These miniature empanadas, tender pastry dough wrapped around pineapple filling, are just the right size for afternoon tea.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2008


Recipe Summary

1 hr 15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add cream cheese and oil and blend with your fingers until crumbly. Sprinkle the mixture with milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir with a fork until the dough just comes together--the mixture will still be a little crumbly. Knead a few times in the bowl, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few more times until the dough comes together. Divide in half and shape into 2 discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

  • Combine pineapple and preserves in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until syrupy, 12 to 15 minutes. Mash the pineapple into smaller chunks with a potato masher or fork. Remove from the heat; stir in breadcrumbs and cinnamon.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

  • On a well-floured surface, roll out one disc of dough at a time into a 1/8-inch-thick circle. Cut circles of dough using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Repeat with the remaining dough, re-rolling scraps as necessary, to make 24 circles.

  • Place 1 teaspoon pineapple filling in the center of each circle. Fold in half, press edges together and crimp with a fork. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake the empanaditas until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar, if desired.


Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the dough (Step 1) and filling (Step 2) separately for up to 2 days. Prepare through Step 4 and freeze in a single layer for up to 3 months. Bake frozen empanaditas at 350°F until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Equipment: 3-inch round cookie cutter.

Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.

Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.

Nutrition Facts

68 calories; protein 1.1g; carbohydrates 12.4g; dietary fiber 0.9g; sugars 6g; fat 1.7g; saturated fat 0.3g; cholesterol 1mg; vitamin a iu 21IU; vitamin c 4.9mg; folate 3.1mcg; calcium 22.3mg; iron 0.1mg; magnesium 1.9mg; potassium 18.1mg; sodium 82.8mg; added sugar 5g.

Reviews (7)

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7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
These are Great We really enjoyed these little treats. I will double the recipe next time! The dough itself is marvelous. I used unbleached white whole wheat flour and love having the cornmeal and cream cheese in it. Next time I will substitute honey and/or brown sugar for the white sugar. My only true complaint is the pineapples are crunchy even though I had the sauce simmering for at least 20 minutes. This could be because I used organic canned pineapples. I'm imagining a peach-mango-apricot filling for next time! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
How fun to say Empanaditas! I made these for my family for Christmas morning and they were very popular. They loved the delicate look of them and also the full bodied texture and taste of the crust and filling. The size is perfect for choosing 'just one'; although we all tried more than one! The crust is a little drier than usual but this is probably due to the lower fat content - and no one noticed it but me. This is a very popular recipe in my house and whatever fruit comes in season I get a request to make empanaditas. Wonderful treat. Pros: Great size delicious new size and taste Read More
Rating: 3 stars
A bit strange The cornmeal makes the texture of the crust a bit strange. The taste is a bit different than what I'm used to...not bad but not great in my opinion. They're so small that when you first bite into them it seems strange but it's gone in just a bite or two so it's not really bad. If I made them again I would change the crust; maybe sub whole wheat flour for the cornmeal. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I've made this recipe twice and can't wait to make it again. Fresh pineapple definitely makes a much tastier "cookie." These are perfect for those watching their weight but craving a sweet healthy bite. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
No problems I used finely ground cornmeal and doubled the recipe. I also used a 4 inch cookie cutter for bigger empanaditas. To cut down on the calories I rolled them very thin. I liked the cinnamon and pineapple combination. They were just sweet enough!. Pros: filling lightly sweet flavors blend well Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Probably won't make again If I were to remake this I'd leave out the cornmeal because it makes the crust bitter. I'd also just opt for an actually pastry crust to get the full effect. It's not as healthy but it would be much more authentic. I'd also recommend skipping the cinnamon... because it doesn't really mix well with pineapple. But I probably won't be making these again anyhow. Pros: Sweet bite size fresh fruit Cons: Bitter crust strange flavor filling faux pastry crust Read More
Rating: 2 stars
The empanadita itself was not bad once it was made but it was very hard to make. The dough would crumble all the time and it did not stick until I caved and added one egg yolk. And as I said it was not bad it was not great enough to endure the frustration of making it again. Read More