These baked Beef Empanadas are so delicious and easier to make than you think! The cheesy beef filling enveloped in a buttery, flaky crust makes an incredible snack or dinner!
If you, like me, love empanadas but find the opportunities to eat them are few and far between, then you really need to try this recipe! For the longest time, the only time I would enjoy one of these delicious, beef-filled parcels was at pot lucks. That meant I rarely got to eat them and that, my friends, is sad. Really sad!
Empanadas are amazingly delicious little parcels that are filled with the most delicious beef filling. They are seriously good and can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer or main course. They are also not all that difficult to make either! I wish I had found this out a long time ago! Making up for lost time now! Ha!
Making empanadas isn’t too difficult. I had the impression that it was going to be more labour-intensive than they are actually are and was pleasantly surprised to find out that was not the case!
Simple steps for making THE BEST beef empanadas!
When making empanadas, I highly recommend starting with your filling. Its important to give the filling enough time to cool completely. A warm filling will cause the dough to start to soften and tear when you are trying to seal them up.
Making your filling
I start by heating oil in a skillet and adding ground beef. Stirring frequently I cook it for a few minutes. Then I add my veggies (onion, carrot, peas, and bell pepper). Once the beef is cooked and the veggies have softened a bit, I add my seasonings. You can easily play around with spices to change things up and suit your tastes but my go-tos are paprika, cumin, and oregano. Oh, and salt and pepper of course! I also add some tomato sauce and water and let things simmer and marry together nicely. Don’t walk away from your skillet as you will need to keep stirring as the liquid evaporates.
That’s it for the filling. I set it aside and let it cool while I work on my dough next.
Forming your Dough
The dough is super simple and if you are using a food processor, there is hardly any work involved at all! I pulse my flour and salt to mix it well. Then I add the butter and pulse until it forms a coarse meal. Then in goes the egg and water. You can add all the water in at once if you are feeling brave but I usually start with 1/3 cup of water and then slowly add the rest until it clumps together. I live in fear of adding too much water and having to correct my mistake. 2/3 of a cup has never failed me but I’ve gotten myself into trouble with pie doughs before…
Once the dough is forming in the food processor, transfer it to a flat, clean surface and form it into a ball. Cover it with plastic wrap and then let it chill in the fridge for half an hour.
By the time the dough is chilled, the filling will be completely cooled as well and you are ready to assemble!
Assembling the beef empanadas
To assemble the beef empanadas, I start by dividing my dough into 12 equal portions. Then I roll out each portion into a ball. Working one at a time, I use a rolling pin to roll out each ball into a 5 inch circle.
Then I add a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of it and sprinkle it with cheese. Cheese makes everything better!
Next, I fold the circle over onto itself to form a half moon. Then I gently press around the edges to seal them.
You can use a fork to seal the edges with its tines. I try my best to do a crimped edging. You can clearly see I am no pro (check out the pics)! I usually hit my stride and by the time I get to the last empanada, it looks pretty darn perfect. The other 11 are for practice. Its the last one I cherish. This happens every time I make these but perhaps one of these days I will master this skill. Until then, oh well. They look good-ish and it does the job!
Then you pop them into the oven for 25 minutes. That’s it!
You may also like:
Baked Chicken Taquitos
For the Filling
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 carrot chopped
- 1/4 onion chopped
- 1/4 cup peas
- 1/4 bell pepper (any colour), chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Monterrey jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
For the Dough
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter chopped
- 2 eggs divided
- 2/3 cup cold water
- Chop the carrots, bell pepper, and onion. To make the filling, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add the ground beef and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots, peas, bell pepper, and onion and cook a few minutes, stirring often.
- Once the beef is cooked through and the vegetables have softened, add salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika, tomato sauce, and water. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring often as most of the liquid will absorb. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- While the filling is cooling, make the dough by adding flour and salt to a food processor. Pulse to combine and add the butter. Pulse until it forms a coarse meal. Add the egg and 1/3 cup of water and pulse. Slowly add water until the form comes together. This typically requires 2/3 cup water but you may need to adjust this slightly.
- Transfer the dough to a flat surface and form it into a ball. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into 12 equal portions. Form each portion into a ball.
- Working with them one at a time, use a rolling pin to roll the ball out into a 5 inch circle. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center and sprinkle with some cheese.
- Fold the circle over onto itself to form a half moon. Gently press down the edges to seal them. You can use a fork to gently seal the edges with the tines, being careful not to puncture the empanada. Alternatively, you can pinch the edge a little bit at a time and fold it inwards to create a crimped edge (like I have in the picture). Arrange onto baking sheets.
- Beat an egg in a bowl and then brush it onto each empanada. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.