Paleo Empanada

paleo empanada

oh. my. tasty.

Just look at that golden flaky crust. Can you believe this is paleo? Inside this pretty pocket of dough hides a savory and spiced meat filling. This paleo empanada is perfection. It’s also ridiculously easy to make.

If you can make my 3-ingredient paleo naan, then you can make this. Remember when I told you that my naan batter was magical? These paleo empanadas are proof of that. It turns out that when you bake my naan, it turns into something pastry like (if you want to fry them in oil, I bet they’d be super tasty too). These empanadas are crispy and flaky and insanely delicious.

So let me tell you how to make them. First, make the paleo naan batter by combining tapioca flour, almond flour and canned coconut milk. Then pour ¼ cup of batter onto a frying pan at medium heat. Let it cook until you can easily move the flat bread from your frying pan onto a baking sheet. Don’t worry if your naan isn’t totally cooke; it will cook in the oven. Doing this should make you six empanadas.

Then add a spoonful of your filling onto the flat bread. Put some egg wash on the edges and fold the bread closed – creating your empanada. Brush some egg wash on top and put it in the oven at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until slightly crispy on top. (Ghee or another oil will work too). You can watch my mini-pie tutorial video on Youtube to get a better idea of how to handle the dough.

paleo empanadas

How to Make Paleo Empanadas

I filled my empanadas with some delicious spiced meat but you can fill yours with whatever your heart desires. Try this with something sweet or fill it with cheese if you’re primal vs. paleo. If you’re looking something savory then I definitely suggest this meaty filling because it’s just so good. I made it by combining ground beef and chorizo with some onion, garlic and spices. It’s awesome enough to eat on its own but even tastier packed inside this empanada crust.

Add a little paleo hot sauce – in my case cholula and enjoy this meaty pocket of goodness. Make this when you have a party – you’ll impress all your guests. You know your friends who say, “what you can even eat now?” Well make this for them 😉

paleo empanada recipe by

My husband told me that if I made him empanadas every day, he’d follow paleo for life. He used a few words to describe these – in between bites: “fantastic,” “superb,” “wow.” Here is how I’d describe these paleo empanadas: insanely delicious.

After you make these, have my Paleo Apple Turnovers for dessert!

Anddd try my Paleo Samosa recipe (and then tell me how much you love me on Facebook. Oh did I just say that?).

4.9 from 7 reviews
Paleo Empanada
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound chorizo or spicy ground pork sausage
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • egg wash
Empanada crust
  1. Add oil and onions to saute pan on medium heat.
  2. When onions turn translucent, add garlic, jalapeno and spices.
  3. After a minute, add meat and combine well. Once it is fully cooked, set aside for now.
Empanada Crust
  1. In a bowl combine almond flour, tapioca flour, and coconut milk to form a batter.
  2. Pour ¼ cup of the batter onto a pre-heated (eco-friendly) non-stick pan over medium heat.
  3. Let the batter cook until the bottom of the flatbread is firm enough to move.
  4. Using a spatula, lift the bread and move it onto a baking sheet, flipping it over so that the sticky side is down.
  5. Repeat this until the batter is done - for a total of six empanadas.
  6. Spoon meat mixture in the middle of the bread and then pinch the dough closed.
  7. Brush egg wash on empanada and repeat about five more times.
  8. Place baking sheet in oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until crispy outside.
You will have a good amount of extra filling left over. I keep this in my fridge and make more empanadas during the week.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 empanadas (with extra filling left over)


    • Adrienne says

      I make these (as well as pizza pockets and apple turnovers using this recipe), freeze them and they come out great! I only bake for 30 minutes originally, and then put them straight from the freezer to the toaster oven, about 10 minutes at 350. Perfect! I think the options for Paleo Hotpockets is endless!

  1. Manda says

    Has anyone tried to make these with organ meats? I want to try incorporating them and this looked like a good way to do it.

    • says

      Hi Celeste! I am currently working on a nut-free naan recipe. I just need to make a few tweaks… once I do, I’ll try making empanadas and see how it turns out. Please subscribe to my newsletter for updates!

