Taco Time Copycat Pumpkin Empanada Recipe

The holidays are about everything pumpkin. We have created a delicious copycat Pumpkin Pie Empanada that is covered in a cinnamon/sugar coating. Dip it in some whipped cream and you have an amazing dessert for your holiday.

Are you wondering what an empanada is? An empanada is a Latin American pastry turnover that can be filled with a variety of ingredients.  They are either baked or fried.

Empanadas are usually shaped into a half moon. They are filled with delicious filling and folded over with the edges pinched tight. The sizes vary from bite-sized to Calzone size. We made this copycat recipe from a restaurant here in Utah called Taco Time. They roll their empanadas.

empanada fillings

The options are endless on what you can stuff into your empanada. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Cherry pie filling
  • Apple pie filling
  • Jam (any flavor)
  • Nutella
  • Cheese
  • Meat
  • Seafood

You wouldn’t want to roll the meat and cheese ones in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

what is empanada dough made of?

Our copycat pumpkin empanadas are made with a flour tortilla. But the authentic ones are made with a savory dough. The dough is softer using milk instead of water. It is the dough they use for traditional empanadas.

Some people that don’t want to use a tortilla or make their own dough for empanadas will often use a puff pastry dough. There are many shortcuts you can take and still enjoy the delicious empanada taste.

can you bake an empanada instead of frying?

You can bake the empanada instead of frying. Deep frying is the traditional way to prepare an empanada. But baking would be a healthier option.

To bake an empanada, you will need to heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush the empanadas with oil before baking. Place them all on a parchment lined baking sheet. For meat and cheese empanadas, you can coat the dough with an egg wash before baking. Bake until golden brown and heated through.

how to make pumpkin empanadas

With just a few ingredients, you can enjoy these pumpkin empanadas.

  • Cream the cream cheese and sugar together until well blended.
  • Then add in the pumpkin, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.

  • Place about 1/3 of the pumpkin filling in the center of each tortilla.
  • Spread the filling around the tortilla, but staying about 1/2 inch away from the edge.

  • Roll up the tortilla and secure with a toothpick so it will stay closed during cooking.

  • Place each empanada in a pan full of vegetable oil.
  • Cook for about 1-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Place on paper towels to absorb the extra grease.
  • Combine the sugar and cinnamon on a plate and roll each hot empanada in the mixture.

  • Serve with whipping cream on top or on the side for dipping.

helpful items for making pumpkin empanadas:

  • Mixing Bowls – these bowls come in 3 sizes and are used for mixing and serving.
  • Stock Pot – a great pot for making soup or deep frying your empanadas.
  • Tongs – these tongs are great for pulling your empanadas out of the hot oil.

Have you heard about our newest cookbook, Copycat Cooking? We took over 100 of our favorite restaurant recipes and simplified them so that you can make them right at home!

Every recipe has a beautiful mouth-watering photo and has been picky-eater approved. The directions are simple, easy to follow, and do not require any strange ingredients.

This cookbook includes copycat recipes from Wingers, Texas Roadhouse, Starbucks, Panera, Cheesecake Factory, Kneaders, and so much more. We have you covered from drinks, to dessert and everything in-between.

We are so excited to share these recipes with you. Order your copy today!



more tasty pumpkin treats

Check out all of these delicious pumpkin treats for your holiday parties:

Serves: 8

Taco Time Copycat Pumpkin Empanada Recipe

20 minPrep Time

5 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 8 large flour tortillas (8-9 inch)
  • Sugar Coating:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup cinnamon


  1. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add in pumpkin, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Place 1/3 of mixture into the center of each tortilla. Spread around the whole tortilla getting 1/2 inch from the edge of the tortilla.
  4. Roll up carefully and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place each empanada into a pan full of vegetable or canola oil that is heated to 325 -350 degrees.
  6. Fry until golden brown, turning so both sides cook.
  7. Place on a paper towel to drain grease.
  8. Remove toothpick after frying.
  9. Combine the sugar and cinnamon on a plate with sides.
  10. Roll the hot empanada in the cinnamon sugar mixture until coated on all sides.
  11. Top the empanada with whipped cream, or you can dip it in the whipped cream.



433 cal


10 g


97 g


4 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info


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Comment on this Recipe

35 Responses to “Taco Time Copycat Pumpkin Empanada Recipe”

  1. o.k. I have about 1 c leftover pumpkin from another recipe, but I can't believe that if you roll them up like those in photo, the filling just doesn't melt or leak or run out ? Have you folded them burrito/eggroll/or envelope style ? You know...sides in and then roll? Would that be better ? Or can you assure me it won't leak ? I just don't want to waste anything...effort or products.
  2. Thanks for linking this up at the 'Or so she says...' link party! Whoo...it looks soooo good!!! Of course, it had to win one of my two features for the week. Come check it out tomorrow, I'll also be sharing it on Facebook and Pinterest.

    Love you girls! Thanks for all you do!

    Mariel @ Or so she says...
  3. I used to work at Taco Time when I lived in Montana and all we used to make these was a can of the pre-made pumpkin pie filling. We put a scoop of the filling in the tortilla, roll it up and then fry it. Serve with some whip cream and presto! They are so delicious!
  4. I made these tonight and WOW they taste awesome! I just had 3/4 of the cream cheese block and didn't have pumpkin spice. But they were still yummy! We dipped them into lite cool whip mmm mmm. I've tried a few dinners from this site and all have been a hit. This was a first dessert recipe I've baked. Thanks again sisters for helping me change up the house hold dinner menu!!

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