Nothing compares to a hot, fresh empanada that has just come out of the oven, and this recipe is everything you could possibly want in an empanada: golden, buttery, flaky pastry that is crispy all over. A juicy beef filling with chorizo’s extra flavor punch and the customary tiny pieces of chopped egg and olives are inside.
Great empanadas are hard to come by here in Sydney. They should have a hot, crunchy exterior and a juicy, flavorful interior.
But far too often, the pastry lacks the characteristic crispiness and is dry and bland, as well as the filling. Why, oh why, are so many empanada fillings so dry? I suppose it’s to preserve the flaky pastry. But a dry filling is a high price to pay!.
Empanadas 101: These delectable hand pies are filled with a range of savory ingredients, such as beef, chicken, pork, cheese, and vegetables. Native to South America, nearly every nation in Latin America has its own variation, as well as sweet versions. The typical fillings and methods for preparing empanadas vary depending on where you are.
Because the dough for the empanadas can be prepared while the filling is cooling completely, start with the filling.
Empanadas come with all sorts of fillings. Today, I’m sharing a beef one. It gets a punch of flavour from chorizo and spices.
What Is An Empanada?
Empanadas are savory pastries in the shape of a crescent that are filled with a variety of ingredients. The filling for empanadas varies greatly and can be made of beef, chicken, pork, tuna, shellfish, cheese, and/or vegetables. It is then perfectly baked or fried.
What Are Empanadas Made Of?
In Puerto Rico, you might find ground beef flavored with sofrito, while in Mexico, your empanada might be filled with shredded chicken and corn. Empanada fillings vary greatly from country to country. Nevertheless, despite all of these differences, there are a few commonalities. In essence, empanadas are tiny pockets of dough made of:
- A simple, homemade dough on the outside.
- Inside is some type of protein, typically pork, chicken, or beef, but occasionally fish or cheese.
- Typically, empanadas also include one or two simple vegetables, such as diced corn, potatoes, or carrots.
- Not to mention, they are frequently flavored with spicy ingredients like chili peppers and/or warm spices like cumin or even cinnamon.
Our Beef Empanada Recipe is Loaded with a Hearty Mixture Of:
- Ground beef and boiled potatoes.
- Veggies galore: onion, celery, peas, and carrots.
- Garlic and plenty of warm spices.
- To prevent the ground beef empanada filling from drying out, add a little beef stock.
What Is Empanada Dough Made Of?
According to the internet, store-bought pizza dough can be substituted for homemade empanada dough. We’re all for shortcuts, but in this instance we’re strongly in favor of making your own empanada dough because there’s nothing like the real thing. If you can make pie crust, you can make empanada dough, which is really just a simple pastry dough. You’ll need just:
- Ice water
- Chilled butter
This homemade empanada dough recipe calls for chilled butter because the steam it releases during baking results in gorgeous, flaky layers that are exactly what we love in our empanadas. Working with melted or room temperature butter produces a tough, impervious crust.
Our Tips for Making Homemade Beef Empanadas:
- Once filled, seal your empanadas by brushing the exterior with egg wash. They will have a lovely golden-brown crust with a little egg wash.
- To ensure that all of the delicious ground beef filling remains firmly inside the tiny crust pocket, place your empanadas with the filling inside on a hard surface and firmly press the edges together with a fork.
- Place the assembled ground beef empanadas on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and then chill for 20 minutes. If you’re making the empanadas in advance, now is the time to freeze them.
- It’s a great time to call the kids into the kitchen and put their many hours of Play Doh shaping expertise to work. Don’t be intimidated by the dough-filling process; this part should be enjoyable.
Can You Make Empanadas in Advance?
Cover the tray of unbaked empanadas and store in the refrigerator for up to two days to prepare these potato and beef empanadas ahead of time. When you’re ready to eat them, bake them for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. They’ll come out of the oven perfectly golden and steaming, just as if you had baked them that day.
When you’re finished filling the dough and assembling your empanadas, place them on a baking sheet as if you were going to bake them, but instead of placing the baking sheet in the oven, place it in the freezer. After an overnight freeze, transfer to a freezer bag with a zipper top and keep for up to three months. When the empanadas are prepared, simply place the frozen empanadas directly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 45 minutes at 400°F.
What Country Are Empanadas From?
Spanish meat pies in the form of handheld empanadas, which translate to “to wrap in bread.” From one Latin American nation to the next, they may differ in size, fillings, and cooking methods, but they all begin by stuffing pastry dough with savory ingredients and baking or frying them until they are flaky and golden-brown perfection. Because they are baked rather than fried and use ground beef instead of shredded or cubed, this recipe for beef empanadas is the one that is most similar to Argentinian empanadas.
What Goes With Beef Empanadas?
Although homemade beef empanadas are essentially a meal in and of themselves, you could lighten them up by pairing them with a large green salad. Alternatively, try:
The Best Beef Empanada Recipe, Hands Down
What did you think? They really are the best beef empanadas out there, right? Show this easy homemade empanada recipe some love and post your filling, baking, and eating (!) process to Instagram tagging @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can follow along!
- Serves: 8
- Prep Time: 30 min
- Cook Time: 55 min
- Calories: 388
- 1 large russet potato, peeled, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 lb ground beef
- 1/2 medium onion, grated
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 1 rib of celery, finely minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 ounces of chilled, quarter-inch-thick cubes of unsalted butter
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
- In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt to make the pastry dough. Pulse the ingredients until they resemble coarse crumbs, then add the butter, 1 large egg, and ice water. Shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes with plastic wrap tightly covering it.
- To make the filling, add the water to a medium-sized pot and bring it to a boil. Boil the cubed potato for three minutes, until it is tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil until shimmering in a sizable skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots along with the ground beef. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and the beef is browned. Drain the cooked potatoes, then incorporate them into the ground beef mixture.
- Cook the beef broth, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon for an additional minute, or until the spices are fragrant. Add the peas and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until everything is combined and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place rack in the middle of the 375°F-preheated oven.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into 10 equal pieces (about 2 2 oz each. Each piece of dough should be very thinly rolled on a lightly dusted surface into a circle that is about 7″ in diameter. Add a generous 13 cup of filling to one side of the dough, one at a time.
- Combine the beaten egg and one tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Egg wash should be applied with a pastry brush to the inside, 1/4-inch edge of the dough. Fold the dough in half over the filling. Using a fork, firmly press the edges together. Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough and filling, then arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Each empanada’s top should be covered with egg wash. Bake for 35 min or until golden brown.
- Protein14 g
- Carbohydrates35 g
- Total Fat20 g
- Dietary Fiber2 g
- Cholesterol80 mg
- sodium355 mg
- Total Sugars3 g
Join the discussion below.
- Yes, absolutely! Do not use egg wash if you freeze them before baking. After that, bake them after doing the egg wash. Hope you Enjoy Sharon!.
- Jill Cleer Try our tex-mex salad or Mexican street corn salad!
Nice! Egg sounds like a delicious touch.
Mary Ann Devine
Oven will taste best but either will do!
- LisaDo not add the egg wash before freezing these raw. Hope you enjoy!.
Thanks Richard, we are glad you enjoyed them!
Thanks Steve, glad you enjoyed it.
- Thank you, Lee, and I appreciate that you stocked the freezer with food.
Chef Phree Davis
Thanks Chef Free! Glad you all loved them!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST FLAKY GROUND BEEF EMPANADAS
What are beef empanadas made of?
Ground beef and boiled potatoes are among the fillings in our recipe for beef empanadas. Veggies galore: onion, celery, peas, and carrots. Garlic and plenty of warm spices. To prevent the ground beef empanada filling from drying out, add a little beef stock.
What is beef empanada?
The word is derived from the verb empanar, which means to cover or wrap in bread. Making an empanada involves wrapping the filling in dough or bread patty. Vegetables, fruits, and a variety of meats can be used in the stuffing. Empanadas have their origins in Galicia (Spain) and Portugal.
Are empanadas usually baked or fried?
Although some can also be prepared on a griddle or a grill, they are typically either baked or deep-fried. Many Latin grocery stores sell pre-made empanada discs, but you can also make the dough at home with relative ease.
What kind of food is an empanada?
Spanish or Latin American empanadas are pastry turnovers filled with savory ingredients and baked or fried.