Pizza Empanadas (Empanadillas de Pizza)


Crispy hollow dough stuffed with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and pizza sauce for everyone to enjoy. Pizza empanadas are sure to become a new family favorite.

The ultimate pizza (empanidas de pizza).

What kind of pizza did you like as a kid? There was pizza from my favorite pizzeria, pizza from the school cafeteria, frozen pizza from the supermarket, and of course regular pizza.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, empanadillas de pizza was my favorite, and I ate it almost every day. Since coming to the United States, pizza-like foods have started to appear. Microwave pizza rolls, pizza pockets, mini pizza bagels, small pizza flavored pretzels, etc.

These days, I love pizza, but I’m not much of a processed food fan. So I like to make these homemade pizzas for myself and the kids. They are perfect little “pockets” of cheese, pepperoni and sauce all wrapped up in a thin, golden homemade cannelloni dough.

What are Empanadas?

Empanadas, known as empanadillas in Puerto Rico, are basically handmade pies made by folding round dough in half and topping it with some sort of filling. They are made by filling a semicircle of dough with a filling. Empanadas can be fried or baked, and the filling can be either savory or sweet.

Is cannelloni dough the same as pizza dough?

No. Cabbage dough is similar to pie crust. In fact, if you don’t have cabbage dough, you can use pie dough instead! Both pie dough and cannelloni dough are the same. Both pie dough and cannelloni dough are yeast-free, while pizza dough is made with yeast.

Ingredient list.

This recipe was especially fun to make with the kids. When making empanadas, I always double the recipe so that half can be frozen; I’m lucky if they keep for more than a week or two because they are so easy to make and can last a long time.

  • Hollow Dough: You can use store-bought dough, or use my hollow dough to make 12 6-inch rounds.
  • Pizza Sauce. You will need a small amount of your favorite pizza sauce.
  • Cheese. Mozzarella cheese is recommended, but smoked provolone is also recommended.
  • Pepperoni. Pepperoni: Use 4-6 slices per hollowbread for a total of about 48 slices.
  • Eggs and water. An easy way to make the egg mixture.

How to make the pizza topping.

Hollowbread has complex ingredients and recipes, but this recipe is very simple. Simply layer the prepared ingredients, fold and bake.

  • Prepare the baking sheet and oven. First, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • Arrange the empanadas. Arrange all ingredients on a clean work surface, including the hollowbread wrappers. Place 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce in the center of the hollowbread, leaving a 1-inch border around it. Top the sauce with 1 tablespoon of mozzarella cheese and a few slices of pepperoni.
  • Fold and seal. Fold the hollowbread in half and press the edges. You can twist the edges as you would a cannelloni, or press the edges with a fork to make a small indentation like a pie crust.
  • Brush with egg wash. Carefully place the folded hollow pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Leave a little space between them at this point. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and water to make the egg wash. Brush it over each hollowbread.
  • Bake. Place the hollowbreads in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until they turn light golden brown.
  • Serve. Allow the cannelloni to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with pizza sauce or ranch dressing, if desired.

Tips and Variations

Try this simple recipe. Try this simple recipe! You’ll probably make it again and again.

  • Check the dough: If you are using cavity dough, make sure it is suitable for baking. Some cannelloni dough is for frying only.
  • Empanadas. If you plan to make empanadas often (especially if you want to make a lot at once), then get an empanada press! A hollowbread press makes folding and sealing easy. Folding and sealing is easy with a hollowbread press.
  • Don’t overfill it; if you put too much filling in, it may open up during baking, causing the filling to leak and burn.
  • Arrangement. You can change the ingredients of the empanadas to suit your taste! You can use any common pizza ingredients such as sausage, sliced black olives, thinly sliced peppers and onions, goat cheese, etc., but be careful not to overfill the topping as this can cause it to open up while baking.

