These poblano and cheese empanadas are filled with a flavorful blend of mild chili peppers, corn, and manchego cheese, all baked within a crisp, flaky crust.

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Two poblano and cheese empanadas stacked on a baking sheet with the top empanada cut in half, showing filling.

About Poblano and Cheese Empanadas

Also called empanadas de rajas or empanadas de queso con rajas, these flavorful empanadas are filled with a pan-fried cheesy poblano and corn mix and wrapped in a crisp and flaky shell. No matter if you craving a snack or need a flavorful dinner, these easy empanadas are a tasty and filling choice.

Can you roast the poblano chili peppers instead?

While this recipe calls for pan-frying the poblano chili peppers, they are traditionally roasted – and you can still do that. You will miss out on infusing the poblano flavor with the other ingredients, but there still be plenty of poblano flavor in these empanadas.

To roast poblano chili peppers:

  • Set oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Dampen 6 paper towels and have a Ziploc bag handy.
  • Clean and dry poblano chilies. Arrange the chilies on the prepared baking sheet, then set them in the oven on the topmost rack.
  • Let chilies cook until skin is blistered and charred, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the chilies brown too much. Flip the chilies and let the other side cook to the same level, about another 3-5 minutes.
  • Take cooked chilies out of the oven and wrap each one in a damp paper towel. Place the wrapped chilies in the zip lock bag, seal it, and allow the chilis to steam for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove chilies from the bag and unwrap the paper towels. The chili skins will likely come loose with the paper towel. For any skin that remains, use a butter knife to scrape them off.
  • Cut the chilies into strips. Place them back in the Ziploc bag until ready to use.

For this recipe, you can mix in the roasted poblano chili peppers to the empanada filling at the same time that you add the cream cheese and manchego cheese.

Top down view of empanadas on a baking sheet, served with guacamole.

Where did empanadas originate?

Although they’ve been accepted in many different cuisines and come in different variations, empanadas as we know them first originated in Spain and Portugal. The first cookbook to mention empanadas was published in 1520.

What kind of dough should you use?

This may come down to personal preference, but ultimately, most pastry dough can be used and would make equally delicious empanadas.

Goya has a line of pastry sheets specifically for empanadas, which can cut down on prep time since each sheet is already cut and sized for an empanada.

However, you can use any type of pastry dough, even pie dough, to make empanadas. You might run into some consistency differences – for instance, pie dough is flakier than traditional empanada dough – but preparation and cooking instructions would remain the same. All you would need to do is cut your chosen dough into circles that are 5 inches in diameter and follow the recipe instructions as normal.

How long are empanadas good for?

Once prepared and cooled, these poblano and cheese empanadas can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Can you freeze baked empanadas?

Yes, you totally can!

Once prepared and cooled, arrange the empanadas on a baking sheet and let freeze solid. Once frozen, transfer to a sealed container for freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.

Can you make empanadas in advance?

Yes, you totally can!

Prepare the empanadas per recipe instructions, but hold off on the egg wash until ready to make.

To refrigerate unbaked empanadas, place them in a sealed container and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. Refrigerated empanadas can be baked directly from the fridge; just add a few minutes to the cook time.

To freeze unbaked empanadas, arrange the empanadas on a baking sheet and let freeze solid. Once frozen, transfer to a sealed container for freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. Frozen empanadas can be baked directly from the freezer; just add about five to eight minutes to the cook time.

Notes & tip for poblano and cheese empanadas

  • If you’d like to add some protein, you can mix in up to one cup of meat to the filling, such as cooked shredded chicken or cooked and crumbled ground beef. Just keep in mind that you’ll probably need more empanada dough sheets, as meat will cause the recipe yield to increase.
Close up side view of a empanada, cut in half to show the poblano, corn, and cheese filling.

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How to make poblano and cheese empanadas

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – To begin, warm the olive oil and butter in a skillet, then cook the poblano chili peppers. Once tender, toss in the onions, then cook a bit more.

Step 2 – Toss in the corn, chicken bouillon, cumin, salt, and pepper, and cook for a bit more.

Step 3 – Remove the skillet from heat. Mix in the cream cheese and manchego cheese, cover, and let it rest for a few minutes.

Step 4 – Place some of the prepared filling in the middle of a sheet of empanada pastry. Wet the edges of the pastry sheet with water, fold, and then pinch it close with your fingers. If you’d like a classic empanada look, press a fork into the sealed edges.

Step 5 – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place prepared empanadas on it. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water, then use a basting brush to brush the tops of the empanadas.

Step 6 – Bake!

Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Two poblano and cheese empanadas stacked on a baking sheet with the top empanada cut in half, showing filling.
5 from 1 vote

Poblano and Cheese Empanadas

20 mins prep + 45 mins cook
182 kcal
Yields: 15 empanadas
These poblano and cheese empanadas are filled with a flavorful blend of mild chili peppers, corn, and manchego cheese, all baked within a crisp, flaky crust.

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 poblano chili peppers, deseeded and cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into thin slices
  • 3/4 cup corn, canned or frozen
  • 2 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, or sour cream
  • 1/2 shredded manchego cheese, or shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 15 empanada dough sheets, such as Goya brand
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water, plus more sealing empanadas

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil and butter. Add poblanos and cook for 10 minutes, flipping occasionally.
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, 4 poblano chili peppers
  • Add onions to skillet then cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
    1/2 medium yellow onion
  • Add the corn, chicken bouillon, cumin, salt, and pepper to skillet. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
    3/4 cup corn, 2 teaspoon chicken bouillon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Remove skillet from heat. Add cream cheese and manchego cheese, then stir well. Cover skillet and let rest for 5 minutes.
    1/2 cup cream cheese, 1/2 shredded manchego cheese
  • When ready to assemble empanadas, lay out an empanada dough sheet and spoon prepared filling into the center. Lightly wet the edges of the empanada with water, then fold, using your fingers to press down and seal the empanada. For pretty presentation, press a fork around the edges of the empanada. Place empanada on prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all empanadas are assembled.
    15 empanada dough sheets
  • In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Use a basting brush to coat the tops of the prepared empanadas with egg wash.
    1 egg, 1 tablespoon water
  • Bake empanadas for 20-25 minutes or until tops of empanadas are golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1empanada | Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy