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(Suuuper Flaky!) Keto Empanadas 🔥 gluten free & grain free

Traditionally a beautiful Argentinian delight, you’ll find these gluten free and keto empanadas to be bursting with flavor and all wrapped up in a suuuper flaky low carb pie crust!

Gluten free and Keto empanadas on a baking tray
Gluten Free & Keto Empanadas (with a super flaky pie crust!)

Gluten Free & Keto Empanadas

Suuuper Flaky!

That’s right, empanadas are a beautiful Argentinian delight, which we’ve adopted here in Mexico as our own (a no-brainer!).

This version, however, is a bit more on the traditional Argentinian side; with the addition of green olives being non-negotiable!

Bonus: they’re very filling! So you can easily get 8 empanadas out of a batch of dough (they’re not very big traditionally), bake them up, freeze, and warm up as needed.

Alternatively, they also freeze quite well unbaked. So if you’re all about fresh empanadas, simply bake them straight from them freezer when the need (i.e. desire) arises.

Bonus numero dos: they’re easy. The filling is stupidly simple (like most great things in life!), and while working with the pie crust does take a little practice- freshly made empanadas are hard to beat! 

Brushing unbaked keto empanadas with egg wash
Gluten Free & Keto Empanadas (with a super flaky pie crust!)

The Deets

Many of you already know and love our gluten free & keto pie crust. Suuuper flaky and a breeze to make, I’ve already used it anywhere from strawberry pop tarts to quiche and numerous keto pies (think pumpkin and ‘apple’!!). 

The one trick is to work quickly and in a cool place. And if at any moment the dough feels unmanageable, simply pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Note: a few of you have reported back that using an ‘empanda press‘ to handle the dough makes the process absolutely seamless (and I’m dying to try!).

And do keep in mind that as the filling expands while baked, it will crack your pastry slightly. Honestly don’t sweat it, as the only way around this would be to increase the xanthan gum to make up for the lack of gluten. But that would mean less flakiness, and I’m just not into sacrificing taste and texture for looks.

Freshly baked keto empandas on a baking tray
Gluten Free & Keto Empanadas (with a super flaky pie crust!)
Gluten free and Keto empanadas on a baking tray

Flaky Gluten Free & Keto Empanadas

Course: Entree, Main
Cuisine: Latin American
Keyword: gluten free empanadas, keto empanadas
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 8 empanadas
Calories: 230 kcal

Traditionally a beautiful Argentinian delight, you'll find these gluten free and keto empanadas to be bursting with flavor and all wrapped up in a suuuper flaky pie crust!



Special equipment

For the pie crust

For the beef filling


  1. See recipe video for guidance on the pie crust!

  2. Make a batch of our keto pie crust and chill while you make the filling.

  3. Heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Cook beef, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned but not completely cooked through. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in pan as possible.

  4. Reduce heat to medium and cook onion and bell pepper, stir- ring, until tender but not browned, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper. Add cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth and reserved beef along with any accumulated juices to pot. Stir in sug- ar and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, allow to come to room temperature, cover, and chill at least 3 hours

  5. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C and line a baking tray with a mat. 

  6. Roll out dough between parchment paper and cut out 8 rounds. Place 2-3 tablespoons filling (depending on the size of your em- panadas) in the center of each round and top with a couple olive halves. Fold round over filling and pinch edges to seal, using a fork to crimp the edges. Transfer empanada to prepared tray, spacing 1” apart. Repeat with remaining rounds (you’ll get about roughly 8 large empanadas out of a batch).

  7. Note: a few of you have reported back that using an 'empanda press' to handle the dough makes the process absolutely seamless (and I'm dying to try!).

  8. Brush with egg wash and bake, rotating tray halfway through, until golden brown and slightly darker around the edges, 25–35 minutes.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*An easier alternative for the dough would be to use our famous Crazy Keto Dough (takes 15 minutes to whip up!). Think a bit of an empanada 'hot pocket' sorta thing (I've done it when feeling a tad bit lazy and works the charm!). 

The filling can be made 3 days ahead and the unbaked empanadas can be made 3 months ahead; freeze on sheet tray, then transfer to freezer bags and keep frozen.

Nutrition Facts
Flaky Gluten Free & Keto Empanadas
Amount Per Serving (1 empanada)
Calories 230 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Sodium 230mg10%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Siena Sati says:

    Empanadas are not only an Argentine delicacy, but they are also of Spanish origin, adopted throughout the Latin American continent, Empanadas are the epitome of colonial cuisine with different versions in each country.

  2. Rosa says:

    Made this. The dough was GREAT. Tried rolling between parchment paper and then cling film. Struggled with the parchment as dough would stick, but cling film worked like a charm. Did not even need to cool it first.

  3. Teri says:

    I was wondering, could I make the empanadas a head of time and then freeze for a quick weeknight dinner?
    I try and prep as many meals a head of time as possible because of my work schedule

  4. Ima says:

    Still need to work on these. I’m thinking I over-processed the dough as it came to a ball in my food processor before I could stop it. Was trying to make Nigerian meat pies. Putting it all together was a struggle and lesson in patience, ha! I didn’t think my kitchen was too warm but the crust would just fall apart as I tried to mold into the pies. Had to work between 5-10 minutes in freezer and 5 or less minutes to form. Gave up on folding and used dough as halves to make circular pies, smh.
    ….BUT. taste is 10/10. After bringing my ugly, sad-form pies out of the oven and taking the first bite, couldn’t even tell the difference from traditional meat pie. Dough was crisp, buttery, and flakey as desired. So..more practice it is. Thank you, Paola.

