.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Wake up to the aroma of freshly made breakfast empanadas
Wake up to the aroma of freshly made breakfast empanadas

To help you achieve the best possible outcome when making these delicious light breakfast empanadas, I have put together a list of helpful tips. Following these tips will ensure that your empanadas turn out beautifully every time.

1. Use a light butter or extra virgin olive oil instead of regular butter for a healthier alternative.

2. For a low-fat option, use low-fat cheddar cheese or cream cheese instead of regular cheddar cheese.

3. Be sure to use cold water when mixing the cornflour or masa dough. This will make it easier to handle and prevent it from sticking to your hands.

4. When making the empanada dough, add the water slowly to achieve the perfect consistency. Too much water can make the dough sticky and difficult to work with.

5. If using store-bought frozen empanada wrappers, be sure to thaw them completely before filling and folding.

6. When filling the empanadas, do not over-stuff them as this can cause the dough to tear during baking.

7. Brush the empanadas with egg wash before baking to give them a golden brown color and glossy finish.

8. To save time, make the empanada filling ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

By following these simple yet effective tips, you are sure to make light breakfast empanadas that are both tasty and visually appealing. Enjoy!


Before we wrap up this recipe article, let’s go over some frequently asked questions about the breakfast empanadas recipe. Whether you’re a first-time cook or a seasoned pro, it’s always helpful to have answers to common queries that arise when making a new dish. So, let’s address some of the burning questions you may have and ensure perfect results every time.

Is it better to fry or bake empanadas?

When preparing empanadas, there are two cooking options that yield equally mouth-watering results. For a more health-conscious snack, opt for baking them in the oven. On the other hand, if you are pressed for time, frying them is a quicker alternative.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

When it comes to making empanadas in Tucumán, the region known for hosting the National Empanada Festival, locals stick to tradition by using three favored fillings: beef, tripe, and chicken. These delicious fillings are then enveloped in dough and cooked to perfection in a clay oven using beef fat.

Do people eat empanadas for breakfast?

Empanadas are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day as they can serve as a breakfast, lunch or dinner option. They make for great appetizers and snacks, but can also be a complete and fulfilling meal.

What is the difference between Spanish empanadas and Mexican empanadas?

The bread dough-based empanadas of Spain and the corn masa dough-based empanadas of Mexico highlight the diverse history of this dish. The various regions of Mexico showcase their unique style of empanadas, ranging from the use of wheat flour to corn masa dough, and from deep-fried to baked preparations.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this breakfast empanadas recipe is a delicious and nutritious way to start your day. With its light and flavorful ingredients, you won’t feel guilty about indulging in a second or even third helping. Plus, the versatility and ease of this recipe make it a great addition to your meal rotation.

With the option to substitute ingredients, you can customize this recipe to your liking or accommodate any dietary restrictions. And with simple storage and reheating instructions, you can easily prepare these empanadas ahead of time for an on-the-go breakfast or snack.

So whether you’re in the mood for a chorizo and potato filling or a classic bacon and egg combination, this recipe has got you covered. It’s time to grab your apron and get cooking – your taste buds will thank you!

Light Breakfast Empanadas

Light Breakfast Empanadas Recipe

Enjoy this hearty breakfast without feeling guilty about the calories. This recipe also contains a recipe on how to make corn tortillas (which form the crust of the empanada). This will show you how to make a perfect tortilla every time with the tortilla press (which, I'm surprised to say, I haven't seen anywhere else on the web).
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 209.2 kcal


  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 turkey sausage links
  • 2 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons light butter


  • Boil corn, then cut kernels off.
  • Puree corn with water in food processor.
  • Combine pureed corn and cornflour until blended. Roll into a ball and wrap in wax paper. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
  • Heat nonstick pan to medium temperature.
  • Scramble egg whites, cut prepared sausage links into small pieces, and set aside to cool slightly. NOTE: hot insides in an empanada could cause the crust to break apart.
  • Cut dough into 4 equal pieces, and roll each into a ball.
  • If not using a tortilla press, use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a tortilla shape and thickness. Apply additional cornflour as needed to prevent sticking.
  • If using a tortilla press, flatten one ball by hand while trying to retain a disc shape. Place between two sheets of wax paper in the tortilla press with a generous dusting of cornflour to prevent sticking. Press together just long enough to lock the handle. NOTE: don't lean on the tortilla press or hold it excessively long, or the tortilla could break up.
  • If using a tortilla press, peel off one sheet of wax paper, but keep the other one on.
  • Wet the perimeter of the tortilla with water.
  • Fill 1/2 of the tortilla with 1/4 of the egg, sausage, and cheese. Fold the tortilla half over and peel off the wax paper.
  • Pinch the edges together. Press along the fold with a fork if desired.
  • Cook empanada in a pan with light butter, turning when browned. Repeat for remaining dough.
  • Serve with salsa and guacamole if desired.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 154gCalories: 209.2kcalCarbohydrates: 27.8gProtein: 10.3gFat: 6.8gSaturated Fat: 3.4gCholesterol: 11.4mgSodium: 187.3mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 2.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Breakfast, Healthy, Mexican
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.