These pulled pork empanadas are fun to make, fun to eat and they taste amazing.

  • Buttery, light and flaky pastry.
  • Rich and flavoursome pulled pork filling.
  • A great appetiser or game day food.
  • You can create your own filling combinations.

A basic empanada dough is a flaky, buttery pastry so I adapted my own flaky pastry recipe to create these. I use my pulled pork recipe as well but you can use shop-bought or pulled pork you may already have leftover from another meal. You could even use the beef from my beef short rib tacos.

Oh my goodness, these things are good. REAL good! I ate a fair few just taking the photos. Well I had to, for the art, you know! 🙂

Pulled pork empanadas in a steel tray with sauces behind.
Close up of pulled pork empanadas in a metal tray.

Ingredients in empanadas

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • The dough: The empanada dough is a combination of butter, flour (plain flour / all purpose), egg, salt and water and it’s very easy to make. You can swap this for a shop-bought shortcrust pastry if you don’t feel like making it yourself.
  • Pulled pork: You can use shop-bought shredded pork (or even beef or chicken) or you can make your pulled pork from scratch.
  • Vegetables: I use a combination of onion and capsicum (bell pepper). You can also add in other vegetables like corn or celery or even some black beans.
  • Garlic: Please use fresh garlic for the best flavour here.
  • Spices: A combination of spices are added to the meat to give it a truly Mexican flavour. Ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika (sweet or smoked), dried oregano and salt.
  • Add a little sauce: My pulled pork recipe already has a BBQ sauce on it but it gets jazzed up withe the spices above and a little more moisture too. We add a little sauce to the meat in the form of chicken stock or beef stock (broth) and some tomato paste.
A collage showing the steps to making pulled pork empanadas.

How to make pulled pork empanadas

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. You’ll start by making the pastry dough. It all gets blitzed together in a food processor, then you just need to pull the crumbly dough together and let it rest in the fridge.
  2. Now make the filling: Start by cooking the vegetables in a large skillet / frypan then add the spices. Follow that up with the pulled pork and finally, the sauce ingredients. Set it aside to cool. It must be cool before adding to the dough.
  3. Assemble the empanadas: Roll out the dough and cut small circles from it. Add some cooled filling the the centre of each, then fold them and seal them with a fork.
  4. Bake: Brush the tops of each empanada with egg wash, then bake until golden and delicious.
Pulled pork on a wooden chopping board.

The pastry is incredibly flaky and buttery and then the filling is that seriously tasty pulled pork with a few extra ingredients to turn it into a golden, baked empanada. I even took step by step photos for you.

I really love tapas style share food, so this Argentinian street food favourite is right up my alley and I hope you all enjoy it too.

A pulled pork empanada torn in half to show the inside.

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An empanda broken in half to show the pulled pork filling.

Baked Pulled Pork Empanadas

5 from 3 ratings
These baked pulled Pork Empanadas are a rich, flaky pastry filled with delicious pulled pork. This Mexican street food treat can be customised too making it a fun and delicious snack. 

Ingredients

Flaky Pastry

  • 115 g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled (1 stick / ½ cup)
  • 325 g plain flour (all-purp flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons iced water (⅓ cup) (note 1)

Filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (note 1)
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced capsicum
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 red chilli, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (note 1)
  • ½ cup chicken or beef stock
  • ½ teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 ½ cups leftover pulled pork (or other roast meat)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions
 

  • For the pastry: Place the butter, flour and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times until it looks like wet sand. Add the egg and process again until well combined. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to just pulse between each addition until the mixture starts clumping together. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a board and gently, just pull the dough together until you can get it to form a disk. (Make sure not to overknead as this will melt the butter in the dough and stop you from getting a nice flaky pastry. Slice the disk in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  • For the filling: Heat the oil in  a pan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes until starting to soften. Add the capsicum, cumin, coriander, salt and paprika, oregano and chilli and cook for another minute to release the aromas from the spices. Add the pork and mix through.
  • Now, add the tomato paste and stock and stir to combine then bring to the boil. Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of water to make a thick slurry, Pour the cornflour mix into the boiling stock stirring constantly until it is fully dispersed and the sauce thickens. Transfer to a plate in a thin layer (to cool quicker) and place in the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry one disk at a time to about 2-3mm thick. Cut into 16 rounds about 11cm (4 ¼ inches) or similar (try to get as many as possible without re-rolling the pastry first). 
  • Place about 2 tablespoons of the cooled filling mixture into the centre of one pastry round. 
  • Next brush a little of the beaten egg around one edge on one side. Fold the other side over the top and use your little finger to cup around the shape of the filling, pushing out any air at the same time as pressing the two edges together. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges of the dough closed. Repeat for the rest.
  • Place the empanadas on the baking sheet, spaced an inch or so apart. Brush the tops with the beaten egg. 
  • Place the trays in the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  • Serve the empanadas with the avocado cream sauce and roasted tomato salsa or try this mojo verde for a zingy flavour.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. Tablespoons: I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon
  2. Don’t feel like making empanada dough from scratch? Feel free to use shop-bought shortcrust or puff pastry.
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