Delicious Empanadas Recipe – Authentic Latin Flavors!

Hey foodies, it’s Chef here and today I am excited to share with you my latest creation – the sweet and spicy empanadas recipe. If you’re looking for a snack that will explode with flavor in your mouth, then this recipe is a must-try.

The empanadas are stuffed with a delicious blend of beef, sweet potatoes, and spices that will leave your taste buds yearning for more. The combination of sweet and spice in these empanadas creates an irresistible flavor that is sure to impress.

Now, don’t let the sound of “sweet” throw you off. These empanadas aren’t just sugary treats; they have a combination of spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, chili powder, allspice, and garam masala that create a spicy kick to balance out the sweetness.

These hand pies are perfect as a snack or appetizer for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a party or just craving something savory yet slightly sweet, these empanadas are perfect for satisfying your hunger pangs.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, I’ve included some recommendations for variations of this recipe to take it to the next level. But first, let’s dive into the ingredient list and how-to so we can get started on making these mouth-watering sweet and spicy beef empanadas.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sweet and Spicy Empanadas
Sweet and Spicy Empanadas

Oh, boy! Do I have a treat for you. Today, I want to share with you the recipe for the most delicious Sweet and Spicy Empanadas that you’ll ever taste. Trust me; this is a game-changer. This recipe will have your taste buds dancing in delight, and you’ll be yearning for more even after you’ve had your fill.

Are you a foodie who loves experimenting with different flavors? Then, these empanadas will make your heart skip a beat. Blending sweet and tangy flavors with an added kick of spice is something that can only be described as magical. It’s like you’ve hit the jackpot with just one bite.

These empanadas are perfect for sharing, too. They make the best conversation starters at dinner parties, and trust me when I say that everyone will be asking for the recipe.

What I love about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can modify it to suit your preferences or what’s available in your pantry. Plus, it’s super easy to make, even for beginner cooks.

Don’t let me be the only one raving about it! Trust me when I say this Sweet and Spicy Empanadas recipe will elevate your culinary game and have your taste buds going wild.

Ingredient List

 Get ready to taste explosion of flavors with every bite!
Get ready to taste explosion of flavors with every bite!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to create these deliciously spicy and sweet empanadas:

Spicy Beef Filling:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce

Sweet Potato Filling:

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Empanada Dough:

  • 2 puff pastry sheets
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Dipping Sauce (optional):

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons hot chili sauce

The Recipe How-To

 Sweet and spicy empanadas that will take your taste buds on a ride!
Sweet and spicy empanadas that will take your taste buds on a ride!

Here’s how you can make delicious Sweet and Spicy Empanadas:


  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 puff pastry sheets

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

  3. Add the chopped red onion and cook until it becomes translucent.

  4. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.

  5. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until it is browned.

  6. Add the diced sweet potato, chili powder, allspice, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Mix everything well and let cook for an additional five minutes.

  7. Remove the skillet from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

  8. Roll out both puff pastry sheets into rounds about eight inches in diameter.

  9. Add a generous spoonful of the beef filling onto one-half of each round, leaving enough space around the edges to seal them properly.

  10. Fold over the other half of the pastry sheet and crimp the edges with a fork to seal.

  11. Make little slits in the top of each empanada with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape during baking.

  12. Place your empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush them lightly with milk, then bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up.

  13. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down before serving.


  • You can use pie crust instead of puff pastry sheets if you want a more traditional Argentine empanada.
  • These empanadas are quite filling, so you may not need to plan any other side dish.
  • Sweet potato adds a nice sweetness to the filling that balances the spiciness of the chili powder and allspice.
  • Don’t overfill them or over-crimp the edges, or the filling will leak out during baking.
  • These empanadas can be made-ahead and stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Now that you have learned how to make savory Sweet and Spicy Empanadas, it’s time to give it a try. They are perfect for a game-day snack, lunch or dinner. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect appetizer for any occasion.
The perfect appetizer for any occasion.

Looking to switch up the flavors in your empanadas? While the combination of sweet and spicy beef is unbeatable, there are a few ingredient swaps that can add some exciting new flavors to this classic recipe.

One variation you might consider is incorporating sweet potato into your filling. This ingredient will add a lightly sweet flavor to balance out the heat from the spices, and it pairs perfectly with savory ground beef. If you want to try this out, simply swap out half or all of the russet potatoes in your filling for sweet potatoes.

