Beef Empanadas – These beef empanadas are made with my classic pie dough and filled with a beef and tomato mixture.
Cinco de Mayo is this week! Are you celebrating at home or going out? If you decide to stay in, these Beef Empanadas are a fun treat to serve at a party or to the family. They are small in size so you can get about 20 from this recipe. But you can always make them a little larger, if you prefer.
My empanadas are made with my classic pie dough. The dough is then filled with a cumin-spiced beef and tomato mixture. It’s super flavorful, without being spicy. Everyone will love it!
Here are my Beef Empanadas!
Tips & Tricks
- Chill dough. Make sure the dough is chilled through before rolling it out. This allows the dough to rest and firm back up so that it gets flakey while baking.
- Dice onion small. You don’t want large chunks of onion to stand out in the empanadas so make sure you dice into small pieces.
- Let beef cool. Before adding the cooked beef to the pastry, make sure it’s cooled a little. This makes it easier to work with and keeps the butter from melting out of the dough.
- Seal empanadas tight. To prevent the empanadas from exploding, make sure you seal them tight.
For the pie crust:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter cold
- ⅓ cup vegetable shortening cold
- ½ cup cold water
For the empanadas:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1 large egg
For the pie crust:
- Add flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Cut the cold butter into cubes. Add to the flour mixture along with the vegetable shortening. Turn processor on and let run for 5 seconds. Then, drizzle in cold water. Keep processing until mixture begins to clump.
- Pour dough mixture onto a clean surface. Using your hands, pull the dough together into one ball. Cut ball in half and form two discs of the same size and shape. Cover each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
For the filling:
- Add some oil to a skillet and set over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain out the fat and return pan to medium heat.
- Add tomato paste, oregano, paprika, and cumin to the beef mixture. Stir together to combine and the paste is well mixed in. Finish off the mixture with canned diced tomatoes and cook for about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Assembling the empanadas:
- Remove disks of dough from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes to soften up. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Once dough is ready, roll it out into a disk using a rolling pin. The dough should be about ¼-inch thick. Using a 4.5-inch circle cutter, cut out as many circles as you can, placing 10 on each baking sheet. Gather the scraps and roll out into ¼-inch layer again. Cut out as many circles as possible. Repeat with second disk of dough.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon into the center of one disk. Brush the edges of the dough with egg wash (made by whisking egg and 1 teaspoon of water). Connect the two edges of the disk and pinch them closed. Seal the edges shut by pressing down on them with a fork. Poke the top of the empanada once with a fork. Brush the outside of the empanadas with egg wash. Repeat with the rest of the empanadas.
- With 10 empanadas on each baking sheet, place in preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Rotate the pans halfway throughout the bake to ensure even baking.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.