A Guide to Serving Empanadas with Creative and Delicious Side Dishes

Empanadas are a popular Latin American dish that consists of a pastry dough filled with a savory filling. They are a classic favorite, perfect for parties or a casual weeknight meal. It can be served as an appetizer or main course. 

While empanadas can certainly stand on their own, they make an even better meal when served with creative side dishes. So, what to serve with empanadas? 

From salads to soups and everything in between, here are some wonderful options for pairing with your favorite empanada recipes. Let’s explore some tasty options that will make your empanada meal even more enjoyable. 

In Short - what to serve with empanadas

Soup, Salad, Rice, Vegetables, Refried beans, Avocado salsa, Roasted vegetables, Spanish rice, Pico de gallo, Plantains, Coleslaw, Grilled corn on the cob, Mango slices, Queso Fresco (Mexican cheese), Chimichurri Sauce, Bean salad, Paprika Potatoes, Sweet Potato Fries, Cream cheese, Cream cheese, Pickled jalapenos, Hot sauce, Corn Salad, Mexican Street Corn

25+ Sides to serve with empanadas

1. Soup

For a light, nutritious pairing, consider serving a soup alongside your empanadas. Creamy squash or pumpkin soup will provide a welcome contrast to the savory flavors of the empanadas. 

Tomato soup

Alternatively, you could try a spicy tomato soup or even a gazpacho to add some brightness and color to your plate. 

You can also try best sides to complement the soups to serve at party

2. Salad

A bright green salad can complement any type of empanada nicely. Try adding grated carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and tomatoes for an added flavor boost. 

Spring Pea Salad

For an even more flavorful option, try adding fruits like oranges, apples, or grapes – they’ll add a nice sweetness and crunch.

If you are feeling adventurous, why not try making a quinoa-based salad? The nutty flavor of quinoa pairs well with the rich flavors of the empanadas. 

3. Rice

Rice is always a crowd-pleaser, and it goes perfectly with any type of empanada recipe. Use traditional long-grain rice or opt for something more unusual like wild rice or jasmine rice for added texture and flavor. 

wild rice

Or, if you are feeling adventurous, why not try making a pilaf? This simple dish is easy to make and can be made in advance.

You can also jazz up your rice by adding herbs such as thyme or rosemary for an extra burst of flavor. 

4. Vegetables

Don’t forget about vegetables when planning side dishes for your empanada feast!

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts are always popular, but you could also try steaming some broccoli or cauliflower florets if you’re looking for something lighter and healthier. 

For an even heartier option, roasted potatoes make a great accompaniment to any type of empanada dish. 

5. Refried beans

Refried beans are a classic side dish for empanadas and provide a great balance of protein, fiber, and flavor.

Not only are refried beans tasty, but they also have the potential to improve your heart health due to their large content of monounsaturated fatty acids.

6. Avocado salsa

Guacamole is one of the most popular side dishes for all kinds of Mexican-inspired dishes, including empanadas. 

Not only does avocado salsa add a delicious layer of flavor to the dish, but it’s also rich in healthy fats and vitamins C and K.

7. Roasted vegetables

Roasted vegetables are an excellent way to get your daily dose of essential nutrients while still enjoying a tasty side dish with your empanadas.

Roasted Vegetables

Vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and asparagus pair perfectly with empanadas and will keep you full until your next meal!

8. Spanish rice

Spanish rice is a classic Latin side dish that is easy to make and pairs well with any type of empanada filling.

Spanish rice can be cooked with either white or brown rice, tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and seasonings such as cumin and oregano for extra flavor.

9. Pico de gallo

This bright red salsa made out of fresh tomatoes and onions takes just minutes to make but adds so much flavor to any meal!

Pico de gallo is perfect for dipping empanadas in or could even be used as a topping on top of them!

10. Plantains

Plantains are an excellent side dish choice that adds both sweetness and texture to any meal; this makes them perfect for pairing with empanadas! 

Fried Plantains

Whether you serve them fried or mashed up with garlic or spices, they’ll definitely satisfy your taste buds every time you take a bite!

11. Coleslaw

Cool coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment for hot empanadas because its crispness helps cut through the richness from the dough outside while still complimenting the flavors coming from inside it too!

12. Grilled corn on the cob

For something totally different, try having grilled sweet corn on the cob as a side dish — it’s so good you won’t even notice it’s missing meat accompaniment! 

The smoky aroma combined with the crunchy texture is sure to please everyone at your table!

Know More: What to serve with Grilled Octopus with sauces

13. Mango slices

If you want something light yet flavorful, then look no further than mango slices which bring an unexpected burst of sweetness perfect for balancing out spicier fillings inside your empanadas! 

 Mango slices

Plus, they’re packed full of vitamins A & C, so it’s definitely worth giving them a try next time around!

14. Queso Fresco (Mexican cheese)

Queso fresco or Mexican cheese is another great way to add some depth of flavor without overpowering other ingredients in your meal; simply crumble it onto each plate before serving for the extra creaminess every bite deserves!

15. Chimichurri Sauce 

This herby sauce originating from Argentina has become increasingly popular throughout Latin America over recent years; made out mostly of parsley, garlic, oregano, chili flakes, olive oil & vinegar, chimichurri sauce adds an exciting level of complexity when served alongside empanada platters!

16. Bean Salad

Another quick & easy option that packs plenty of punch flavor-wise is bean salad; mix together canned black eye peas, cherry tomatoes, coriander, lime juice, chili & salt – voila – you’ve got yourself a delicious accompaniment that goes perfectly with empanadas!

17. Paprika Potatoes

If potatoes are more your thing, then paprika potatoes are certain to hit the spot; soft golden cubes tossed with herbs & spices, including paprika, create a satisfyingly spicy yet subtly sweet treat that is ideal for backing up the main event!

18. Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries go excellent with empanadas.

sweet potato fries

These oven-baked wedges come dusted with cinnamon sugar, making a deliciously crisp contrast against the rest savory components spread before you – choose dip mayonnaise to make the dipping experience truly divine!

You can also look at the best sauce that goes with potato wedges

19. Cream cheese

Cream cheese is a great way to compliment the savory flavors of an empanada filling while also adding some creaminess to the mix. Serve cream cheese on the side for dipping, or spread a thin layer inside each pastry for an extra hit of flavor!

20. Pickled jalapenos

Pickled jalapenos are a spicy addition to any dish and can be served alongside empanadas as a condiment, adding a gentle kick of heat to each bite! (Recipe)

21. Hot sauce

Add some zing to your meal with a bottle of hot sauce on the table! It’s perfect for spicing up your empanada creations and adds a unique flavor to otherwise bland ingredients.

22. Corn Salad

Corn salad is another delicious way to add more veggies to your empanada side dishes. Simply mix together canned corn, red onion, cilantro, and olive oil for a simple yet tasty accompaniment!

23. Mexican Street Corn

A classic Latin American side dish, Mexican Street Corn is made up of grilled corn that’s been slathered in mayonnaise, chili powder, cotija cheese, and lime juice.

It’s the perfect way to add some heat and flavor to your empanada party!

What are empanadas? What do empanadas taste like?

Empanadas are a traditional Latin-American dish that is incredibly popular in many countries. They consist of a pastry dough made from wheat flour, water, and sometimes lard or shortening that is filled with various ingredients such as meat, cheese, vegetables, fruits, fish, and spices. 

The dough is folded into a half-moon shape and then deep-fried or baked to make it crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside.

The flavor of empanadas varies widely depending on the filling used. Classic empanadas often feature savory fillings with flavors like beef and onions, chicken and peppers, or ham and cheese. 

Some variations may also contain sweet ingredients such as apples, raisins, or bananas to create a sweet version of this delicious dish.

In addition to the filling, the type of seasoning used can also impact the flavor of an empanada. Spices like paprika and chili powder are commonly used to give them their characteristic kick.

When served fresh from the oven or fryer/deep fryer, empanadas have a distinct crunchy crust that gives way to a mix of warm melted cheese and juicy, flavorful fillings inside.

The combination of savory meats with sweet fruits inside makes for a very unique flavor that is unlike anything else. It is this contrast between crunchy pastry and gooey interior that makes empanadas so addictive!

What sauce do you serve with empanadas?

There are many different sauces that can be served with empanadas, depending on the type of empanada and personal preferences. 

Commonly served sauces for empanadas include chimichurri, a traditional Argentinian sauce made from parsley, oregano, garlic, chili peppers, olive oil, and vinegar; guacamole or avocado salsa; pico de gallo; sour cream or crema agria; salsa criolla; cilantro cream sauce; spicy tomato sauce; and roasted red pepper sauce. 

Some people also like to add hot sauces such as sriracha or jalapeño to their empanadas.

Additionally, some people will enjoy adding flavorful condiments such as olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers to enhance the flavor of their empanada.

What kind of salad goes with empanadas?

A Mediterranean-style salad is a great accompaniment to empanadas.

The crisp, cool flavor of the salad pairs nicely with the savory filling and crunchy pastry of an empanada. Salads such as Greek salad, Italian chopped salad, or tabbouleh are all excellent options. 

If you’re searching for something more flavorful, try a roasted vegetable panzanella or Caesar salad with grilled chicken and croutons.

To make it even heartier, top your salad with black beans or chickpeas for added protein and texture. Add pomegranate seeds or colorful bell peppers for a beautiful presentation that will tantalize everyone’s taste buds.

What are the best flavors to go with empanadas?

Empanadas are versatile dishes that can be filled with a variety of delicious ingredients. Some of the most popular flavors for empanadas include beef, cheese, and chicken. 

