This article was updated on 14/07/2023 for clarity and to incorporate new insights.
I’ve experimented with several different empanada reheating methods to discover which one delivered the crispiest, flakiest crust and a tender, flavorful filling.
(No soggy empanadas in sight!)
In a rush?
The best way to reheat empanadas is in a 300°F (150°C) oven. Spread your empanadas out on a wire rack and heat them for 10-15 minutes, depending on size. For larger empanadas, blast them in the microwave for 10 seconds first to give the middle a head start.
How I tested reheating empanadas
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:
- In the oven: Best option overall.
- In an air fryer: Similar results to the oven although a bit drier.
- By frying them: Good for crisping up fried empanadas.
- In the microwave: Worst overall.
Reheating empanadas in the oven
Time: 10 minutes
- Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Place your empanadas (uncovered) on a wire rack for an even bake and heat them in the oven for 10-15 minutes (depending on size).
- If you use a toaster oven, they’ll only need 7-10 minutes.
Placing your empanadas on a wire rack means there’s no chance of a soggy bottom! You can also use a pre-heated baking tray and flip the empanadas half way through heating.
If you have extra large empanadas you want to make sure heat all the way through to the middle, give them a 10 seconds blast in the microwave before putting them in the oven. This will give the middle a head start at reheating.
Some sources recommend covering the empanadas with foil in the oven, but when I tested this it just took away from the crisp.
Results: I thought this was the most convenient way to heat my empanadas, and they tasted fresh! The fried empanada could have been crispier, but the pastry was still super flakey.
Reheating empanadas in an air fryer
Time: 4-6 minutes
Rating: 8/10 (for fried)
- Set your air fryer to 350°F (180°C) and place the empanadas in a single layer in the fryer basket.
- Lightly spritz fried empanadas with cooking spray (optional).
- Heat for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on size.
The cooking spray is optional, but really helps give the empanadas that ‘just fried’ taste. But if the pastry already feels greasy, there’s no need to add extra oil.
Results: This was the fastest and easiest method and worked amazingly well for the fried empanadas. The baked empanadas were good too, but slightly drier compared to the oven. Of course, this information is only useful if you have an air fryer!
Reheating empanadas by frying them
Time: 3-4 minutes
- Heat a few inches of oil in a pan or deep fryer to 350°F (180°C). You can use less oil if your empanadas and small and can lie flat in the pan.
- Fry your empanadas for 3-4 minutes, flipping them over halfway through if needed.
- Remove them from the oil and allow them to drain on a paper towel or a wire rack.
- Serve hot and enjoy.
Pan-frying empanadas can be awkward because of the shape, which is why I suggest deep frying.
It’s really important to get the oil temperature right though. If it’s too hot the empanadas will burn, and if it’s too cold, the empanadas will absorb it and turn out greasy.
The best way to monitor the temperature is with a thermometer. But you can also use the wooden spoon trick. Stick a wooden spoon into the oil and watch the bubbles. No bubbles means the oil’s too cold, small bubble right away is good, and vigorous bubbles mean the oil’s too hot.
Results: This method is only suitable for fried empanadas, it will just add unwanted oil to the baked ones. The pastry was definitely very crispy, but the effort of heating the oil wasn’t worth it for me.
Reheating empanadas in the microwave
Time: 30-60 seconds
- Place empanadas on a microwave-safe plate.
- Heat them for 20 seconds on full power, and then check them.
- Return to the microwave for a further 10 seconds or until piping hot.
- Allow them to cool for 30 seconds before serving.
When you reheat pastry in the microwave, the fat melts, which means the pastry can get limp. Couple this with steam from the filling and you have a pretty wet empanada!
Talking of steam, don’t bite into the empanada right away because there could still be boiling hot steam trapped inside which will burn your mouth.
Results: If you have no other option, the microwave is a convenient and easy way to reheat your empanadas. But don’t expect a crisp texture, the pasty will be soggy.
How to store empanadas
To store leftover empanadas, let them cool to room temperature and then place them in an airtight container lined with a paper towel. Put this in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The paper towel is there to absorb excess moisture and keep the empanadas crispy. Minimising touching will also help the pastry from getting too soggy.
Can you freeze empanadas?
First, individually freeze your empanadas by spreading them on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and freezing this for 1 hour. Then place the semi-frozen empanadas into a freezer bag and remove as much air as you can. Freeze the empanadas for up to 3 months.
Individually freezing your empanadas first means they won’t stick together in the freezer bag so you can easily remove a few at a time.
When you want to eat the empanadas, don’t thaw them. Reheating them straight from frozen gives better results.
How to reheat frozen empanadas
To reheat frozen empanadas, place them on a wire rack in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for around 20 minutes, depending on their size. You can also reheat them from frozen in an air fryer at 350°F (180°C) for 10 to 12 minutes.
How To Reheat Empanadas [Tested Methods]
- 1 portion empanadas baked or fried
- 1 spritz oil optional
- 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.