5 from 5 votes
Ham and Cheese Empanadas
Lunchbox Empanadas with Ham and Cheese
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Total Time
41 mins

A freezer-friendly, make-ahead lunchbox idea for kids featuring mini baked empanadas stuffed with ham and cheese.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 235 kcal
Author: Kelly Anthony
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 rounds of pie crust dough (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 1/2 (9 ounce) packages Hillshire Farms ® Black Forest Ham each slice torn into 3-4 shreds
  • 12 slices of American Cheese each slice torn into 6 or so pieces
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and have ready 2 baking sheets lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Prepare the egg wash by whisking together the egg and the water. Set aside until ready to use.

  2. Working with one at a time, roll out the store-bought or homemade pie crust dough so that it is about a 1/4" thick. Cut out circles using a 3 1/2" biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter. Roll out the circles to just over an 1/8" thick.

  3. Dip your finger in the egg wash and run it along the perimeter of empanada dough. Add a few pieces of the torn up cheese, followed by 2-3 shred of Hillshire Farms® Black Forest Ham, and top with a few more pieces of the torn up cheese. 

  4. Gently bring the edges of empanada upward to meet in the middle, and pinch firmly to seal. If desired, fold the edges over decoratively or crimp with a fork. Repeat for each empanada.

  5. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and brush lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle a scant amount of Kosher salt on top, and bake for 16-18 minutes, until or until golden. Allow to cool slightly, serve and enjoy.

If Freezing the Empanadas for a Make-Ahead Lunch:
  1. Once the empanadas have cooled completely, transfer them to a freezer-safe zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. The empanadas will take about 2-3 hours to come to room temperature. Longer if there is an ice block in the lunchbox.

Nutrition Facts
Lunchbox Empanadas with Ham and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 235 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 46mg15%
Sodium 692mg30%
Potassium 121mg3%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 220IU4%
Calcium 227mg23%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.