What To Serve With Empanadas 35 Delicious Sauces & Dishes (2024)

Empanadas are delicious crispy pockets filled with savory or sweet fillings. They can be served as the main course or as a side dish.

These are my favorite recipes to pair with empanadas, including sides, sauces, drinks, and main courses.

Overhead shot of what to serve with empanadas

Tips and Suggestions Worth Noting

  1. When deciding on what to serve with empanadas, it’s important to take into account the kind of empanadas you’re making or buying. Homemade empanadas are tasty, but require a lot of preparation, particularly if you’re making the empanada dough from scratch. Some supermarkets have prepackaged empanada pastry dough, which can be found in the freezer aisle.
  2. Different Latin American countries have different variations of empanada styles. The seasoning, spices, and ingredients vary from country to country.
  3. A savory fried empanada is a dish full of delicious flavor and texture. It is typically served with hot sauce, such as aji picante, a tangy sauce that perfectly complements the empanada. Aji picante’s (a classic Colombian empanada sauce) heat and acidity helps cut through the dish’s richness. Alternatively, salsa verde and authentic chimichurri sauce are excellent pairings for empanadas.
  4. Depending on hunger levels, when adding empanadas to the menu, I consider pairing them with a quick snack or appetizer or as a perfect addition to a nice lunch or dinner spread.
  5. When it’s time for lunch or dinner, savory empanadas make the perfect appetizer, side, or main dish. 
  6. Set up a tapas-style meal with many different sauces and sides for a delicious empanada tasting. 

Empanada Flavors

Empanada pockets can be made with corn dough or wheat flour dough, and they can be baked or deep-fried and then filled with anything really, but the most popular empanadas are ground meat empanadas, chicken empanadas, and potatoes. 

Some are also filled with mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, feta cheese, or cream cheese and guava. Yum.

The Perfect Complement: Empanda Dipping Sauces

Tangy sauces with a hint of lime juice or lemon juice balance the savory chicken empanadas and beef empanadas so well. I especially find that creamy, sour cream, or mayo-based sauce with a hint of lemon or lime juice pairs savory empanadas well. While sour cream sauces are not the most traditional types of empanada sauces, they complement empanadas so well.

When you have a savory empanada filling like ground beef or chicken, a tangy and spicy sauce is the perfect pairing.

Empanadas are delicious without sauces or sides, but with the right dipping sauce, you can turn an empanada into the perfect bite.

Best Empanada Sauces

aji picante empanada sauce on empanada
Aji Picante A Spicy Colombian Empanada Sauce
Perfectly spicy empanada dipping sauce.
Check out this recipe
overhead view of authentic chimichurri sauce on a spoon and rameken
Authentic Chimichurri Recipe
Herby chimichurri recipe with fresh cilantro, parsley, and garlic. Perfect on steaks, roasted chicken and rice
Check out this recipe
Chimichurri in a bowl
Bobby Flays Chimichurri Recipe
Chimichurri recipe with smoked paprika
Check out this recipe
Hogao Colombian Creole Sauce in a Pan
Hogao: Colombian Arepa Sauce
Sauteed scallion, tomato, and butter Colombian creole sauce.
Check out this recipe
chimichurri aioli in a bowl
Chimichurri Aioli
Classic aioli with tangy chimichurri.
Check out this recipe
Side view of a small bowl with pollo tropical inspired cilantro garlic sauce and quesadillas rellenas in the background
10-Minute Cilantro Garlic Sauce Inspired By Pollo Tropical
Garlicky, cilantro-forward sauce- a perfect dipping sauce.
Check out this recipe
Side shot of spicy garlic aioli with fried plantains
Spicy Garlic Aioli With Cherry Pepper Relish
Homemade mayo with a kick of spicy garlic.
Check out this recipe
Side shot of ancho chili aioli on a spoon and plantain chip
Easy and Delicious Ancho Aioli
Homemade mayo with ancho chile, a perfectly creamy sauce with a hint of spice.
Check out this recipe

Spice It Up With A Delicious Tropical Drink

Side view of two glasses of Limonada de coco
5-Ingredient Colombian Limonada de Coco (Coconut Limeade)
Coconut Limeade with fresh lime juice, condensed coconut milk, coconut puree, water, and ice!
Check out this recipe
jugo de maracuya in glass
Simple Passion Fruit Juice (Jugo de Maracuya)
A cold glass of passion fruit juice.
Check out this recipe

Empanada Sides

Overhead shot of pickled red onions and jalapenos
Pickled Onions and Jalapeños
Crisp pickled red onions and thinly sliced jalapeños are a staple in my fridge. They're soaked in red wine vinegar, lime juice, a hint of honey, and a pinch of salt.
Check out this recipe
overhead view of air fryer plantain chips with parsley on a stone color plate
Air Fryer Plantain Chips
Easy, crispy homemade air fryer plantain chips are perfect for snacking. They're gluten-free and a healthier version of the classic plantain chips.
Check out this recipe
Overhead shot of Spicy Hummus Charcuterie Board with Charcuterie Bread
Hummus Charcuterie Board With A Latin Twist
Aji Picante Hummus Charcuterie Board
Check out this recipe
Aranitas-de-platano on a plate
Air fryer Arañitas de Platanos
Air Fryer Crispy Plantain Hash
Check out this recipe
Patacones con hogao in a bowl
Patacones con Hogao
Colombian Style Air Fried Plantains
Check out this recipe
Boiled Plantains in a small white bowl
Boiled Plantains
Easy Boiled Plantain Recipe
Check out this recipe
Southern-style Macaroni Salad in a small bowl
Southern-Style Macaroni Salad
Delicious Southern Pasta Salad
Check out this recipe
Side view of tuna corn salad with cherry peppers
Quick Corn Tuna Salad (20-minutes)
Delicious corn tuna salad with green onions, cherry peppers, and fresh lemon juice.
Check out this recipe
Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad without Peas in a baking dish
Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad
Easy Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe
Check out this recipe

Serve empanadas with these delicious lunch and dinner recipes.

side shot of stack of quesadillas rellenas
Pollo Asado Quesadillas Rellenas (Chipotle Copycat)
Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla
Check out this recipe
Overhead view of Carne Asada Plate with chimichurri butter on a board
Carne Asada Plate
A carne asada platter with baby corn, pickled onions, and radishes.
Check out this recipe
air fryer boneless skinless chicken thighs on plate
Air Fryer Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Crispy, juicy, and tender air-fried chicken.
Check out this recipe
Side view of a stack of Milanesa de pollo with parsley garnish
Crispy Milanesa de Pollo (Chicken Milanese)
Crispy pollo empanizado (breaded chicken cutlets) seasoned well and garnished with chopped parsley and freshly squeezed lime.
Check out this recipe
Side view of Chipotle Pollo Asado on a plate chipotle pollo asado recipe
Chipotle Pollo Asado Recipe (Chipotle Copycat)
Marinated Citrusy Pollo Asado Chipotle Recipe
Check out this recipe
cilantro lime rice in a bowl
Cilantro Lime Rice
Jasmine rice with cilantro and fresh lime.
Check out this recipe
overhead view of chimichurri shrimp with tomato and rice on a stone plate
Easy 20-Minute Chimichurri Shrimp With Tomatoes
Seared juicy shrimp coated in a tangy Argentinian sauce with hand-chopped herbs and sweet vine-ripened tomato.
Check out this recipe
wild argentinian shrimp with chimichurri pasta on a plate with a fork
Wild Argentinian Shrimp with Chimichurri Pasta
Garlicky, and zesty chimichurri sauce with pappardelle pasta with red Argentine shrimp
Check out this recipe
Asopao de camarones in a bowl and cilantro
Puerto Rican Shrimp Stew
Asopao de Camarones is made with shrimp, stock, rice, sofrito, and seasoning.
Check out this recipe
Sudado de Pollo on a plate
Colombian Chicken Stew (Sudado de Pollo)
Incredibly delicious and easy chicken stew.
Check out this recipe
Cuban Oxtail Stew with Rice on a plate.
Rabo Encendido
This Cuban oxtail stew is served on fluffy white rice and cooked in rich spices until it's fork-tender.
Check out this recipe

More Ideas

  1. Pico de Gallo – a fresh salsa, made with fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice
  2. Mexican Street Corn Salad – Sweet corn with cotija cheese, butter, lime juice, chile powder, and cilantro.
  3. Black Beans – a simple recipe is made with drained canned black beans, and a hint of cumin.
  4. Sweet Potato Fries – Sliced sweet potatoes that are then air-fried, baked, or deep-fried in avocado oil.

Sides For Sweet Empanadas

Many sweet empanadas are so deliciously sweet that they can be served without a sauce.

But let’s say you wanted a dipping sauce for an apple empanada.

I love a cinnamon caramel dipping sauce. Or a cinnamon bun-style sauce made with powdered sugar, a hint of vanilla, and cinnamon. Then drizzle it on, and serve.

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