Go Back
+ servings
mini pork empanadas with an apple martini

Apple and Pulled Pork mini Empanadas

Yield:   24 empanadas  Note:  these ingredient quantities produced the number of empanadas I hoped for with about a cup of filling left over.  You could make the dough 1 ½ times the amount listed should you wish to have more empanadas or use the filling for sandwiches or omelets! I wanted little bites that were appetizer in stature but could comprise a tapas type meal.  Paired with the following Apple Martini recipe, these are sublime (I think even Fern would smile slyly at my update).
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword pork empanadas
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 122kcal
Author Toni Dash


Empanada Dough (note: this was my flour mixture but there are shortcut substitutes below):

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup sweet brown rice flour
  • ¾ cup sorghum flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstartch
  • ¼ cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick salted butter cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Substitute options:

Apple Pulled Pork filling

  • ¼ cup dark raisins
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Calvados apple liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 2 apples chopped (pick a flavorful heirloom variety if available)
  • 1 pound pulled pork in small pieces see recipe from yesterday’s blog post for an option
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of water


  • Mix the dry ingredients.  I use my food processor with the dough attachment (see below).  You can also mix this by hand.
  • Cut the stick of butter into small pieces and incorporate into the dry ingredients.  If using the food processor I found cutting the stick approximately into tablespoons and then quartering those to work well.  If doing this manually using a dough whisk works well.  The end result should be crumbly.
  • In a separate small bowl, mix together the egg, and vinegar.  Add to the dry mixture in the food processor, along with the water and pulse until it has fully combined.   Remove from the food processor, form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until chilled (about 30 minutes).
  • Prepare the empanada filling and proceed to the assembly instructions.

Apple Pulled Pork filling

  • Place the raisins in a heat proof bowl.  Pour boiling water on them just to cover them and add 1 teaspoon of Calvados.  Cover and let sit.
  • Heat a skillet to medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter.  Add the shallots and apples and sauté until beginning to caramelize (soften and brown) about 5 minutes.
  • Add the pulled pork to the apple/shallot mixture and still to combine.
  • Drain the raisins and add to the skillet mixture.  Stir to combine.
  • Add the cinnamon, chili powder and salt.  Stir to combine.
  • Remove mixture from skillet.  Add 2 tablespoons Calvados and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to the hot skillet to deglaze the pan.  Turn heat up to medium high and scrape the pan drippings off the bottom of the skillet.  Add the apple/pork mixture back to the pan, stir with the drippings for 2 minutes to combine and remove from the heat.

Empanada Assembly

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees and place rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Split it into two pieces for ease of rolling, and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll to about 1/8th inch thick.  Using a round cookie cutter or the mouth of a glass, cut out circles about 3-4 inches in diameter.
  • Lightly roll the circles out just a bit more to make them slightly thinner (about 4 to 4 and ½ inch in diameter).
  • These will be folded in half to make the empanadas.  Take 1 and ½ teaspoons of the filling and place in the middle of the dough circle.
  • Moisten your finger with water and run it around ½ of the wrapper.  This provides the moisture to seal the empanada pocket.  Fold over the wrapper and lightly press together with the moistened side.
  • Using the bottom of fork tines, press gently around the round edge of the closed wrapper.
  • Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon of water for an egg glaze.  Brush on the top of the empanadas before putting them into the oven.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.  Cool slightly and devour!  These are best eaten fresh from the oven.  I did chill some to eat later and found them to become a bit stiff.  About 10 seconds in the microwave took care of it but they are at their best right out of the oven!


Substitute options:
·         Gluten Free:  If you don’t want to mix your own flour, substitute your favorite gluten-free flour blend for the first 6 ingredients in the same quantity.
·         With gluten: Substitute your preferred baking flour for the flours and starches (same quantity total) and omit the xanthan gum from the recipe.
·         ‘Don’t want to make dough’ gluten consumers: I understand you can buy empanada wrappers at the store.  Feel free to use those instead as well and if so, proceed to the filling recipe!
This essentially makes a dough similar to a pie crust dough and the recipe above makes beautiful dough!  Any of you who are gluten-free bakers will understand my enthusiasm because GF dough can be very finicky.  This was very close to a traditional wheat pie crust, with structure and no stickiness.


Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg