These Pulled Pork Empanadas are made with your choice of pulled pork, carnitas or cochinita pibil, empanada dough discs, and olive oil.
These empanadas are flaky and crispy on the outside with a hearty warm pulled pork on the inside. These are the best you have ever tasted! These empanadas are one of my favorite things to make, and can be served as an entrée or an appetizer. They are great for parties and you can save time by buying pre-made dough. The empanadas dough discs can be found in the frozen section of your grocery store. You can also use store bought pizza dough and divide into 6-8 individual empanadas.
Empanadas vary from country to country. In Puerto Rico you have ground beef and in Mexico you have shredded chicken and corn. They are all the same in the sense that they are homemade dough with some kind of meat or cheese, vegetable, and spices inside. My favorite empanadas consist of ground beef, red onion, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and tomatoes.
How to make Pulled Pork Empanadas
For Carnitas filling:
Place chopped onion, minced garlic, ancho chiles with ¼ cup of its water, broth, juice and zest of lime, and 1 bay leaf. For Slow Cooker: Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours. For Pressure Cooker: Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes. Quick release after.
For Cochinita Pibil Filling:
Make the sauce. Place the achiote paste, orange juice and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sauce into the bowl with the pork. Marinate overnight for best results, or at least one hour. For Slow Cooker: Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours. For Pressure Cooker: Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes. Quick release after.
Assemble the Pulled Pork Empanadas
Shred the pork. With a slotted spoon, place the pork into a bowl or baking dish. Shred the pork with 2 forks. It should be extremely soft at this point. Pour the sauce back into it.
Make the empanadas. Place an empanada dough disc down and add two tablespoons of the meat mixture on it. Fold over and with a fork, press down to seal to prevent filling from getting out.
Bake in oven. Brush each empanada with olive oil on each side. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 40 minutes.
Air fry the empanadas. Brush each empanada with olive oil on each side. Air fry at 400°F for 15 minutes.
Can you make empanadas in advance?
You can make these empanadas and refrigerator unbaked up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat them, thaw them and bake at 400°F for 40 minutes.
Notes for recipe
Use an egg wash to seal the empanadas to give them a golden-brown crust.
Firmly press with a fork to ensure all the filling stay firmly in the empanada.
You can freeze the empanadas once assembled to make another day.Print