What To Serve With Empanadas?

Empanadas are a delicious dish that is typically served as an appetizer. But, if you want to serve them as the main course of your meal, many dishes go well with them!

Here are what to serve with empanadas:

  • Dipping Sauces: Guacamole, Tomato Sauce, Hot Sauce, Chimichurri Sauce, Salsa Verde, etc.
  • Side Dishes: Rice Pilaf, Green Salad, Potato Salad, Avocado Salad, Coleslaw, Fried Okra, and many more.

What other dishes? And how to prepare them? This blog post will discuss different side dishes that can be served alongside empanadas.

Table of Contents

What is Empanada?

empanadas

About

An empanada is a type of Spanish food. It’s the name given to a small baked or fried turnover made out of dough and savory fillings.

Empanada is a Spanish and Latin American pastry. It’s also popular in other Southern European, Latin American, Philippine, and Brazilian cultures.

They are usually served as appetizers or snacks and have some sauce to go along with them.

There are different types of empanadas, such as beef, chicken, pork, cheese, seafood, etc.

What Does Empanada Mean in Mexican?

Empanadas are a type of baked or fried bread or pastry popular in many countries throughout Southern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

It’s based on the Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish verb empanar, which means “to wrap or coat in bread.”

What is Usually in An Empanada?

Homemade empanadas are little pockets of empanada dough composed of basic, homemade dough on the outside.

Some protein (usually pork, chicken, or beef, but sometimes fish or cheese) is placed inside for empanada filling.

Empanadas are usually stuffed with one or two simple vegetables, such as corn, diced potatoes, or carrots.

Are Empanadas Healthy to Eat?

Empanadas are delicious, but they aren’t the healthiest meal you can eat since they’re fried.

The great news is you can still get your empanada fix with all the flavor but fewer calories, fat, and more nutrition with healthier versions.

Or, instead of deep fry the empanadas, you can have baked empanadas or air-fried empanadas.

What to Serve with Empanadas?

What To Serve With Empanadas?
Empanada with Tomato Sauce. Credit: canva

Types of Empanadas

You can find delicious empanadas in almost every country where they exist.

They often come in three varieties: beef, chicken, and pork. 

Beef Empanadas

These are probably the most popular variety of empanadas because they’re delicious and easy to prepare.

They are also very versatile; you can add whatever ingredients you want.

Chicken Empanadas

Chicken empanadas are similar to beef empanadas. The only difference is that they don’t include red meat.

Pork Empanadas

Pork empanadas are just what they sound like: empanadas made out of pork.

They are usually less sweet than their beef and chicken counterparts and tend to be spicier.

Vegetarian Empanadas

Empanadas can be made without meat by substituting vegetable fillings for the chicken.

Try spinach, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, artichoke hearts, peas, lentils, tofu, tempeh, or any favorite vegetarian ingredient.

Dipping Sauces to Go with Empanadas?

There are many different sauces that go well with empanadas.

You can use these dipping sauces with any type of empanada.

Guacamole

It’s an easy dip that’s perfect for dipping empanadas! Guacamole is made by mixing avocados, lime juice, salt, and chopped tomato.

Tomato Sauce

A classic Italian sauce that goes well with empanadas. It’s simply made by blending crushed canned tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.

Balsamic Chimichurri Sauce

This Argentinian sauce combines balsamic vinegar, parsley, garlic, olive oil, capers, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Pesto

Pesto is a famous Italian sauce that’s delicious on pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and even empanadas. You can make it at home using basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, or walnuts.

Salsa Verde

Green salsa is a Mexican condiment that’s great on tacos, burritos, and other dishes. This one uses tomatillos instead of tomatoes.

Avocado Sauce

An easy way to dress up your empanada is to top it with a creamy avocado sauce! Just mash the flesh of two ripe avocados in a bowl, add salt and freshly ground black pepper, and drizzle with lemon juice.

Tapenade

This Mediterranean spread is made by crushing olives, anchovies, capers, herbs, and spices into a paste. Tapenade is an excellent topping for bread, crackers, and vegetables.

Chimichurri

Chimichurri is an Argentinian herb and spice mixture used as both a marinade and a sauce. Its main ingredients include oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Chimichurri is usually served over steak. But you can use it for empanada dipping sauce because it’s so flavorful.

empanada chimichurri sauce
Empanada with Chimichurri Sauce. Credit: canva

Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro pesto is another excellent choice for serving empanadas. Combine cilantro, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper to make this simple sauce. Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.

Tzatziki

Greek yogurt mixed with cucumber, dill, garlic, mint, and olive oil makes a refreshing dip for empanadas.

Chunky salsa

Chunky salsa is a good accompaniment for spicy empanadas. Combine diced tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne pepper, lime juice, salt, and pepper.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is a fresh salsa made from finely diced tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cilantro, and jalapenos.

