Spinach and Cheese Empanadas Recipe

Flaky pie crust filled with fresh spinach, garlic, and ricotta cheese. These Spinach and Cheese Empanadas are an easy dinner or appetizer recipe, and best served with fresh Chimichurri sauce!

Save some pie crust to make our favorite apple empanadas for dessert. Or whip up a batch of baked cinnamon sugar tortilla chips to treat yourself.

Spinach and Cheese Empanadas on plate

What is an Empanada

Every culture has their own version: a flaky handheld pastry wrapped around meat, vegetables or cheese then baked or fried to toasty perfection.

Empanadas come to us courtesy of Spain but they’ve been popular for generations across Latin America and the Philippines too. Different regions have their own favorite versions of this classic stuffed hand pie, ranging from savory to sweet.

Today’s take on empanadas is a satisfying baked version filled with fresh spinach and cheese! Made with refrigerated pie crust, this empanada recipe is easy enough for a weeknight but impressive enough to serve at a special occasion!

Baked Spinach and Cheese Empanadas

Ingredient Notes

  • Refrigerated Pie Crust – Don’t scoff! Ready made crust delivers amazing buttery flaky results without any fuss. If you have an amazing homemade pie crust you love, feel free to use it here instead.
  • Fresh Spinach – Frozen spinach works as a substitute if you drain and cook out excess liquid.
  • Ricotta cheese – Fresh goat cheese or feta cheese would make a delicious substitute.
  • Parmesan – Grated fresh (not from a shaker!).

Easy Instructions

Unroll your pie crust and use a biscuit cutter to cut it into 12 circles. You may need to reroll the crust several times to get enough circles.

Saute butter, onion and spinach for a few minutes to cook down the leafy greens. Combine the two cheeses, seasonings and butter in a separate bowl, then add in the spinach mixture.

Fill the prepared pie crust circles with about a tablespoon of filling. Fold, pinch the seams to seal and brush the empanadas with beaten egg yolk (optional but adds great color to the baked crust).

Bake for 18 – 22 minutes and serve hot!

Serving Suggestions

Wondering how to turn your empanadas into a complete meal?

Make a batch of fresh Chimichurri sauce to spoon on top of the baked empanadas. The zesty flavor and vibrant green color are the ideal match for the spinach and cheese.

I love serving savory empanadas for dinner alongside a helping of Cilantro Lime Rice or Saffron infused rice. Don’t forget the Sopapilla Cheesecake for dessert!

Spinach and Cheese Empanadas with Chimichurri

Recipe FAQs

Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh?

Sure can! I’d thaw and drain it first then make sure to cook off excess liquid before adding it to the filling.

Are these vegetarian friendly?

Indeed they are. While they’re not vegan due to the cheese, butter and egg, vegetarians can happily enjoy meatless Spinach Cheese Empanadas with the rest of the family.

Can you freeze empanadas?

Yes, you can freeze these either before baking or after! No need to thaw them before baking. Just add a couple minutes more time in the oven.
Reheat baked frozen empanadas in the toaster oven, conventional oven or microwave.

Why are my empanadas breaking?

The culprit is probably overfilling. When it comes to stuffing empanada dough, less is more. I use a tablespoon to measure the filling in each empanada.

Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Empanadas on plate

More Empanada Recipes

  • Create easy dessert empanadas by using pie crust with your favorite fruit pie filling!
  • Pepperoni Hand Pies. Many times we eat these for dinner, but they also make a great after school snack or lunch. Serve them up with your favorite marinara sauce.
  • Rebecca has a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas and I’m totally putting them on my dinner menu! Well, first I’ll make Shepherd’s Pie, as her recipe uses up leftovers to stuff inside empanadas. So smart!
  • This delicious ground Turkey Empanadas recipe from my friend Jocelyn will become your fave go to snack or game day food! They are filled with flavor and the flakiest crust ever!
Yield: 12 empanadas

Spinach and Ricotta Empanadas

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Additional Time 18 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Flaky pie crust filled with fresh spinach, garlic, and ricotta cheese. These Spinach and Cheese Empanadas are an easy dinner or appetizer recipe, and best served with fresh Chimichurri sauce!


  • 1 box refrigerated pie crust, makes two pies
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten, optional for brushing on pie crust


  1. Unroll pie crust from package. Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter, get all your crusts ready. Re-roll crust and cut out more. You should get about 12 circles. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, saute butter, onion, and fresh spinach over medium high heat. Stir and cook for several minutes, until spinach cooks down. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine egg, ricotta cheese, parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in spinach mixture until combined.
  4. Using about 1 large tablespoon scoop, fill each pie crust circle with a dollop of filling. Fold in half and pinch edges. Seal by pressing the tines of a fork along the edge. Repeat with all circles.
  5. Place empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush tops with beat egg yolk for a rich color (optional). Bake for 18-22 minutes in a 425°F oven. Serve with chimichurri sauce and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 320mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Baked empanadas are so much easier to make than you’d expect! With healthy spinach and creamy ricotta, this empanada recipe is guaranteed to impress.

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on March 8, 2018

Comments & Reviews

  1. I like them, but it seems like there is too much pie crust vs. filling. So I have a hard time even tasting the filling. This is first time I made empanadas. Is there maybe a thinner crust that would still work? Maybe next time I would make bigger circles in order to put more filling in. The only other thing I may do is to use the egg white vs. the egg yolk, that’s just a personal preference. Once I made them, it seems much easier than I anticipated. Thank you for sharing.

    1. What do you mean by “reroll your crust”? Do you mean after cutting out 4” circles, take the leftover dough scraps and roll them together?

  2. These are just delicious, I made a batch up for book club and everyone LOVED them! 
    Off to try some more of your empanadas 😀 

  3. Made these today for lunch.  Absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to make them again with a different variety of ingredients. Adding the chimichurri sauce made these empanadas even better. 

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