You can make frozen empanadas in the air fryer in less than 15 minutes. These delicious savory pastry turnovers of meat, cheese, or vegetables are cooked to flaky perfection in the air fryer.
Empanadas are a Latin American favorite. They’re baked or fried hand-held savory turnovers filled with meat, cheese, or veggies. Ground beef or chicken empanadas are quite popular. Dessert empanadas are hand pies filled with fruit.
I make delicious beef empanadas from scratch (with a shortcut using pie dough) that are a family favorite. But sometimes, I just need a shortcut and that’s when frozen empanadas save the day.
The air fryer is so incredibly good at heating up frozen foods. I’ve been trying out frozen foods from my local grocery store such as egg rolls, chicken fries, and steak fries.
But Trader Joe’s is my go-to place for the best frozen foods. I’ve shared delicious air fryer potstickers, samosas, and falafel from Trader Joe’s. Their empanadas are big and hearty meat pies that when served with a salad, can be a meal.
Check out all my frozen air fryer recipes!
Tips for Success
Preheat the air fryer if the air fryer doesn’t have a built-in preheat functionality. Some air fryers preheat before starting to count down. e.g. the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and Cosori. The heating time for preheating is about 4 to 5 minutes.
For best results, keep empanadas frozen until you’re ready to air fry them.
Every air fryer will vary. The first time you make this recipe, monitor the empanadas and check on them 2 minutes before the cooking time is up. Adjust the recipe as needed.
Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. To get perfect crispiness, it’s best to place the uncooked empanadas in a single layer, without stacking them.
Turn over the frozen empanadas halfway through air frying.
A great way to serve the empanadas is with your favorite dipping sauce. Here are the best dipping sauces:
You don’t need to use oil but if you want to have an extra crisp crust, spray or brush the empanadas with a little oil. Don’t use a canned nonstick spray, but rather a spray bottle filled with oil or a brush dipped in oil. You can use avocado oil, olive oil, or vegetable oil. I prefer avocado oil due to the high smoke point.
The cook time is about 9 minutes at 400 degrees F, shaking the basket once at 5 minutes.
Yes, you can use the same timing and temperature to make these easy air fryer empanadas using the Instant Pot air fryer lid, Duo Crisp or Pro Crisp.
– I use a couple of different brands. Goya is very popular and I also like Trader Joe’s empanadas.
– The Trader Joe’s ones are large empanadas that are cooked for a bit longer than the Goya. You can only fit two Trader Joe’s empanadas but you can fit 4 to 6 Goya empanadas in the air fryer.
– Air fryer frozen empanadas cook time will vary depending on the type of empanadas. More details are in the recipe card.
This recipe was tested using Cosori and Duo Crisp brands of air fryer. However, you can use any brand of air fryer including Philips or Ninja Foodi.
For a more crispy texture, increase the temperature to 380 degrees and air fry them for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Yes, leftover empanadas can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag and reheated by air frying them for 2 to 3 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you find that they’re sticking to the bottom of the basket, either spray some oil on the basket or line the basket with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Either poke holes in them or purchase parchment rounds or squares that already have holes in them.
How to Cook Frozen Empanadas in Air Fryer
Frozen empanadas air fryer instructions
- Keep empanadas frozen until ready to use
- Preheat air fryer
- Place empanadas in the air fryer basket
- Air fry frozen empanadas
- Turn them over halfway through cooking
- Serve with a dipping sauce
See details in the recipe card below
Frozen Empanadas in Air Fryer
- empanadas , as many as will fit without overlap
- Place the empty air fryer basket in the air fryer and preheat at 360 °F for 4 minutes. **
- Add the frozen empanadas to the air fryer basket.
- Air fry empanadas at 360 °F:– Goya empanadas: 9 minutes– Trader Joe's chicken and chimichurri empanadas: 12 minutes– Mini empanadas: 7 minutes
- Turn the empanadas halfway through the air frying time.
- Transfer the empanadas to a serving platter and serve with a dipping sauce. Sour cream or yogurt mixed with some hot sauce is a great option.
- * Trader Joe’s and Goya empanadas were tested in this recipe. Nutrition information is for Trader Joe’s chicken and chimichurri empanadas.
- Don’t thaw the frozen empanadas before air frying them.
- ** Preheat the air fryer if the air fryer doesn’t have a built-in preheat functionality.
- Cooking time can vary based on the air fryer model and empanadas brand. Please monitor the empanadas by checking on them periodically and adjusting cooking time as needed!
Thank you for visiting Paint the Kitchen Red. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please don’t use any content without prior written permission. If you’ve made this recipe and would like to share it with your friends, please link back to this recipe. Thank you!
I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
If you loved this recipe, please give it a five ⭐ rating in the comment section below and please share it on social media using the social media share buttons at the top and bottom of this post. Thank you so much!
I threw out the box to make room in my freezer and didn’t know how long to cook these in my air fryer. Thanks for the directions.
Paint the Kitchen Red
You’re welcome, Lara. Thank you for the feedback!