4 small potato and corn empanadas with hogao. What is an EMPANADA? An empanada is a baked or fried pasty, consisting of pastry and filling, in Latin American and Filipino cultures. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, and literally translates as "enbreaded", that is, wrapped or coated in bread. Empanadas are made by folding dough over a stuffing, which may consist of meat, cheese, corn, or other ingredients. Colombian empanadas are made of maize flour & are fried.