Whether cooking them for a meal at home or preparing them for a party, empanadas are delicious! They are also convenient because you can prepare a big batch ahead of time and cook them when you are ready to use them. If you are planning on preparing some empanadas in the near future, you may be wondering about the best way to store them overnight. We have done the research to answer this question for you.
Whether you are storing uncooked or already prepared empanadas overnight, you can freeze or refrigerate them. They should never be left at room temperature for overnight storage.
Keeping reading to learn how to store them properly, frozen or refrigerated, and learn other ways to prepare this make-ahead food before cooking. Without further ado, let's get into it!
Ways To Store Empanadas
There are only two real options for storing food if it cannot be left out at room temperature.
However, it makes a difference how you store it and what you use to store it. Take a look at the best procedure for freezing and refrigerating empanadas.
To Store In The Refrigerator
Unbaked empanadas can be laid out on parchment-lined baking sheets and wrapped with plastic wrap.
When you are ready to cook them, you can simply take off the plastic wrap and put the baking sheet right into the oven. They can be stored in this way for up to two days.
For already cooked empanadas, you need to make sure they are completely cooled before storing them. Then, you can still use the baking sheet method.
Again, that will make it easier to reheat when you are ready to use them up. However, storing on baking sheets can be difficult because they take up so much room.
Instead, you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag or airtight container.
Wrapping them individually might seem like a lot of extra work, but it prevents them from sticking together. Cooked empanadas can be stored in this way for 3-7 days.
To Store In The Freezer
Unbaked empanadas can be prepared for the freezer using the same method as they are prepared for the refrigerator. Place them on parchment-lined baking sheets and wrap them tightly with plastic wrap.
This method works well if you are planning to cook them the next day. Make sure that you adjust your baking time for cooking them frozen unless you allow them to thaw before cooking.
Long-Term Freezer Storage
To freeze your unbaked empanadas for a longer time, begin by freezing them on baking sheets. When they are completely frozen, wrap them individually and place them in a freezer back.
Label the bag with the date they were prepared and when they need to be used. They will last up to three months this way.
Preparing Baked Empanadas For the Freezer
Again, you want to make sure that your cooked empanadas are completely cooled before freezing them. After they are cool, you can wrap them individually and place them in a freezer bag.
Again, label the freezer bag so you know exactly when they were made and when they need to be used. Like with unbaked empanadas, the cooked empanadas will remain fresh in the freezer for up to three months.
Storing Ingredients For Later Use
There may be a time when you want to prep all of the ingredients and then assemble and cook them the next day.
This is a great way to save time, but you will want to observe the safest storing practices for your ingredients just like you would if they were already assembled.
After you prepare your empanada dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. It will last for a day.
Alternatively, you can freeze your dough longer by separating it into large discs and placing the discs into a freezer bag. Use parchment paper to separate the discs and keep them from sticking together.
Prepare the filling as though you were getting ready to make the empanadas immediately. Instead of doing so, however, place the filling into an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator.
Like the dough, the filling will need to be used within a day when it is refrigerated. While you can freeze the filling, going ahead and assembling your empanadas before freezing will better ensure freshness.
Sweet Vs. Savory Empanada Storage
Empanadas can be made savory with meat, cheese, or vegetable fillings or sweet with fruit, jams, or chocolate fillings.
Because of this, it is easy to get confused about whether storage procedures are different based on whether you are making sweet or savory empanadas.
For the most part, there is no difference in how they are stored.
However, if you are dusting them with cinnamon or brushing them with butter, for example, you will want to wait and do that when you are ready to cook them.
Can Empanadas Sit Out Overnight?
No, empanadas should not sit out overnight. The USDA explains that food left in temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees can grow harmful bacteria at alarming rates.
Leftover prepared food, including empanadas, should be refrigerated promptly.
How Long Can Empanadas Sit At Room Temperature?
Empanadas will be safe at room temperature for up to two hours. They must be refrigerated after so they can be brought down to a safe temperature of under 40 degrees.
How Long Can Cooked Empanadas Sit Out?
Raw or uncooked food isn't the only food that needs to be refrigerated before two hours. Cooked food is also at risk for harmful bacteria if it is left out too long.
Make sure you store your cooked empanadas properly in the refrigerator no later than two hours after they are served.
How Long Do Empanadas Last In The Fridge?
The well-known baking company, Pillsbury, advises that empanadas can last about three days in the refrigerator.
They should be kept at a temperature less than 40 degrees, and they should be reheated before eating.
How Do You Store Uncooked Empanadas?
You can refrigerate or freeze your uncooked empanadas. If you plan on cooking them within two days, you can cover them and store them in the refrigerator.
If you are prepping some to store for later use, they will need to be frozen. Placed them in the freezer until completely frozen and then place them in a freezer bag for longer-term storage.
How To Keep Empanadas Crispy
The fight against soggy empanadas starts from the preparation stage. The first way you can keep your empanadas crispy is by ensuring that your fillings are not too wet.
As you are cooking your empanadas, place them on a cooling rack over a baking sheet as they are done. This will allow the excess grease to drip off.
Choose the oven, toaster oven, or air fryer when re-heating your empanadas. While other methods work, these methods will keep them crispy without making them soggy.
Wrap them in foil when reheating them to help the empanadas crisp up.
There are a number of methods that you can use to re-heat empanadas. Of course, some methods are better than others.
Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to heat them to 165 degrees for food safety.
How to re-heat empanadas in the Oven
The oven is one of the best ways to re-heat empanadas. They can be heated thoroughly without sacrificing taste and texture.
For this method, place the empanadas on a baking sheet in a single layer. Heat them at 325 degrees for ten minutes.
How to re-heat empanadas in the Toaster Oven
If using a toaster oven, you will want the temperature to be around 300 degrees. Again, lay them on the rack in a single layer and bake for about ten minutes.
You may need to cook them a little longer to make sure they are heated through.
How to re-heat empanadas in the Air Fryer
You can re-heat your empanadas in an air fryer by placing them side by side in the fryer basket. Heat them for 8-10 minutes at 275 degrees.
This is one of the fastest methods to re-heat empanadas because air fryers don't take as long to pre-heat.
How to re-heat empanadas in the Microwave
If you want your empanadas quickly, you can microwave them. However, you will sacrifice the crispy texture that you can restore with other re-heating methods.
To microwave your empanadas, place them on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for about 30 seconds and check to see if they are done. Repeat this until they reach the desired temperature.
Why Do Empanadas Need To Be Microwaved In Short Bursts Of Time?
Overheated empanadas will become hard and difficult to bite through. Microwaving them for 30 seconds at a time allows you to check for doneness without overcooking them.
How to re-heat empanadas in the Deep Fryer
A deep fryer will help restore the crispy texture of your empanadas when they are re-heated. However, frying them again in oil can make them too oily.
If you want to re-heat using this method, heat the oil to 350 degrees and cook them on each side for about 40 seconds. Drain the excess oil off of the empanadas before eating.
Empanadas are a versatile and fun food that can be prepared for parties or eaten at home for a meal. Their ability to be made with either sweet or savory fillings further adds to their versatility.
Follow safe food storage and reheating procedures for the best taste and less waste.
For more information about proper food storage, take a look at these articles:
Are Ziploc Bags Safe For Food Storage?