Empanadas; those delicious Spanish pastries filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, or a combination of all three. But what sauce goes well with these baked or fried turnovers? Here are the ones you should absolutely try!
So, what sauce goes with empanadas? Marinara, Salsa, Chimichurri, Pepper, or a cheese-based sauce (ideally Gruyere) go particularly well with empanadas. Although creamy (yogurt, sour cream, or avocado-based), can also pair nicely too.
What you decide to go for will depend a lot on your preferences.
Although, it will also depend a lot on what you have available to you, or what you are willing to make.
Rest assured, you have options; empanadas can be paired with many different sauces.
In fact, if you search online you will soon find a lot of rather different sauces recommended.
But here’s the most important thing.
Pair the sauce with the filling!
Ensure that it compliments the flavors, and does not introduce any inappropriate tastes to the mix, or that will create anything too rich or overpowering.
For instance, if you have cheese as a filling in your empanadas, you may not want to pair them with a cheese sauce.
That can be too much.
Nevertheless, let us now take a look at some simple recipes of the best sauces to eat with these Spanish turnovers!
Chimichurri Sauce Recipe For Empanadas
This popular South American sauce is popular with steak, lean meats, and pasta but also is great for Empanadas. It can be whipped together in as little as 10 minutes.
- 1 Cup of Fresh Parsley Leaves,
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Tablespoons of Fresh Oregano Leaves
- 1/3 of a cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
- 2 Tablespoons of White Wine Vinegar,
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1/8 Teaspoon of Ground Pepper,
- 1/4 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes.
Step One: Finely chop the herbs (fresh parsley and oregano) along with the garlic. Blitz together in a food processor or blender. Once done, add this paste to a small bowl.
Step Two: Add and stir in the remaining ingredients. Whisk together to combine evenly.
Step Three: Serve right away or refrigerate up to 1 hour before serving.
Cheese Sauce Recipe For Empanadas
This sauce uses a cheese known as gruyere which is rich, creamy, salty, and nutty in flavor. It pairs best with empanadas consisting of meat and vegetables.
It is best prepared ahead of time and reheated when required.
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter,
- 2 Tablespoons of All-purpose Flour
- 1 1⁄2 Cups of Whole Milk
- 1⁄2 Cup of Grated Gruyere Cheese
- Salt, to taste,
- Fresh Ground White Pepper, to taste.
Step One: Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
Step Two: Add the flour and stir. Let this simmer for 1-2 minutes (it should not brown).
Step Three: Whisk in all of the milk slowly and gradually.
Step Four: Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, drop the heat to a low medium and let the mixture thicken. Stirring constantly. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
Step Five: Remove from the heat, add the cheese and fold in until it has melted. Season with salt and pepper.
Step Six: Let the sauce stand at room temperature before serving.
If this sauce gets too thick you can add a little more milk.
Avocado Sauce For Empanadas
This avocado dipping sauce provides the creaminess you may desire. It is also the vegetarian and vegan option.
- 2 Ripe Avocadoes,
- 1/4 Cup of Lime Juice,
- 1 Bunch of Cilantro, Chopped
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed,
- 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil,
- 1/4 Teaspoon of Cumin
Step One: Cut your avocado into small chunks and crush your garlic.
Step Two: Add all the ingredients into a blender/food processor and blitz until smooth.
Serve and enjoy or refrigerate up to one hour prior to serving.
Creamy Yogurt Based Sauce For Empanadas
This creamy yogurt-based sauce uses full-fat greek yogurt.
- 1/2 Cup of Full-Fat Greek Yogurt
- 1 Lime, Juiced,
- 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
- 1/4 Cup of Water,
- 1/2 Avocado
- 3/4 Cup of Fresh Cilantro
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt
Add all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blitz until evenly combined.
You can add more water if you require a thinner sauce.
Serve and enjoy!
Cilantro Sour Cream Sauce For Empanadas
This sauce is so simple to make, yet tastes delicious, plus the base ingredients can be used to create different flavor sauces (see the note).
- 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ lime, juiced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Step One: Chop the fresh cilantro.
Step Two: Juice the lime.
Step Three: Put all the ingredients save the spices in a mixing bowl and mix till fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Note: If you want to experiment with putting together your own sauce, you can use sour cream or crema as the base and season it to your liking. For example, you can substitute the cilantro with fresh chives, or parsley. You can also use smoked paprika and chipotle sauce instead of cilantro. If you want something that packs a punch, add some minced garlic. (Tip: if you want the garlic to be less pungent, boil it before you mince it.)
Cilantro Lime Sauce For Empanadas
This is another version of cilantro lime sauce that calls for yogurt instead of sour cream and uses avocado, garlic, and onions in there, too.
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup water, more if you prefer a thinner consistency
- ½ avocado
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup green onion, white parts removed
- 1 tsp salt
Step One: Juice and grate the lime.
Step Two: In a food processor, combine the Greek yogurt, lime juice, and half of the lime zest, olive oil, water (optional), avocado, cilantro, garlic, green onion, and salt.
Set the processor on high and pulse until combined. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash the avocado and then whisk together all wet ingredients, chop the onion and cilantro, mince the garlic, and then combine all ingredients with a good stir.)
Step Three: Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with the lime zest.
Red Pepper Sauce For Empanadas
If you like roasted red peppers, this is the sauce for you!
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Step One: In a food processor, combine the cream cheese and roasted red peppers.
Step Two: Add the garlic, smoked paprika, and salt. Process until smooth.
Step Three: Serve in a bowl and sprinkle some smoked paprika on top.
Tomatillo Salsa Verde Sauce Empanadas
If you want a traditional Mexican recipe, try this sauce! Unlike the other sauces on this list, it’s not creamy, but refreshing.
- 1 ½ pounds tomatillos
- ½ cup chopped white onion
- 2 cloves (or more) garlic, optional
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (you can use whole for more heat if you want)
- Salt to taste
Step One: Peel and chop the onion. If not broiling the tomatillos, remove the skin of the garlic cloves (if you plan to use garlic–it’s optional). Juice the lime. Stem and seed the jalapeños unless you want to use them whole.
Step Two: Here you have a choice–you can broil the tomatillos, fry them, or boil them.
Either way, you need to remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and rinse well. If you want to broil the tomatillos, cut them in half, and place them cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Add a few cloves of garlic with their skin on. Set the rack 6 inches from the heating element and broil for 5-7 minutes–until the skins of the tomatillos start to blacken.
Remove the skin from the garlic once it cools enough for you to do so.
If, on the other hand, you are frying them, heat some oil in a frying pan and sear them–frying them on one side till they start to brown and then on the other side.
If you opt to boil them, place them whole in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, and let cook for about 5 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon.
Step Three: Put the cooked tomatillos and other ingredients in a blender and pulse till all ingredients are finely chopped.
Step Four: Season to taste.
So there you have it; seven different great options for you to try.
And the good news is, that Marinara and Salsa are readily available in grocery stores.
So you can pick these up without even needing to prepare them.
For the Marinara, you’ll need to warm – and it goes without saying to buy a premium brand.
Failing that make your own.
Or one of the four other recipes provided here today.
It will be worth your while; these Spanish parties simply deserve a good sauce
And they are much more enjoyable with one.
So do give these different options a try and see what you like best.
Hello. I’m Jeremy – an experienced saucier who has worked in some of the top kitchens over the last few decades. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my knowledge and expertise; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to recommendations for every sauce imaginable.