  2. Jeanine Johnson says

    I made these today and discovered something else wonderful to do with these! Mine weren’t as fluffy as the pictures, but were crispy. I had one shell left over, so I brushed both sides with ghee and put it on the baking sheet. It came out crispy and delicious! You could use it as a cracker, or cook it draped over something to make a taco shell! Crunchy is my favorite texture, so I was really happy to have this happen!

  3. karina says

    can I use millet or potato starch in lieu of the tapioca flour? I would prefer millet over potato starch if that’s possible. Thanks

  4. Kristin says

    Thank you so much for posting such great recipes! I made your paleo samosa recipe for our family Christmas Eve get together and they were such a bit hit… I barely blinked and the double recipe I made was gone! Even my extremely picky 3 yr old nephew ate a whole one, I almost passed out in shock! I’m so looking forward to trying this empanada recipe, I know it will be another winner.

    • says

      Kristin, that’s awesome! I’m so happy to hear that the samosas were a big hit and that your 3-year old nephew even loved them! I hope you’ll let me know what you think of the empanada recipe :) Comments like yours make my day!

    • says

      Hi Carolina – just make sure you cook the naan enough before you try to move it to the pan. You may also need to add less filling to the empanada so that the top layer doesn’t break. Tapioca is very forgiving, so if it does tear – just pinch it back together. This should help fix the problem :)

  5. Liz says

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! It’s absolutely delicious! I think it’s my favourite gluten free dough for dumpling style dishes. I just tried it with an asian inspired filling (minced ginger, garlic, onion, shrimp and green onion all sauted with a little salt) and it was divine! Thanks so much for helping me finally eat a gluten-free dumpling that’s not only just as good, but better than my memories of the ones that contain gluten. You made my day! I am going to try this with all sorts of fillings.

  6. Lisa says

    I made these and my kids loved them. Tonight, I was craving dumplings…you know, Chinese pot stickers? I found a recipe for the pork filling and used this empanada recipe for the dumplings! They came out really good and the kids (and Me!) loved them:-) I baked the dumplings and they came out crispy and yummy.

  7. Risa says

    These were fantastic! My son requested them for his last home dinner before returning to college. I’m going to try a turnover dessert with the crust, too. Hint: I had to flip the crusts in the pan before removing them or they fell apart. I also doubled the crust with the same amount of filling.

  8. Leslie says

    Hi! When you add the meat to the pan with onion and garlic, do you just stir to combine and let it cook in oven, or are you pre cooking it in the pan with the other ingredients? Thanks so much!

  9. says

    Hello Ashley, I thought I told you how much I LOVE these Paleo Empanadas; it must have been on twitter. I LOVE THESE! It is worth saying 100 times. I missed the part about left over filling and did have plenty. I added a couple eggs and had a super sweet potato pancake/omelet the next day. YUMMO! Also wanted to let you and your blog follower folks know that Trader Joe’s has mashed sweet potatoes in their freezer section. Love that! They’re all ready to go to add into your recipe. I love your empanada crust recipe the most. I have tried others with disappointment. You have the best combination and measurements of ingredients. I love the filling so much too that I put too much in and had 1 side open so a friend called them a “hot pocket”; they are the best sweet potato pockets we ever had! I have been cooking/baking GF for over 13 years and this is a definite WINNER in my collection. Thank you, Ashley; YOU ROCK! I love what you are doing in the kitchen; keep up the fabulous flavors. :-) You make living and eating healthy GF/Paleo a true pleasure for the senses.

    • says

      Ashley, I just realized that I wrote you a great comment about your Paleo Samosas. I will have the try your empanadas too since I love the Samosas so much. Sorry for my memory lapse. I loved the Samosas so much that when I saw those luscious pockets again, I assumed they were your sweet potato Samosas. I am sure the empanadas are just as great. I will have to make them too since I love meat fillings too!

  10. Katy says

    My kids love these. They are making them with apple pie filling as well as meat. They think the dough needs a little salt even for sweet fillings. So easy, even my domestically inept 17yo can make them.

  11. John says

    I love everything about these except the coconut milk wrapper – I don’t like coconut :( Is it possible to use another ingridient, maybe almond milk? or does that not have the right consistency?

    • Adrienne says

      Hey John!

