Empanadas Fritas de Queso: Chilean-Style Fried Cheese Empanadas

  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 16 Empanadas (8 servings)
Ratings (23)

Empanadas are individual Spanish turnovers most often filled with meat and vegetables. These fried empanadas are filled only with melted cheese, and as empanadas go, they are quick and easy to make. Despite their simplicity, they are sure to become a family favorite. Whole milk mozzarella cheese melts beautifully, but feel free to experiment with the filling -- some people like to add a little bit of chopped onion or use a variety of cheeses. You can also bake these empanadas with good results.

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (or lard, softened)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 16 ounces whole milk mozzarella (or other meltable cheese)
  • 1 bottle vegetable oil for frying

How to Make It

  1. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Gently mix the vegetable shortening into the flour.
  3. Place the milk and water in a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Stir the hot liquid into the flour mixture. Add more water (1 tablespoon at a time) if mixture seems too dry and crumbly, or add more flour if the mixture is too wet and sticky.
  4. Knead dough gently until well mixed and homogenous. Divide dough into 16 portions, and roll each piece into a ball. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
  1. Grate or finely chop cheese.
  2. Roll each ball of dough into a 6- to 7-inch circle. Place 1 ounce of cheese in the center of each dough circle.
  3. Fold dough in half over the cheese to form a semicircle. Press down firmly along edges to seal. Roll edge inward over itself and press down again to seal. Crimp edge decoratively with a fork, pressing to seal.
  4. Heat several inches of vegetable oil to 350F in a deep sided skillet, pot or deep-fat fryer. Fry empanadas in batches, turning at least once, until golden brown. Drain empanadas on paper towels.
  5. Empanadas can be kept warm in a 200F oven for up to 1 hour before serving. Serve warm.