It was time that I took a stab at making more empanadas. Diced up some pancetta and sautéed that with jalapeños, garlic and onion. Added that to a bowl with cream cheese, more cheese and scallions to mix together for the empanadas. Even though I still have much to learn on the “sealing” method for these Fried Pancetta Empanadas, I could not resist trying it. Fried these guys up, paired with a Citrus Herb Chimichurri and we are ready to go! 


So what are Empanadas?


Well for starters, this is not the first time that we have made them. The last time was with leftover turkey, which was delicious! That being said, empanadas are delicious meat filled pastries that are staple-piece food for most Spanish, South American & Central American cuisine. I fell in love with these, through a friend that is Argentinian. That is was inspired these Fried Pancetta Empanadas. There are, however, many different varieties of empanadas with tons of different ingredients, fillings and styles of cooking. Feel free to find some unique ones that you might enjoy (youtube is your friend).


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Fried Pancetta Empanadas


Fried Pancetta Empanadas


How I made these Fried Pancetta Empanadas


As for these Fried Pancetta Empanadas, we will start by sauteing up some pancetta with jalapenos, onions and garlic. Once that is nicely browned, we will pull the hot fillings off the fire and mix them with cream cheese, shredded cheese and scallions. Mix that all together, and then we will pull out the Empanada discs. I do not have a recipe for making empanada discs, but you can easily find good unbaked dough for this at your grocery store in the Frozen International Food section.


Placing a large scoop of filling onto a disc, we will fold them over and seal them.  You can either use the edge of a fork or the twisting method (again, google/youtube is your friend). Finally, we are ready to start cooking again. Getting the fire hot again, we will preheat some canola oil to 350F. Once the Fried Pancetta Empanadas are ready, we will fry them up in some canola oil at about 350F for only 1-1.5 minutes per side. Once they are golden brown, we will pull them off and bite right into them! Served with a side of Citrus Herb Chimichurri and you are ready to go. Cheers!


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Fried Pancetta Empanadas




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Fried Pancetta Empanadas

It is time to dive into these Fried Pancetta Empanadas. Fried them up, paired with Citrus Herb Chimichurri & we are ready to go!
Author:Derek Wolf
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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Argentinian
Servings: 4 people



  • 10-12 Empanada Discs
  • 1 quart of Frying Oil

Hot Fillings:

  • ¼ cup of Pancetta diced
  • 1.5 tbsp of Jalapeños diced
  • 1 tbsp of White Onion finely diced
  • 6 Garlic Cloves minced

Cold Fillings:

  • ½ cup of Cream Cheese
  • ¼ cup of Shredded Cheese preferably Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 2 tbsp of Scallions sliced
  • 1 tsp of Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp of Black Pepper

Citrus Herb Chimichurri:

  • ¼ cup of Parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp of Fresh Oregano chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tsp of Red Chili Flakes
  • 1 tsp of Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp of Sea Salt
  • ½ of a Blood Orange juiced
  • ½ of a Lemon juiced
  • ½ of a Lime juiced
  • 3 tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
  • cup of Olive Oil


  • Preheat your fire to a high heat (around 400F) for direct cooking. Add a cast iron skillet to preheat 2 minutes before cooking.
  • Add into your skillet the diced pancetta. Let that cook for about 3 minutes until browned, caramelized and melting. Add to the pancetta the diced jalapeno, diced onion and minced garlic. Let that cook for another 2 minutes, then pull it off the fire and add the hot fillings into a bowl to cool for 3-4 minutes. Wipe out your cast iron skillet and set aside for later.
  • Add to your hot fillings bowl all the cold fillings. Mix thoroughly. Set out one empanada disc and place a spoonful of the filling at the center of one side of the disc. Carefully fold over the opposite side so that you have a half-moon shape. Using your fingers, gently press down the outside layer of the discs so that the empanada is sealed. Now, you can either additionally seal the empanada by pressing the edge of a fork down along the outside layer; or, you can fold the outside layer using a twisting technique. Repeat all this until all the empanadas are done. Once done, place in the fridge for 5 minutes to set.
  • In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the Citrus Herb Chimchurri.
  • Preheat your fire to a high heat (around 400F) for direct cooking. Add a cast iron skillet to preheat 2 minutes before cooking.
  • Add some frying oil into the skillet to preheat to 350F. Once ready, carefully add your empanadas into the skillet to fry for about 1-1.5 minutes per side or until they are golden brown. Do this in batches if necessary. Onced the empanadas are done, pull them off and let them cool for 1 minute.
  • Serve with the Citrus Herb Chimichurri on the side and enjoy!


Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

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