Family Night and Pepperoni and Cheese Empanadas

Pepperoni and Cheese Empanadas

“On your next family night, get the entire family involved by making these Pepperoni and Cheese Empanadas for dinner. Your kids will love making them almost as much they’ll enjoy eating them, and you’ll still have lots of time leftover for movie or game night.”

For the final week of the SOLO Simple But Good Recipe Contest, I chose to reinvent my Pepperoni & Cheese Empanadas. This week’s theme is “Family Night,” and I can’t think of a more perfect dinner than pizza for a night spent at home reconnecting with family. My original recipe called for sliced mozzarella, but these mini mozzarella balls make assembly even easier, leaving you more time for fun. Adding a bit of olive oil to the store-bought tomato sauce helps to add more depth of flavor as well. Remember this contest has a five-ingredient or less rule, but there’s nothing to stop you from adding in some chopped basil, oregano, or garlic. You can also finely chop lots of different toppings, and let each person make their own personal pizza empanadas. Don’t forget to take a minute and vote for my recipe HERE. Next week I’ll be working on a contest entry for Simply Potatoes, which is also a five-ingredient challenge. Go to if you’re interested in submitting a recipe to the contest, the deadline is March 31, 2014, and the grand prize is $3,000. 

Pepperoni and Cheese Empanadas


  • 2 (12-Count) Packages Frozen Puff Pastry Empanada Dough, Thawed
  • 72 Slices of Pepperoni
  • 24 Mini Bocconcino or Mini Mozzarella Balls
  • 1 Large Jar of Your Favorite Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Arrange a quarter of the pepperoni slices on a plate covered with two paper towels, and then cover with two additional paper towels. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pat the pepperoni with additional paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining pepperoni.
  3. On half of each empanada round, place three slices of pepperoni and one mozzarella ball, then fold the dough over into a half-moon shape, and seal the edges with the tines of a fork.
  4. Place empanadas on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how golden or crispy you prefer your empanadas.
  5. While the empanadas are baking, place the tomato sauce and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  6. Serve the empanadas with the warm tomato sauce as a dipping sauce, or with the sauce spooned on top of them.

Pepperoni & Cheese Empanadas


  • If you can’t find Mini Bocconcino, substitute fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes.
  • By microwaving the pepperoni, you reduce the amount of oil in the empanadas.  If you prefer the oil, skip this process.


  • Sprinkle a bit of Italian seasoning over the pepperoni and cheese, before sealing the empanadas.
  • Add your favorite finely chopped pizza toppings into the tomato sauce.

*Original Recipe for Pepperoni & Cheese Empanadas by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

*Vote HERE for this weeks’ recipe in the SOLO Simple But Good Recipe Contest.


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