Delicious & Easy Pumpkin Pecan Empanaditas Recipe

Are you looking for the perfect fall treat? The answer, my friend, lies in these pumpkin pecan empanaditas. Imagine biting into a warm, flaky crust filled with rich and spiced pumpkin filling that has been infused generously with caramelized pecans. Sounds like the ultimate comfort food, right? This recipe is simple to make, and is sure to leave your taste buds singing songs of joy.

Empanadas are a traditional Latin American pastry that can be found in savory and sweet variations. They have been recreated all over the world, and their versatility makes them perfect for anyone who loves a delicious little pocket of goodness. These mini empanaditas will change the way you think about pumpkin desserts, providing you with a unique twist on the traditional pumpkin pie.

If you prefer homemade baked goods that are easy to make using basic ingredients that can be found in any pantry, then you came to the right place. With this recipe, I’ll show you how to make your own pastry from scratch and create a delicious spiced pumpkin filling – savored by all ages!

So why not give these pumpkin pecan empanaditas a try today!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pumpkin Pecan Empanaditas (Mini Empanadas)
Pumpkin Pecan Empanaditas (Mini Empanadas)

Are you a fan of pumpkin pie? How about pecan pie? What if I told you that you could have both in one delicious bite-sized treat? Introducing the Pumpkin Pecan Empanaditas, also known as mini empanadas, an irresistible fusion of two classic pies! Here’s why I guarantee you’ll love this recipe:

Firstly, it’s easy to make. You don’t need to be a pastry chef or spend hours in the kitchen to whip up these delectable empanaditas. The dough comes together with just a few simple ingredients, while the filling requires canned pumpkin puree and chopped pecans seasoned with warm spices like pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.

Secondly, it’s versatile. These little pockets of goodness are perfect for any time of the day! They make for a fantastic breakfast on-the-go or a sweet snack during coffee break. You can even serve them as a party appetizer or dessert at your next family event.

Thirdly, it satisfies your sweet tooth without being overly rich or heavy. The combination of pumpkin and pecan creates a perfect balance of flavors that is sure to delight your taste buds. Plus, the empanaditas themselves are baked instead of fried, so they are not greasy or heavy.

Lastly, it’s fun to make with your friends and family! Empanadas are traditionally eaten in Latin American countries and each country has its own unique version. So why not start your own tradition by making these mini pumpkin pecan empanaditas together?

In summary, this recipe is easy, versatile, delicious, and fun to make! Trust me, once you take a bite into one of these pumpkin pecan empanaditas, you won’t be able to resist having another one (or two!).

Ingredient List

 Get ready for a taste of fall with these Pumpkin Pecan Empanaditas.
Get ready for a taste of fall with these Pumpkin Pecan Empanaditas.

Before diving into the recipe how-to, let’s make sure we have all the ingredients on-hand. This recipe requires a mix of sweet and savory ingredients to create the perfect bite. Here’s what you will need:

Empanada Dough:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter (cold), cut into small pieces
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Cold Water

Pumpkin Pecan Filling:

  • 1 cup Canned Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans

These ingredients will yield a pumpkin pecan filling that is oh so delicious, encased in a flaky empanada dough that is lightly sweetened. The amounts listed above make about 12 mini empanadas or 6 full-sized empanadas. If you want to make a larger batch or try different fillings, feel free to double or triple the recipe accordingly.

With these ingredients in hand, you are ready to start making your very own pumpkin pecan empanaditas!

The Recipe How-To

 Perfectly bite-sized, these empanaditas are a great party or snack food.
Perfectly bite-sized, these empanaditas are a great party or snack food.

Now it’s time to get our hands dirty and dive into the fun part: making the Pumpkin Pecan Empanaditas come to life! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make these bite-sized treats.


  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, diced
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

For the Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Step 1: Make the Empanada Dough

Get started by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt until they are well incorporated.

Next, add the diced butter and mix with the dry ingredients using your fingertips until a sand-like mixture is formed. Then add cold water one tablespoon at a time while mixing until you can form a dough ball that holds its shape.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about ⅛ inch thickness. Using a round cutter, cut out circles about 5 inches in diameter.

