How to Make Frozen Empanadas in an Air Fryer (cooking tips)

Empanadas, those delightful pockets of flavor, have won over taste buds globally. But let’s face it, not everyone has the getting freshly made empanadas right from the local bakery. So if you find some in your grocer’s freezer, here’s how to cook frozen empanadas in an air fryer:

To cook frozen empanadas in an air fryer set it to 375°F (190°C). Arrange the frozen empanadas so the sides are not touching. Cook for 12-15 minutes to cook, flipping them halfway through, until they’re crispy and hot.

The precise time may vary based on air fryer model and empanada size.

Sounds amazing, right?

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of cooking frozen empanadas in an air fryer, as well as explore various fillings, glazes, and even how to make your own homemade frozen empanadas. So let’s dive in and get cooking!

Short Summary

  • Cook delicious, crispy empanadas in an air fryer with a variety of fillings!
  • Preheat your air fryer to 350°F and arrange the empanadas for even cooking.
  • Adjust time & temperature as needed and explore glazing options for tantalizing flavor explosions!

Why Choose an Air Fryer for Frozen Empanadas?

Air fryers are a game-changer when it comes to cooking frozen empanadas in air.

Not only do they provide a healthier and quicker alternative to deep frying, but they also give you perfectly cooked empanadas with less oil and mess. Imagine biting into a crispy, golden-brown empanada without the guilt of deep-fried food. Sounds fantastic, right? Now, you can easily air fry empanadas and enjoy this delicious treat.

Using an air fryer for empanadas? Reheating’s a cinch! Got leftovers? Toss them in the air fryer for 3-4 minutes without cramming the basket. Store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days. No surprise, air fryer empanadas are gaining fans in many kitchens!

Types of Empanada Fillings

Empanadas, even the mini ones, are all about variety.

Fancy a flavorful filling? Tailor them to your liking! Meat enthusiasts can go for ground beef, chicken, or seafood. For the plant-based crowd, think cheese and onion, spinach blends, black bean, or veggies.

Got a sweet craving? Fill them up with apples, berries, or chocolate. And here’s a tip: use a few tablespoons of filling per empanada and seal it tight with an egg wash.

This will help prevent the filling from spilling out during the air frying process.

Preparing Your Air Fryer for Empanadas

Before you start cooking your empanadas, it’s important to properly prepare your air fryer. First, preheat the air fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as you would do for other air fryer recipes.

Then arrange the empanadas in the air fryer basket without overcrowding to ensure even cooking. Taking some extra time now can pay dividends down the road.

Lining the air fryer basket with parchment paper or aluminum foil will make cleaning a breeze later.

Preheating the Air Fryer

Preheating the air fryer is a crucial step for achieving crispy and easy air fryer empanadas. It’s recommended to preheat the air fryer to 350°F before cooking frozen empanadas in it. This ensures that the empanadas will cook evenly and have that delicious, crispy texture we all love.

So, don’t skip this step – it’s key to creating mouthwatering empanadas!

Arranging Empanadas in the Basket

When arranging the empanadas in the air fryer basket, it’s important to place them in a single layer, ensuring that they don’t touch or overlap. This allows for even cooking and prevents the empanadas from sticking together.

Got empanadas sticking to the basket? A quick fix is a spritz of oil or lining it with parchment paper or foil. Stick to these easy tricks, and you’ll have flawless empanadas ready in a snap!

Cooking Time and Temperature for Empanadas in an Air Fryer

Frozen empanadas can be cooked quickly and easily using an air fryer.

This makes it a great cooking option for busy days. Shoot for 400°F and 8 minutes per batch when cooking. But remember, depending on the size and heft of your empanadas, you might need to tweak that time a bit.

For best results, check the empanadas at 6 minutes and adjust the time if needed.

If you find that your empanadas aren’t crispy enough after the initial cooking time, simply increase the temperature to 380°F and continue air frying them for another 2 to 3 minutes.

This will give them that extra crispiness you’re looking for. Remember, it’s always better to start with a shorter cooking time and adjust as needed to avoid overcooking your delicious empanadas.

Glazing Options for Empanadas Cooked in an Air Fryer

To enhance the appearance and flavor of your air-fried empanadas, you can apply various glazes before cooking them. Some popular options include egg wash, milk, or even a mixture of oil and spices.

Glazes give empanadas a glossy finish and an added flavor kick. Try out various glazes to hit that perfect taste. Why not mix it up? Brush with egg wash and then dust with an oily spice blend. The combinations are limitless, and trust me, they’ll be scrumptious!

Flipping and Checking Empanadas in an Air Fryer

To achieve perfectly cooked empanadas in an air fryer, it’s essential to flip them halfway through the cooking process.

Doing this gives each empanada an even tan and keeps any sogginess at bay. When flipping them, use tongs or a spatula, and remember, the dough’s a bit sensitive, so handle with care.

It’s also important to check the empanadas for doneness to avoid overcooking. To do this, simply peek at the empanadas around the 6-minute mark and adjust the cooking time if needed. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying perfectly cooked, golden brown empanadas straight from your air fryer.