Ideas for tasty hollowed out pastries

What you really need to hollow out pasta: Empanadas! And let’s be honest, some napkins. Oh, and coquitos! We Puerto Ricans are obsessed with eating coquitos at every meal from Thanksgiving to Three Kings Day. If you want to put flour tortillas on your table, here are some suggestions

  • Rice & Beans. Rice and beans: always a classic combination, and a great match for hollowed-out patties! These refried beans or Instant Pot refried beans are great. If you’re feeling especially fancy, make the Arroz con Gandules.
  • Plantains. Mofongo (mashed plantain), maduros (sweet plantain), tostones (crispy fried plantain).
  • Elote. Mexican street corn simply grilled and served with crema sauce and cotija cheese. Very fresh and delicious!
  • Hollowing out more tortillas. What goes better with hollowed out tortillas? More empanadas, of course. Chicken empanadas, or cheese and beef empanadas. You can also use these pineapple empanadas to make sweet empanadas.
  • Dessert. No dinner is complete without sweets! Here are some great Latin desserts. Easy Tres Leches Cake, Arroz con Leche, and Coffee Tarts!

How to Store and Reheat Pizza

  • Pizzas can be sealed in an airtight container or large ziplock bag and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Instead of using an oven, we recommend reheating the pizza for a few minutes in an air fryer at 325°F. This will make them very crispy, but you can also use the oven.

Can this be frozen?

Yes, they can. Hollowed-out pastries freeze well, so it is convenient to keep them on hand. Here are some instructions for freezing and baking.

  • When freezing, it is best to freeze without baking. Simply wrap each assembled hollow dough piece in cling film and then wrap in more foil. They will keep for up to 3 months in a freezer bag.
  • Frozen empanadas can be baked straight from the freezer. Just add 5 minutes to the baking time.

Empanillas de Pizza (Hollow Pizza)

  • Preparation time 10 min.
  • Cooking time 50 min.
  • Total time 1 hour

Crispy hollowed-out dough filled with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and pizza sauce is a fun snack for everyone. Pizza cannelloni is sure to become a new family favorite.


  • 12 (6-inch round)
  • ½ cup marinara pizza sauce
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 48 pepperoni slices
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray). Set aside.
  2. Lay empanada wrappers on a clean work surface. Add 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce to the center of each wrapper, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides.
  3. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of cheese over the sauce, and add 4 – 6 pepperoni slices (however many can fit without crowding) on top.
  4. Fold the empanada in half, and press the edges together. Twist the edges to form the classic empanada look, or press a fork into the edges like a pie crust. Lay the empanadas evenly out on the prepared baking tray, leaving a little space between them for spreading.
  5. Whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl, and then brush it over the top of each empanada. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the tops are a light golden color.
  6. Remove the empanadas from the oven, and let them cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving them with extra pizza sauce or ranch dressing, if desired.


Empanada Wrapper Note:

  • You can use store bough empanada dough in place of my homemade empanada dough if you prefer to save time.
  • You can also substitute pre-made, unbaked pie crust in a pinch. Just cut it into 6-inch circles, and adjust the baking time to 20 – 25 minutes, until light and golden on top.

How to Store and Reheat Pizza Empanadas

  • You can store your empanadas in the refrigerator for up to five days, sealed in an airtight container or a large zip-top bag.  
  • I recommend reheating in the air fryer at 325°F for several minutes, rather than the oven. This helps them get really crispy, but the oven is fine, too!

Can I Freeze These?

  • If you’d like to freeze them, it’s best to freeze them unbaked. Just wrap the assembled empanadas one by one in plastic wrap, and then in a layer of foil. Store in a freezer bag in the freezer, for up to 3 months.
  • Frozen empanadas can be baked straight from the freezer! Just add an extra 5 minutes or so to the baking time.

Nutrition Information:

Yield : 12 Serving Size : 1
Amount Per Serving : Calories : 131 Total Fat : 9g Saturated Fat : 4g Trans Fat : 0g Unsaturated Fat : 4g Cholesterol: 36mg Sodium: 345mg Carbohydrates: 6g Fiber : 0g Sugar: 1g Protein: 7g