Download the TODAY app for the latest news

Pumpkin Empanadas with Apple-Cranberry Filling
print recipe
(4 rated)
Cook time:
Prep time:

Empanadas are such a fun way to enjoy pumpkin spice flavor, seasonal apples and tart cranberry sauce. I love them warmed up for breakfast but they are also delicious served with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

Technique tip: Making dough can be intimidating but it shouldn't be. If your dough is too wet, sprinkle more flour; if it's too dry, add a little cold water.

Swap option: You can swap in gluten-free flour.


  • Empanada Dough

    • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid, plus more for brushing
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Apple-Cranberry Filling

    • 2 small apples, chopped
    • 1/4 cup cranberry sauce
    • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 pinch lemon zest
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


For the empanada dough:

1. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients for the dough.

2. Then, cut in the solid coconut oil with a pastry cutter or fork (or with your fingers) until the oil is incorporated into the flour and resembles tiny pebbles. Then, add in the pumpkin purée and maple syrup and mix with a large spoon or your hands until you have a shaggy-looking dough.

3. Bring the dough together and knead a few times, just enough to form it into a ball. You don't want the dough to be too dry and crumbly, nor too moist and sticky. It should hold together, but not feel tacky.

4. Wrap the dough and place it in the refrigerator while you make the apple filling.

For the apple-cranberry filling:

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, place the chopped apples, cranberry sauce, lemon juice and zest, salt, sugar, and spices and stir together.

In a small pot, melt the teaspoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the apple mixture and cook for a couple of minutes until the juices start to simmer, then turn the heat to medium-low. Remove the apples from the heat and set aside.

To assemble:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Take your dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Divide the dough into two balls for easier rolling. Take a large piece of parchment paper and sprinkle flour on top of it. Place the ball of dough on the parchment and sprinkle a little more flour on top.

3. Take a second piece of parchment paper and place it over the dough and roll the dough out between the sheet of parchment. Try to roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness, the thinner the better, but the dough can be tricky.

4. Use a large round lid or glass to cut out circles. Fill each round with a small scoop of filling. You'll learn as you go how much filling you can stuff in without them falling apart. Finally, use a tiny fork to stamp the edges and add three slits to the top of each pie to let the steam escape.

5. Place on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Melt a teaspoon or two of coconut oil, take the empanadas out of the oven and brush them with the oil. Put them back in the oven for another five minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for minutes before serving.

Related video

Closed Captioning
apply | reset x

Meal-prep recipes: Use cranberry sauce for meatless meatballs, pancakes

Play Video - 2:48