activity
safety
  • Uses a knife
  • Uses the oven
difficulty
  • Intermediate
time
  • 55 minutes, plus 15 minutes cooling time
yield
  • Varies (depending on empanada size and dough)

Dumplings of all different shapes and sizes are eaten around the world! They can be sweet or savory; baked, fried, or steamed; and can be filled with anything from fruit to vegetables to meat to cheese and beyond.

In this Make It Your Way Challenge, we’re asking you to design and bake your dream dumplings, filled with whatever you think would be tasty! You’ll start by choosing a dough and deciding whether your dumplings will be savory or sweet. Then, you’ll create your filling, using whatever ingredients and flavors inspire you. Finally, you’ll shape and bake your dumplings before tasting your creations.

hey curious cook—

Have you heard about our Young Chefs’ Club? Members get a themed (and kid-tested) box delivered each month!

Part 1: Choose Your Dough

Pie dough is flaky and a bit delicate while our Empanada Dough is tender but sturdy.

Part 2: Choose Your Filling

What will go inside your dumplings? You can use one ingredient or a combination of two or more. The firmer your fillings, the easier your dumplings will be to shape—runny fillings will make your dumplings difficult to seal and prone to leaking in the oven. Try pairing dry ingredients, like chopped nuts or crumbled bacon, with softer ingredients, like fresh fruit or shredded cheese. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Savory Filling Ideas

  • Shredded or crumbled cheese
  • Cooked shredded or ground beef, chicken, pork, turkey, or lamb
  • Chopped cooked shrimp
  • Crumbled cooked bacon
  • Chopped deli meat
  • Chopped cured meats, such as pepperoni, salami, or prosciutto
  • Chopped cooked vegetables
  • Finely chopped onion or shallot
  • Drained, crumbled tofu
  • Scrambled eggs or chopped hard-cooked eggs
  • Drained and mashed canned beans

Sweet Filling Ideas

  • Chopped fresh fruit
  • Berries
  • Nut butter
  • Nutella
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chopped nuts
  • Shredded or flaked coconut
  • Cream cheese
  • Red bean paste
  • Dulce de leche or cajeta

Part 3: Shape and Bake Your Dumplings

1
 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

 
2
 

If using homemade pie dough or homemade empanada dough, roll out dough into large circle about ⅛-inch thick (see How to Use Pie Dough or Empanada Dough). Use 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out dough rounds for mini dumplings or 4½-inch round biscuit cutter for full-size dumplings.

 
3
 

Place 1 teaspoon filling in center of mini dumpling rounds or heaping 1 tablespoon filling in center of full-size dumpling rounds (do not overfill dumplings—they will be hard to seal). Dip your finger in water and lightly moisten edges of each dough round.

 
4
 

Fold dough over filling to create half-moon shape. Use your fingers to press edges together to seal.

 
5
 

Use fork to press sealed edges together to crimp dough. Place dumplings on parchment-lined baking sheet.

 
6
 

Place baking sheet in oven and bake until dumplings are golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes for mini dumplings or 25 to 30 minutes for full-size dumplings.

 
7
 

Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack (ask an adult for help). Let dumplings cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve.