Empanadas are one of the most popular dishes in Latin America and Spain, becoming part of the daily gastronomy of these regions. You can fry or bake them with a salty or sweet filling, so today, you will learn how to store empanadas in any case.
Due to their filling, the empanadas should not be left for more than 2 hours at room temperature, although you can keep them in a heater for up to 12 hours. After that, you can place them in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for 3 months. You can also store the empanada dough with or without filling it in the refrigerator or freezer.
If you want to know the proper way to preserve empanadas, I invite you to continue reading.
Table of Contents
- How to preserve cooked empanadas?
- How to preserve raw empanadas?
- How to reheat empanadas?
- How do you know if an empanada is bad?
- How long do empanadas last?
- What is the best way to preserve empanadas?
How to preserve cooked empanadas?
As I mentioned in the previous answer, you should store the fried or baked empanadas in the fridge or the freezer if you want to extend their shelf life.
Keep cooked empanadas in the fridge
Keeping them in the fridge is a simple way to preserve the empanadas you left over, but keep in mind that if you store them in the refrigerator, you should eat them soon.
What you have to do is the following.
- Step 1. Wait for the empanadas to cool.
Especially if you just made them or you know they are fresh. Wait at least an hour, or hour and a half, until the empanadas cool and all the internal steam comes out.
You must be careful not to leave for more than two hours the empanadas that are filled with some type of meat (chicken, beef, or some fish or seafood). The others can be up to 4 hours at room temperature.
To cool faster, you can put them on a rack, which is especially good for fried empanadas, so that they can drain the excess oil.
- Step 2. Put the empanadas inside an airtight container.
Inside the container, place paper towels (especially with fried empanadas). Arrange the empanadas side by side.
Avoid stacking them due to the moisture the fillings generate.
- Step 3. Store the empanadas in the fridge.
Put the container in the coldest part of your fridge to keep the cooked empanadas in good condition for 2 or 3 days.
Freeze cooked empanadas
Can you freeze fried or baked empanadas? Of course, but it is not the most recommended option. In addition, in the case of sweet empanadas, you should first find out if you can freeze the filling or not.
Here is how to freeze empanadas
- Step 1. Wait for the empanadas to cool.
Put them on a grid so the air circulates better and can cool quickly. It is also an excellent way to remove excess oil if you fry the empanadas.
- Step 2. Wrap each patty.
Use film paper to wrap each empanada individually to protect them from frostbite burns.
- Step 3. Bag.
Put the empanadas wrapped in an airtight bag suitable for freezing.
- Step 4. Tag.
Write down the type of empanada you are freezing and add the date. You can also put a sticker with this information.
- Step 5. Store the bag with empanadas in the freezer.
The empanadas may last for about 2 or 3 months in the freezer following all the steps.
How to preserve raw empanadas?
When we talk about the raw empanadas, we have two options: you can have the empanada dough with or without a filling, which, as we have discussed before, can be meat, cheese, jam, etc., and that is a factor when we want to store them.
How to store unfilled empanadas dough
If you haven’t added any filling to the empanadas, there are two ways to store the dough: in the fridge or the freezer, and I will cover both cases.
How to store them in the fridge
Keeping homemade empanadas dough in the fridge without filling is a straightforward technique and saves you time when frying or baking your delicious empanadas. Here are the steps to achieve this.
- Step 1. Stretch the empanadas dough
Place the empanadas dough on a floured table, and stretch it with a roller leaving it 0.2in (0.5cm) thick.
- Step 2. Cut the dough into discs
Usually, when you make the empanadas, you need to cut the dough into discs, then fill and fold them, giving the classic empanada shape. Those discs should have 5in (12cm) in diameter.
The dough that remains is reused, stretched again, and cut. In the end, you will have something similar to sopapillas
- Step 3. Separate the disks
Once the discs are ready, sprinkle flour and place a sheet of film paper to separate them and then stack them.
- Step 4. Store the dough discs in an airtight container
Store the discs in a container and cover them tightly.
- Step 5. Take the dough to the fridge
Take the dough to the fridge and place it in a place that does not have other foods nearby so that it does not take on smells and tastes from these.
This method of preserving homemade empanadas dough in the fridge without filling lasts up to a week in good condition.
How to freeze them
You can freeze the dough without any problem, but do that if you have a large amount of empanada dough.
Here we will give you the steps so that this does not happen and you have your dough in perfect condition.
- Step 1. Sprinkle the dough with flour
Once the empanada dough is ready, sprinkle with flour.
- Step 2. Cut the dough into portions
Cutting the dough is an optional step. However, it is essential in thawing since you should not freeze the dough again. Therefore, if you have the empanada dough in portions, you will only take what you need.
If you divide it, wrap the pieces with plastic film.
- Step 3. Find a bag to store the empanadas dough
Use a large airtight bag to put the entire dought or the one in portions. In addition, remove as much air as possible.
