Thursday, August 25, 2011

{Homemade Empanadas}

I have such a strong love for Mexican food, which I've mentioned quite a few times on the blog. I'd say I was sorry for being so repetitive, but I have a sneaky feeling you'll want to save this recipe forever. It's that good. 

Since moving to Phoenix, I've been much more inspired to try cooking things outside of the usual taco/burrito genre I'm typically stuck in. I stumbled across this recipe for beef empanadas, and decided to give it a whirl.

The spicier the better, so you can bet I used a ton of red chilli flakes when making the filling for the empanadas. If you're making this at home, I'd recommend adding the flakes carefully so you don't wind up with delicious food that's too hot to eat. 

Some onion, cumin, red pepper flakes, sauteed with salt & pepper to start. Mixed together with your ground beef, cook through, and poof! You have your filling.

The fun part comes with assembling the mini-sized pockets. I have to admit that I ambitiously started this project with a plan to make my own dough. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time or patience to wait the 2+ hours it called for chilling the dough in the fridge. So I cheated, and bought pie crust.

I used a big coffee mug to stamp out the size I wanted, making sure to flatten the rounds to large enough circles to fit a decent amount of filling. Work quickly and on a floured surface, so the dough doesn't get sticky.

Then fill! 
Sprinkle some mozzarella & monterey jack cheese over the top, fold in half, and pinch the edges together. 

Like this. 
They're so cute.

Crispy crust, warm oozey cheese & spicy potato meat mixture.

Beef Empanadas
Recipe adapted from here
Makes about 20 empanadas  


  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound ground beef (85-90% lean)
  • salt
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled, finely diced, and boiled (I used 2 yukon golds)
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese & mozzarella cheese

For the dough: 
- Heat water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. 
- Mix flour, salt, and paprika in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. 
- Pour a little of the warm butter mixture in and stir with fingertips to make a wet paste. 
- Pour in remaining liquid and work the dough with your hand until you get a wet, oily dough. 
- Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the filling:

- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and cumin until onions are soft. 

- Add beef, season to taste with salt, and cook until beef is browned. Drain off the fat. 
- Place filling in a large bowl and when cooled, add potatoes and scallions. Mix to combine.

- Preheat oven to 400. Spray a large baking pan with non-stick spray or line with parchment. 

- Roll out the dough. Cut into 5″ circles. 
- Place 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each dough circle. Sprinkle filling lightly with cheese. Fold over and press edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. 
- Place empanadas on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.


  1. Miam!! Totally inspires me make a vegetarian version, er love mexican food so much!

    Virginie ♥

  2. I was reading about them when I was still at mouth was watering!! They look phenomenal! I would expect nothing less from you tho!

    Love Jess


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