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Gluten Free Empanada Dough

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Gluten Free Empanada Dough from scratch can be the most fabulous, flaky, and delicious dough! You won’t even notice that it’s gluten free!



A golden-brown crust? Tender yet crisp? All wrapped around a savory or sweet filling of your choice? Yep!

This recipe is perfect for anyone on a gluten-free diet. 

But also, it’s just a stinking good recipe! Perfect for your next dinner party or family gathering!

This dough is a great option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.

The texture of this gluten free dough for empanadas is so flaky and buttery! Just like traditional empanada dough.

You can fill them with anything from ground beef to vegan cheese. Whatever you want!

And freezing is a breeze! Which means you can always have some on hand for a quick snack or meal!


grated frozen butter added to flour and salt


What Are Empanadas?

Empanadas are a type of baked or fried pastry.

They’re typically filled with a savory or sweet mixture. 

They were originally made in Latin America.

Though nowadays these delightful pockets of joy are enjoyed worldwide! 

They’re so great because every time you go to a new place you find someone who has added their own unique twist.


eggs ice water and vinegar added to flour butter mixture


What Ingredients Are in Gluten Free Empanada Dough?

Creating the perfect gluten-free empanada dough is easier than you think! 

Here’s the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Gluten-Free Flour: A 1:1 ratio gluten-free flour blend is best.
  • Salt: Just a bit of salt!
  • Butter: Frozen and grated for the best flaky texture.
  • Egg Yolks: Save the whites to make Vanilla Meringue Cookies!
  • Ice Cold Water: Make sure it’s really cold!
  • Vinegar: A little bit will actually tenderize it.
  • Egg: You can use the whole egg for the egg wash.

Pro Tip:

  • Freezing the butter and grating it gives you maximum flakiness. Don’t skip this step!
  • I love Cup 4 Cup brand of flour but you can use whichever is your favorite.
  • Cold means flaky! Make sure your ingredients are cold!


hand mixing dough


How to Make Gluten Free Empanada Dough

Making this delicious gluten free dough is simple and easy!

  1. Mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the cold, grated butter with the flour mixture until crumbly.
  3. Add in the wet ingredients and bring the dough together.
  4. Let it rest in the fridge to make rolling easier.

Pro Tip:

  • Be gentle when mixing the dough. You want cold butter pockets for flaky pastries.
  • Gluten-free dough can be fragile! Roll with rolling pin between two sheets of parchment paper.
  • Seal the edges of the empanada well. The tines of a fork or a bit of water can help seal them tight.
  • Keep an eye on your filled empanadas in the oven! Don’t burn them!
  • If you’ve got a tortilla press or empanada press, use it! Makes your life so much easier!


Ball of dough cut into 12 equal slices


Can You Make Gluten Free Empanada Dough Ahead of Time?

Yes, you absolutely can make this homemade gluten-free empanada recipe ahead of time! 

Prepare the dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Boom! Easy as that!

It can stay in the fridge overnight. Meal prep is as easy as pie!


Each slice rolled into a ball


How to Store Gluten Free Empanada Dough

Wrap the any remaining dough balls in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container in the fridge. 

It’ll keep for a couple of days.

Ready for whenever your empanada craving hits!

I find it freshest within the first 24 hours but you can store it longer if needed.

Then just cook it in a large frying pan, air fryer, or preheated oven.


Dough rolled out with a small plate being used as a guide


Can You Freeze Gluten Free Empanada Dough?

You can definitely freeze the ball of dough! 

Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap. 

And then I recommend wrapping in foil too. You don’t want it freezer burned!

It can freeze for up to a month. 

When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the fridge overnight.


stack of 12 empanada dough discs


Can You Freeze Empanadas?

Yes, both unbaked and baked empanadas freeze beautifully. 

And are seriously one of my favorite meal preps! Busy weeknights? These have got you covered!

Freeze them on a parchment-lined baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer bag. 

They can be baked or reheated straight from the freezer.

Just add a few minutes to the cooking time.


empanada disc folded over with a finger pressing it closed


What to Make with Gluten Free Empanada Dough

The options are limitless when it comes to filling your dough recipe! 

You can go more traditional with savory filling.

There’s always ground beef, black beans, corn, and shredded cheese.

You should definitely check out these Beef Empanadas or Sweet Potato Empanadas if you’re looking for ideas!

And if you’ve got a sweet tooth? Try apple slices, cinnamon, and sugar! So yummy!

Really, experiment! Find your favorite filling and enjoy it!


Hand holding closed empanada and crimping edges


What to Serve with Gluten Free Empanada Dough

Gluten-free empanadas go well with this Creamy Coleslaw Recipe.

Or this Easy Greek Salad with olive oil would work too! 

And don’t forget a Potato Salad with Paprika! You’ve got lots of options for salads!

You could also have a heartier meal with some Sour Cream Rice or Mexican Rice with Jasmine Rice.

And don’t forget the dipping sauces! 

A dollop of sour cream, a squirt of Cilantro Lime DressingBlack Bean Salsa Recipe, or Green Burrito Sauce all go great with empanadas.


unbaked gluten free empanadas laid out.


Mexican Style Side Dishes You’ll Love…

Gluten Free Empanada Dough is easy and delicious! 

Fill with your favorite ingredients, bake to golden brown, and enjoy!


Yield: 12 Empanadas

Gluten Free Empanada Dough

unbaked gluten free empanadas laid out.

This step-by-step guide to Gluten Free Empanada Dough makes the perfect dough! It’s an easy dough you can fill with so many different fillings!

Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes


  1. Freeze butter for a minimum of two hours. Grate butter with a cheese grater and return to the freezer (even if only for a few minutes, it needs to be as frozen as possible).
  2. Combine flour and salt.
  3. Add the grated butter and use your hands to incorporate into the flour mixture. It will be slightly clumpy.
  4. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and butter mixture.
  5. Whisk together egg yolks, ice water, and vinegar.
  6. Pour egg yolk mixture into the hole in the flour and butter mixture.
  7. Use hands to mix together and form into a ball.
  8. Rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  9. Preheat oven to 375℉.
  10. Cut the ball into 12 equal pieces. To do this, cut the ball into fourths. Then, cut each fourth into three pieces.
  11. Roll each cut piece into a ball.
  12. Roll the ball into gluten free flour until the entire ball is coated.
  13. Use a rolling pin to roll the ball out into a circle that is about 5 inches in diameter. The dough should be about ⅛ inch thick.
  14. Take the rolled piece of dough, and add filling to one side. Add no more than three tablespoons of filling.
  15. Fold the other half of the empanada on top, and pinch the edges together.
  16. Starting on one corner, fold the dough upward at a 45 degree angle and pinch.
  17. Using one hand, hold the corner that was just pinched. With the other hand, pinch the dough upwards again. Continue doing this around the entire empanada. There should be little folds of dough in between each pinch.
  18. When you get to the other corner, pinch it in like you did with the very first corner.
  19. Put empanadas on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  20. Take the beaten egg, and brush each empanada with it using a pastry brush.
  21. Bake in the oven for 24-26 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.


  • It is essential to use frozen butter and ice water. Re-freezing the butter after it has been grated is also essential. The frozen butter ensures that there will be pockets of butter in the dough when the empanadas go in the oven. This will create a wonderful, flaky crust.
  • The first pinch of the empanada is very important. There needs to be a good seal to make sure none of the filling leaks while it is being baked.
  • Picking up the empanada and using both hands to pinch makes the process much easier.
  • Gluten free dough is very easily manipulated but is extremely fragile. It is likely that you will end up with a tear or a crack. You can repair these before you put the empanadas in the oven.


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