I can’t wait to share this gluten free empanadas recipe with you. I know you’re used to seeing mostly yummy gluten free breads and sweet treats on my blog, but once in a while, a great gluten free main dish is worth a share, too!
Latin American empanadas, like their cousins the Italian calzone and Indian samosa, are hand-held pockets of dough wrapped around fillings that include everything from potatoes to meat to raisins and sugar.
Although typically savory and served as an appetizer or meal, empanadas (literally meaning something “bread wrapped”) can, and probably have, contained just about anything edible. My gluten free empanadas recipe is based on a traditional vegetarian potato empanada filling that my whole family loves, which is why I love it: a meal that every member of my six-person household will eat and ask for by name is a rarity indeed!
This first “hot pocket” hailed from Spain, but traveled to Latin America and beyond during colonization. Since then, its humble origins as a seafood-filled pastry have evolved into almost innumerable incarnations ranging from simple street food to chef-inspired cookbook viands.
Breaking it down though, the basic concept of any pastry pocket like the empanada is a dough recipe, a unique filling, and a cooking method — either baked or fried. Beyond that, regions (particularly Argentina) claim very specific twists making the recipes their own … and apparently, they’re quite passionate about whose version is best.
I’ve given you a delicious gluten free empanadas recipe — both for dough and for filling — but really the gluten free dough is the key. It should be a light and flaky dough that’s soft and a dream to work with. Basically, this recipe!
That’s no small feat when you’re talking gluten free doughs, and I attribute it all to my gfJules Flour. This simple dough recipe is easy to roll out and fold around the fillings, and it’s also tasty, light and flaky because it’s made with my gfJules Flour. That’s really all there is to it. You’ll see.
If you find a filling recipe elsewhere you prefer, by all means, use it with my gluten free dough recipe! Let this recipe be your base and try lots of different filling recipes until you find one(s) you love best. Be your own version of Argentina.
So start with the gluten free dough and go from there. Be sure to watch my quick video showing how easy it is to roll out this pliable dough and add the filling, wrapping the dough around it into the classic crescent shape, pressing the tines of a fork onto the edges to seal, brushing on an egg wash (or milk or oil), then baking. Voila, pretty darned easy!
Then the only hard part will be fighting off your family for your share of these savory pastries. IF, and I do mean IF there are any left, they do keep well in the refrigerator or freezer and reheated. So maybe double the recipe if you’re feeling particularly industrious.
You can also make these hot pockets smaller or larger, depending on your preference. Making them for appetizers? Make the dough rounds smaller for mini empanadas. Packing for a road trip? Make them larger for a full-size empanada meal!
So many delicious options!
What will you fill these yummy hot pockets with? I can’t wait to see!
2 ¼ cups (304 gr) gfJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (gfJules Flour)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. butter or vegan alternative (e.g. Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1 egg or vegan substitute (e.g. choose one here) - I like aquafaba here -
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. ice water
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1 ½- 2 lbs potatoes
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 Tbs. spice mix, to taste (here's my homemade mix)
1 Tbs.+ milk of choice to thin mixture
Additional veggies, if desired (e.g. bell pepper, carrot, squash …)
1 egg + 1 Tbs. water (or milk of choice or oil for brushing on empanadas before baking)
To make the gluten free empanada dough, whisk together gfJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and salt, then cut in butter with pastry cutter or two butter knives. This may be done pulsing with a food processor or using the paddle on a stand mixer, but be careful not to over-work the mixture; when the butter is incorporated, it should look like little pebbles in the flour, not fully incorporated or melted.
Mix the egg in a separate bowl and whisk together with water and white vinegar then slowly stir into the flour mixture with a fork, mixing only until a dough has been formed. The dough should hold together easily and not be dry or crumbly; if necessary, add more cold water until the dough holds
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator while preparing fillings.
Wash and peel (or not – your choice) potatoes and place in a large pot, covering potatoes with water. Add a dash of salt to bring water to a boil faster, if desired. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer just until fork tender, not mushy, then drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. At that point, cube potatoes into small ½ inch cubes and place into a large bowl.
Separately, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add diced onion, stirring often. Cook until translucent and soft, approximately 5 minutes. If adding other veggies like bell pepper or carrot, add with onion and cook until slightly soft, longer for carrot. Add tomato paste and spice mix to onion while sautéing.
Remove onion/veggie mix from heat and add to bowl with cubed potatoes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
Divide gluten free empanada dough into 15-16 pieces, covering the dough while you work. Roll out each section of gluten free empanada dough into rounds, a thickness of a pie crust – approximately 3-4mm (watch video for technique).
Place approximately 2 tablespoons of cooled empanada filling into the middle, but towards one side of the round, in an elongated shape. Wet edges of pastry with water by dabbing your finger.
Gently fold pastry over and press together to seal. Press with the tines of a fork around the crescent shape then cut off excess dough, if needed. Transfer the gluten-free empanada to the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and fillings, spacing at least 1 inch apart.
This process may be done with smaller amounts of dough and filling to make more empanadas, or larger amounts of dough and filling to make fewer empanadas.
Brush gluten free empanadas with beaten egg wash and prick with a fork to vent before baking.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through to promote more even baking.
May make ahead and freeze empanadas before
baking on trays, then transfer to freezer bags once frozen (they will keep for
For vegan egg replacer, I used VOR Aquafaba Powder: 1/3 tsp powder + 3 Tbs. water
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 270Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 42mgSodium 375mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 5g
Please keep in mind that nutrition information provided is per serving, which may vary. While we have taken care to provide you with the most accurate nutritional values possible, please note that this information may differ significantly depending on the exact ingredients and brands that you choose to use to make this recipe. Additionally, where options are given for ingredients, the resulting calculation may include all ingredient options instead of only one per line, skewing the totals significantly.
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