you know you wanna empanada (recipe)

Are you in the mood for something that is oh-so-scrumdiddlyumptious, albeit a wee bit labor-intensive? Then these empanadas are just the tasty treat you are looking for – handheld pockets of yum made of a flaky crust and filled with melty cheese and a slightly smoky, fully savory meat filling that has just a hint of heat. Sometimes the ends really do justify the means. The meat filling is also great in tacos and burritos, on nachos and even just eaten with a spoon.

Step 1: Make the Filling

200 grams ground beef
1 TBSP oil
½ onion, finely chopped
½ small red pepper, finely chopped
½ jalapeno, minced (or more if you like it hot)
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cumin

½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp oregano
Salt to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
1 TBSP water

20 slices of cheddar cheese (from a standard brick)
1 recipe for empanada dough

Saute the onions and red pepper in the oil on high for 2 minutes, turn the heat down and add the jalapeno and garlic.  Cook for several minutes, until fragrant.  Add the meat and spices and cook until the meat is thoroughly cooked.  Add the water and lemon juice and cook until the water evaporates.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Step 2: Roll out your dough


Step 3: Cut the dough into circles (4”/10 cm diameter)


Step 3: Place 1 piece of cheese and 1 TBSP of meat on each circle

empanada filling

Don’t be tempted to put more filling in or your empanadas will bust at the seams.


Step 4:  Seal the empanadas


Tip: Try to avoid getting any of the filling on the edges of the dough, because it prevents it from sticking

Step 5: Cook the empanadas

Here you have two options: 1)  bake the empanadas at 400F/200C until golden brown, about 15 minutes (don’t forget an egg wash!) or 2) fry them in oil.  Both options are mighty tasty.   

empanada upclose

Step 6: Stuff your face with empanadas  


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