Another sweet and spicy option is chicken empanadas. The same spice blend can be used to season shredded chicken, and it will be delicious baked in flaky pastry dough. For this variation, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs instead of ground beef, and cook until fully cooked through before dicing into small pieces.

For those looking for a sweeter filling, you could try swapping out the savory notes for a touch of floral sweetness. You can add 2-3 tablespoons of homemade floral quince jam to your filling mixture for an extra level of sweetness. This jam has a lovely deep orange color that complements the golden crust of the empanada perfectly.

If you’re not into savory empanadas at all, I recommend trying a cream cheese empanada filled with tart and tangy sour cream. These hand pies make a great breakfast pastry or snack when served with your favorite dipping sauce.

Overall, making substitutions and variations to this recipe allows each person to personalize it as per their preference while still keeping in mind its unique flavors:- Sweet and Spicy Empanadas Recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 Delightful texture and unparalleled flavor that you won't want to miss out on.
Delightful texture and unparalleled flavor that you won’t want to miss out on.

Now that your sweet and spicy empanadas are ready, it’s time to indulge in the mouthwatering goodness! These hand pies are delicious all on their own, but they can be even better when paired with the right combination of flavors.

One way to serve your empanadas is to accompany them with a creamy dipping sauce, such as sour cream mixed with some hot chili sauce. The coolness of the sour cream perfectly complements the heat of the chili sauce and balances out the flavors in the empanadas.

Another option is to serve your empanadas with a fresh, crisp salad. A simple mix of greens, cherry tomatoes, and diced cucumbers drizzled with olive oil and red wine vinegar make for a refreshing palate cleanser that cuts through the richness of the empanadas.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try a glass of Argentine Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon with your empanadas. The full-bodied red wine pairs beautifully with the spicy flavor profile of these hand pies.

No matter how you choose to serve or pair them, one thing is certain – these sweet and spicy beef empanadas will be a hit at any gathering or meal.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A fusion of Brazilian-American taste in every bite!
A fusion of Brazilian-American taste in every bite!

Listen up, folks! Once you’ve made these scrumptious sweet and spicy empanadas, you’ll want to know how to store and reheat them. Luckily for you, I’ve got the 411 on that, too.

First things first – if you’re planning on making these babies ahead of time, go right ahead! You can totally make them a day or two in advance and simply store them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake ’em. Just be sure to cover them well with plastic wrap or aluminum foil so they don’t dry out.

Now, when it comes to reheating your empanadas, there are a few options. If you want to keep things simple, you can just pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds (depending on the wattage). But if you want that crispy exterior that we all love about empanadas, then I recommend preheating your oven to 375°F and baking them for about 8-10 minutes.

But what if you have leftovers? Don’t worry – they’ll keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Just keep them covered and reheat as desired. And let’s be real – these empanadas are so tasty that they probably won’t last long enough to need reheating!

So there you have it – storing and reheating your sweet and spicy empanadas is easy peasy. Pop ’em in the microwave or oven, enjoy the crispy exterior and mouth-watering filling, and savor every last bite!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Impress your guests with this unique and flavorful appetizer.
Impress your guests with this unique and flavorful appetizer.

Making empanadas is an art form, and like any art, there are certain tricks and tips that can take your creations from good to great. Here are some of my top tips for a perfect batch of sweet and spicy empanadas.

1. Use the Right Pastry Dough

Choosing the right dough can make all the difference in your empanadas. For this recipe, I recommend using store-bought puff pastry sheets because they are easy to work with and give a sweet flaky texture.

2. Keep the Filling Moist but Not Soggy

When you add your filling into the pastry cut-outs, make sure you don’t overfill them with too much liquid or it may seep out and cause your empanadas to become soggy. You want them to have a lightly sweet filling without being drowning in liquid.

3. Mix Up The Filling

The beauty of empanadas is that you can fill them with whatever you like! That’s why feel free to mix up the recipe by adding different vegetables, meats or using different seasonings.

4. Seal Your Empanadas Correctly

A major pitfall in making empanadas is, not sealing them properly which leads to leaks and open spots where air gets in causing the pastry to lose its shape. Be certain that no filling pours out and no air gets in when you create your pockets.

5. Bake Them at The Right Temperature

Preheat your oven at least 10 minutes before baking your empanadas. When possible, use a fan-forced oven as it ensures even heat distribution throughout the pastry.

6. Don’t Forget Your Dipping Sauce

Empanadas taste amazing on their own or with a variety of dipping sauces such as Chimichurri sauce or ají amarillo sauce which enhances their flavors!