- Step 4. Set the storage date
As you freeze the dough, you must set the storage date to control its shelf life.
- Step 5. Store in the freezer
Take the empanada dough to the bottom of the freezer.
This method of preserving frozen empanadas dough without filling lasts up to 6 months in good condition.
How to store stuffed empanadas dough
As in the previous case, you also have two options to store the stuffed empanada dough, and I will teach you how in every case.
How to store stuffed empanadas dough in the fridge
Preserving homemade stuffed empanada dough in the fridge is relatively easy. Here I leave you the steps.
- Step 1. Flour the stuffed empanadas
Sprinkle flour on the empanada stuffed on both sides.
- Step 2. Find a container to store empanadas
We look for a shallow flat container, big enough to ensure you do not stack the pieces of dough.
- Step 3. Wrap the container with plastic film
Once the container is complete, place the plastic film on top to cover it well. Try to wrap it with two layers to reinforce protections.
- Step 4. Take them to the fridge
Store the empanadas in the fridge, where the stuffed empanadas can last up to 3 days.
How to freeze stuffed empanadas dough
Can the empanadas dough be frozen? Of course, you could freeze the empanada dough; whether it is filled or unfilled, it is an excellent way to extend its shelf life. That’s the reason there are industrial resellers who sell frozen empanadas.
Below, we show you the steps to do it correctly and enjoy your empanadas for longer.
- Step 1. The dough of stuffed empanadas should be cold
So leave a few minutes outside before freezing.
- Step 2. Find a baking tray
We look for a tray of ovens and place waxed paper on the bottom, then spread a layer with the dough of empanadas that are not stuck.
- Step 3. Cover the empanadas with plastic film.
Once the container is full, place film paper on top.
- Step 4. Freeze the empanadas
Take the empanadas to the freezer for 70 minutes or until they have a stiff consistency.
- Step 5. Store empanadas in containers or freezer bags
Transfer the empanadas to an airtight container or bag and seal it well
- Step 6. Store the empanadas in the freezer
Take the empanadas to the bottom of the freezer. Do not put weight on it as it would damage them.
You can store the stuffed raw empanadas in the freezer for up to 2 months.
If you want to thaw empanadas dough, whether filled or unfilled, leave it in the fridge overnight. Then you can cook it as you prefer.
How to reheat empanadas?
A critical point to enjoying your empanadas properly after having refrigerated or frozen them is to know how to reheat them.
You should first know that you must avoid frying them again, as they will absorb too much oil and be very cloying. The best thing you can do is use a conventional or electric oven.
Preheat it to about 350°F (approx 180°C). Arrange your empanadas on a tray and bake for 7 to 10 minutes. It may take longer if they are frozen.
If frozen, it is advisable to wrap the empanadas with aluminum foil (with the shiny side on the outside) and bake for 5-7 minutes. After that, remove the aluminum foil and bake them for five more minutes.
You can also use an air fryer. Please set it to 180°-200°C (350°F-390°F) for 5 or 7 minutes.
It is not advisable to use a microwave unless the empanada is very frozen and you want to thaw its interior a little so that it heats up better. But you can only do 30-second intervals until you notice that it is softening.
But you must be careful because the microwave could damage the empanada’s texture.
How do you know if an empanada is bad?
If you want to know for sure when an empanada is in poor condition, it must have one of the following characteristics.
- It tastes bad, like a stale.
- It has a bad smell.
- It has green, black, or white spots, which means it has developed mold.
- It is so watery that it falls apart, making it impossible to heat.
- Very dry and hard. Although it does not necessarily indicate that it is in poor condition, eating it will not be pleasant.
How long do empanadas last?
Here I will leave you a picture summarizing the shelf life of the empanadas.
|Cooked empanada at room temperature||2 – 4 hours|
|Cooked empanada in heater||12 hours|
|Refrigerated cooked empanada||2 – 3 days|
|Frozen cooked empanada||2 – 3 months|
|Empanada dough in the fridge (filled)||3 days|
|Empanada dough in the fridge (unfilled)||7 days|
|Frozen empanada dough (filled)||2 months|
|Frozen empanada dough (unfilled)||6 months|
What is the best way to preserve empanadas?
The best way to preserve cooked empanadas is to store them in the fridge since they do not risk losing their flavor by being too long in the freezer.
Although in the same way, their texture will change a little when reheating since they go through another cooking process that could harden the dough a little.
The freezer is the best option when you know you will not eat the empanadas in the coming days.
As for raw empanadas, the best is to keep them in the freezer since the dough is better protected from the moisture provided by all filling.
However, you can store raw empanadas in the fridge if you cook them within no more than two days. So you can prepare them a day before and fry or bake them later, making them look freshly made.
If you are interested in learning how to preserve other foods, I have a few guides that I know will be useful to you.