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Homemade Beef Empanadas

Delicious homemade pastry crust filled with a flavorful beef filling!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 people (about 2 empanadas per person)
Author: Jenn


Empanada Dough Recipe:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 stick unsalted butter (6 ounces of butter)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk

Empanada Filling Recipe

  • 1 pound Laura's Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Avocado oil or other oil
  • 2 Yellow onions, sliced into thin circles
  • 1 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 6-8 Castelvetrano Olives or other favorite green olive
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, cut into rounds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin


Make the Filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Put in the onions, sliced finely in rounds, and drizzle the oil over them.
  • Sauté until they start to become translucent, then sprinkle with a little bit of salt. Add in the beef. 
  • Cook the ground beef, chopping as it cooks with a flat spatula to maintain ground beef texture. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Cook until the beef has cooked through, then taste for salt and pepper, and stir in the paprika and cumin and mix well.
  • Take off the heat and let cool. Lightly stir in eggs and olives and set aside to make dough.

Make the dough:

  • Mix the flour and butter either by hand in a large bowl or pulse in a food processor. Add the egg and the milk (in small increments) and continue combining until a clumpy dough forms.
  • Split the dough into 2 large balls. Roll out the dough into two thin sheets and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (I used a small round bowl). Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer covered in plastic wrap or in a resealable plastic bag to use later.

How to Make Empanadas:

  • Place a spoonful of the filling on one side of each homemade empanada circle. Don't put too much filling or it will be hard to close.
  • Fold the one side without filling over the other. Using the tines of a fork, press both sides of the crust on the outer edges. (Hint: you can brush the inside edges with an egg wash to help them stick together)
  • Place empanadas in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 375º F.
  • When the oven is preheated, take the empanadas out from the refrigerator and place on a sheet pan sprayed with cooking spray. Brush the tops with leftover egg wash and place in oven and bake for about 18 minutes. To make them more golden, turn on the broiler after they're heated through and broil until golden brown.
  • Serve and enjoy!