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Caramel Apple Empanadas Recipe (Just Like Taco Bell's!)

After a trip to the Taco Bell drive-thru, Deya decided to re-create these delicious treats at home.

These caramel apple empanadas taste just like the ones at Taco Bell!

These caramel apple empanadas taste just like the ones at Taco Bell!

Like Taco Bell but Healthier

I found myself sitting in my car in a Taco Bell drive-thru one night waiting for the car in front of me to pull forward. I had the strangest craving for a caramel apple empanada—and there was no way, at 11 at night, I was going to get home and make my own.

But I kept thinking about how amazing it would be if I could have eight of these amazing empanadas instead of just ordering one. The food-lover in me supported this thought. So I set out to find the best recipe for Taco Bell's caramel apple empanadas that I could make at home—and have it be healthier than what the fast food chain manages to put out.

With a few tweaks on some of the recipes I found online, I put together this delicious dessert recipe for caramel apple empanadas. Enjoy!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour

15 min

1 hour 15 min

8 empanadas



  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups apples, peeled and chopped (about 3 apples)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg white, whipped
  • 2 (8-ounces) boxes pie crust mix
  • 1/3 cup caramel topping
  • Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top


  1. Chop up and peel 3 apples. Add in 1/4 cup of water to a pot and bring them to a soft boil for about 5-8 minutes until soft but not completely falling apart.
  2. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together.
  3. When the apples are done, remove them from the stove and stir in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, butter, and the caramel topping. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Prepare the pie crusts according to package instructions. Each box should yield 4 empanadas. Split the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a circle with a rolling pin.
  5. Add the apple-cinnamon mixture into the interior (about 1/4 cup for each empanada). Fold in half and press with a fork on the sides to seal.
  6. Brush each empanada with the egg white and sprinkle some more cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-18 minutes until they are golden. Remove from oven and drizzle with caramel topping. Let cool before serving.
Caramel apple empanada filling

Caramel apple empanada filling

Step 1: Prepare the Apples

To make about 8 empanadas, I had to peel and chop up 3 apples into little squares (makes about 3 cups of apples). Once that was done, I went ahead and boiled them in a large pot for about 5-8 minutes with 1/4th cup of water.

Steps 2 and 3: Complete the Filling

Once the consistency is a bit mushy (but not falling completely apart) I added in some cinnamon and sugar, some caramel ice cream topping (or you can melt down caramels if you'd like), and some butter. I mixed it all together until the butter melted and the apples were evenly coated and I set it aside.

Step 4: Prepare the Crust

While the apples were boiling, I got to work on the crusts of the caramel apple empanadas. Now, as far as I'm aware, Taco Bell deep fries their empanadas which makes an otherwise semi-healthy dessert, into a not-so-healthy and "fast-food" approved choice. I decided to bake mine instead.

I used two boxes of pie crust mix which gave me about four empanadas per 8-ounce box of mix. You could make smaller ones and get more, but four seemed like a good size for them. Mix the dough according to package instructions then split it into four balls. Roll each piece out with a rolling pin until you have what looks like a circle. Doesn't need to be too perfect since you will be folding them but they look prettier the more circular you can make the dough.

Prepare the pie crust mix according to package instructions, then roll dough out into 4 circles.

Prepare the pie crust mix according to package instructions, then roll dough out into 4 circles.

Steps 5 and 6: Fill, Seal, and Brush the Empanadas

Once the dough is ready, you can begin scooping about 1/4 cup of apple mixture into each empanada (or more, or less depending on the size of yours) make sure to leave about 1/2 an inch of space from the edges so that the filling does not come out when you fold the caramel apple empanada over. Once the filling is in, close the empanada and press the edges down with a fork to seal them. Whip up an egg white and brush each empanada with egg white until it is fully coated.

Make some more cinnamon sugar mix and sprinkle it on top. Place each one on parchment paper.

Fill the empanadas with filling and fold.

Fill the empanadas with filling and fold.

Step 7: Bake and Serve!

I baked mine for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. You can add 3 or 4 minutes without fear of burning them or turn down the oven by 10-20 degrees if yours need to stay in longer without being burned.

Once they come out, just drizzle caramel topping on them and let them cool before serving!

Drizzle with caramel topping

Drizzle with caramel topping

Yum! Caramel apple empanadas that are healthier than Taco Bell's!

Yum! Caramel apple empanadas that are healthier than Taco Bell's!