Taco Bell Caramel Apple Empanadas

My husband loves going down to Taco Bell and getting one of the caramel apple empanadas from time to time. I knew that I could recreate them from home and make a healthy treat for all of us to enjoy. Alright, as healthy as you can make pie crusts. While I took away the fried oil, I left the butter. You can really only give up so much in life. I was able to make a really good empanada that was absolutely delicious and tasted better than the Taco Bell version. You can never go wrong with apples and cinnamon and caramel can you??

caramel apple empanada

This recipe requires a few tricks to get it to turn out right. The first time around I made the dough myself and thought that I rolled it out thin enough. My husband complained that it tasted more like an apple pie than an empanada and lacked the crispiness of the empanada. So to save you some time and frustration, here are a few tips before you get started:

caramel apple

TIP 1: Roll the dough out thin. If you have trouble getting the dough rolled out thin enough with grandma’s homemade pie crust recipe that you have to use because you’ve had it in the family for generations than consider buying a premade pie crust (we used Immaculate Baking) and rolling it out a little thinner. By the way, we couldn’t calculate your grandma’s pie crust recipe, so this recipe uses premade pie crusts for it’s directions. I still love you though and would love to try yours with grandma’s special pie crust.

TIP 2: While many of the recipes around the web skimped and used apple pie filling, this one does not! I don’t like the taste of apple pie filling and love the taste of fresh apples. Besides, it’s apple season and you can’t help but use fresh apples.

TIP 3: You can skimp and use storebought caramel sauce too. I won’t complain. We used our No Thermometer Salted Caramel Sauce and saved some to drizzle over the top of the finished baked empanadas. My husband tells me that putting more caramel sauce over it doesn’t make it a true empanada but I don’t believe it. You can never have enough caramel.

TIP 4: I absolutely hate this recipe because it’s not the most quick and easy dessert. I absolutely love this recipe because I can make them up and freeze them, then pull them out of the freezer to throw into the oven.

TIP 5: Parchment paper. Enough said.

This recipe is part of the Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge. Our challenge this month was to come up with a dessert recipe that included apples and cinnamon. You can find more about the Dessert Challenge here. If you are craving apples and cinnamon scroll down and view some of the other great recipes that are a part of the challenge this month.

Taco Bell Caramel Apple Empanadas


  • 2 premade pie crusts
  • ¼ cup sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 4 cups apples, peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce
  • ¼ cup egg whites
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon and flour then set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, bring the apples and water to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.
  4. Once apples are tender, remove from heat and stir in the sugar, cinnamon and flour mixture. Toss the apples with the mixture. Drizzle in the caramel sauce and continue stirring until incorporated.
  5. Unroll each pie crust on a lightly floured surface and roll out to be slightly thinner. Cut out large circles with a wide rimmed cup onto the pie crust surface. You should be able to get four circles on each pie crust. Fill each pie crust with a small amount of the apple filling, then fold over the top of the pie crust. Seal the edges with a wet finger. Place the filled empanada onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all empanadas have been filled, brush egg white over the top and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until empanadas are lightly browned.
  7. Serve with additional caramel sauce if desired.


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  1. I have been missing out, I had no clue that taco bell had such a thing! I need to make some of these asap!

  2. Some times you just have to spend some time to get delicious food–and this looks delicious. Great challenge choice.

  3. There is nothing better than a homemade copycat recipe because we all know homemade is WAAAAAY better. I bet yours are out if this world!

  4. I love these little apple handpies!

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