Empanada Vs Pierogi: Can You Spot These Differences?

If you’ve ever been to a Spanish or Polish restaurant, then you’ve probably seen empanadas and pierogi on the menu.

But what exactly are these dishes?

And what’s the difference between them?

They might look similar, but there are actually a few key differences between these two popular foods.

So, if you’re wondering what to order next, read on to learn more about the topic of empanada vs pierogi in this post.

Read more: What To Do With Leftover Boneless Pork Chops?

What is an empanada?

An empanada is a type of pastry that is typically filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese.

It originates from Spain and Portugal, but it is now popular in many Latin American countries as well.

Empanadas are usually fried or baked and can be served as a main dish or snack.

What is a pierogi?

A pierogi is a type of dumpling that is popular in Central and Eastern European countries.

It is typically filled with potato, cheese, or meat, and then boiled or fried.

Pierogi can also be served as a main dish or snack.

Empanada vs pierogi – The main differences

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For the origins of these two dishes, empanadas come from Spain and Portugal while pierogi hail from Central and Eastern European countries.

The first-ever recorded appearance of the empanadas was in a Spanish cookbook from the year 1520 while pierogi first showed up in print in Poland in the 17th century.


When it comes to ingredients, empanadas are typically filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese while pierogi are most commonly filled with potato, cheese, or meat.

However, there are many different variations of both empanadas and pierogi so you can find all sorts of different fillings for both dishes.

And the most prominent ingredient of the empanadas is the flour dough while the pierogi’s is wheat flour and water.


Empanadas are usually shaped like a semi-circle or a turnover while pierogi are typically shaped like a half-moon.

Again, there are many different shapes and sizes of both empanadas and pierogi so this is not always the case.

But, in general, these are the shapes that you can expect for these two dishes.

Frying or boiling

Empanadas are typically fried while pierogi are boiled.

However, there are some variations of each dish where the opposite is true.

But, in general, frying is the more common cooking method for empanadas while boiling is more common for pierogi.


The taste of empanadas and pierogi can vary quite a bit since there are so many different variations of each dish.

But, in general, empanadas are known for being savory while pierogi can be either savory or sweet.

People enjoy having empanadas with a dipping sauce while pierogi are often served with sour cream.


When it comes to the cost of making these two dishes, empanadas are typically less expensive to make than pierogi.

This is because the ingredients for empanadas are generally cheaper and it is a simpler dish to make.

Pierogi, on the other hand, can be a bit more complicated to make and require more ingredients.

Nutritional values

In terms of nutritional values, empanadas and pierogi both have their pros and cons.

Empanadas are generally higher in fat and calories than pierogi, but pierogi are higher in carbs.

So, it really depends on what you are looking for in a dish when it comes to comparing the nutritional values of empanadas and pierogi.

Calories per serving

For empanadas, each serving typically contains around 200-300 calories.

For pierogi, each serving typically contains around 100-200 calories.

Fat per serving

For empanadas, each serving typically contains around 5-10 grams of fat.

For pierogi, each serving typically contains around 2-5 grams of fat.

Carbs per serving

For empanadas, each serving typically contains around 20-30 grams of carbs.

For pierogi, each serving typically contains around 15-25 grams of carbs.


Empanadas and pierogi are both popular dishes in their respective countries of origin.

However, empanadas are starting to become more popular in other parts of the world as well.

For example, empanadas are becoming increasingly popular in the United States.

What are their similarities?

empanada vs pierogi

Talking about similarities, both dishes are made of flour, water, and salt.

The dough is the essential part for both empanadas and pierogi.

The difference comes from their fillings.

Empanadas can be filled with almost anything savory, like meats, vegetables, or cheese, while Pierogi are usually filled with a potato mixture or sauerkraut and pork.

The other main difference is that Pierogi are boiled before serving, while Empanadas can be either fried or boiled.

Which one tastes better?

There is no clear consensus on which dish tastes better since there are so many different variations of both empanadas and pierogi.

It really depends on what you are looking for in a dish and your personal preferences.

Some people might prefer the taste of empanadas because of their savory fillings while others might prefer the taste of pierogi because of their versatility.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which dish you think tastes better.

I personally like both dishes, but I tend to prefer empanadas more than pierogi.

Tips for making empanadas

To make your empanadas taste even better, here are five tips to follow:

1. Use a good dough recipe – This is essential for making good empanadas. Try to find a dough recipe that is easy to work with and produces a nice, flaky crust.

2. Use high-quality fillings – The quality of your fillings will make a big difference in the overall taste of your empanadas. Try to use fresh, high-quality ingredients for your fillings.

3. Be careful not to overfill your empanadas – When it comes to filling your empanadas, less is more. Overfilling them will make them difficult to eat and can cause the dough to become soggy.

4. Cook your empanadas until the dough is golden brown – This will help to ensure that your empanadas are cooked all the way through and that the dough is nice and crispy.

5. Let your empanadas cool before serving – This will allow the fillings to set and will make them easier to eat.

Tips for making pierogi

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be a pierogi-making pro in no time.

1. Start with a simple dough. This will make the process easier and will give you a good foundation for your pierogi.

2. Use a well-floured work surface. If you don’t, the dough will be difficult to work with and the pierogi will be difficult to seal.

3. Be gentle with the dough. You don’t want to overwork it or it will become tough.

4. Use plenty of filling. You don’t want your pierogi to be too thin, so make sure you use enough filling.

5. Seal the pierogi well. This will prevent them from leaking during cooking.

Empanada vs pierogi – Conclusion

So, now that you know a bit more about the differences between empanadas and pierogi, which one are you going to try first?

Personally, I would recommend trying both dishes so that you can decide for yourself which one you like better.

But, if you are only going to try one, then I would recommend trying empanadas first because they are a bit more ubiquitous than pierogi.

Thanks for reading.

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