Empanadas are a great way to use up leftover meat and vegetables.
In Argentina, this savory fried or baked turnover is famous as both an appetizer and main dish with a salad on the side.
Standard empanadas are made using all-purpose flour, but cornmeal can be substituted for half flour for a nuttier flavor and additional texture.
Empanadas are easy to make with refrigerated crescent rolls, but the homemade dough has a more authentic flavor and appearance.
They can be served warm or at room temperature. Empanadas can be assembled and frozen for future use.
The pastry will get a little stiff, but the flavor will still be great. You can also freeze them completely cooked and reheat them in an oven or microwave.
Freezing the empanadas is a handy way to ensure there is always some on hand when unexpected guests show up.
In this article, we will guide you through the steps of freezing empanadas and provide you with a couple of tips to help you enjoy this tasty dish.
Does Freezing Affect Empanadas?
One of the most common concerns people have about freezing baked empanadas is whether or not they lose flavor after being frozen.
But this article contains excellent news: it doesn’t. Empanadas taste virtually the same whether fresh out of the oven or right from a deep freeze.
The only thing you’ll notice is that the crust might become a bit stiff.
If you are planning to freeze some empanadas, you must pay attention to detail when preparing them.
Follow this advice for the best results.
First, make sure they have been baked enough before freezing them.
The dough should be cooked through and not even remotely raw in the middle if you want frozen empanadas that taste like fresh empanadas.
The filling should also be thoroughly cooked before you freeze the empanadas.
The only exception is if you are freezing them filled but unbaked.
This way, they will take a lot longer to cook when you’re ready to eat them, so make sure you plan accordingly.
Secondly, make sure all the visible fats have been skimmed or brushed away from the surface of the empanadas before you freeze them.
If you don’t, the fat will remain solid once frozen and make it difficult to seal your empanadas.
Finally, try not to tear the dough when filling your empanadas or sealing them.
This way, they can be filled, and their taste won’t suffer while being frozen.
How to Freeze Empanadas?
Freezing empanadas is very easy.
Follow these steps, and you’ll have perfectly frozen and reheated empanadas that look great for any occasion.
Firstly, fill and roll your empanadas just as you would typically do with fresh ones.
Then place the cooked empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put them in the freezer until completely frozen.
The freezing process will take about an hour or two, depending on how powerful your freezer is and how big your empanadas are.
Once they are all friendly and frozen, please place them in a large zipper-lock bag or another moisture-proof container with as much air removed as possible.
Make sure to label the bag well to know what is inside it when you are ready to use them.
Then stick the container in the freezer and forget about it until you need them.
Freezing cooked empanadas has one significant advantage: they can be reheated without ever having to go through a thawing process.
You don’t have to wait for them to thaw out and pop them directly into the oven.
It takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on their size, until they are nice and hot again.
Frozen empanadas will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How to Thaw and Reheat Frozen Empanadas?
When it is time to eat your frozen empanadas, remove the package from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight if necessary, the next day, take them out of their container and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Reheat empanadas at 350°F (175 °C) until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Then serve them with a cup of hot tea, coffee, or broth to make the most out of this tasty dish.
You must follow all these steps exactly as described. Otherwise, your empanadas might not turn out great.
If anything is unclear or you have any questions, leave us a comment, and we’ll be happy to help.
You can also visit our blog more frequently to find many recipes and cooking tricks for empanadas.
How to Tell if Frozen Empanadas is Bad?
If you plan on freezing many empanadas, it is essential to know how to tell if frozen empanadas are bad.
You will likely do this more often than you would if you were only using them occasionally, so it is vital that they are in good condition and that you get to enjoy them for as long as possible.
Check to see if they have an unusual smell to them. If you have ever had a rotten vegetable, fruit, or meat before, then you know what I am talking about.
They often start with a sour odor that gets more robust and more unpleasant as time goes by.
Check to see if the meat or filling is darker than usual. Often the color will have changed from a light pinkish hue to an unappealing grayish-brown.
Try tasting it before throwing it away if you are not sure—but this should be your last resort.
Once you open the bag and take them out of their container, take a look at them.
Do they have dark or black spots on them? Are there any white specks (mold) on it or staying in the container? How does it smell now?
If you notice any of these things, throw them out immediately and do not try eating them.
Some frozen empanadas will also develop a frost-like layer on their surface upon thawing.
This is nothing to worry about, and you can melt the frost away by placing them in a warm oven for around 5 minutes.
In conclusion, empanadas are a great finger food to serve at parties, family gatherings, or just when you feel like eating something light and easy.
They are also incredibly delicious as an appetizer and can easily be prepared and frozen ahead of time for your convenience.
A good tip is to make more than what you think you will need so that the leftovers can be used for lunch.
You can heat and eat them at the office or take them to school with a side salad for lunch.
- Air-tight Containers / Plastic Bags / Zip-loc Bags
- Plastic Wraps
- Label Tape
- Firstly, fill and roll your empanadas just as you would typically do with fresh ones.
- Then place the cooked empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put them in the freezer until completely frozen.
- The freezing process will take about an hour or two, depending on how powerful your freezer is and how big your empanadas are.
- Once they are all friendly and frozen, please place them in a large zipper-lock bag or another moisture-proof container with as much air removed as possible.
- Make sure to label the bag well to know what is inside it when you are ready to use them.
- Then stick the container in the freezer and forget about it until you need them.