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The Best Way To Reheat Empanadas – I Test 4 Methods [Pics]

If you happen to have some empanada leftovers, you might be wondering if you can store and reheat them the following day.

The concern is that reheating will diminish their flaky texture and flavorful filling, making them soft and soggy. Yuk!

I have experimented with several different reheating methods to discover what’s best at delivering a crispy, flakey crust and a tender, flavorful filling.

(No soggy empanadas in sight!)

How you store your leftovers will also impact how well they fare when you reheat them, so I’ve included some information on storing and freezing them.

A note on my experiment

I’ll admit I gave into my empanada craving in a big way and decided to prepare not one but two batches of these tasty little turnovers last night: baked and fried.

The following day, I decided to try out a few different reheating techniques, including:

  • Reheating empanadas in the oven (best option overall)
  • Repeating empanadas in an air fryer (similar results to the oven although a bit drier)
  • Reheating empanadas by frying them (inconvenient but good for crisping up fried empanadas)
  • Reheating empanadas in the microwave (worst overall and made them limp and soggy)

My favorite overall method was the oven, as this restored most of the texture and all of the taste to both the baked and fried empanadas. It is also easy and convenient.

If you have access to an air fryer, that is also a good option for reheating empanadas, although I did find it made them just a tiny bit drier than the oven did.

Refrying my empanadas produced a delicious result in terms of crispiness. They tasted great, but this method does add oil and grease to the pastries and is also not very convenient.

The microwave method was highly disappointing, and I would caution against it lest you ruin your delicious empanadas. They came out limp and soggy, which wasn’t appetizing at all.

Reheating empanadas in the oven

To reheat empanadas in the oven, first preheat it to 350°F (180°C). Spread your empanadas out on a wire rack and place them in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, size depending. For larger empanadas, first blast them in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds before placing them in the oven to bake.

This method is a relatively quick and convenient way to reheat empanadas that almost guarantees their texture and flavor.

How to reheat empanadas in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Place your empanadas (uncovered) on a wire rack for an even bake.
  3. Place the rack in your oven for 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy.

Placing your empanadas on a wire rack will ensure they heat up from both the top and the bottom. It also means you don’t need to turn them halfway.

Furthermore, the size of an oven means that this method is excellent for heating bigger quantities of empanadas.

You can leave lightly larger empanadas in the oven for a few more minutes.

Even better, if you want to ensure the inside is just as warm as the outside, you can pop your empanadas in the microwave for a few seconds before placing them in the oven.

While some sources recommend cover empanadas with foil for their last two minutes in the oven, I disagree with this and found it made my empanadas soggy.

My verdict

I thought this was the most convenient way to heat my empanadas. 

The oven restored my snack to almost the same level of freshness it had the night before.

In terms of the fried empanada, the outer crisp did leave something to be desired, but they were delicious, soft, and flaky. 

If you require a far crispier outside, consider refrying your empanadas instead.

Reheating empanadas in an air fryer

To reheat empanadas in an air fryer, first set it to 350°F (180°C). In single layers, fry your empanadas for 4 to 6 minutes and slightly longer for bigger pastries. Lightly spritzing your empanadas with a cooking spray can help restore their crisp outer coating.

This is the fastest and easiest method but tends to dry the empanadas out ever so slightly.

Plus, as not everyone has access to an air fryer, I would still recommend the oven as the best option.

How to reheat empanadas in an air fryer:

  1. Set your fryer to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Place empanadas in a single layer in your fryer basket.
  3. Lightly spritz fried empanadas with cooking spray (optional).
  4. Fry for 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy.

You just need to keep an eye on the air fryer to ensure you don’t accidentally scorch your empanadas.

Reheat them in small quantities and try to prevent them from touching, to heat them as evenly as possible.

My verdict

The air fryer is a convenient and quick method and produces almost the same results as the oven but does leave empanadas a bit drier and the pastry softer.

Regarding fried empanadas, pre-prepping them with a bit of cooking spray works well to aid the return of the crisp.

The air fryer method is an excellent alternative to the oven and produces decent results when reheating both baked and fried empanadas.

Reheating empanadas by frying them

To refry empanadas, first heat oil to 350°F (180°C). You can choose to either deep fry or shallow fry them. Once your oil is hot, fry your empanadas for 30 to 40 seconds on each side. Remove them from the oil and allow them to drain on a wire rack or piece of paper towel before serving.

This is a great way to reheat fried empanadas but doesn’t do well with the baked variety.

Opt for pan-frying if you are dealing with thin or very small empanadas.

How to reheat empanadas by frying them:

  1. Place oil in a pan or pot and heat to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Fry your empanadas for 30 to 40 seconds on each side.
  3. Remove them from the oil and allow them to drain on a paper towel or a wire rack.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy.

This method produced a delicious result with a crispy outside, but it was a lot of effort and not the healthiest option.

For fried empanadas with crisp pastry, it does the job of restoring a crispy coating with a soft interior, but for the most part, it is good to be mindful of all the unnecessary extra oil.