Pickled Onions

Pickled onions are a tasty addition to any menu. They’re also known as pearl onions, and they’re small and sweet. Simply soak them overnight in water with 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Drain and pat dry before adding to recipes.

Lemon-Garlic Aioli

This lemony mayonnaise adds flavor to empanadas. Mix 2 egg yolks, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup of lemon juice, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Gruyere Cheese Sauce

Topped with Gruyère cheese, these empanadas are perfect for parties. Make a quick sauce by combining 4 ounces of grated Gruyère cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Cook over medium heat while stirring until thickened. Add more milk if necessary.

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is a classic combination for empanadas. It’s made by mixing eggs, milk, oil, and seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic, and onion.

Hot Sauce

A hot sauce like Tabasco works well as a dipping sauce for empanadas. Add some chopped chiles and mix well.

empanada salad
Empanada with Green Salad. Crdit: canva

Sofrito Sauce

Sofrito is a traditional Spanish sauce that combines tomatoes, onions, garlic, and other aromatics.

This recipe calls for canned tomatoes, but you can easily substitute homemade tomato sauce.

Enchilada Sauce

An enchilada sauce is the perfect complement to Mexican empanadas. This creamy sauce is made by cooking ground beef, corn, and red or green chile peppers in chicken broth, then blending the mixture with sour cream, melted butter, and cheddar cheese.

Side Dishes that Go Well with Empanadas

Empanadas go well with side dishes like rice pilaf, couscous salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, fruit salads, roasted potatoes, baked beans, fried okra, cornbread, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, grilled zucchini, roasted carrots, and more.

Rice Pilaf

A delicious side dish to accompany empanadas is rice pilaf.

Cook brown rice or white rice according to package directions. Add chopped scallions, parsley, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

Stir in chicken broth or stock and let simmer until liquid has been absorbed. Serve warm.

Mexican Rice

To make Mexican rice, combine cooked long grain rice with tomato sauce, black beans, corn kernels, cheese, and cilantro.

Green Salad

A colorful side dish to complement empanadas is a tossed salad. Combine lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, radishes, celery, bell peppers, black olives, feta cheese, and crumbled bacon. Dress the salad with vinaigrette dressing and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Potato Salad

Potatoes go great with empanadas. Boil potatoes until tender. Let cool slightly and then cut into cubes. Add sliced hard-boiled eggs, celery, pickles, and mayonnaise. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is an easy way to add protein to your meal. First, prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold running water—transfer pasta to a large bowl. Add shredded cabbage, celery, carrots, raisins, and nuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.

Avocado Salad

An avocado salad is a refreshing alternative to traditional potato salad. Mash avocados and combine with sour cream, mayonnaise, and lime juice. Top with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro.

Fried Okra

Okra goes great with empanadas! Cut off stems and slice okra lengthwise—heat canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry okra slices until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Baked Beans

Baked beans are another filling side dish to enjoy alongside empanadas. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Place drained canned beans in a baking dish. Top with ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a refreshing accompaniment to empanadas. Toss together shredded cabbage, carrot, celery, and mayonnaise in a bowl—season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Grilled Zucchini

Zucchini goes great with empanada fillings. Slice zucchini lengthwise and grill on hot coals until tender.

Roasted Potatoes

Roasting potatoes brings out their natural sweetness: Peel and quarter potatoes. Arrange on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush lightly with oil. Roast at 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until soft and cooked through.

Steamed Broccoli

Steam broccoli florets until bright green and crisp-tender.

Mashed Potatoes

Mash potatoes with butter, milk, sour cream, chives, and salt and pepper to suit your tastes.

Fruit Salad

Combine fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, bananas, pineapple, melon, grapes, oranges, etc. Mix lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Chill before serving.

Cornbread

Serve cornbread with empanadas—griddle cornbread batter in a nonstick skillet. Flip when bubbles form around the edges of the bread. Cook until golden brown on another side.

Roasted Carrots

Roasted carrots are great with empanadas. Wash and peel carrots. Cut into sticks. Coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on hot coals until caramelized.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries and empanadas are a match made in heaven! Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges. Deep fry in deep fat until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.

Vegetable Soup

Make vegetable soup by combining chopped onion, garlic, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and spices. Simmer for 15 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender or food processor.

Black Bean Soup

Add diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and spices to simmering water. Add more water as needed. When the beans are almost done cooking, add corn kernels.

How to Make Empanadas?

Variations of Empanada Recipes

Empanadas are delicious appetizers that are perfect for parties. They’re also fun to make because they require only a few ingredients.

Here are some variations of the delicious recipes:

Crispy pork empanadas with chorizo sausage

A crispy pork empanada with chorizo sausage is the perfect snack food.

It has a lot of flavors and textures. It’s crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Asparagus empanadas with fava beans, peas, and goat cheese

These vegetarian empanadas are filled with asparagus, fava beans, fresh peas, goat cheese, and thyme. Serve them with a balsamic chimichurri sauce.

