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Lisa Kalabokis

All seasons

"Green City Market's basic pizza dough can be used for making empanadas! Have leftovers hanging around the fridge that could use a little pizazz? Use whatever you have as filling! We love this recipe for this very reason—it’s totally versatile and uses up odds and ends in your refrigerator, creating a fun meal with zero waste."

-Lisa Kalabokis, Green City Market Head Chef Educator

Little Chef recipe involvement: 

This recipe is great for all ages. From rolling, filling, crimping and egg washing, this recipe allows for kids to get their hands dirty in a variety of ways.

Download the full recipe + market shopping list.


  • Basic pizza dough
  • Leftover fillings:
    • Chili 
    • Roasted vegetables like peppers, potatoes, squash, greens
      • Add any type of cheese for a gooey center
      • Use frozen veggies if you don’t have fresh
    • Pizza toppings (pepperoni, sausage, veggies, cheese)
      • Dip in tomato sauce or spicy tomato soup
    • Sloppy joes
    • Taco filling
      • If you have extra rice, you can add it here!
      • Dip in salsa, hot sauce
    • Beans like black, pinto, white, garbanzo
      • Leave beans whole or puree for a creamy filling
    • Sweet fillings like apples, jam, frozen berries
      • Tip: sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of empanada dough before baking for an extra sweet crunch
  • 1 egg
  • Water 

Yield: 15-20 empanadas


  1. In a small bowl, crack egg and add a splash of water. Scramble with a fork and set aside as egg wash. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill another small bowl with water and set aside. This will be used to seal the empanadas, ensuring the filling will not ooze out.
  3. Liberally dust your work surface with flour and roll out prepared pizza dough to ¼ inch thickness.  Cut approximately 5 inch rounds (use biscuit cutters, cup or can for this) from the dough and fill with approximately 1-2 tablespoons of filling, taking care not to overfill. 
  4. Using a fork, gently press and seal the edges of the empanadas. If your fork sticks to the dough, simply dip it in a bit of flour and continue. Transfer to a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick silicone mat. 
  5. With a pastry brush, gently egg wash each empanada. Using a butter knife, make a small vent hole in the center of each empanada. This will allow steam to escape and prevent them from exploding while baking.
  6. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and serve warm.

Hint: Don’t overfill your empanadas! Adding too much filling will cause your empanadas to explode in the oven.

Swap: Don’t have a pastry brush? No problem! You can use clean, washed fingers for a zero waste option. If that doesn’t work for you, a paper towel or coffee filter will also work!

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