My verdict

This wasn’t worth the effort it took, and while it returned some crisp to my fried empanadas, it just added unwanted oil to the baked ones.

If you only intend to reheat one portion, you may want to choose the reheating techniques that don’t require as much work. 

If it’s just the crisp you’re after, then, by all means, this is the best option for restoring that just-fried taste.

Reheating empanadas in the microwave

To reheat empanadas in the microwave, first, place them individually on a microwave-safe plate. Heat empanadas for 20 seconds on high before stopping to check how warm they are. Resume heating them in 10-second intervals until they are steaming. Allow them to rest for 30 seconds before serving.

If you have no other option, this is a convenient and easy way to reheat your empanadas. 

However, the pastries retain none of their crispiness, and they turn soggy and limp.

How to reheat empanadas in the microwave:

  1. Place empanadas (individually) on a microwave-safe plate.
  2. Heat them for 20 seconds on full power, and then check them.
  3. Return to the microwave for a further 10 seconds or until piping hot.
  4. Allow them to cool for 30 seconds before serving.

Reheating pastry in the microwave causes the fat in the pastry to melt, which is what makes them come out so soggy and unappetizing.

This is the worst method for reheating empanadas, but it is sometimes the only option.

My verdict

Microwaving my empanadas did them more of a disservice than anything else. 

There was no noticeable distinguishment between baked and friend once I tried this technique. They were both soggy and lackluster.

How to store empanadas

You can store empanadas in the fridge for up to 3 days. Place them in an airtight container lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Empanadas stored in the freezer can last for three months and should be flash-frozen, individually plastic-wrapped, and kept in freezer bags.

You should only prepare your empanadas for storage once they have cooled down to room temperature.

Hot empanadas will cause moisture build-up in the storage container, making them soggy when you try to reheat them.

Avoid them getting stuck together when you store them by spacing them out in your container.

Storing your empanadas according to these guidelines will keep them as fresh as possible for reheating when your craving kicks in.

Can you freeze empanadas?

Individually freeze your empanadas by placing them (not touching) on a baking sheet in the freezer for one to two hours. Once frozen, individually wrap each empanada with plastic wrap before placing them in a freezer bag. Remove air from the freezer bag. You can freeze them for up to three months.

How to freeze empanadas:

  1. Spread empanadas out evenly on a baking tray.
  2. Place them in the freezer for an hour or two or until they are mostly frozen.
  3. Individually wrap each empanada in plastic wrap.
  4. Place them in a freezer bag.
  5. Remove as much air as possible from the bag.
  6. Store in the freezer.
  7. Reheat within three months.

Individually freezing your empanadas will keep them from sticking together.

This makes it easier to grab a specific quantity from the freezer when you plan to cook or reheat them.

Wrapping each empanada in plastic wrap keeps them fresher for longer and alleviates the risk of freezer burn.

How to thaw empanadas

Do not thaw empanadas, but rather reheat them from frozen. Allowing them to defrost will make them soggy and negatively impact their pastry, negating their light, flaky texture.

Reheat your leftover empanadas from frozen by adding a few minutes to each reheating method.

How to reheat frozen empanadas

To reheat empanadas from frozen, place them spread out on a wire rack in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on their size.

You can also reheat them from frozen in an air fryer by placing them in your fryer basket at 350°F (180°C) for 10 to 12 minutes.

You can also refry empanadas from the frozen. Preheat oil to 325°F (165°C) in a pot and deep-fry your empanadas until their golden-brown color returns. This takes about 4 minutes.

Fry small quantities at a time to avoid overcrowding your pot and turning them mushy.

How long do empanadas last?

If you’re storing your empanadas to enjoy at a later stage, keep the following guidelines in mind to make sure they stay as fresh as possible.

Room Temperature: Cooked food left at room temperature for more than 2 hours runs the risk of growing bacteria. Do not leave your empanadas out for more than two hours once they have cooled down.

Refrigerated: Empanadas can last for up to 3 days in the fridge. Ensure that you store them properly in an airtight container to keep them as fresh as possible.

Frozen: Individually wrapped empanadas can last for up to 3 months in the freezer. To keep them even fresher, seal them, plastic-wrapped, in freezer bags with the air removed.

The BEST Way To Reheat Empanadas

If you happen to have some empanada leftovers, you might be wondering if you can store and reheat them the following day.
The concern is that reheating will diminish their flaky texture and flavorful filling, making them soft and soggy. Yuk!
I have experimented with several different reheating methods to discover what’s best at delivering a crispy, flakey crust and a tender, flavorful filling.
(No soggy empanadas in sight!)
No ratings yet
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine South American
Servings 1 person
Calories 335 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion empanadas baked or fried
  • 1 spritz oil optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Place your empanadas (uncovered) on a wire rack for an even bake.
  • Place the rack in your oven for 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot and enjoy.

Notes

While some sources recommend covering empanadas with foil for their last two minutes in the oven, I disagree with this and found it made my empanadas soggy.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 335kcal
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