Homemade Beef Empanadas


In case you’re wondering, I am still working my way through my list of meals to freeze for post baby! I really love making these meals, packaging them up and putting them out in our deep freezer. I love thinking that the next time I see them we’ll have a new family member! Such a crazy, weird thought.

It seems like everyone on the internet recommends empanadas for a great post-baby meal. They are easy to reheat from frozen, deliciously satisfying and can be eaten with one hand, which I hear is quite important in the early days. My husband adores empanadas so I decided to bake up a batch to have on hand. They turned out great! Nice flaky crust filled with seasoned beef, tomatoes and onions. If you’ve never baked homemade empanadas before, there’s no time like the present!

The filling here is just a mixture of ground beef, tomato, garlic, onion, spices and hard boiled egg. It’s really, really tasty if I do say so myself!

Don’t be intimidated by the homemade dough. It’s more forgiving than pie dough and really easy to throw together. I cut my empanadas on the large side using one of our soup bowls as a base. Because of how big I made them, this recipe only yielded six for me. If you were to use a biscuit cutter I bet you could get 8-10!

I’d say the most important part in empanada baking is making sure you seal your dough well. If you don’t seal it well, the yummy filling will leak out in the oven. Be sure to really press those dough edges together to get a nice tight seal! Then, brush with a little beaten egg for shine.
I baked two of these now and saved the rest for later this summer. To freeze, just place your fully assembled but unbaked empanadas in a freezer safe container. Make sure they are not touching or else they will freeze together. When you’re ready to eat, just bake from a frozen state. No need to defrost first or anything.
I have a feeling these will be a HUGE hit so I might make some more in the next couple weeks before baby comes…maybe experiment with some different flavor combinations. I’ll keep you guys posted!

for filling ~
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 hard boiled egg, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup tomato puree or tomato sauce
  • for empanada dough ~
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup ice water

  1. First, make the empanada dough so it has time to chill. Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with your fingertips and work together until mixture resembles cornmeal – no big lumps of butter anywhere. Add the egg and the ice water and mix until dough forms. Form dough into large flat ball, wrap in plastic wrap and set in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
  2. While your dough is chilling, make your filling. Heat a pan over medium heat and add your oil. When hot, add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until onion has softened. Add ground beef and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until beef is done. You may drain any extra fat here or leave it in before going on to the next step {I chose to drain the extra fat}.
  3. Add the cumin, paprika, oregano and salt to the beef mixture, as well as the tomato sauce or puree. Mix well so all is combined then take off the stove and add the chopped hard boiled egg. Stir well and set aside for use in your empanadas.
  4. After dough has chilled, remove from the fridge. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out empanada dough onto a lightly floured surface until very thin – like pie dough. Cut circles out of the dough using the back of a bowl or a large biscuit cutter. My circles ended up being about 6″.
  5. Place the circles on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and scoop a small amount of beef filling into the center of each circle. Pinch dough closed with your fingers. Be sure to seal the dough well or else it will leak out while it bakes!
  6. Mix one egg with a small splash of water. Brush this over sealed empanadas and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes for small empanadas or 30-35 minutes for large ones. Mine took about 32 minutes.

Time : 1 hr 45 minutes