Have you made empanadas before? This is a fun recipe to make. I always love making amazing food in the kitchen that my entire family enjoys! And this recipe is always a winner! Empanadas are a delicious savory pastry.
The dough comes together quickly. But it needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. So I highly recommend making it ahead of time. Cut as many circles as you can because they don’t recommend re-rolling the scraps (although you can if you want.)
At this point, you can either bake it, store it in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze them for later use!
Once these came out of the oven I was so excited to try them! It was so amazing! I can’t wait to make these again. These are a new favorite in my house!
One Year Ago Thick & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Two Years Ago: Penne al Forno
Three Years Ago: Banana Crumble Snack Cake
Mini Beef and Cheese Empanadas
3 3/4 cups (18 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and frozen for 10 minutes
1 1/4 cup ice water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch ground cloves
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 pound 85% lean ground beef
3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese
For Egg Wash:
1 large egg, beaten (for egg wash)
1 tablespoon water
To make the dough: Add the flour, sugar, and salt to your food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 16 pulses. Dump the contents of the food processor into a large bowl. Gradually add the ice water (about 1/4 cup at a time), and use a rubber spatula to work it into the dry ingredients. Continue until the dough comes together in a rough ball. You may not need the full amount of water. Turn the dough onto your work surface and divide it in half. Shape each half into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
To make the filling: Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, cumin, cloves, and cayenne pepper, and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the ground beef, using a wooden spoon to break it up. Brown the meat – this will take about 5 minutes. Add the beef broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue simmering until most of the liquid has cooked off, the meat should be moist but not wet, about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat under the pan and mix in the sugar then season to taste with salt and pepper. If not making the empanadas right away, transfer the filling to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed. (Up to 3 days. You can also mix in the cheese at this point if you’d like. If using right away, let cool slightly, and mix in the cheese.
To assemble the empanadas: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one disk of the dough at a time, place it on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out as many circles of dough as you can. Transfer them to one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the second disk, placing those rounds on a second baking sheet. Depending on how quickly you worked, you may want to cover the sheets and refrigerate the dough briefly before continuing with assembly. If the dough is still cold, you can move on to the next step immediately.
Place 1 rounded teaspoon of the filling in the center of each round of dough. Dip your finger in a small bowl of water and moisten the edges of the dough. Fold the dough over into a half-moon shape so the edges meet. Press them together with your fingers to seal, then use a fork to crimp. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue until you’ve filled and sealed all of the empanadas.
Options for Cooking:
1. To bake immediately: Preheat oven to 425 F with racks in the upper and lower third. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash (mix the egg with 1 tablespoon of water first.) then bake for about 20 minutes (rotating the baking sheets halfway through), or until the empanadas are golden brown. (I like to lightly sprinkle with salt when it comes out of the oven.)
2. To store in the refrigerator: After assembly, you can store the empanadas in the refrigerator on the baking sheets. Just cover them tightly with plastic wrap, they’ll be fine for up to 3 days. The baking time and temperature will be the same as if you’d bake them immediately.
3. To freeze: Cover the baking sheets tightly with plastic wrap and freeze the empanadas completely. To save space, once they’re frozen, you can transfer the empanadas to a resealable plastic bag for storage. When you’re ready to bake, there’s no need to defrost. Just put them on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake at 425 F for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow the empanadas to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
Makes about 25-30 mini empanadas
(Slightly adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures)