Pumpkin empanadas are a festive and filling Halloween dinner that are easy to make! These empanadas are filled with all of the delicious flavors of the classic Mexican dish but dressed up to look like a pumpkin.
Easy Pumpkin Empanadas
Halloween dinners can be hard. The kids seem to be extra anxious to get in their costumes and head out trick-or-treating, so no one feels like eating a hearty meal.
I’ve made these simple pumpkin empanadas the past several years on Halloween for my kids, I think it is practically a tradition! They are super simple to throw together, not to mention a fun, EASY way to get them to eat something half-way decent before they go trick or treating and have a candy overload!
The filling for these empanadas is just a kid-friendly ground beef mixture that you can certainly change up to your liking! I have a Chicken Empanada recipe I LOVE, and I think a more traditional Spanish beef empanada is also amazing, but for Halloween night being as hectic as it is, I like to keep it simple with some seasoned ground beef and cheddar cheese. Simple and delicious!
How To Make Pumpkin Empanadas
Prep – Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You’ll also want to line your baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
Where’s The Beef – Brown the hamburger in a frying pan. Once browned, drain and rinse the beef and return it to the pan.
Season It – Add the taco seasoning, water and onions to the pan and mix everything together.
Dough Prep – Take your biscuit dough and flatten each one onto the baking sheet. Put a heaping scoop of the meat into the center of each piece of dough and then top them with shredded cheese.
Close Them – Place another piece of flattened dough on top of each empanada. Then, using your fingers or a fork, press down around the edges to seal the empanadas shut.
Pumpkin Shape – Pinch and pull a small piece of the dough on top to create the “pumpkin stem”.
Pumpkin Color – Place an egg in a small dish and the add a drop of red food coloring and mix it together. The egg mixture should turn an orange color. Then brush the mixture over each empanada to give it a pumpkin orange color. Also, add a drop of green food coloring to a paper towel and then dab it on the “stem” you created.
Bake – Place the empanadas in the oven and cook them for about 12-15 minutes. Before pulling them out, make sure they don’t have a doughy texture.
Recipe Notes & Creative Tip
Optional – If you’re feeling extra creative, try cutting out Jack-O-Lantern Faces in the dough before baking them! (Last time I did this, the faces looked creepy to me… and I didn’t mean for them to be! The kids got a kick out of it, but I prefer them face-less. 😉
Let The Meat Cool – Don’t add the meat mixture to the biscuit dough too soon. If it’s too hot, the biscuits will start to melt and become a sticky mess so let it cool first.
Coloring – The empanadas may not look that orange when you brush them with the egg mixture at first. Don’t worry, they will get darker when they bake!
More Easy Pumpkin Recipes
- Easy Pumpkin Pancake Recipe
- Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Crescent Dinner Rolls
Halloween Pumpkin Empanadas Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/4 yellow onion, diced
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 16 refrigerated biscuit dough, I used Pillsbury Grands
- 1 egg
- Red & green food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil or spray with non-stick spray.
- Brown your ground beef over the stove. Rinse and drain.
- Add your diced onion and let the meat mixture start to cool down.
- Press down on each biscuit with your hands, making them bigger and flatter.
- Spoon a heaping spoonful of beef mixture into the center of each biscuit, leaving a space around the entire edge.
- Sprinkle some cheese over the top of the meat.
- Place another flattened biscuit over the meat-topped ones. Then, using a fork, press and seal the edges.
- Pinch a small portion of the dough and stretch outward just a bit to form the stem of your pumpkin.
- Add 1 drop of red food coloring into a small bowl with the egg and mix well to turn the egg wash orange. Brush the orange egg wash over the entire face of the pumpkin.
- Add some green food coloring to a paper towel and dab the "stems" to turn them green
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until heated through and the biscuits aren't doughy.