  5. Carole says:

    I am so happy with this recipe! I found the empanada maker too difficult and was more successful without it. I baked them in an air fryer at 330 degrees for 8 minutes–perfection! I feared I would never eat an empanada again, but these are wonderful and I am so grateful.

  6. Sindy Smith says:

    Hi could I omit the cream cheese? Maybe use more butter in place of the cream cheese?. For some reason my son cannot do cream cheese but he can do butter.

  7. Cat says:

    I finally got around to making these and they are soooo good! I’ve made the chili empanadas numerous times using left over chili, never really seeing any point in making a separate filling. OMG! I had no idea what I was missing! Wonderful stuff! I used a full pound of beef and doubled everything else as well, then froze what was left of the meat mixture after making 8 empanadas. I’m pretty sure I’ll use it to make more empanadas once these are gone, but I think it would be also great on a bed of lettuce, topped with cheese, avocado, sour cream or crema, salsa, etc. to make a taco salad. Sorry, just came off a 12 day egg fast and craving anything crisp and green! 😂

  8. D says:

    Could you possibly update this recipe with photos of the filing? It’s pretty difficult to tell how it’s supposed to look, especially when you say to keep all the oil in the pan… you also don’t specify how small to chop the bell pepper. Thanks for reading.

  9. Elizabeth Yeomans says:

    I have really been missing empanadas since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Thank you for this super delicious recipe!!! I made it and froze some. They are soooooo delicious and the crust is nice and flaky!!! Thank you Paola! You made my day!

  10. Renee says:

    I just made these empanadas and they turned out great!! The dough is very difficult to handle and I’m in awe at how yours turned out so pretty. I egg washed mine, but because of the coconut flour used to keep them from sticking, the egg was soaked up like a sponge. They final empanada was flakey, tender and delicious. I also baked for about 15 min and then used the convection oven feature for another 10 min. They were nicely browned and the edges we’re buttery yum yum! Thanks for the great recipes!! Oh, one question, could you add sugar to this for some cookie yumminess?

  11. Lexi says:

    I have only recently discovered your website and I am not overstating it that this is life changing. I’ve now made your pasta and pastry dough (two things I’ve missed since going keto 2-ish years ago) and will be working my way through the other recipes. I am so grateful for your hard work creating these recipes and I will be purchasing your cookbook as my way of supporting you and saying thank you.

  12. Raquel says:

    Hi Paola, I‘m relative new to your website, and I have already tried a couple of recipes. My husband was skeptical at the beginning with these empanadas, and thrilled after tasting them. I love your website and the recipes, I‘ll post them in my Pinterest account!

  13. Jessica says:

    How big are the circles of crust cut? This doesn’t seem like enough dough to cut 8. My dough also still has big clumps of butter and looks streaky. Maybe I didn’t process the butter enough before adding the egg?

  14. Michelle says:

    I made these empanadas last night, they were delicious. First time working with pie crust. It was a bit tricky, I would recommend letting the dough chill for more than an hour. I was in a time crunch and only let mine chill for a hour which made it difficult to work with but the end product was well worth it. Thank you for a great recipe.

  15. Jane Augustine says:

    Paola so sorry to read you had an accident. Hope you are recovering to your full self. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. Pray for continued good health.

    Your fan, Jane Augustine

  16. Cheryl P says:

    I’ve noticed that this empanada recipe was re-released today as a new recipe, as well as your flakey pie crust was re-released last month as a new recipe. I’m wondering what has been changed in either recipe from when you originally posted them? I can’t figure it out, and don’t see that it’s identified in the new posting. For the pie crust especially, it would help me to know how it’s been changed because it’s become my go-to, but I never wrote the recipe down! :/
    Thanks! Cheryl

    • Paola says:

      Hi Cheryl! The filling of the previous empanadas was with leftover chili, and it was very requested by you guys to do a ‘from scratch quick’ filling, so I’ve republished it today with a brand new filling.

      And the pie crust was just the general post that got a makeover- the recipe is the same. Also I suffered an accident a couple months ago, so you guys have been getting less new posts than before. I’m getting back on my feet now, so brand new posts are coming next week (I just still need to figure video out, as my mobility is a bit impaired).

      xo and thanks so much for reading Cheryl, love reading your comments ;)!

      • Cheryl P says:

        Thanks for the quick reply, Paola! (and the compliment :)) I didn’t think to double check the filling on the empanadas, since I was so focused on the “crust.” This new filling reminds me very much of the “pastelitos” that I grew up with in the DR! Gotta have those olives and that little bit of sweet (which traditionally for us came from raisins). Praying for your continued recovery! As an RN (nurse) I cringe whenever I think about your accident and the repercussions. *hugs*

      • Cheryl P says:

        Thank you, Paola! I wrote a reply a few days ago, and for some reason it’s not showing, so wanted you to know I appreciate your responses! And the new filling looks delish!

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