      I haven’t tried them with all almond milk, but today I did half coconut, half almond. I found the consistency was too thin (compared to how ti was previous times making) and I added extra flour by the tablespoon until it was thicker…..about 20% more than called for Now that they’re made I can’t tell the difference from ones made with all coconut milk. I think it’s worth a try, but perhaps cook one at a time, and if they are too thin/delicate to fold over the meat without ripping, try adding a bit more flour (both types in equal amounts) until it works. Good luck!

      • Doris Griffith says

        What can I sub for Tap Flour with? My husband is a diabetic and tap flour will raise his blood sugar. Any suggestions? I would really like to try this recipe.

        • Adrienne says

          Hi Doris,
          the common substitutes for tapioca flour are cornstarch, potato starch, arrowroot or rice flour, but you typically use much less when subbing these flours…about half. I have no clue if any of them would work well in this recipe, but I’m thinking they are all pretty starchy, and that’s why they work….and that’s also why the subs are probably not much better for your hubby.

  12. Dawn says

    I just found your blog today and am looking forward to trying many of your recipes. I am particularly interested in your 3 ingredient paleo naan because it is egg free. With that said, I am wondering if you know of any substitutes I can use in place of the egg wash in this recipe?

  13. says

    my 12 year old calls these “Paleo pockets” and we all just love them! Made them last night and am looking forward to them again tonight!

      • Marilyn says

        These are absolutely delicious! I also had a little trouble with the dough falling apart, but then I just slid it off the frying pan right onto the baking sheet, and it held together just fine. They also look and taste fried, but they’re not. Brilliant!

  14. Kim says

    These look amazing! I saw that the recipe makes 6….are they big enough to eat one or is a serving size more like 2-3 w/ a veggie side?

    • says

      Hi Sarah – coconut flour is very different from almond flour so you can’t switch them out. I’ve been told that arrowroot will work in place of tapioca. Are you allergic to nuts? If so, you can try making this with my Paleo Roti dough – though I haven’t tested that out with these empanadas yet.

  15. Jer says

    I made these last night and I am impressed! They definitely past the husband test too! We at them with avocado salsa, and they were perfect. To save myself some time, next time I’ll double the filling and keep it on hand for later in the week.

  16. Shelly Myers says

    I found your blog through Delicious Obsessions and I am really excited to try your recipes! Quick question about this one….I see 1 egg listed for the “filling” is that for the egg wash or does it get incorporated in the meat filling at some point? I don’t want to mess it up!
    Thank you!

  17. Sarah says

    Your paleo naan basically changed my life and now, you give me empanadas?? Your naan is magical and that makes you the magician!! Thanks for being a genius and sharing this!! You just took a good day to a whole different level! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  18. Diane says

    Hi, Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m so excited to try it this week. Before you pour the batter into the frying pan should I melt butter or coconut oil on the pan? Thanks!

  19. Candice says

    I live ina rural area in Ontario and have not been able to find chorizo or a paleo friendly ground pork sausage, also am fairly new to the paleo lifestyle. Just wondering if I could use all beef or add ground pork with extra spices? Would love to make these they look awesome!!

  20. Sara says

    My daughter had asked me to make empanadas and I finally decided to make this. I’m sure glad I made them. Wow!! They’re amazing!! Thanks so much. :-)
    Husband loved them too!

  21. Diane says

    hi, thank you so much for such a great recipe. I am new to baking so when I made these the empanadas got stuck on the bottom of the wax paper. I wasn’t able to peel it off. Any recommendations to avoid this?

  22. Veronica P says

    Oh my goodness !! We had these last night and to say they were amazing, would be an understatement !! They were mind blowingly delicious !!! Even the kids were blown away by how good they were and before even finishing their plates, were asking when we could have them again !! Thank you, for a wonderful recipe !!

  23. Ann says

    Ashley, these are absolutely delicious! My 6 year old GF grandson has been asking his mum for a “meat pie” and I decided to try to make him his “fix” which I did today. I did not use your filling today but I shall do so when I make the next batch. I made my own ground beef filling for him and he was over the moon!! So was his 4 year old sister, in fact, I didn’t make enough to go round all the tasters! :) My question is, do you think these would freeze well? I think I need to make a supply of these to keep in the freezer! Thanks so much for these and for the nan bread too. You have made my family here in the UK very happy. You Clever girl you!!!

    • says

      Ann, thank you for the sweet comment! I’m so happy to hear that you and your grandkids like this recipe! I have frozen them a couple times and I think they’ve reheated fine. I do think they’re best when they’re fresh out of the oven though. Hope you’ll continue to let me know how any recipes you try turn out :)

  24. Ann says

    Hi Ashley. I made some more and froze 2 of them. Popped one into a preheated oven at lunchtime today (for 10 mins) and it was just fine, still had that nice crunch. Of course, nothing is as good as fresh out of the oven!!! ☺️ I am on your Facebook page so will be trying more of your recipes. You have several UK fans here within my family and we are now all Paleo and intend to stay that way. I so needed my fab little grandson to know that YES, you can eat this pie!! Ha ha. Thank you again so so much! x

  25. Karen says

    Made this tonight and although it was delicious (even my non-paleo, very picky husband liked it) I had a really hard time getting the crusts out of the pan. They stuck and were impossible to move without mangling. I used a little EVOO after I had to throw the first one away but it was still hard. I used a small pan; would it be easier with a larger pan with more room to move them? I want to make them again but need to perfect the crusts first. Thanks for any input to help solve my problem.

  26. says

    I had to come here and say that this is, without a doubt, the greatest Paleo recipe I’ve ever come across. This will convert non-believers, and I think if I didn’t tell anyone, they’d never know it wasn’t full of all sorts of naughty (but delicious!) ingredients. I’ve loved your blog up until now, but this just shot you into my favorites category.

    Oh, and I’d recommend to everyone to double the dough recipe. These WILL fly off the plate.

  27. says

    Making these tonight with buffalo chicken / goat cheese filling! Can’t wait. I am going to use arrowroot instead of tapioca (because thats what I have…). I found a conversion online: 1Tbsp arrowroot = 2 Tbsp tapioca flour.

  28. Sheri says

    I make the naan often and make them very thin to use as crepes, I top with strawberries, coconut milk and honey…delicious. I’ve also made the apple turnovers which are delicious too! Last night I made pizza pockets….they were amazing!! I have struggled finding some sort of pizza that works for me and this is it!! So yummy! I may make a big batch and freeze them so I can have them ready when I need something quick and yummy!
    Next to try will be dumplings!
    Thanks for this recipe!!

  29. Jessica says

    Succulent, these are absolutely delicious ! The seasoning is spot on, spicy but not too much, and the dough actually got crispy in the oven.

  30. Karen says

    Since full fat coconut milk separates in the can, do you use both or just the solid portion? I have used the liquid and solid combined and wonder if that’s why my crust sticks; maybe using just the solid part would make them thicker and easier to cook and remove from the
    pan. Help!!!

  31. Any says

    I made these for dinner. They were so amazing! I plan on using this dough for all kinds of things. Thank you!

  32. Brooke says

    I made these tonight and doubled the recipe. They turned out fantastic! Definitely a new regular at our house. I can’t wait to try this dough for other recipes too. Thank you so much for coming up with this!

  33. Stephanie Smith says

    This is such a good recipe! The dough is delicious and easy easy easy! I can not thank you enough! I will be making these all the time!!!

  34. says

    This is an amazing recipe, thank you. I inadvertently replaced the tapioca flour with arrowroot and the recipe still turned out beautifully! Next time I will use tapioca flour. :) In the fall I will try the recipe with an apple pie filling. Yum!

  35. Hasha says

    Hubby and I made these last night! Delicious! We’ve just started experimenting with paleo-friendly recipes and this one is a keeper. Thank you for posting this!

  36. Elizabeth says

    I keep forgetting to post a comment on these. i’ve made them several times now and i LOVE THEM. They are probably my favorite paleo dish ever. The filling is absolutely fantastic and i just eat the leftover by itself. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  37. Paris says

    I tried making these today but I had trouble with the crust when I was trying to fold them in half. They were sticky and kind of falling apart. Any tips?

  38. Rebecca says

    Amazing recipe! My whole family of picky eaters loves these!!! Thank you so much, Ashley! I just found your site recently and am so excited to make more of your recipes. I’m waiting for some fenugreek leaves to arrive to try your saag next.