Choriqueso empanadas

Mouthwatering empanadas filled with chorizo and cheese can be fried or baked, served with a creamy avocado sauce.

Chicken or turkey empanadas

Recipe for homemade chicken or turkey empanadas filled with chicken/turkey, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, and balsamic vinegar.

Empanadas mendocinas or Argentinean beef empanadas

Easy recipe for empanadas mendocinas, traditional Argentinean baked empanadas filled with beef, onions, paprika, hot pepper powder, cumin, oregano, hard-boiled egg, and olives.

Empanadas de puerros or leek empanadas

Recipe for homemade baked empanadas filled with leeks, bacon or pancetta, Swiss cheese, and raisins.

Mushroom cheese empanadas

Mushroom cheese empanadas made with a filling of baby portobello mushrooms, shallots, balsamic vinegar, raisins, and fontina cheese Baked cheese empanadas or empanadas de queso al horno:

Empanadas filled with cheese and onion sprinkled with demerara sugar and baked until golden.

Empanadas de viento or fried cheese empanadas

These Ecuadorian empanadas are traditional street food and are stuffed with cheese and onion, then fried and sprinkled with sugar.

Cheese and poblano empanadas

Easy recipe for homemade cheesy poblano empanadas filled with rajas or roasted poblano peppers and a mix of queso fresco, Oaxaca, and goat cheese.

Spanish Beef Empanadas Filling

Saute lean ground beef, onions, garlic, roasted red peppers, and stir in halved Manzanilla pimiento-stuffed olives.

Baked Sweet Potato and Tempeh Empanadas

Tempeh has a long way to go before it becomes as popular as other soy products, but its wonderfully firm texture and versatility make it an excellent protein source. Here, it’s a stand-in for ground meat in a vegan baked empanada.

Yucca Fries with Banana Ketchup Beef-and-Onion Empanadas 

These traditional Argentine empanadas are filled with a mixture of ground beef, smoked paprika, green olives, and cumin, then baked until golden. 

Beef Empanadas with Caramelized Onions and Jalapeños

A delicious combination of caramelized onions, jalapeño peppers, and spices that will leave you craving more.

Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Empanadas

The ultimate comfort food – this recipe combines the flavors of Cheddar cheese and bacon into a flavorful, crispy empanada.

Pork and Chorizo Empanadas

A tasty combination of pork and sausage that makes for a great snack.

Spicy Chicken and Cornmeal Empanadas

This recipe is sure to please chicken lovers everywhere! The cornmeal adds a nice crunchy texture, while the spicy sauce gives these empanadas a kick.

Chipotle Chicken Empanadas

A savory chipotle chicken empanada with a smoky flavor that’s perfect for any occasion.

Empanadas de Verde or Green Plaintain Empanadas

Traditional Argentinian empanadas filled with spinach, eggs, and cheese.

How to Make Homemade Beef Empanadas?

This homemade empanadas recipe is the basic and favorite recipe for making baked empanadas.

It is easy and healthy, and you can try it at home. 

Ingredients

  • 1 package of pre-made pie crust (2 rolls) – Some people use puff pastry sheets for a crispier results.
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef – I use 90% lean. However, 80% or less will work – drain off the excess fat before continuing.
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 medium diced bell pepper, any color
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup Mexican blended cheese
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Prepare a cookie sheet with a baking sheet, nonstick foil, parchment paper, or oil. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onions, and bell pepper until beef are cooked, onions are translucent, and peppers are soft.
  4. Drain any excess fat.
  5. Add cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili powder to the ground beef mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from the hot burner.
  7. Roll out pie crusts. Using a medium bowl similar to a cereal bowl, trace circles onto each pie crust. I can get 3 per crust. A smaller bowl will result in more circles.
  8. With leftover pie crust, mix and roll out and continue cutting circles until all dough is used. I can get 8 total.
  9. Lay a pie crust circle down. on prepared cookie sheet. Add 2 – 3 Tablespoons of filling to the middle of the circle. Top with 1 Tablespoon of cheese.
  10. Fold pie crust circle in a half-moon shape, keeping the filling inside, and press edges down with a fork.
  11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for all empanadas.
  12. Arrange empanadas on a cookie sheet.
  13. Beat egg in a small bowl and brush on top of each empanada.
  14. Baking time is 12 – 15 minutes or until the tops are golden.
  15. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite salads, salsas, and guacamole.

Tips

Fridge: This dish can be stored in an airtight container and placed in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezer: Place them in a freezer bag or in an airtight container and this dish will keep for up to 3 months.

 FAQs

Is it better to bake or fry empanadas?

Baked empanadas are generally healthier than fried empanadas, but both methods are tasty.

Do you eat empanadas hot or cold?

That’s up to you – many people enjoy them either hot or cold.

Some people like to microwave them for a few seconds before eating.

What country makes the best Empanadas?

All empanadas are delicious, but some countries like Argentina and Chile make them the best.