7. Glaze Your Pastries

To give your empanadas a professional touch, whisk an egg in a bowl and brush it over the pastries generously just before you bake them! This will give the pastry a golden-brown color and a nice crunch.

With these tips, your empanadas will turn out perfectly every time. Just use your creativity and intuition while following this recipe for an ultimate food experience!


Before concluding this article, let’s address some of the most commonly asked questions about making these delicious Sweet and Spicy Empanadas. I’ve compiled a list of FAQs and responses to help you troubleshoot any potential issues and ensure that your empanadas turn out perfectly every time. So let’s dive right in!

What is the difference between sweet and savory empanadas?

Empanadas can either be sweet or savory. Sweet variants often have fruity stuffing, while meat or vegetable fillings are typical of savory ones. Making delectable empanadas is a breeze with GOYA® Empanada Dough. Aside from the recommendations, you can use any sweet or savory ingredients that you love as a substitute for the filling.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

Tucumán is known for its delicious empanadas, which are a staple during the National Empanada Festival. The region specializes in three unique fillings – beef, tripe, and chicken – which are then enclosed in dough and cooked in beef fat inside a clay oven.

Do empanadas taste better baked or fried?

When it comes to making empanadas, both baking and frying are great options that yield scrumptious results. If you’re looking for a healthier snack, baking is the way to go. However, if you’re short on time, frying them is a good choice.

What are sweet empanadas called?

This recipe features a delicious dessert called Empanadas de Membrillo, which are hand pies filled with homemade quince jam and enclosed in a flaky, lightly sweet dough with a deep orange color.

Bottom Line

Wow, I hope you’re as excited to try this Sweet and Spicy Empanadas recipe as I am! Trust me, your taste buds will thank you. The combination of savory beef, sweet potato, and spicy flavors all wrapped up in a flaky dough is a flavor bomb that is sure to satisfy any craving.

And the best part? This recipe is so versatile! You can switch out the beef for chicken or even make a vegetarian version by substituting the meat with black beans. Plus, the sweet and spicy flavors could go well with a refreshing dipping sauce or served as an appetizer or main dish.

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of making your own empanadas from scratch. With these detailed instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be making these like a pro in no time. And did I mention that they’re freezer-friendly? That’s right – you can make a big batch and save them for later.

Remember, cooking is all about experimentation and creativity. So don’t be afraid to mix it up and put your own personal spin on this Sweet and Spicy Empanadas recipe. As an experienced chef, I guarantee that once you’ve tried this recipe, it’ll become a staple in your kitchen. So let’s get cooking!

Sweet and Spicy Empanadas

Sweet and Spicy Empanadas Recipe

These are more sweet than spicy and there are a few surprise ingredients that really make these little beef bites quite delicious! My husband is a "dipper" and created the tomato-based sauce that perfectly complements these non-traditional empanadas. The recipe makes 24 bite-sized appetizers, or you can make them twice as big and eat them for dinner. 🙂
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer/Snack
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 181.6 kcal



  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup white onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 (17 1/3 ounce) box puff pastry sheets, frozen

Tomato Dipping Sauce

  • 8 ounces tomato sauce (Trader Joe's is really good!)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (Sriracha)
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 -2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala, spice blend
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil


  • For the sauce:
  • Combine all ingredients and whisk till smooth.
  • For the empanadas:
  • Take the pastry sheets out of the freezer 40 minutes before your empanadas will be ready to be filled.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel the potatoes and dice them fairly small. Cover them with water and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or till tender.
  • Meanwhile, mince the onion and place in a large bowl with the beef, all the sugar and spices, and the milk. Knead with your hands until the mixture is very soft.
  • Cook the meat mixture in a skillet over medium heat until the beef is browned.
  • Drain the potatoes and mix them in with the meat. Drain any excess fat. (The potatoes should soak most of it up).
  • Cut the pastry into 24 equal rectangles and divide the mixture between them.
  • Divide the cream cheese into 24 portions as well and squish it on top of the meat so it evenly covers.
  • Fold the pastry over and seal the edges by folding or pinching.
  • Place on baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, place on serving plate, and dip in the sauce if you desire!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 68gCalories: 181.6kcalCarbohydrates: 13.9gProtein: 4.2gFat: 12.3gSaturated Fat: 4.1gCholesterol: 14.9mgSodium: 205.7mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 2.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, For Large Groups, Meat, Oven, Vegetable
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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.