Serving Suggestions and Dipping Sauces for Empanadas

Now that you’ve mastered cooking empanadas in an air fryer, it’s time to serve them up with your favorite dipping sauce and complementary dishes.

Dive into empanadas with a dip you love, be it sour cream, spicy yogurt mix, or zesty mango salsa. Go on, mix, and match to discover your top pick!

Consider adding complementary dishes to your empanada meal. Examples include:

  • minced cilantro
  • lime and coconut rice
  • white bean Panzanella
  • mango avocado black bean salad
  • air fryer banana (or plantain) chips with black pepper

All of these dishes are delicious options! Pairing empanadas with these dishes promises a meal that’s both tasty and crowd-pleasing.

Making Homemade Frozen Empanadas to Cook in an Air Fryer

Up for a culinary challenge? Making your own frozen empanadas for the air fryer is totally doable! Opt for store-bought dough or whip up your own, and pick fillings that get your mouth watering.

Next up, we’ll walk you through selecting the ideal dough and prepping empanadas for an effortless air fryer feast.

Choosing Empanada Dough

Picking a dough for your empanadas?

There’s a world of choices! Grab pre-rolled pie crust, biscuit dough, or even that elusive store-bought empanada dough. Crescent roll dough’s a hit too. And if you’re up for a kitchen experiment, whip up your own empanada dough using a straightforward 5-ingredient recipe or go puff pastry.

Whichever dough option you choose, remember that the key to delicious empanadas is ensuring the dough is thin and evenly rolled.

Preparing and Freezing Empanadas

Once you’ve chosen your dough and filling, it’s time to prepare and cook empanadas.

Just plop a bit of filling onto each dough circle, fold, and brush the edges with egg wash. Ready to freeze? For top-notch results, wrap each uncooked empanadas in plastic wrap, pop them in a labeled freezer bag with the date, and you’re set!

Alternately place the individually wrapped empanadas in an airtight container.

This will help you keep track of the contents and ensure freshness. When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply cook frozen empanadas, including frozen mini empanadas, according to the package or recipe instructions.

When you’re ready to enjoy your homemade frozen empanadas, you can cook them in the air fryer following the same cooking time and temperature guidelines provided earlier.

Troubleshooting Common Issues for Empanadas Cooked in an Air Fryer

Cooking empanadas in an air fryer isn’t without its quirks. But don’t sweat it! We’ve got your back with solutions. If your empanadas turn out a bit underdone or mushy, a tweak in the cooking time, temperature, or a good preheat usually does the trick.

Another common issue is overfilling the empanadas or the dough tearing or sticking to the press.

Steer clear of hiccups by not overstuffing your empanadas and giving them a spray or oil touch to dodge any sticking issues. Stick to the tips in this post, and you’ll nail those air fryer empanadas in no time.

Alternative Cooking Methods for Empanadas

No air fryer? No worries! Oven-baked empanadas are still a treat.

Warm up your oven to 400°F and give those empanadas a 18-20 minute bake until they sport a golden look. Oh, and ensure they’ve got room on the baking tray for even crisping.

Though air frying is speedy and health-conscious, oven baking brings a classic touch. Whichever route you go, you’re in for a tasty dish that’ll be a hit with all.


In this blog post, we’ve explored the exciting world of cooking frozen empanadas in an air fryer.

From choosing the perfect filling to mastering the cooking time and temperature, you now have all the knowledge you need to create delicious, perfectly cooked empanadas.

With the convenience of air frying and endless possibilities for fillings and glazes, there’s no better time to embrace this versatile and satisfying dish. So gather your ingredients, fire up your air fryer, and get ready to enjoy a mouthwatering meal that’s sure to impress!

Like empanadas, tamales also take a few tricks to cook right in an air fryer. Curious what those are? Click that link to read all about it right here on my site.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to cook frozen empanadas?

Want spot-on empanadas? Heat your oven to around 425-450 degrees, space out those frozen goodies about an inch apart on a parchment-lined tray, and bake ’em for 15-18 minutes until they’re golden. Enjoy!


How long to air fry already cooked empanadas?

Reheat your already cooked empanadas in the air fryer for 8-10 minutes at 275°F – they’ll come out golden brown and crisp!

How long do I fry frozen empanadas?

Pop those frozen empanadas in an air fryer at 350°F (180°C) for about 8-10 minutes till they’re golden and warm inside.

Or, you can sizzle them in a skillet with some oil on medium heat for around 10-12 minutes on each side, or deep fry in a deep fryer at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes.


What types of empanada fillings can I use?

Mix and match your favorite ingredients to create delicious, unique empanadas! Choose from various savory fillings like meat, vegetables, or cheese, or opt for something sweet like apples.

What are some alternative cooking methods for empanadas?

There are many different ways!

You can bake empanadas in a conventional oven or even a toaster oven, set it at 400°F, and in about 18-20 minutes, they’ll be gorgeously golden. Got a convection oven? Just dial down the time to 15 minutes, they heat up quicker in there.

Frying, steaming, or microwaving also does the trick for a yummy bite!

Jeff Campbell

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