Empanada Vs Dumpling: Can You Spot These Differences?

What are the differences between empanadas and dumplings?

They may both look like small, stuffed savory pies, but there are some key distinctions between these two popular dishes.

Keep reading to find out what sets them apart and how to make each one in this quick empanada vs dumpling guide.

Read more: Egg Substitute For Mac And Cheese

What are empanadas?

Empanadas are a type of pastry that is popular all over Latin America.

They are made of flour dough that is stuffed with savory fillings like meats, cheeses, and vegetables.

Empanadas can be fried or baked, and they are often served with dipping sauces on the side.

What are dumplings?

Dumplings are a type of dough ball that is popular in many cultures around the world.

They can be filled with a variety of different fillings, including meats, vegetables, and fruits.

Dumplings are usually boiled or steamed, and they can be served as a main dish or as a side dish.

Empanada vs dumpling – The main differences

empanadas vs dumplings

Origins

The first difference between these two dishes comes from their origins.

Empanadas are a Latin American dish, while many pieces of research showed that dumplings originated from China during the Han dynasty.

Main ingredients

Empanadas are made with flour dough, while dumplings are made with dough balls.

The dough for empanadas is also usually stuffed with savory fillings, while the dough for dumplings can be filled with a variety of different fillings, including meats, vegetables, and fruits.

Cooking methods

Empanadas can be fried or baked, while dumplings are usually boiled or steamed.

Empanadas are also often served with dipping sauces on the side, while dumplings can be served as a main dish or as a side dish.

Shape

Empanadas are typically crescent-shaped, while dumplings can be any shape, including round, oblong, or crescent-shaped.

This is an interesting difference, as the shape of the dish can often give you a clue about its origins.

Taste

Empanadas and dumplings have different tastes.

Empanadas are crispy and flaky on the outside, while dumplings are doughy and soft on the inside.

Dumplings tend to be more savory, while empanadas can have sweet and savory variations.

Cost

Empanadas are more expensive than dumplings.

This is because they require more ingredients, such as flour, and they also require more time to prepare.

When you visit a restaurant, you can often see the price difference between these two dishes.

Nutritional values

Empanadas and dumplings have different nutritional values.

Empanadas are high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, while dumplings are lower in calories and fat.

Calories per serving

One serving of empanadas contains around 350-400 calories, while one serving of dumplings contains around 150-200 calories.

Fat per serving

One serving of empanadas contains around 24-26 grams of fat, while one serving of dumplings contains around 2-3 grams of fat.

Popularity

Empanadas are more popular than dumplings.

This is because they are a Latin American dish and they are widely available in restaurants all over the world.

Dumplings are popular in many Asian cultures, but they are not as well-known as empanadas.

Other differences

These two dishes have some other differences, including the following:

Empanadas are typically served as appetizers or snacks, while dumplings can be served as main dishes or side dishes.

Empanadas are usually made with wheat flour, while dumplings can be made with a variety of different flours, including wheat, rice, and tapioca flour.

Empanadas are typically made with savory fillings, while dumplings can be made with sweet or savory fillings.

Empanadas are usually fried or baked, while dumplings are usually boiled or steamed.

What are their similarities?

Even though there are some differences between empanadas and dumplings, they also have some similarities.

These include the following:

Both dishes are made with dough balls.

Both dishes can be filled with a variety of different fillings, including meats, vegetables, and fruits.

Both dishes can be boiled or steamed.

Both dishes can be served as main dishes or side dishes.

Both dishes have different tastes.

Both dishes have different nutritional values.

Both dishes are popular in different parts of the world.

Which one tastes better?

This is a personal preference and it varies from person to person.

Some people prefer the taste of empanadas, while others prefer the taste of dumplings.

There are also people who like the taste of both dishes.

My personal choice is empanadas, but I know many of my friends who prefer dumplings.

A simple recipe for making empanadas

Here is a simple empanada recipe of mine that you can try at home:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water
  • Filling options:
  • Beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp filling (see recipe below)

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  • Cut in the shortening or lard until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Gradually add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Cut out circles with a 3-inch biscuit cutter.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle.
  • Fold the dough over the filling, and press the edges with a fork to seal.
  • Place the empanadas on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Serve with your dipping sauce of choice.

A simple recipe for making dumplings

Try this simple dumpling recipe at home:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water
  • Filling options:
  • Beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp filling

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  • Cut in the shortening or lard until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Gradually add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut out 3-inch squares.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each square.
  • Fold the dough over the filling, and press the edges with a fork to seal.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Carefully add the dumplings, and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until they float to the surface.
  • Serve with your dipping sauce of choice.

Empanada vs dumpling – Conclusion

In summary, empanadas are more popular than dumplings because they are a Latin American dish and they are widely available in restaurants all over the world.

Dumplings are popular in many Asian cultures, but they are not as well-known as empanadas.

Even though there are some differences between empanadas and dumplings, they also have some similarities as listed above.

So, it’s up to you to decide which dish you prefer – empanadas or dumplings.

Mariana Rouco

Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.

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