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AIP Empanadas (Paleo, Gluten Free, Nut Free)

  • Author: Cristina Curp
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 70
  • Yield: 15 1x
  • Category: Snacks and Sides
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Cuban
  • Diet: Gluten Free


AIP Paleo Empanadas



For Empanada “Dough”

  • 1 cup tapioca flour (up to 2 tbsp more if needed)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1012oz full fat coconut milk
  • pinch salt

For Beef Filling

  • 1lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/2 cup pitted, green olives
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp Italian herb seasoning (rosemary, thyme, oregano)
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt


Picadillo Filling

  1. Dice onion, garlic, turnip, olives and cranberries or raisins into small pieces.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, once it comes to temperature lightly oil with avocado oil or coconut oil. 
  3. Add in onions, garlic, and bay leaves. Saute until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add in beef, break it up with the spatula until crumbly, then add in seasoning and stir often until browned. 
  5. Add in cranberries, turnips,  olives and coconut aminos. Lower the heat, stir and cover, then simmer for 20- 30 minutes until the turnips are tender. 
  6. Taste and adjust salt if needed, set aside and prepare to make the dough. 

Make the Empanadas

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and keep it by the stove. 
  2. Shake your coconut milk can, if the fat is solidified run the can under warm water until you can shake it and hear the fluid liquid. Whisk all of the dough ingredients together. It will be like pancake batter. If your batter feels a little thin add more tapioca at this point. If it feels thick, add a little more milk.
  3. Heat a  skillet or griddle on medium heat. Once it’s hot, lightly grease. 
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of batter to make a 3-4 inch round, try to make them thin and evenly shaped, it helps if your skillet is not slanted to one side. Move skillet around or use a spatula to help shape if needed. I use the same 1/4 cup to pour the batter and at the same time do a gentle dabbing motion in a circle to get the right shape.
  5. Once the edges begin to look just cooked, about 60-90 seconds usually, use a thin spatula to move your half-cooked pancake to the baking sheet. Flip it on the parchment paper so the wet side is facing down.
  6. If the pancake tears when you put the spatula under it, let it cook a little longer.
  7. Place a spoonful of filling in the center, run a moist finger around the inside edges, then with wet fingers fold the pancake over to meet both edges. Use a fork to press them together gently. 
  8. Repeat this until the batter is done and the filling is done. Spray all of them with oil lightly. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes. Until edges are golden.
  9. Serve hot or room temperature! Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes:

  • Take your time with this recipe, relax and have fun. It’s really forgiving! 
  • Read the post for success! 


  • Serving Size: 1 empanada
  • Calories: 128.6
  • Sugar: 1.2g
  • Sodium: 26.3mg
  • Fat: 7.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 1.3g
  • Protein: 5g

Keywords: AIP Empanada