Empanadas de Flor de Calabaza

Masa Empanadas Stuffed with Squash Blossoms


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

Squash has a special place in the Oaxacan diet. From our sopa de guias made with squash vines to our rich agua de chilacayota, it is a vegetable that we return to for both sweet and savory applications. The squash blossom is yet another part of the squash that we treasure for its subtle, earthy flavor. It’s an iconic empanada filling in Oaxaca that begs to be posted on Instagram because of its vibrant bright-yellow color. It’s almost too pretty to eat. I love having flor de calabaza at the peak of their season in Oaxaca, because they can look as big as sunflowers. They cook down to a tender texture when lightly steamed in an empanada. If you’re feeling it, spread the thinnest layer of aciento between the cheese and tortilla for an instant flavor booster. With our fruity tomatillo salsa, it’s one of the easiest and most wholesome meals you can assemble at any time of the day.


  • pounds (1 kg) fresh masa
  • Generous 1 pound (500 g) queso Oaxaca (Oaxacan string cheese)
  • cups (225 g) squash blossoms, cleaned
  • 40 fresh epazote leaves


Heat a comal over medium heat. Grab ½ cup (100 g or ounces) of masa at a time and press it in a tortilla press. When the comal is hot, carefully transfer the tortilla to the comal and lightly toast one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip it to the other side and, on the freshly toasted side, place a handful (50 g) of cheese on top and layer with ¾ cup (22 g) of squash blossoms followed by 4 epazote leaves, evenly spread out.

After the other side of the tortilla is lightly toasted, carefully fold the tortilla in half and press down on the edges so that it is a little bit sealed. Flip the quesadilla to the other side. When both sides are toasted with some dark spots, the quesadilla is ready to serve.