Chilean cheese empanadas

Fried cheese empanadas are a delicious and typical delight of Chilean cuisine, and they are very easy and quick to prepare.

How can I prevent the cheese empanadas from opening?

First of all, make sure they are tightly closed. The trick to prevent them from “bursting” while frying is to place them in the hot oil and quickly flip them over with a slotted spoon. Fry them until they are golden brown, then turn them over carefully to fry the other side.

What is the original empanada?

Throughout Latin America, there is an ongoing debate about the true empanada (similar to the discussions about rice pudding). Both recipes originated from Spain during the colonial period. Specifically, empanadas are the “mini” version of the Galician empanada, which is much larger and usually eaten in slices.

Is it better to freeze the empanadas cooked or raw?

The answer is a definite RAW. Once the cheese empanadas are fried, they should be eaten before they cool down. To refrigerate or freeze them, the process is the same: lay them flat on a tray without touching, and you can use parchment paper to stack them without sticking. If you want to freeze them, wrap them in plastic wrap before putting them in the freezer to prevent them from drying out and forming frost, which could cause them to break when frying.

Refrigerated empanadas can last for a day or so, while frozen ones can last up to 3 months.

It is essential that they are completely thawed and dry before frying; otherwise, hot oil might splash and burn you.

Tips for preparing fried cheese empanadas:

The sugar in the ingredient list might be surprising, but it serves two purposes: to make the dough crispier and to enhance the flavor of the cheese (don’t worry, the dough won’t taste sweet).

Although it might be a bit tedious, it’s important to grate the cheese, as it may not fully melt if you use it in chunks.


You can use this same recipe to make empanadas with shrimp and cheese, razor clams and cheese, crab and cheese, or anything you can think of. The key is to ensure that any additional ingredients you add are pre-cooked (if they require cooking) since the frying time is short and may not be enough for full cooking.

chilean cheese empanadas recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chilean cheese empanadas

Fried cheese empanadas are a delicious and typical delight of Chilean cuisine, and they are very easy and quick to prepare.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine chilean cuisine
Keyword chilean cheese empanada, chilean cheese empanadas, fried cheese empanada, fried chilean empanadas
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 380 kcal



  • 2.2 lbs all-purpose flour 1 kilo
  • 1 teaspoon sugar ideally powdered sugar, but granulated sugar works too
  • 4.4 oz butter, diced 125 grams
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup whole milk


  • 1.1 lbs grated melting cheese (mantecoso, chanco, mozzarella, etc.) 500 grams


  • Oil


Make the dough:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Dissolve the butter in the hot water. Add this mixture to the flour along with the whole milk. Form a dough by mixing all the ingredients well and knead until the dough is completely smooth.

  3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8 to 1/5 inch (3 to 5 millimeters). Cut circles of the desired size, approximately 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.

Assemble the empanadas:

  1. Place a little grated cheese on each circle. Fold the dough in half, leaving the cheese inside, and make sure the edges are well overlapped. Use a fork to press the edges of the empanada to seal them well and prevent the cheese from coming out during frying.
  2. Heat the oil for frying and add the empanadas one at a time. The trick to prevent them from bursting while frying is to quickly flip them with a slotted spoon as soon as they are placed in the oil. Fry them until they are golden, then carefully flip them to fry the other side. Remove them from the oil and let them drain on absorbent paper. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Chilean cheese empanadas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 380
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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