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How to Make Pumpkin Empanadas

This recipe for pumpkin empanadas is easy to follow and the pumpkin filling is delicately spiced. You can omit the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves from the pumpkin mixture if you want to but they do go well with it and bring out the natural sweetness of the pumpkin. There are lots of Mexican recipes using pumpkin actually but this one has to be one of the very best.

Keep an eye on the empanadas while they bake because they can burn quickly. If you are a fan of authentic Mexican recipes want to know how to make pumpkin empanadas the traditional way, this is the perfect recipe. You can serve them hot or cold, with ice cream, cream or just by themselves, the way the Mexicans eat them.

So, how do you make pumpkin empanadas the traditional way? This recipe is very close to it and the results are authentic. If you have tried pumpkin empanadas from a Mexican bakery, you will recognize the wonderful flavor in this homemade version. Both the pastry and the pumpkin filling contain both sweet and savory ingredients. These pumpkin empanadas are probably more sweet than savory but it is a good blend.

As you might imagine, this is a kid-friendly snack as well as something any grownup would love to get their teeth into. The pastry on the outside is delicious but of course what really stands out is the sweet, delicately spiced filling, and these empanadas have universal appeal because every age group is crazy about their flavor.

There are quite a few things in the ingredients list but take a look and you will see many of them are spices you will already have in the store cupboard so you should not need to buy much at the store. Perhaps you have some canned pumpkin to hand too. This is an ingredient a lot of home cooks like to keep in the pantry because there are plenty of delicious recipes to make with it and fresh pumpkin is not available everywhere when it is out of season.

Mexican Spiced Pumpkin Empanadas
Summary: Combining sweet with savory, these pumpkin empanadas are really special. They boast a flavor which has universal appeal, so everyone will love them, and they make a lovely satisfying snack.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
For the Empanada Dough:
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
For the Filling:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
To Garnish:
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. Combine the filling ingredients and set this mixture to one side.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Mix together the sugar, water, yeast, salt, cinnamon and baking powder and blend in half the flour with an electric mixer. Add the shortening and mix well. Blend in the rest of the flour.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, then each of those parts into 4 dough balls. You will end up with 16 dough balls.
  5. Flatten the dough balls between your palms and roll them out on a floured surface to get ⅛-inch thick 4-inch diameter circles. Put 1 ½ tablespoons of pumpkin filling in the middle of each dough circle, fold them over and seal the edges on both sides by pressing down with a moist fork.
  6. Bake the empanadas on a greased cookie sheet for 18 to 20 minutes until they are golden brown.
  7. Pour a little powdered sugar over the empanadas and use the rest to garnish the serving plates.

Photo Description:

You can see from the picture how tempting these powdered sugar coated morsels are. Spiced pumpkin empanadas are really flavorful and they are also very easy to make. Because you are using canned pumpkin for the filling, you are not limited to the months when fresh pumpkin is in season. You can make these little treats at any time. Kids love these sweet empanadas but so will the adults. If you wanted to learn how to make pumpkin empanadas, this is a very good recipe because it is easy to follow and the sweet and savory blend works really well.

3 Responses to How to Make Pumpkin Empanadas

  • Just made these and I am very pleased. I used lard instead of shortening I mean of we are going to be authentic lard is authentic.

  • I made these twice this weekend and the second run I had it down I made my dough in the bread machine used rapid rise yeast and lard instead of shortening dropped the clove for nutmeg and perfection. The dough was perfect. I was quite pleased. My 1st batch was ok but not perfect but I have it now great recipe thanks

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,