Skip to Content

Empanadas vs Calzones: What’s the Difference?

Ever wondered about the epic showdown between empanadas and calzones? We sure have.

First off, they both have that mouth-watering, stuffed-with-goodness vibe. Totally different heritages, though. One hails from Italy; the other, Latin America.

We’ve had our fair share of both. And by “fair share,” we mean we’ve probably eaten enough to feed a small village.

Here’s the scoop: one’s baked (or fried, we’re not judgy), and the other’s kind of like pizza’s doughier, pocket-sized cousin.

And the fillings? Oh, the fillings. They could be anything from seasoned meats to cheese, veggies, or even a combo of all three.

We’re getting hungry just thinking about it. Join us as we dive into the tasty details.

What are Empanadas?

Empanadas are a special treat – filled dough pockets that are fried or baked until crispy.

Originating in Spain, this snack is now a global favorite, particularly in Latin America.

The crust is usually made of wheat flour, and the filling can vary.

Meat, cheese, potatoes, beans and veggies are all great options.

Empanadas are often served as appetizers, snacks or even main dishes.

And, they come in many shapes and sizes.

Half-moon, twisted, whatever you prefer.

Plus, the crispiness on the outside and softness inside makes them truly delicious.

And, because they’re so filling they’re great for long journeys.

If you’re looking for a snack that’s both satisfying and filling, try empanadas.

What are Calzones?

Calzones are an Italian pastry with a savory twist.

Pizza dough is folded in half to form a crescent shape.

Inside, you’ll find tomato sauce, cheese, and your favorite fillings like meat or veggies.

The edges are sealed together before baking or frying until golden brown.

These pastries stand out from pizzas and empanadas.

Their shape and fold-over method make them ideal for on-the-go snacking.

Plus, their crunchy exterior and molten center make them a comforting food.

In some regions of Italy, they’re eaten just around Easter.

If you’re looking for something warm and cozy, try a calzone.

It’s the perfect way to enjoy classic pizza flavors with all your favorite toppings stuffed inside a pastry shell.

Dough and Filling Variations in Empanadas and Calzones

Empanadas and Calzones are two popular snacks.

They have similar shapes and ingredients, yet different dough and fillings.

Empanadas have a pastry-like crust, made of flour, water, and fat.

Empanadas are often fried.

Calzone dough is more like pizza crust, made of flour, water, yeast, salt, and oil.

Calzones are usually baked, like pizza.

The fillings differ based on the cuisine.

Empanadas typically have savory or sweet fillings, such as beef or chicken with onions, peppers, and potatoes.

Or dessert-style options like apples or pumpkin.

Calzones, however, usually adopt Italian cuisine.

Ricotta cheese mixed with spinach or broccoli for Bianco, and with tomatoes for Rosso.

The preparation methods vary too.

Empanadas are formed into half-moons.

While Calzones are shaped like folded pizzas.

Cooking Methods and Origins of Empanadas and Calzones

Empanadas and calzones may look alike, but there are some differences.

Empanadas come from Latin America.

They tend to be smaller with a range of fillings, like meat, vegetables, and cheese.

All of this is wrapped in dough and then baked or fried.

Calzones are from Italy.

They are larger and have a pizza-like filling of cheese, tomato sauce, and other meats/veggies.

They are folded in half and baked.

Empanadas usually have flaky texture due to using shortening.

Calzones tend to be denser because they use yeast-raised dough.

Despite their differences, both empanadas and calzones are meant for one purpose: portable handheld meals.

Whether you prefer one over the other, you can’t deny they both make delicious lunches.

Regional Variations in Empanadas and Calzones

Empanadas and calzones are sought-after savoury pastry dishes.

Despite the similarities in their ingredients, they have distinct origins, shapes, and methods of preparation.

Empanadas likely began in Spain and were brought to Latin America by colonizers.

They are usually made with wheat flour dough and appear in various shapes – like half-moon or triangular.

Fillings can include meat, cheese, veggies, or fruit.

Each Latin American region has its own version – from the small Chilean empanadas de pino to the large Argentinian baked empanadas.

Calzones originate in Italy and use pizza dough that is folded over like a pocket.

They have a half-moon shape which is achieved by folding each piece of dough and sealing before baking.

