My family has been making these Cheese Empanadas for as long as I can remember! We always served these simple 3-ingredient empanadas with powdered sugar for the perfect sweet & savory combination. You’ll love them!

Today, I had one of those days. The only redeeming quality about it was that it was raining. I love the rain, and it’s a rarity here in San Diego so yup, that made me happy. But really – everything else sucked.

After my less-than-great day, I needed my favorite comfort food in the world – cheesy, greasy, perfectly crunchy empanadas.

You may not know that I’m Bolivian and Chilean, so I’ve grown up around these perfectly perfect puffs of fried dough oozing with creamy jack cheese. Making you hungry, aren’t I?

While I’m sure you could make your own dough, we just buy it at the nearest Latin market to make it easier. I encourage you to find one – ASAP. And make these, it’s SO worth it.

Start by grating the cheese, about 3/4 of a 1 lb. block of some good Monterrey jack. I guess you could buy it, but I always grate my own cause that’s how my Bolivian great grandmother taught me how it’s done. :) After it’s all shredded, mix it with one beaten egg.

Then lay out your store bought dough rounds and put a little bit of water on the edges. After that, put a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the dough.

Then you’ll fold the dough into a half-moon shape and crimp in with a fork, like so:

Repeat until they’re all filled and creased.

Then, heat up a large saucepan of oil until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, put 2 or 3 empanadas into the hot oil and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until they look like this:

Remove from oil and let drain on paper towels. Enjoy warm with powdered sugar or anything else you would like! :)

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Cheese Empanadas

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  • Author: Rachel Conners
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 empanadas 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Bolivian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


My family has been making these Fried Cheese Empanadas for as long as I can remember! We always served these simple 3-ingredient empanadas with powdered sugar for the perfect sweet & savory combination. You’ll love them!


  • 1 12-pack package empanada dough (we use La Saltena brand, make sure you get the kind specifically for frying)
  • 3/4 lb. jack cheese, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • Vegetable oil (enough for deep frying)


  1. In a bowl, mix together the beaten egg and jack cheese.
  2. Lay out the empanada dough rounds and put some water into a bowl.
  3. Using a pastry brush (or your fingers), put water around the edges of each empanada dough round.
  4. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the jack cheese mixture on each round (may vary depending on the size of your rounds.)
  5. Fold over each round into a half-moon shape and crimp the edges with a fork.
  6. Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Prepare a cooling rack covered paper towels and keep close to the frying station.
  8. When oil is heated fully, place 2-3 empanadas (based on the size of your pan, don’t overcrowd them) and cook them until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes.
  9. Repeat until all empanadas are cooked, letting cool on the prepared cooling rack.
  10. Serve hot, and with powdered sugar if desired. Yummy! Enjoy :)


Note: This recipe can easily adapt to different cheeses, fillings, sauces, ect. This is just my personal favorite. :) Feel free to try out variations and let me know how they turn out!

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