Step 2: Make the Pumpkin Filling

Now we move onto making the delicious pumpkin filling. In a saucepan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in all remaining ingredients except for chopped pecans. Continue to cook while frequently stirring until there is no more liquid left, and it starts forming into one cohesive mass.

Remove from heat and let cool for a bit before adding in chopped pecans. Mix everything together and set aside.

Step 3: Assemble the Empanaditas

With the dough circles prepared, place a tablespoon of pumpkin filling on one half of each circle, leaving about a ¼ inch of space around the edge. Then fold over the other half, using your fingers to press down on the edges to seal.

Using a fork or your favorite tool, press down on the edges to make sure they are sealed. This step gives our empanaditas that beautiful ribbed appearance while also preventing any filling from spilling out.

Repeat these steps with all remaining dough circles until no filling or dough remains.

Step 4: Bake the Empanaditas

With our empanaditas fully assembled, it’s time to make them crispy and golden. Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Bake in preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown with that lovely pumpkin pie color.

Once everything is baked to perfection, remove from the oven

Substitutions and Variations

 The combination of pumpkin and pecans makes these little pies both sweet and nutty.
The combination of pumpkin and pecans makes these little pies both sweet and nutty.

This recipe for pumpkin pecan empanaditas is versatile enough to allow for some substitutions and variations. Here are my top recommendations.

– Gluten-free: For a gluten-free option, substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. You can easily find it in grocery stores.

– Sweeteners: If you don’t have granulated sugar, you can use brown sugar instead. You can also substitute the brown sugar with honey or maple syrup for a more natural option.

– Other nuts: Pecans give these empanaditas their signature flavor, but you can add other chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts. It’s important to chop the nuts into small pieces so they blend seamlessly with the pumpkin filling.

– Spices: Pumpkin pie spice gives the empanaditas their flavorful punch, but you can experiment with different blends of spices. Try adding nutmeg, allspice or ginger to give your empanaditas a unique twist.

– Empanada fillings: Feel free to mix things up by using different types of empanada filling such as spiced pork and apple, chicken and cheese, beef, or potato. For sweet variations try a caramel apple filling or even indulge in a pumpkin cheesecake empanada.

– Pastry: You can also switch up the pastry by using pie crust instead of empanada dough. This will give your empanaditas a flakier texture that will melt into your mouth.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to experiment with different toppings and flavors to create your own unique twist on this classic pumpkin pecan empanaditas recipe. Just remember to keep the balance between sweet and savory, and you’ll have the perfect treat for any occasion.

Serving and Pairing

 The dough is flaky and buttery, making for the perfect texture in every bite.
The dough is flaky and buttery, making for the perfect texture in every bite.

These pumpkin pecan empanaditas are perfect as a dessert or snack, and they pair perfectly with a cup of hot coffee or tea. The combination of the warm spices, sweet pumpkin filling and toasty pecans creates a flavor profile that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

To serve these mini empanadas, simply dust them with powdered sugar before serving for an extra touch of sweetness. They are also great served alongside a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for those who want to indulge in a decadent treat.

If you’re hosting a fall gathering or looking for an easy dessert option for Thanksgiving, consider making these pumpkin pecan empanaditas. They are sure to be a crowd-pleaser and the mini size makes them perfect for sharing.

To pair with these mini empanadas, I recommend serving them with a robust cup of coffee or tea. The warm and comforting flavors complement each other perfectly. If you prefer something cooler, try pairing them with a chilled glass of milk or a creamy pumpkin spice latte.

Overall, these pumpkin pecan empanaditas are versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. Whether served as a finger food at a party, as an after-dinner dessert, or as an indulgent snack on a cozy fall afternoon, they are sure to satisfy your craving for something sweet and delicious.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't be intimidated by making your own dough, it's surprisingly easy!
Don’t be intimidated by making your own dough, it’s surprisingly easy!

Now that you’ve made these delightful pumpkin pecan empanaditas, you may be wondering how to store them for later. The good news is that they can easily be made ahead and reheated for a quick snack or dessert.

To make ahead, simply store the unbaked empanaditas in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. When you’re ready to bake them, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, bake as directed in the recipe.

If you have already baked your empanaditas and have leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. If you need to store them longer, refrigerate for up to five days or freeze for up to a month. To reheat, simply microwave for 10-15 seconds or pop in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 3-5 minutes until heated through.

