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, Creamy Confetti Corn, Baked Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos, or my Mexican Street Corn!
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!
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 ¼ 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 ¼ 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!
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!
- 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.
Here are more Mexican Inspired Recipes to try!
- Mexican Shrimp Skillet
- Best EVER Ground Beef Tacos
- Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder
- Three Cheese Mexican Shells
- Homemade Chimichanga Recipe
For The Dough
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 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
For The 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.
For 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.
- 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.
- Roll out dough to ¼ 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 ¼ cup) on each circle and fold in half, crimp the edges with a fork.
- Fry in batches, 3 at a time, 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Serve immediately with salsa or sour cream for dipping!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Just came across this recipe while trying to recreate my late great-grandfather’s empanada recipe. I have tried many recipes, but find that the consistency of this dough is most similar to his. His recipe is an old one from his great great grandmother from Mexico and I remember him putting any kind of filling. I will be using bean and cheese this time around as a “vegetarian” alternative and might use vegan cheese in some!
Side note: although empanadas are native to Argentina and Colombia, they are very common in Mexico and we’re brought over in the 16th century. I think it’s silly that majority of the comments are claiming that this recipe “missed the mark”, it’s an excellent recipe and again, made in different countries in their own way since the 26th century.
1/4″ is massively too thick, more like 1/8 is better.
Deep frying is problematic, can’t keep them sealed without doubling over the edge which makes an ugly presentation, gonna try in a pan instead.
At ~ 1/8″ made 7 5″ discs. No way to get 12, especially at the stated 1/4″.
No basic baking instructions listed.
If you reread her directions she actually said one option is divide dough into 12 discs
I think the thickness is an individual one.
It gives you baking instructions in the very beginning…..
jg -buy a set of “Pierogi” makers. They come in plastic (I think the best) or metal. They seal perfectly and look professional!
Excited to try these! And P.S. they are not Mexican, they are a Argentina dish😉
This was my first attempt at making empanadas..i followed the recipe to a T!! Except i forgot to add an egg to my dough..by then it was formed into a disc and resting in the fridge..i was so worried..i went ahead and made them as described..and i worried for no reason!! They turned out so awesome!! My husband loved them and my neighbor (who is latin/puertorican) absolutely loved them too..thank you for an easy to follow great recipe!!
I don’t know if these are “real” empanadas……. but delish! Will definitely use this recipe again.
is it possible to use pie crust instead of making your own?
Yes! That will help make it easier and save time too!
I have used biscuit dough too. Works great!
How many pie crusts would you need to use all of the filling?
Can you freeze the empanadas
GREAT AUTHENTIC MEXICAN RECIPE!!!! I used Ground beef and diced potatoes instead of peas.
These are totally authentic Mexican-style empanadas! My family loves them! We use this dough recipe with her beef filling, shredded chicken, or bean and cheese fillings. So yummy! We bake for 20 minutes at 400, though frying is more authentic.
Can I bake these in the oven?
You can bake 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!
Yes, shredded pork or beef is more authentic to Mexico. Veggies and potatoes aren’t necessarily Mexican either. Empanadas are made differently from many different regions. Even the U.P. of Michigan and Wisconsin has their Pasties. Made with beef and rutabaga instead of potatoes, and bigger in size. Louisiana has their own version with seafood like crawfish. Europe, africa, etc.. all make a version. I love this recipe but use the rutabaga for fewer carbs and calories and a slightly sweet taste along with spicy. Delicious!
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.
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.
How long and at what temp did u air fry?
Empanadas are in no way Mexican.
Thanks for the great recipe, though!
Totally agree! It’s not Mexican she missed the mark with cultural relevance but good recipe.
Thanks for sharing your version of an empanada. I appreciate people who share there delicious dishes for all to try. Authenticity is irrelevant. Even traditional family recipes are tweaked each generation. I found these delicious. I always make an exact of someone’s recipe before adding my own flavour combos. Rice and beans perhaps will be next. Great dough so easy.
yum, love making these from scratch, thank you, and a very good walk through too, thank you, much appreciated