Homemade Empanadas

Tender flakey empanadas loaded with ground beef, potatoes, peas and tons of Mexican spices. I’ve included instructions for frying or baking these easy empanadas. Just in time for Cinco De Mayo!

Craving more Mexican inspired recipes? Try my Mexican Rice, Baked Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos, or my Mexican Street Corn!

Empanadas on a plate with salsa

Homemade Empanadas Recipe

Empanadas are one of my favorite Mexican dishes! It’s not as hard as you would think to make these at home. All you need is a few pantry staples to make the empanada dough and the filling can be made with whatever you have on hand! The empanada dough is similar to a pie dough. It is made with cold butter, cold water, flour and egg. It comes out perfectly flakey, crispy and golden brown! The homemade empanadas are then stuffed with ground beef, potatoes, cumin, chili powder, paprika, peas and fresh herbs. These are the best empanadas you will ever have!

Empanada filling in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

How to make Authentic Empanadas:

  • Make the empanada dough: Add flour, butter, and salt to a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse a few times until the butter is the size of peas. Add egg and cold water to the food processor. Pulse just until ball of dough forms. Form the dough into a flat round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Make the filling: Meanwhile you can get started on your filling. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in onion and jalapeno and saute for 2-3 minutes or until softened and golden brown. Next add ground beef and brown until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes. Add in salt, chili powder, paprika and cumin. Stir in tomato paste. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add in frozen peas, boiled potato, fresh parsley, and green onion.
  • Assemble: Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into circles about 5 inches in diameter using a ring cutter or small bowl. Alternatively divide into 12 small balls of dough and roll into individual circles. Place filling (about 1/4 cup) on each circle and fold in half, crimp the edges with a fork.
  • Fry: Add oil to a deep pan or pot so that it reaches 1 inch in depth. Heat oil to between 350 and 375 degrees. Fry in batches, 3 at a time, 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  • Serve: The empanadas immediately while they are still warm! I love serving mine with sour cream, salsa or chipotle cream!

Baking Instructions:

If you want to lighten up this dish a bit you can bake the beef empanadas at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. I like to add a quick egg wash on them before going in the oven. It helps them to get perfectly golden brown!

Empanadas on a plate with salsa in a side dish.

Variations:

  • Feel free to add shredded Mexican cheese or cheddar cheese to the filling!
  • If you don’t have peas feel free to substitute corn, diced carrots or celery.
  • We added diced jalapeno for a little bit of a kick if you don’t like spice feel free to omit.
  • You can make these vegetarian by omitting the beef and adding in diced veggies.
  • Ground chicken or turkey can also be used in place of the beef!

Storing the Perfect Empanadas:

  • Store: Leftover empanadas in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days long.
  • Reheat: These empanadas reheat really well! I like to heat mine up in the toaster oven for 4-5 minutes or until warmed through and crisp again on the outside. You can also reheat them in the oven at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes.

Empanadas on a plate with salsa in a side dish.

Here are more Mexican Inspired Recipes to try!

Empanadas

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Author Kelley Simmons
Servings 12 empanadas

Tender flakey empanadas loaded with ground beef, potatoes, peas and tons of Mexican spices. I've included instructions for frying or baking these easy empanadas. Just in time for Cinco De Mayo!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Empanadas

Ingredients

For The Dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup cold water

For The Filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 6 oz. boiled diced potato
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 12 oz. ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • oil for frying

Instructions

For The Dough

  1. Add flour, butter, and salt to a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse a few times until the butter is the size of peas.

  2. Add egg and cold water to the food processor. Pulse just until ball of dough forms.

  3. Form the dough into a flat round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For The Filling

  1. Meanwhile you can get started on your filling. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in onion and jalapeno and saute for 2-3 minutes or until softened and golden brown.

  2. Add ground beef and brown until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes.

  3. Add in salt, chili powder, paprika and cumin.

  4. Stir in tomato paste. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add in frozen peas, boiled potato, fresh parsley, and green onion.

  6. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into circles about 5 inches in diameter using a ring cutter or small bowl. Alternatively divide into 12 small balls of dough and roll into individual circles.

  7. Place filling (about 1/4 cup) on each circle and fold in half, crimp the edges with a fork.

  8. Add oil to a deep pan or pot so that it reaches 1 inch in depth. Heat oil to between 350 and 375 degrees.

  9. Fry in batches, 3 at a time, 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.

  10. Serve immediately with salsa or sour cream for dipping!

Nutrition Facts
Empanadas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 222 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 36mg12%
Sodium 138mg6%
Potassium 159mg5%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 271IU5%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Kelley Simmons

Kelley is the photographer and chef behind Chef Savvy. She has a background in culinary arts and Kelley has always been a foodie. She loves cooking thai food and exploring new restaurants on the East Coast. She resides in Delaware with her dog daisy.

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Comments

Leave a reply
  1. The recipe doesn’t list salt in the dough ingredients, but it does in the directions and it needs it. Hard to add salt later. I made them in my air fryer. Very good.

  2. Don’t buy ground beef from the store. Grind (shred) the meat yourself that way you know what you are eating. Packed ground beef taste awful plus you are getting leftovers.

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