cook with kids recipe: gluten free pork empanadas

for my little one’s playdate this month, i prepared some zucchini ravioli and picked up some empanadas from a local establishment. unfortunately my little one couldn’t enjoy the empanadas but then it got me thinking … how could i try to make it?

little one loves pizza though lately she prefers white pizza. so clearly she loves the crust … so, what if i use the pie crust for empanadas? so on this cold weekend, we set out on the experiment!

we made the pie crust together and let it rise. when it came to wrapping the empanadas, it became a sticky challenge. we persevered and made the somewhat unattractive empanadas. little one enjoyed it and m&i ate them with her. not bad. i’ll have to do some homework to make it better but for now, it’s something new for the little one to enjoy and another fun parent-child cooking fun day!

cooking tools

  • rolling pin
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper


for the dough

  • 1 package pizza crust

for the filling

  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons minced chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves

for the empanada

  • ½ cup milk


to make the dough:

follow directions on pizza crust package. before prepping for crust to rise, separate dough into 16 small balls. keep in plastic bag and set aside for 20 minutes.

to make the filling:

place pork in a large pot and cover with water. add onion, chives, salt, oregano, cumin and bay leaves. bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1½ hours. while pork is cooking, prepare dough.

to make the empanadas:

roll out the dough to make a 5-inch circle about ⅛-inch thick. place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of the dough circle. brush edges of dough with milk. fold dough over filling. pinch edges together. crimp with fork to seal.

place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining empanada dough. if you don’t want to bake all of the empanadas, they can be frozen before (or after) baking. leftover filling can be frozen or used in tacos, tamales, or burritos.

bake in preheated oven until golden, about 20 minutes. remove to rack and cool for about 5 minutes. serve warm.

resource: Pork Empanadas by Michele O’Sullivan on

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