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Easy pumpkin empanadas recipe

Easy pumpkin empanadas are only 30 minutes away with this quick and easy short cut recipe. Seasoned with pumpkin pie spices and barely sweet, these treats make a great dessert or breakfast.

Easy pumpkin empanadas on white plate with decorative pumpkins in background.

For another fun Halloween treat, try these Mexican Chocolate Day of the Dead Cupcakes. They are the perfect addition to a día de los muertos fiesta!

Easy pumpkin empanada recipe

When I told a friend of mine from Mexico that I was making pumpkin empanadas, she immediately asked, unapologetically, how many she could have.

Overhead view of easy pumpkin empanadas on white plate on a burlap background.

Empanadas de calabaza or pumpkin empanadas are quite popular around the holidays. While I would normally make the dough from scratch, these past few weeks have been incredibly busy and I needed a shortcut.

Canned pumpkin empanada filling

This easy empanada filling is made with canned pumpkin. Taking a few shortcuts is what makes this recipe extra easy and super quick.

Empanadas filled with pumpkin on cooling rack. Empanadas have faces cut out of the dough to look like jack o' lanterns.

I also used store-bought empanada discs that you can find in the freezer section of the grocery store. Sometimes, we all need a break and this was mine. 

I’m not going to lie and say that store bought dough is better than a homemade pumpkin empanada recipe from scratch, of course it’s not. But, if you want empanadas and making dough just isn’t a possibility (or desire) than store-bought will do the trick. 

Also, canned pumpkin is just fine if you don’t want to roast a pumpkin to make the filling. Instead of taking a few hours to make these, they were done from start to finish pretty quickly.

The other side of this shortcut that is nice – kiddos can assist. It is Halloween season, after all. Get them involved! 

I have an 8 year old nephew who would be able to handle these easy pumpkin empanadas. This is a project they could help with and it’s a great introduction into the kitchen.

What do I need to make easy pumpkin empanadas?

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Easy pumpkin empanadas

Cheryl Bennett
Easy pumpkin empanadas are only 30 minutes away with this quick and easy short cut recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 20 empanadas
Calories 203 kcal


  • 20 each empanada discs in the frozen section of the grocery store
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp. half and half
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 4 drops orange food color (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°c / Gas mark 4.
  • In a medium pot over medium heat, combine pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and half and half.
  • Whisk to combine.
  • Stir frequently for 8 – 10 minutes, allowing some of the moisture from the pumpkin to evaporate.  Let cool slightly.
  • Whisk food coloring into beaten eggs, if using.
  • Brush the edges of the dough with beaten eggs. Fill with 1 heaping tablespoon and fold over to seal.
  • Use a fork or your fingers to pinch the empanada together (or use empanada press).
  • Repeat until you have used all of the empanada discs and filling.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until dough is cooked through.
  • Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.


To make the eyes and nose shape – use a 3/4″ triangle cutter.


Serving: 1gCalories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 26gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 987mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10g
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