Ham & Cheese Empanadas

  • Author: Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: About 20 empanadas 1x
  • Category: main dish


Made with a flaky, buttery crust and filled with a delicious cheesy filling, these homemade empanadas are incredibly good! Plus, they’re portable and freezer-friendly! 



  • double pie dough
  • 2 C chopped ham (half a ham steak)
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 C shredded mozzarella


1. Make the pie dough if necessary. Divide the dough into two. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and let it chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator while you assemble the filling.

2. Cook the ham steak in a nonstick skillet for about five minutes on both sides over medium heat, until darkened on both sides. Remove to a cutting board to cool before chopping.

3. Saute the chopped onion with 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the same pan you used to brown the ham. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened.

4. Chop the ham into 1/2 inch pieces. Combine the ham, onion, and mozzarella in a bowl and stir well.

5. Preheat the oven to 400°.

6. Roll one half of the pie dough into a 1/4″ thickness on a floured surface. Cut circles in the dough using a 5″ cutter. (I use the lid to the coconut oil container I buy at Costco).

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each circle and fold the circle in half, pressing the edges with a fork to seal**. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

7. Continue rolling and filling the dough until you run out of dough or filling.

8. Combine an egg and a teaspoon of water in a small bowl and mix with a fork. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash. Bake the empanadas for 15-20 minutes in preheated oven, until the empanadas are hot and golden brown.

9. Cool for five minutes before serving. The filling is very hot right out of the oven!


Empanadas, like many other things, may be a little awkward to make the first or second time you try. But after you’ve made them once or twice, the process gets easier and you’ll figure out how to make them with less difficulty and in less time!