How to make Lucena’s Filipino Empanada Recipe

Empanada is one of our all time favorites. Perfect for snack or merienda. If you’ve been wanting to create the perfect Filipino Empanada, this recipe will surely help you out!

Filipino Empanada

Jaime Inez
The Filipino empanada recipe is an easy and versatile way to prepare this popular Spanish-influenced bread. Just cook a few cubes of pork in a large skillet for about 5 minutes. You can also purchase pre-cooked pork from a local store. Use the drained meat to fill the empanada. This filling can be re-frozen for future use. Once you've prepared the dough, fill it with the meat.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Filipino, Spanish
Servings 4 servings
Calories 325 kcal


Empanada Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup carrot diced
  • 1 cup potato diced
  • 1 cup sweet peas frozen
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or garlic powder
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 2 TBS brown sugar
  • 2 Lbs lean ground pork
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Empanada Dough Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Bisquick
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup very cold water
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1 egg white for sealing



  • In a large non stick pan, over a medium heat, heat oil and sautee onions and garlic until soft.
  • Add pork mince and cook for a few minutes until it starts to brown.
  • Stir in carrot and potato and continue cooking for a few more minutes.
  • Add peas, sultanas, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, white pepper and water. Stir well.
  • Continue to cook the mixture over a low heat, stirring so the mixture does not burn, until liquid has evaporated.
  • Cover and place empanada filling to the side to cool while making the pastry. If it is a hot day, I suggest you put the filling in the fridge once it has cooled slightly.


  • Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, whisk together.
  • Add lard to the flour mixture. With the tips of your fingers rub (see notes) the lard into the flour mixture.
  • Whisk water, egg and vinegar together and add to flour mixture.
  • Mix until combined and then turn out on to a lightly floured bench.
  • Knead until mixture forms a smooth dough. Adding a little more flour if too sticky to handle.
  • Shape into a flatish ball and wrap in plastic. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.

Assembly and Cooking

  • Divide dough into 18 round balls, and cover with some plastic wrap to avoid them drying out while assembling.
  • On a floured bench, roll out a dough ball with a rolling pin, until around ½ centimetre thick.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of empanada filling in the centre of the rolled out dough.
  • Fold the dough in half over the filling, then seal the empanada but pleating* the edges and crimping as you go.
  • You can see how I do it on Instagram here.
  • Continue with the remainder of the dough and filling. Keeping the empanadas covered as you go so they don’t dry out.
  • Place enough vegetable oil in a wok, which would be high enough to cover the empanadas. Heat oil until it reaches 180°C (350°F). Cook a few empanada at a time (don’t crowd the wok) until they are golden brown.
  • Once golden remove from the wok and drain on kitchen paper towel.
  • Serve immediately.



A Filipino empanada recipe is the perfect dish for any gathering. This dish is a delicious appetizer or side dish. It's a great choice for dinner or brunch. You can eat it in any way you like. It's easy to prepare and can be prepared in advance. If you have guests, it can be reheated in the microwave or toaster oven. In the case of vegetarian empanadas, you can make them ahead of time and freeze them.
Keyword empanada

Tips and Tricks

Chicken Empanada

Tips for Making Filipino Empanadas

Want to make your own Filipino empanadas at home? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use cold, solid butter in the dough for flakiness. Chill the assembled dough before rolling it out.
  • Don’t overfill the empanadas or the filling will spill out. About 1-2 tablespoons of filling is perfect.
  • If frying, use plenty of oil and fry in batches to maintain the temperature. Fry them golden brown on both sides.
  • Let the fried empanadas drain on paper towels or a cooling rack. This prevents sogginess.
  • For baked empanadas, brush the tops with egg wash for browning. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes.
  • Let baked or fried empanadas cool slightly before eating so the filling sets up.
  • Store completely cooled empanadas in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Reheat in the oven before serving.
READ MORE  How to make homemade Marinara Sauce easy at home

Serving Ideas for Filipino Empanadas

Filipino Beef Empanada - Lutong Bahay Recipe

Filipino empanadas are extremely versatile. Here are some of my favorite ways to eat them:

  • For breakfast, serve empanadas with eggs and rice for a savory start to the day.
  • Pack them in lunches for an easy on-the-go meal.
  • Enjoy as an appetizer before dinner with salsa or chimichurri for dipping.
  • For dessert, try empanadas with sweet fillings like ube or coconut served with coffee.
  • For parties, fill an empanada bar with different meat, vegetable, and cheese fillings so guests can customize their own.
  • For kids’ snacks, mini bite-sized empanadas are fun finger food.

There are endless possibilities when serving these handheld snacks!

Frequently Asked Questions About Filipino Empanadas

Adobo Empanada (Fried Meat Pies)

Here are answers to some common questions about Filipino empanadas:

What’s the best filling for empanadas? The most popular filling is ground beef with tomato sauce and vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and peas. Chicken, pork, or seafood are delicious too.

Should I bake or fry empanadas? Frying makes the exterior crispy while baking is healthier. Both methods produce delicious empanadas!

How do I shape empanada dough? Roll out small balls of chilled dough into thin 4-5 inch circles. Spoon filling onto one half then fold over and seal the edges with a fork.

How long do empanadas last? Store completely cooled empanadas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat before eating.

Can I freeze empanadas? Yes, freeze baked or fried empanadas in a single layer then transfer to bags once hardened. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.

READ MORE  How To Cook Ginisang Ampalaya | Bitter Gourd Recipe

What dipping sauces go with empanadas? Some popular sauces are salsa, baby guacamole, chimichurri, sweet chili sauce, or vinegar with soy sauce and chili peppers.

Filipino empanadas are a mouthwatering treat that offers a taste of the islands in every bite. With their sweet and savory filling wrapped in a flaky, golden crust, these handheld snacks are beloved in the Philippines and around the world. I hope this post has provided plenty of tips for making and serving classic Filipino empanadas at home. Try out different fillings or dipping sauces to customize them to your taste. Empanadas make for a fun cooking project, easy meal, or appetizer at your next gathering. Let me know how your homemade empanadas turn out! I’m sure they will be a hit whether you fry or bake them. Thanks for learning more about this Filipino favorite. Now go savor the magic of your first empanada!