These empanaditas are perfect for parties or gatherings where you want to have something sweet and savory on hand. Just make sure to store them properly and follow the reheating instructions to ensure that they taste their best when served.

Tips for Perfect Results

 These empanaditas can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer for a quick snack or meal option on a busy day.
These empanaditas can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer for a quick snack or meal option on a busy day.

Now that you’ve got the recipe for these delicious pumpkin pecan empanaditas, let’s talk about some tips that will help you get the perfect results every time.

First things first, it’s important to make sure your dough is not too dry or too wet. Adjust the amount of water you add to achieve a soft but not sticky consistency – this will make it easier to handle and shape the dough.

It’s also crucial to chill the dough before rolling it out. This helps keep the butter cold, which results in a flaky crust. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, as warm dough can be difficult to work with and may result in tough empanadas.

When filling your empanaditas, make sure not to overfill them. Leave enough space around the edges so that you can seal them properly without any filling spilling out during baking.

Speaking of sealing your empanaditas, use a fork to press down on the edges and create a decorative pattern that will also seal them tightly. This will prevent any filling from oozing out while they bake and keep them looking neat and tidy.

Another tip for perfect results is to let your baked pumpkin pecan empanaditas cool down before serving. This allows the filling to set and prevents it from oozing out when you take a bite.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different fillings and textures. While this recipe calls for pumpkin and pecans, you could also try spiced pork and apple or even a sweet caramel apple filling. The possibilities are endless when it comes to empanada fillings!

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making perfect pumpkin pecan empanaditas every time – ones that are flaky, flavorful, and perfectly sealed with juicy filling inside.

Bottom Line

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In conclusion, these pumpkin pecan empanaditas are the ultimate fall treat that will effortlessly impress your guests. The crispy yet buttery crust perfectly complements the spiced pumpkin and nutty pecan filling, creating a symphony of flavors that is both comforting and indulgent. Whether you’re looking for a party appetizer, a festive dessert or even a satisfying snack, these empanadas will not disappoint.

Moreover, this recipe is highly versatile and customizable. You can easily substitute the pumpkin filling with other fruit or savory fillings, such as apple, chicken, cheese, or spiced pork. You can also experiment with different crusts or even make mini empanadas for added fun.

Lastly, these pumpkin pecan empanaditas are budget-friendly and quick to make. With only a few common pantry ingredients and minimal prep time, you can have an impressive batch of empanadas ready in no time.

Therefore, I strongly recommend you give this recipe a try and experience the magic of homemade empanadas. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make it your own. Let these empanaditas be the crown jewel of your fall menu and a source of culinary pride. Happy cooking!

Pumpkin Pecan Empanaditas (Mini Empanadas)

Pumpkin Pecan Empanaditas (Mini Empanadas) Recipe

These are really pretty, little, bite-size pastries/cookies. This is a traditional dessert in Spanish-speaking countries (such as Mexico) but also can be served as a sweet appetizer. You can also use jam or dulce de leche as the filling. Don't skip the glaze as it holds the empanaditas together. This recipe is from "Diana's Desserts". Filling needs at least 45 minutes to cool (less in the freezer).
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 54 cookies
Calories 76.9 kcal



  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and clo)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold butter (this is equal to 2 sticks, 8 oz, or 226g)
  • 8 -10 tablespoons cold water


  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water


  • sanding sugar (optional)


  • Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened (8 to 12 minutes). Cool completely (45 to 60 minutes). Stir in pecans.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Combine flour, sugar and salt in medium bowl; cut in 1 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water until flour is just moistened.
  • Divide dough in half. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Place rounded 1/2 teaspoon filling in center of each circle. Fold one side of circle over other to form crescent-shaped empanaditas. Pinch together lightly to seal. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet; press edges together with tines of fork to seal.
  • Whisk together egg and 1 teaspoon water in small bowl. Brush egg mixture lightly over tops of empanaditas; repeat. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1254gCalories: 76.9kcalCarbohydrates: 9.3gProtein: 0.8gFat: 4.2gSaturated Fat: 2.4gCholesterol: 13.5mgSodium: 82.8mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 4.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, European, Fruit, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Mexican, Nuts, Oven, South American, Spanish, Stove Top, Summer, Sweet, Vegetable, Winter
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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.