Home - Recipes - Venezuelan Empanadas de Queso (Cheese Empanadas)

Venezuelan Empanadas de Queso (Cheese Empanadas)

Traditional Venezuelan empanadas use cornmeal instead of flour in the dough. The mozzarella center becomes wonderfully melty as the empanadas fry.

Serves 6
Ready in 23 mins
Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 8 mins
300 calories per serving


> 1 1/2 cups precooked white cornmeal (masarepa)
> 1 1/2 cups warm water
> 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
> 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
> Vegetable oil, for frying


In a large bowl, mix cornmeal and warm water until you get a dough that’s not too dry, but not too soft. Add salt to taste.
Roll out plastic wrap and cut a piece about 2” in length. Set flat on the counter. Take a palm-sized amount of dough, roll it into a ball, then flatten it into a ½”- to ¼”-thick circle, not too thin so it won’t fall apart. Place it on top of plastic wrap.
Place 1 tablespoon cheese in the middle of dough circle. Grab plastic wrap from the left side and fold dough over to create a half-moon shape. Press the ends of dough with wet fingers to seal the empanada shut. Repeat process with remaining dough and cheese, reusing the plastic wrap for each empanada.
In a large pan, heat ¼” oil on medium-high. In batches, shallow-fry empanadas 2 minutes per side, until golden and crispy. Transfer to cooling rack or plate covered with paper towels to drain off excess oil.

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