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Empanadas are a stuffed and baked bread or pastry that has roots all over the world, from Latin America to Southeast Asia, and comes from the word “empanar” which means, “to wrap in bread.” We’ve sampled many an empanada and played around with the idea of making a simpler version, using store bought pastry dough instead of making the dough from scratch. Pastry dough is great in this instance because it puffs up and really acts as a pillow for our light, cheesy spinach filling. Use this recipe for entertaining or making a quick appetizer to go with your family dinners. It’s foolproof and tasty!

Easy Spinach Empanadas

Makes 8-10


  • 2 sheets store-bought puff pastry, defrosted
  • 9-10 oz. fresh spinach, pre-washed, stems removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • water


  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a medium (sauce)pan over medium-high heat and add garlic and chili powder.
  3. Cook until garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes, then add spinach. Cook until wilted, stirring frequently.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses, salt and pepper.
  5. Roll out your puff pastry sheets and use a large, square cookie cutter to cut out 8 squares.
  6. Consolidate remaining dough, roll it out to equal thickness and cut out remaining squares.
  7. Place roughly 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of dough circle. Fold dough over on top of filling to form a triangle, wet your fingers with water and run them along the edges to help seal the empanada.
  8. Press the edges firmly together, then transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining empanadas.
  9. Take your beaten egg and brush it across the tops of empanadas. (This will make give them shine when they bake.)
  10. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Recipe adapted from Will Cook For Smiles

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