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Bolivian Cheese Empanadas

Bolivian Cheese Empanadas

These cheese empanadas are perfect as snacks or appetizer. Savory and with a hint of sweetness from the icing sugar.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Bolivian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 200 kcal
Author Lizet Bowen


  • 3 cups flour (375g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening/lard or butter melted
  • 3/4 cup water (10 Tablespoons)
  • 1 egg
  • Around 1-1/2 cups shredded cheese don't use “Paraguay” cheese, it has too much liquid
  • Oil or lard for deep frying. about 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar optional


  1. Make a well with the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  2. Add the shortening and egg, mix well.
  3. Add the water a little bit at a time until you have a soft dough. Knead for about 5 minutes, covered with a dampen cloth and let it rest for 1 hour.
  4. Make a rope with the dough and divide it into 12 pieces. Make little balls, cover with a damped cloth, and let them rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough into an oval on a floured surface, add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of cheese (usually these empanadas don’t have much cheese. If they have too much, they don´t puff as much).
  6. Seal empanadas, they'll look like half-moons. With your fingers, press the edges. Now, there are two ways to seal them: you can use a fork (but it doesn't look as nice) or you can seal them like the picture above (it´s very important to seal the edges very well, because the empanadas will open while frying and you'll have cheese everywhere).

  7. Heat the oil to medium heat, and fry the empanadas. About 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. If desired, sprinkle powder sugar before serving.

Recipe Notes

It's very important to let the dough rest. Makes the rolling out much easier.

The dough can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts
Bolivian Cheese Empanadas
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.