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+ servings

Pizza Empanadas (Pastel de Pizza)

Two popular dishes in one to celebrate The Super Bowl!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 10 medium or 18 small


  • For the pizza empanadas dough:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon ¼salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter cold and cut into small pieces, 170 g, 1 ½ sticks
  • 1 large egg chilled
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • Note: The dough recipe was adapted from Laylita's Recipes.
  • For the pizza empanadas filling:
  • 3/4 cup shredded ham
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12 cherry-tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 large egg whites and yolk separated


  • In a food processor, mix the flour and salt together. Add the butter, egg, and water until a clumpy dough forms. Do not overwork the dough!!!
  • Form a ball, wrap in plastic wrapper, and chill in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Then, unwrap and roll out the dough into a thin sheet over a floured surface, working from the center of the dough to the edges. Cut out round disc shapes using a round medium-size or small mold or cutter.
  • Use immediately or store in the freezer for up to 3 months (In this last instance, pile one disc on top of the other with plastic wrapper in between them. Wrap the pile well and store in a ziploc bag. Thaw in the refrigerator before filling the pizza empanadas).
  • For the filling of the pizza empanadas (In Brazil, we call this type of filling "pizza"): In a small bowl, mix both the ham and cheese. Reserve. Assemble the pizza empanadas, adding a spoonful of the ham and cheese mixture on the center of each empanada disc. Top with 2 halves of a tomato and sprinkle a little bit of oregano. Brush the edges of the pizza empanada discs with the egg whites or a little bit of water although the whites are a better "glue" to seal the pizza empanadas. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers.
  • Then, press the edges of the pizza empanadas with a fork to crimple. Lightly brush the top of the pizza empanadas with the egg yolk thinned with 1/2 teaspoon of water. Layer the pizza empanadas in a single layer in a deep baking pan or pyrex dish. Cover with aluminum foil (don't let it touch the pizza empanadas). Let the pizza empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400º F (200º C) and bake for 10 - 15 (small) or 15 - 20 minutes (medium) or until golden. Serve pizza empanadas warm by themselves, with your favorite dipping sauce (I used chimichurri sauce) plus a drink, or with a fresh salad.

Recipe Notes

Please note, prepackaged refrigerated phyllo dough, or an empanada dough from your local Latin American grocery store can be substituted for dough made from scratch, if desired.
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