Cook empanadas from frozen to crispy in the air fryer! These Air Fryer Frozen Empanadas have perfect golden shells and warm, juicy filling. Great for any air fryer or Ninja Foodi and ready in 15 minutes.
Can you air fry frozen empanadas? Yes, frozen empanadas can be cooked or reheated in the air fryer in no time following these easy steps.
Next time you’re in the freezer aisle, grab a package of empanadas. These flaky, savory turnovers are the perfect handheld snack or appetizer. When air-fried, the pastry hand pie crust is tender, crispy, and golden, while the filling is hot and juicy.
If you’re wondering if frozen empanadas are even good, yes! There’s a bunch of mouthwatering protein and veggie fillings to choose from, and the air fryer method cooks them just as gorgeous, flaky, and delicious as homemade!
💗 Why Make Frozen Empanadas In The Air Fryer
- They’re just as flaky and tender as fried or baked empanadas.
- Ready in 15 minutes!
- These handheld pies are a great after-school snack and easy party appetizer.
- There are plenty of yummy frozen empanada brands, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
🥟 Ingredients & Tools
Frozen Empanadas – You’ll find them in the freezer section at your grocery store. See below for popular, highly-reviewed frozen empanada brands and some of the delicious flavors they make:
- Goya: offers a bunch of fillings like beef, chicken, baked spinach, and cheese.
- Brazi Bites (gluten-free): These minis come in chicken & cheese, black bean & cheddar, beef & bean, and chickpeas & veggies.
- Feel Good Foods (gluten-free): offer chicken, vegetables, and beef flavors.
- Sweet Earth makes an excellent vegan Cubana empanada.
Air Fryer – There are so many air fryers to choose from. I love my Ninja Foodi. It’s an air fryer-pressure cooker all-in-one and saves valuable counter space.
📖 How To Make Air Fried Empanadas (From Frozen)
Power on the air fryer and preheat to 350F.
2️⃣ Place pies in basket.
Place frozen empanadas in a single layer in the air fryer basket. If the empanadas are thawed, you may want to brush the shell with an egg wash or melted butter for the pastry to toast up nicely.
3️⃣ Cook frozen empanadas in the air fryer.
Set the timer for 10 minutes, and check on them after 6 minutes. If you’d like, flip the empanadas over and continue cooking crispy on the outside and hot on the inside (2 to 4 minutes).
The empanadas will be hot, so remove them carefully with tongs and enjoy!
⌛ Best Cooking Time & Temperature For Frozen Empanadas
The air fryer is essentially a counter-top convection oven, so each brand’s functionality differs. You may need to adjust the temperature, but 350F is a good temperature to start. See below:
- Frozen Mini Empanadas: like Brazi Bites, come out perfectly cooked at 350 for 6 to 8 minutes. Toss the basket once during cooking.
- Standard Size Frozen Empanadas: Cook at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Fresh Empanadas: If your empanadas are fresh, I recommend coating them with an egg wash or melted butter and air frying at 375F for 8 to 10 minutes.
👉 Recipe Tips
- Preheating – I don’t always recommend preheating, but it makes a huge difference when you’re cooking frozen foods in the air fryer.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket – Arrange the pies in a single even layer so that the heat can circulate evenly around each. If your fryer can comfortably fit more than four frozen patties, by all means, make more.
- Lining with foil – You can place a piece of foil between the basket and the bottom of the fryer for easy clean-up.
- Flipping optional – Flipping the pies isn’t necessary, but if you’d like to turn them over, make sure they cook seam/pocket side up until golden before flipping.
🧊 Storing & Freezing
Storing: Empanadas are best enjoyed immediately, so try only to cook what you need. Keep any extras in a sealed container in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.
Reheat: in the air fryer at 350F for 5 to 8 minutes or until hot and re-crisped.
Freezing: Do not refreeze once cooked.
More Air Fryer Frozen Recipes
Air Fryer Frozen Empanadas
- air fryer or Ninja Foodi
- 4 piece frozen empanadas store-bought or homemade (and frozen)
- Power on the air fryer and preheat to 350F.
- Place frozen empanadas in a single layer in the air fryer basket. If the empanadas are thawed, brush the surfaces with an egg wash or melted butter, so they toast up nicely.
- Set the timer for 10 minutes, and check on them after 6 minutes.
- Flip the empanadas over, if you'd like, and continue cooking until they are crispy on the outside and hot on the inside (2 to 4 minutes).
- The empanadas will be hot, so remove them carefully with tongs and enjoy!
The precise time and temperature will vary from one air fryer to the next, but as a rule of thumb, cook your frozen empanadas at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping a little over halfway through if you like.
For baking or frying, follow the instructions on the packaging. To air fry, preheat your air fryer to 350F and cook the frozen patties for 8 to 10 minutes, seam side up. Flip them over halfway through, if you like.
The precise time and temperature vary. I’ve had consistent results cooking empanadas in the air fryer at 350 F. Mini empanadas come out excellent cooked for 6 to 8 minutes. Handheld-size empanadas cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
In most cases, yes. Only place it in the bottom of the drawer if doing so won’t damage anything, and the foil isn’t in contact with the heat source. Otherwise, it’s fine to line the basket with foil as long as the food is heavy enough to keep it from blowing around.
No, the beauty of air frying is no need for extra oil!