Top Empanada Toppings Chosen by Puerto Rican

Imagine taking a bite of a perfectly crispy empanada, its savory filling delightfully complementing the golden, flaky pastry. Now, imagine making that experience even better with different empanada toppings and sauces, each bringing its special flavor.

Puerto Rican top Empanada Toppings

From the zesty kick of chimichurri to the creamy richness of garlic aioli, there’s a world of possibilities to explore beyond the traditional empanada.

Can’t get enough empanadas? Check out my South America’s Top 13 Best Empanada Doughs and The Most Delicious Empanada Fillings.

Recently, someone in one of my favorite Puerto Rican food-related Facebook groups sparked an interesting discussion by asking members to share their favorite empanada toppings.

While many expressed a strong preference for enjoying their empanadas plain, savoring the intricate flavors and textures without any additions, the conversation also unveiled a treasure trove of creative and easy-to-implement ideas.

Whether it’s the tangy freshness of salsa verde or the comforting creaminess of sour cream, these suggestions for empanada toppings offer an exciting way to customize your empanada experience.

Empanada Topping from above

1. Garlic Ketchup Mayo Sauce

Garlic Ketchup Mayo Sauce combines mayonnaise’s creaminess, ketchup’s tanginess, and a bold garlic punch, creating a versatile and rich topping perfect for empanadas.

This trio elevates traditional Puerto Rican condiments like Mayo/Ketchup and Salsa Rosada to a new level, offering a deeper flavor profile that complements any empanada. It’s an ideal choice for those seeking to enhance their meal with a gourmet touch, blending simplicity and sophistication in every bite.

2. Pique

Pique is Puerto Rico’s premier hot sauce, a dynamic blend of local peppers, spices, vinegar, and sometimes garlic or herbs, capturing the island’s culinary spirit. Unlike generic hot sauces, Pique is tailored to complement Puerto Rican dishes, adding a special touch of heat that enhances flavors rather than overpowering them.

This condiment isn’t just about spiciness; it’s a crucial flavor booster for empanadas and other local favorites, offering a unique taste experience.

3. Cole Slaw

A classic coleslaw is made by thinly slicing cabbage and carrots, then tossing them in a dressing of mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and mustard for a hint of tang and sweetness. This crunchy, creamy salad adds a delightful contrast to empanadas, with its slightly sweet tang balancing the savory notes, making each bite a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

4. Chimichurri

Chimichurri, Argentina’s pride, is a zesty symphony of fresh parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, and a splash of vinegar, creating a sauce that sings with herbaceous vitality. This vibrant green elixir is traditionally whisked together with a pinch of red pepper flakes for warmth, offering a tangy and aromatic condiment. Drizzled over empanadas, it introduces a refreshing, herb-filled twist, complementing the savory fillings with a hint of Argentine tradition.

5. Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo combines diced ripe tomatoes, crisp onions, fresh cilantro, and jalapeños, accented with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt. This chunky salsa offers a refreshing crunch and zesty flavor that perfectly complements the rich fillings of empanadas, infusing them with a burst of freshness that’s akin to a summer day’s delight.

6. Garlic Aioli

Garlic aioli is a luxurious emulsion of garlic, egg yolks, olive oil, and lemon juice, whisked together until thick and creamy. This rich sauce, with its intense garlic flavor and velvety texture, cloaks empanadas in a decadent layer, adding an elegant touch that transforms a simple meal into an opulent feast.

7. Salsa Verd

Salsa verde, a tangy treasure, is crafted by blending tomatillos, cilantro, green chili, and onion, resulting in a sauce that bursts with freshness. This verdant concoction is seasoned with lime juice and salt, enhancing its lively, acidic profile. A spoonful over empanadas cuts through richness, adding a zippy contrast that’s simply irresistible, embodying the essence of vibrant Mexican cuisine.

8. Sour Cream

Sour cream, with its smooth, tangy profile, offers a simple yet transformative addition to empanadas. It’s a cooling complement to spicy fillings, adding a creamy texture and a touch of indulgence that makes each mouthful more delicious. Just a dollop can mellow out bold flavors, lending a subtle richness to the dish.

9. Guacamole or Salsa de Aguacate

Guacamole and salsa de aguacate are made from ripe avocados mashed or blended with lime juice, onions, cilantro, and sometimes tomatoes and garlic. These creamy, avocado-based sauces add a rich, buttery texture and a subtle earthiness to empanadas, enhancing their flavors with a lush, velvety layer that’s irresistibly smooth.

10. Coffee

Dipping empanadas in coffee is unusual but creates a special combo. The rich, robust flavor of brewed coffee complements the savory or sweet fillings of empanadas, offering a surprising harmony of tastes. This cozy, comforting duo turns snack time into a moment of culinary exploration, proving that sometimes, the most unlikely combinations are the most rewarding.

Final Thoughts

Empanada toppings offer a diverse and flavorful world of creativity. From savory to sweet, these beloved toppings capture the essence of Puerto Rican cuisine, inviting food lovers to explore rich flavors and textures for a memorable experience.

I encourage you to experiment with these toppings for a delicious way to connect with the vibrant culture!

Explore my empanada recipes: Argentine Empanadas, Columbian Empanadas, and Caprese Empanadas.

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