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pumpkin empanadas on a serving tray
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5 from 7 votes

Pumpkin Empanadas

These easy pumpkin empanadas are a twist on the classic Mexican dessert, and are made with pizza dough (instead of empanada dough) and a creamy pumpkin filling.

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 199kcal


  • 2 sheets pizza dough This recipe is based on rectangular-shaped dough-- if your dough is pre-formed as a circle, you may get fewer empanadas per sheet of dough.
  • ¾ cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt, plain (whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

Prepare Empanada Dough:

  • Prepare surface for cutting dough:
    Lightly flour a large cutting board or other hard work surface. Unroll the pizza dough, and lay it directly on the floured surface.
    Alternatively, line a hard work surface with parchment paper.
    lightly flour a cutting board
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Use a 4 ½" or 5" circle cookie or biscuit cutter to cut 6 circles out of the dough. Place each circle onto the parchment paper as you go.
    Tip: If you're having trouble cutting through the dough, make sure you're cutting on a very hard surface (like a wood cutting board). The cutters may struggle to cut on a plastic surface.
    Repeat with the second roll of pizza dough and a second baking sheet. You should have twelve dough circles.
    Place the dough circles in the fridge.
    Lay the cut circles on parchment paper

Fill Empanadas:

  • Add pumpkin, 1 egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, cream cheese, yogurt, and maple syrup to a blender basin, and blend until smooth.
    Tip: Use a small blender if possible. Some large blenders may struggle to blend the small amount of pumpkin filling. Alternatively, soften cream cheese for 15-20 seconds in the microwave, and whisk by hand or with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Remove empanada dough from the fridge.
  • Add about 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin filling to the center of each dough circle. Fold the dough in half, and press down with your fingers to close the empanadas. Next, use the back of a spoon, or the tines of a fork, and press down on the edges of the empanadas to seal them.
    Tip: Pizza dough will poof up more while baking than empanada dough (more like a calzone), so sealing the empanadas is more about closing them very carefully than creating a decorative pattern.
    Add pumpkin filling to the dough, and seal empanada
  • Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl. Next, brush the tops and edges of each empanada with the beaten egg, paying special attention to the sealed opening. (The egg will help seal them shut.) Sprinkle the tops of the empanadas with sugar.
    Brush empanadas with egg
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Make Ahead / Refrigerate:
    Loosely wrap the empanadas in aluminum foil, and store them in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
    Make Ahead / Freeze:
    Tightly wrap the empanadas in plastic wrap, and then put them in an airtight container. Use within 1 month. Reheat by microwaving in 1-minute bursts for 2-3 minutes, or baking at 300°F until hot.


Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2454IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg