Cuban Air Fryer Empanadas

It's hard to imagine anything more satisfying than a Cuban sandwich. Salty, crunchy, bright, and buttery, it's simply perfect. Here, we're turning a cultural classic into an elevated appetizer with an air fryer and your choice of Eric's Nopales Garlic & Dill or Eric's Nopales Heat Wave. ¡Dale!


Empanada Dough:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg
2 – 3 tablespoons ice water
1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 slices deli ham
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup Eric’s Nopales Garlic & Dill or Heat Wave, drained and diced

Egg Wash (optional):
1 large egg, beaten


  1. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the butter. Incorporate using a pastry cutter or your fingers. Work the mixture until it’s the consistency of a coarse meal, with pieces of butter no larger than pea-sized.
  2. In a separate dish, whisk together the egg, 2 tablespoons of ice water, and vinegar. Pour into the bowl of dry flour mixture, stirring with a fork until it forms a shaggy dough. Slowly drizzle in additional ice water, if needed.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough just enough to bring it together. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, then use a rolling pin to flatten the balls out into 6-inch disks.
  4. Working with one disk at a time, spread about 1 teaspoon of mustard in the center. Place a slice of ham in the middle of the dough, then top it with a slice of cheese. (You may need to cut the slices so that they fit within the circle of dough, leaving a ½-inch border clear all the way around.) Top with 2 tablespoons of Eric’s Nopales Garlic & Dill or Heat Wave on top.
  5. Fold in half, completely covering the filling in the center. Crimp the edges all around using fork tines to seal.
  6. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and use a very sharp knife to slice small vents in the top of each empanada. Brush lightly with egg wash, if using. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Air fry at 370 for 8 – 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. (Alternatively, bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.)

Yields 8 Servings.