This homemade guava cheese empanada recipe has that classic sweet & tangy flavor balance and requires just five ingredients. Made with flakey fried empanada dough, a cream cheese and guava paste filling and topped with powdered sugar, it's a totally addicting sweet treat that's perfect to enjoy as a dessert or snack.
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Why We Love This Recipe
The unique flavor profiles of creamy smooth melted cheese and tangy sweet guavas is especially delicious when paired with flakey homemade empanada dough.
This dessert almost feels like you're eating a Danish pastry, but with a much more complex filling. Plus, they come together with just 5 ingredients in only 30 minutes.
If you enjoy this recipe, be sure to also try these Pastelillos de Guayaba (guava pastries)!
Five simple ingredients, let's go!
Here's what you will need:
- guava paste (you can also make your own)
- cream cheese
- empanada dough discs (you can also buy them premade)
- canola or vegetable oil
- confectioners sugar
Keep in mind if you want to bake the empanadas you can swap out the canola oil for an egg wash (made with an egg and some water).
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Guava Cheese Empanadas:
Prep the filling. Slice the cream cheese into 16 equal sized slices.
Do the same with the guava paste .
Tip: You can do this easily by slicing in half and then into 8 sections of 2.
Assemble the empanadas. Place a slice of cream cheese and a slice of guava paste into the center of each empanada disc.
Fold the dough over to close the empanada. Seal with your hands or crimp with a fork.
Fry. Fry the empanadas in hot oil until golden brown all around. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil. Keep reading for notes on how to bake if desired.
Serve. Serve with a sprinkle of confectioners sugar. Enjoy!
Here are some more of my favorite empanada recipes, as well as another Puerto Rican dessert that features guava paste & cream cheese:
You can also make your guava paste from scratch if you have an abundance of ripe guavas.
Because the ingredients in this recipe are so simple, there aren't many variations to it. That said, you can always switch up the kind of cheese you use. Many Latin countries will use the combination of Swiss cheese with guava, but you can also use sharp white cheddar, havarti, or gruyere.
My mom's favorite is white cheddar as it gives that delicious contrast of salty and sweet with the guava paste .
You can store these in an air tight bag or container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I like toasting any leftovers in the toaster oven or conventional oven before enjoying.
Empanada Dough Tips
If you're using my empanada dough recipe you can either make it fresh and use it they day of, or make it in advance and freeze until ready to use.
If you decide to make in advance, freeze the discs in between pieces of parchment paper so they don't stick together.
When ready to use, thaw fully before filling, closing, and frying.
You can also buy premade empanada dough discs.
Baked vs. Fried
You can also bake these empanadas if you don't want to take the fried route.
Simply brush the empanadas with an egg wash made of an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water. From there you can bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
More Puerto Rican Desserts