Empanadas are a delicious, savory pastry that originated in Spain but can now be found in various forms all over the world. They are typically filled with meat, vegetables, and spices, and can be enjoyed as a snack or a meal. One of the most convenient ways to enjoy empanadas is to buy them frozen and cook them at home. In this article, we will go over three methods for cooking frozen empanadas: baking, frying, and air frying.
Preparing Frozen Empanadas
Before you begin cooking your frozen empanadas, there are a few steps you need to take to prepare them for cooking.
Defrosting the Empanadas
The first step in preparing frozen empanadas is to defrost them. You can do this by placing them in the refrigerator for a few hours or leaving them out at room temperature for about an hour. Once they are defrosted, they will be pliable and easier to work with.
Preheating the Oven
If you plan to bake your empanadas, you’ll need to preheat your oven. Set the temperature to 375°F (190°C) and allow it to fully preheat before placing your empanadas in the oven.
Preparing a Baking Sheet
Next, you’ll need to prepare a baking sheet for your empanadas. You can line the sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Alternatively, you can lightly grease the sheet with cooking spray or oil.
Baking Frozen Empanadas
Baking is one of the most popular methods for cooking frozen empanadas because it is easy and requires minimal effort.
Placing Empanadas on the Baking Sheet
Once your oven is preheated and your baking sheet is prepared, place your empanadas on the sheet. Make sure to leave a bit of space between them to allow for even cooking.
Brushing Empanadas with Egg Wash
For a golden, crispy crust, you can brush your empanadas with an egg wash. To make an egg wash, whisk together one egg and a tablespoon of water. Brush the wash over the top of each empanada using a pastry brush.
Baking the Empanadas
Once your empanadas are on the baking sheet and have been brushed with egg wash (if desired), place them in the preheated oven. Bake them for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside.
Frying Frozen Empanadas
Frying is another popular method for cooking empanadas. This method will result in a crispy, crunchy texture that pairs well with the flavorful filling.
Preparing a Frying Pan
To fry your empanadas, you’ll need a frying pan with a few inches of oil in it. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (180°C).
Adding Oil to the Frying Pan
Once your oil is heated, carefully add your empanadas to the frying pan. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to fry your empanadas in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Heating the Oil
Fry your empanadas for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove them from the frying pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.
Cooking Frozen Empanadas in an Air Fryer
If you have an air fryer, you can use this method to cook your frozen empanadas. This method results in a crispy, crunchy texture similar to frying, but with less oil.
Preheating the Air Fryer
To cook your empanadas in an air fryer, preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
Preparing the Empanadas
Once your air fryer is preheated, lightly spray the empanadas with cooking spray. This will help them crisp up and prevent sticking.
Cooking the Empanadas in the Air Fryer
Place the empanadas in the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they are not touching each other. Cook them for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking, until they are golden brown and crispy.
Tips for Cooking Frozen Empanadas
Here are some tips to keep in mind when cooking frozen empanadas:
Don’t Overfill the Empanadas
When filling your empanadas, be careful not to overfill them. If you do, they may burst open during cooking.
Don’t Leave the Empanadas in the Oven for Too Long
Be sure to keep an eye on your empanadas while they are baking. If you leave them in the oven for too long, they may become dry and overcooked.
Let the Empanadas Cool Before Serving
After cooking your empanadas, let them cool for a few minutes before serving. This will allow them to firm up and prevent burning your mouth with the hot filling.
Serving Frozen Empanadas
Empanadas can be enjoyed on their own as a snack or served as a meal with a side dish or two. Here are some suggestions:
Suggested Side Dishes
- Spanish rice
- Black beans
- Roasted vegetables
Suggestions for Sauces and Dips
- Sour cream
- Chimichurri sauce
Cooking frozen empanadas is an easy and convenient way to enjoy this delicious pastry in the comfort of your own home. Whether you choose to bake, fry, or air fry your empanadas, the result will be a crispy, crunchy exterior and a flavorful, savory filling. Keep these tips and suggestions in mind to ensure your empanadas turn out perfectly every time.