They’re always baked, not fried like empanadas.

Though the dough-based shells of the dishes may look similar, their fillings differ across regions.

For instance, an Argentinian empanada typically contains beef while an Italian calzone usually has cured meats like prosciutto.

Flavor Profiles and Seasonings in Empanadas and Calzones

Empanadas and calzones – similar yet different.

Empanadas are a Latin American favorite, filled with tasty fillings like beef, chicken, cheese or veg.

These are usually spiced with cumin, paprika and chili powder for a bold flavor.

Calzones, however, come from Italy and are like pizza pockets – often filled with mozzarella, tomato sauce and different meats or veg.

Fillings for calzones are milder in taste than empanadas.

Also, empanadas come in various shapes and sizes.

Some can be baked, others fried – offering flexibility for fillings and cooking methods.

Calzones, on the other hand, tend to have a half-moon shape and are usually baked – not fried.

In conclusion, both dishes involve dough pockets filled with savory ingredients.

But, they have different flavor profiles due to their different cultural roots.

Why not try them both and decide which one you prefer?

Serving and Eating Styles of Empanadas and Calzones

Empanadas and calzones may come from different parts of the world.

But, they have something in common – both are stuffed dough parcels for convenient meals.

While differences between them seem subtle, it’s important to know them to enjoy their unique flavors.

Empanadas are a Latin American dish.

They are small dough pockets that can contain savory or sweet fillings.

Dough is made with flour, water, salt, and sometimes fat like lard or butter.

Fillings can include ground meat, veggies, cheese, fruit, even Nutella.

Calzones come from Italy.

They look like pizzas folded into half-moon shapes or turnovers.

The dough includes yeast to make it rise and be chewy.

Fillings are Italian flavors like mozzarella, tomato sauce, herbs, and cured meat like ham.

The biggest difference between empanadas and calzones is how they’re eaten.

Empanadas are eaten by hand while still warm – perfect for a quick snack.

Calzones can be sliced like pizza, perfect for sharing.

Both empanadas and calzones offer unique tastes.

Whether you prefer Latin American spices or Italian herbs and cheese – there’s something for you.

Similarities Between Empanadas and Calzones

Empanadas and calzones may look different.

But they share lots in common.

Both are turnovers with yummy fillings and cooked until crispy.

These bite-sized pockets are perfect for a quick snack or meal.

They both use a similar dough.

It’s made with flour, water, salt, and yeast.

However, empanadas usually have cornmeal dough.

And calzones typically have wheat flour dough.

These two dishes offer lots of versatility.

You can fill empanadas and calzones with meat, cheese, or veggies.

They can also be made with Mexican or Italian flavors.

Despite the similarities, there are some differences.

Empanadas may be smaller, since they originated as portable snacks.

Plus, empanadas can be served cold while calzones must be served hot.


Empanadas and calzones differ in origin and filling.

Empanadas come from Latin America, typically filled with meat, veggies, or cheese.

Calzones, however, are Italian and usually contain tomato sauce, mozzarella, and meats like pepperoni.

Size-wise, empanadas are small and individual-sized, while calzones are larger and meant for sharing.

Furthermore, empanadas are usually fried or baked, while calzones are only baked.

Both empanadas and calzones are tasty choices for those looking for handheld snacks.

Whether you prefer Latin American flavors or Italian classics is up to you.

But no matter which you choose, you’re sure to love it.

Empanadas vs Calzones: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Embark on a culinary adventure as we compare empanadas and calzones, unraveling the differences in dough, fillings, and cultural origins.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Empanadas
  • Calzones


  • Choose between empanadas and calzones based on your preference and desired flavors.
  • Prepare the dough and filling according to your selected recipe for empanadas or calzones.
  • Fill the dough with the desired ingredients, ensuring proper sealing for both empanadas and calzones.
  • Bake or fry the prepared empanadas or calzones according to the recommended cooking temperature and time.
  • Once cooked, allow them to cool slightly before serving.
  • Enjoy the delicious handheld treats of empanadas or calzones, savoring the unique flavors and textures they offer.
  • Explore different fillings and variations to expand your culinary experience with these delightful pastries.
Keyword Empanadas vs Calzones
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating