Pumpkin & Walnut Empanadas

Pumpkin & Walnut Empanadas

Pumpkin & Walnut Empanadas | Erica Robbin

  • Servings: 1 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy to difficult
  • Print

Pumpkin & Walnut Empanadas © 2018 ericarobbin.com | All rights reserved.

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Originating in Galicia, Spain, empanadas are a delicious filled pastry that can be baked or fried. The word comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Today they are made in many countries including Spain and the Americas.

Pronounced em-pah-nah-th ah, they can be sweet or savory and filled with meat, vegetables, and a variety of additions such as raisins or nuts. This particular recipe includes fresh pumpkin and chopped walnuts for a tasty combination, but feel free to experiment and add your favorite ingredients, the options are endless!


  • 4 cups white all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons buttered flavored shortening (Crisco)
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • Warm water

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar (to taste depending on sweetness of pumpkin)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15 oz) canned pumpkin or use 2 cups fresh baked pumpkin (fresh baked adds to prep time)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Add warm water gradually until dough is soft to knead but not sticky.
  3. Roll dough into 3″ balls and let rest in a bowl covered with warm flour sack towels (see below for more about flour sack towels) for 1 hour.

  5. Melt butter over stove and add brown sugar until sugar is dissolved and begins to caramelize. Stir in white sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt. Then add pumpkin and walnuts, heat through.
  6. There are many variations to try and you’re welcome to add raisins, shredded chicken, diced apples (with caramel 😊), or anything you like as they can be savory or sweet.
  7. Fold and flute. Click on my HOW TO: Fold and Flute an Empanada Youtube video below.
  8. Fry in vegetable oil at medium heat or 350 degrees F (177 C) until golden brown and cooked through.

Enjoy this Spanish treat!

Flour sack towels | High-quality flour sack towels available at Amazon by clicking on the photo above (affiliate link, photo courtesy of Amazon).
Flour sack towels | High-quality flour sack towels available at Amazon by clicking on the photo above (affiliate link, photo courtesy of Amazon).

Flour sack towels (left) can have multiple uses but are great for covering bread dough while it’s rising. The weave is slightly looser compared to a typical tea or dish towel. Because they aren’t dyed, they’re safe to use around foods. A good quality flour sack towel is low lint, low pill, and lightweight enough to allow dough to rise, while maintaining enough coverage to prevent drying out and crusting. They should have finished, clean fabric edges that won’t unravel with repeated use so they don’t end up in your recipe.

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