  39. jasmine says

    HI dear
    can you tell me the nutrition content of this recipe? paleo empanada with the spiced met and chorizo we made it tonight
    Thank you

  40. Mimi says

    I just made these and they are amazing!!! Being Mexican these taste pretty authentic love them ! Thanks for sharing great recipes !!)

  41. Jenny Johnson says

    I made these on the weekend – what a hit. The only problem was I brought some into work for my lunch on Monday and everyone told me off for not sharing, now I have to make some to share with everyone in the office. What a great recipe, thank you

  42. Sarah says

    Hi- I’m really excited to try this recipe tonight but I have a quick technical question about cooking the dough. In the mini-fruit pie video you flip the naan after taking it off the burner so the sticky side is down but you don’t say to do that with this recipe. Since you reference the mini-fruit pie video for technique, I’m assuming that you also flip the naan for samosas, is that correct?
    The samosa in the photo looks “crispier” than the fruit pie’s photo so I thought not flipping the naan could be responsible for the difference in texture, but maybe I’m over thinking things…
    Thanks in advance!

    • says

      Hi Sarah! I fixed the directions for the empanada so that they are similar to the fruit pie recipe. Truthfully, it doesn’t really matter – I just think having the sticky side down makes for a cleaner appearance :) But yeah, either way works! Let me know what you think of the recipe!

      • Sarah says

        Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! I may try a few each way and see if I can detect a difference :) I’ll let you know how they turn out!

          • Sarah says

            They were fantastic! We really couldn’t believe how flaky the crust turned out :) I made a few sticky-side down and a few sticky-side up, and I think the winner is sticky-side down. Both were tasty but the inside of the the sticky-side up empanadas were slightly gooey (makes sense) and the crust was a bit more flaky using the other method. I wound up with 5 instead of 6 so I think I made them a bit bigger than average, but they tasted just as good.

            I’ve been 100% gluten free for ~12 years and these are some of the best GF “pastries” I’ve had…I’m excited to try more of your recipes!

  43. says

    Wow! These were delicious. I used my own recipe of empanada filling, and 1/2 slice of cheese (not paleo, I know, we are more primal) and they were fantastic!! I also tried using 1/4 c tapioca and 1/4 c plantain flour, and they were even better!! I flipped them in the pan, so the other side starts cooking, and then put the fillings in while it sat in the hot pan, that helped speed up the cooking process. My kids were starved, so I used 425 oven temp, and left them in about 12-15 min – perfect!! I was surprised how crispy the edges could get. These can be used with just about any filling! thanks for sharing!

  44. Jennifer G says

    I need more than 5 stars to rate this recipe. I’ve already been an addict of your 3-ingrediant Paleo naan, but these empanadas are truly exceptional. I have the 2nd batch in two days (made with the leftover meat mixture) in the oven now. My entire family loved these. I’ll be making small ones to serve as appetizers the next time I have guests over for dinner. Oh – with the leftover egg, I made a flat pancake and rolled it up in one of the leftover naans spread with a bit of grass-fed butter. Yummy snack.

    • Gill Davison says

      Hi there ,
      I have tried using a combination of ground almond /brown rice flour instead of all almond ( always use the same qty of tapioca though ) and used almond milk/ coconut milk instead of full fat stuff all worked out great . Thanks for this recipe … love it

  45. Bonnie says

    I know this question was asked, but I didn’t see the answer yet.

    Can these be frozen and reheated? I know most things go tough when microwaved from frozen, so I’m ok thawing them and then reheating. I just need to know if it will be a good option or if I need to make them every week. My husband would live off of these if I made them.


  46. Valentina says

    I made these today for my gluten free/dairy free girlfriend and they were really spectacular. I didn’t have a gf griddle for her at my house, so I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper, heated it to 500, then ladled in 4 disks and baked at 500 degrees for 2 minutes. took them out, then filled them, folded, and baked at 350 for 25 minutes. It worked like a charm. I’m so excited about these.

  47. Cassandra says

    OMG I tried your naan recipe last night and my fiancé and I died and went to heaven over it. So perfect and easy and actually bread like!! I can’t wait to make these for dinner tonight. Thanks for adding in nutrition info! I log in my fitness pal and having it all ready so I don’t have to dissect a recipe and input all data ingredient by ingredient is a godsend. You’re awesome and thanks!!


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