Shrimp empanadas, a twist on the classic empanada, offer a perfect blend of seafood wrapped in a golden, flaky crust. We’ve found these empanadas to be a hit at parties and cozy family dinners. There’s something special about biting into these savory treats and getting that burst of flavorful shrimp.
Shrimp and spices
The shrimp is the star of these empanadas; we recommend using fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined, for the best flavor. For the filling, the shrimp is sautéed with a blend of garlic, onion, bell peppers, and a mix of Latin spices like cumin and paprika, creating a flavorful and aromatic filling.
We’ve experimented with both fresh and frozen shrimp; both work wonderfully, though fresh shrimp tend to have a slight edge in flavor.
If baking, place empanadas on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375°F. If frying, heat oil in a deep fryer or a large pan and fry the empanadas until golden brown.
You can also cook your empanadas in an air fryer - place the filled empanadas in the air fryer and brush with neutral-flavored oil, such as vegetable oil. Cook them at 390°F for roughly 12 min or until golden brown and crispy.
The empanadas are a great party spread, and we have some pairings that your guests will absolutely love;
- Fresh salsa: A simple, homemade salsa adds a nice touch. Its fresh tomatoes and a hint of cilantro bring a light and tangy contrast to the empanadas.
- Creamy guacamole: A smooth guacamole works well here. Its soft texture and gentle lime flavor nicely complement the crispy empanada.
- Cilantro lime rice: A side of cilantro lime rice is a good choice. It’s light and has a subtle zest that pairs well with the shrimp’s richness.
- Black bean salad: A hearty blend of black beans, sweet corn, ripe tomatoes, and fresh cilantro, all tossed in a zesty vinaigrette. This salad offers a balance of flavors and textures that complement the empanadas wonderfully.
- Coconut rice: Creamy coconut rice, infused with the subtle sweetness of coconut milk, creates a delightful pairing with the savory shrimp empanadas, adding a touch of tropical flair to the meal.
- Jicama slaw: Crisp jicama mixed with a bright, citrus dressing provides a refreshing, light side dish. The crunch of jicama contrasts nicely with the soft texture of the empanadas.
- Plantain chips: These sweet and crispy chips are a fun and tasty side, offering a delightful crunch that pairs well with the soft, savory filling of the empanadas.
- Roasted vegetables: A colorful medley of bell peppers, zucchini, and onions, roasted to perfection and seasoned with herbs. This side adds a wholesome and flavorful component to your meal.
- Cucumber and avocado salad: This simple salad, featuring thinly sliced cucumbers and creamy avocado, is dressed lightly, providing a cool and refreshing contrast to the warm, flavorful empanadas.
- Mexican street corn (Elote): Grilled corn on the cob, slathered with a creamy mix of mayonnaise, crumbled cotija cheese, and a sprinkle of chili powder. This side dish adds a smoky and spicy element to complement the empanadas.
- Pico de gallo: A fresh, homemade pico de gallo with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice offers a burst of freshness and acidity that enhances the overall flavors of the shrimp empanadas.
- Chilled beer or sangria: A cold beer or a glass of sangria is refreshing., and they help balance the richness of the empanadas.
Looking to add something more to your empanadas? Check out our suggestions for what you can include to spice up your empanadas and then some;
- Cheese and shrimp: This combination offers a luxurious, indulgent experience, with the cheese adding a creamy texture that balances the firmness of the shrimp. Whether a sharp cheddar or a smooth mozzarella, the cheese transforms the filling into a decadent delight.
- Spicy shrimp: Adding jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the shrimp filling is a game-changer for those who like a bit of heat. The spiciness of the jalapeños or the hot sauce brings a fiery kick that elevates the shrimp’s flavor, adding an exciting zing to every bite.
- Vegetable medley: Incorporating a blend of corn, peas, and carrots into the shrimp filling adds not just vibrant colors but also a variety of textures and flavors. The corn’s sweetness, the peas’ tenderness, and the carrots’ slight crunch create a harmonious medley that complements the shrimp beautifully, making each empanada a wholesome and nutritious treat.
- Herb infusion: Adding fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley can transform your shrimp empanadas. These herbs infuse the filling with fresh, aromatic flavors, adding a new dimension to the taste. The cilantro offers a lively, citrusy note, while the parsley provides a mild, herby undertone, enhancing the natural flavors of the shrimp.
Love yourself some shrimp and Tex-Mex? Try out some of our other delicious recipes;
Can I make Shrimp Empanadas ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prepare the filling and dough ahead of time. Store them separately in the fridge, and assemble and cook the empanadas when you're ready to serve.
What's the best way to seal empanadas?
After filling the dough, fold it over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges together firmly, then crimp with a fork or twist the edges for a traditional look.
Can I bake these empanadas instead of frying?
Certainly! Baking is a healthier option. Brush the empanadas with an egg wash and bake at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
What kind of dough is best for empanadas?
You can use store-bought empanada dough, or make your own using flour, butter, and water. The key is to have a dough that's pliable and easy to work with.
How long can I store cooked empanadas?
Cooked empanadas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure to store them in an airtight container to maintain freshness. Reheat them in the oven to maintain their crispiness.
Shrimp empanadas, a twist on the classic empanada, offer a perfect blend of seafood wrapped in a golden, flaky crust.
500 g fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
12 sheets empanada dough
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
2 tablespoon olive oil
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add chopped onions and red bell peppers, sauté until soft.
Add minced garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.
Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until they turn pink and are cooked through.
Season the shrimp mixture with ground cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir well and remove from heat.
Let the shrimp mixture cool. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) if baking.
Roll out the empanada dough and cut it into circles using a round cutter or a small bowl.
Place a spoonful of the shrimp mixture onto each dough circle, leaving enough edge to seal.
Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Seal the edges by pressing them with a fork or twisting them.
Brush the top of each empanada with beaten egg for a golden finish.
If baking, place empanadas on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375°F until golden. If frying, heat oil in a deep fryer or a large pan and fry the empanadas until golden brown.
Remove empanadas from the oven or fryer and let them cool slightly before serving.
If you're deep frying the empanadas, heat up the oil to a temperature of 330°F. If you do not have a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the oil, test whether the oil has reached temperature by sprinkling a couple of drops of water into the oil. If the oil has reached a high temperature, it should sizzle and spit a little bit which means it's ready to use for frying. You will need to keep a close eye on the empanadas to check whether you need to adjust the temperature of the oil.
- Calories 400 kcal |
- Carbohydrate Content 35 g |
- Cholesterol Content 150 mg |
- Fat Content 18 g |
- Fiber Content 2 g |
- Protein Content 20 g |
- Serving Size 1 portion |
- Sodium Content 400 mg |
- Sugar Content 3 g |
- Saturated Fat Content 4 g |
About the author
Emma Donin is the culinary maestro behind this blog that serves as a melting pot of global cuisines and gastronomic adventures. Her culinary journey began in her grandmother's kitchen, where she learned the fundamentals of cooking and the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients.