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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!

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!

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Empanadas

4.34 from 6 votes
By: Kelley Simmons
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!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 12 empanadas

Ingredients 

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

Instructions 

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 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.
  • 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 immediately with salsa or sour cream for dipping!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 9gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 138mgPotassium: 159mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 271IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About 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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Recipe Rating




33 Comments

  1. 3 stars
    What is the process temperature & time to bake the Mexican style empanadas and can you use pineapple or strawberries cherries as filling?

    1. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that if you bake your empanadas they won’t turn out quite as crispy on the outside.

  2. 5 stars
    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.

  3. 3 stars
    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.

    1. If you reread her directions she actually said one option is divide dough into 12 discs

      I think the thickness is an individual one.

    2. jg -buy a set of “Pierogi” makers. They come in plastic (I think the best) or metal. They seal perfectly and look professional!

  4. 5 stars
    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!!