If you have a sweet tooth, fruit-filled empanadas such as apple, pineapple, or peach make for an especially delicious treat. Other savory flavor combinations that pair well with empanadas are chorizo and vegetable, spinach and feta cheese, or potato and cheddar cheese. 

Those looking to experiment in the kitchen might try unique flavor combinations such as raisin and goat cheese or black bean and corn.

How do you jazz up empanadas?

There are many ways to jazz up empanadas. Some tasty additions include diced vegetables like peppers, onions, and mushrooms; cooked meats such as ground beef or chicken; corn, black beans, or salsa; cubed potatoes and shredded cheese. 

For even more flavor, you can add seasonings such as chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder.

If you’re feeling adventurous, some other delicious ingredients for empanadas are olives, artichokes, capers, and chorizo sausage. Once stuffed with your choice of fillings, top them off with an egg wash for a crunchy finish!

How do you display empanadas on a platter?

When displaying empanadas on a platter, it is important to arrange them in a visually appealing way. Start by creating the base layer with larger empanadas and then build around them with smaller pieces.

To achieve a decorative look, alternate between different shapes and sizes of empanadas, such as circles and half-moon shapes. 

Additionally, place the empanadas in even sections so that they are all visible, which will make them look balanced on the platter. Finishing touches such as fresh herbs, edible flowers, or seasonal vegetables can add color and help make the presentation more aesthetically pleasing.

It is also important to ensure that there is enough space between each empanada so that they do not stick together when being served.

How are empanadas traditionally served?

Empanadas are traditionally placed as an appetizer or main course dish. They can be eaten hot or cold and can be loaded with a wide range of ingredients, including meats, cheeses, vegetables, and even fruits.

The dough is usually either deep-fried or baked and is often served with sauces such as salsa or chimichurri. 

Empanadas are a famous dish in many Latin American countries and have also gained popularity in different parts of the world due to their flavor and convenience.

In addition to being present as individual snacks or meals, empanadas are often part of larger meals such as weddings, baptisms, and other celebrations.

How do you serve empanadas at a party?

Empanadas are a delicious and easy way to serve appetizers at a party. They can be presented warm, at room temperature, or cold, depending on your preference.

To serve them warm, bake them in the oven following the instructions on the package and keep them warm in an oven-safe dish.

For empanadas served at room temperature, you can either freeze store-bought empanadas before serving or make your own ahead of time using your favorite recipe. 

You can also serve chilled empanadas by baking them and refrigerating them before serving. You can add dipping sauces or salsa for an extra flavorful bite!

Wrap Up on what to serve with empanadas

With these simple yet delicious side dish ideas in mind, you can easily create the perfect meal featuring everyone’s favorite snack –empanadas!

Whether you choose to serve them with soup, salad, rice, or vegetables—you can rest assured that your guests will be delighted by this tasty treat! 

So go ahead and get creative; these sides are sure to pair perfectly with whatever type of empanada recipe you choose! Bon Appétit!


How much empanadas per person?

The quantity of empanadas per person depends on their size. Generally, there should be two to three small empanadas per person or one large one.

People tend to prefer larger empanadas as they allow for more variety in flavors and fillings. 

If the empanadas are part of a meal, it is recommended to serve one large empanada per person or two small ones. This way, everyone can sample different flavors and fillings without having too much food.

If the empanadas are prsented as an appetizer or snack, then a greater number can be offered – up to four small ones or two large ones per person.

What is the best partner for empanadas?

The best partner for empanadas is a savory sauce such as chimichurri, salsa verde, or guacamole. These flavorful sauces enhance the taste of the empanada filling while adding moisture and creaminess to every bite. 

Some of these sauces can even act as marinades for meats in the empanadas. Rice and beans are also great sides with empanadas, providing an additional layer of flavor and texture. Enjoy!

What do Argentines eat with empanadas?

Argentines often eat their empanadas with a variety of condiments and dips, such as chimichurri sauce, salsa criolla, ají molido (a spicy pepper paste), and palta (avocado).

Chimichurri is a traditional Argentinian condiment made from parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, and oil.
Salsa criolla is a mixture of onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices. Ají molido is a traditional Argentinian pepper paste made from hot peppers blended with salt and oil.

Palta is a popular Argentinian dip made with mashed or sliced avocados. Empanadas are often served alongside sides such as potato salad or roasted potatoes to complete the meal.

Are empanadas served with sauce?

Empanadas are a traditional Latin American dish that typically consists of dough filled with meats, cheeses, and sometimes other ingredients such as olives or raisins.

Depending on the region, they can be served either with a dipping sauce or without one. In some countries, it is common to eat empanadas with hot sauces such as chimichurri or aji. 

Additionally, some regions may take them alongside other condiments, such as yogurt-based sauces, salsas, and guacamole.

Whatever the sauce of choice may be, it is typically added to enhance the flavor of the savory dish and make it an even more enjoyable experience.

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