Beef And Cheese Empanadas

Beef and Cheese Empanadas

A warm, flaky crust wrapped around spiced beef, cheese and caramelized onions, these empanadas are the perfect recipe for any time. 

The video version for this recipe can be found above, and the full written recipe with metric and imperial measurements will be written below. You can find the detailed notes at the bottom of the page. As with all my other recipes, the nutrition label will also be available at the very bottom of the page


For the dough- 

-1 ¼ cup (160g) all-purpose flour 

-4 tablespoons (57g) cold butter cut into cubes

 -¼ teaspoon salt

 -¼ teaspoon baking powder 

For the filling- 

-1 tablespoon oil

 –1 large red onion 

-2 cloves garlic 

-½ cup (115g) ground beef 

-1/4 cup (25g) shredded cheese

 -½ teaspoon dried oregano 

-salt and pepper to taste


For the dough- 

1. In a bowl, add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix together. 

2. Add the cold butter and use your fingers to rub it in the dough so that it resembles coarse bread crumbs. The colder the butter is, the flakier the pastry becomes so make sure that it’s cold. You can also freeze it the night before you make the recipe

 3. Now gradually add in the cold water and mix it in until the ingredients form into a dough. You may need more or less water to do so. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill overnight or for at least 2 hours 

For the filling- 

1.Cut the onion into thin slices and mince the garlic 

2. In a hot pan on medium-high heat, pour the oil and add the vegetables. 

3. Add in the salt and pepper, then mix everything together so that the spices are distributed and the vegetables are coated in oil.

 4. Next, add the ground beef and oregano and mix it again. Cook for a few minutes or until the onions have become soft and the ground beef is cooked completely Assembling the empanadas 

Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C) 

1. Cut the chilled dough in halves. Roll out one half so that it becomes a thin sheet. (Don’t roll it out too much!) 

2. Take a lid or a cookie cutter and cut the dough into circles. The size of the circles depends on your preference. 

3. Scoop a little bit of the filling on one of the circles and top off with some cheese.

 4. Fold one half of the dough over the other and use your fingers to press firmly. Use a fork to press down again. This will make sure that none of the filling oozes out when the empanadas are in the oven. 

5. Repeat with all of the dough and transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. 

6. Use a fork to poke holes in each of the empanadas to remove the steam (this isn’t shown in the video but remember to do this!) 

7. Brush the tops with egg wash, melted butter, milk or cream and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the empanadas are golden brown. 

8. Cool for a few minutes and serve with salsa


Freeze the Butter

This is optional, but the colder the butter is, the flakier the pastry becomes. Freeze the butter for about an hour before preparing the dough if you have the time. Regardless of whether you freeze the butter or not, it should be cold and cubed for the recipe. If t’s too warm, the butter will melt while preparing the dough. Cutting it into cubes will make the job of incorporating it with the rest of the ingredients far more simple. 

Chill the dough

Chilling the dough for at least two hours is highly recommended while making this recipe or else assembling the empanadas will not be an easy task. It would be preferable to wrap the dough and refrigerate it overnight, making it easier to work with. If you don’t chill the dough, it’s going to be too crumbly and buttery to work with. 

Don't overcook the filling

While cooking the filling, make sure not to cook it completely because it will also cook in while baking. Remove from the flame when the onions have become slightly translucent.

Sealing the filling

While filling the empanadas, put a generous layer in the center while making sure that you leave some space along the edges so that the empanadas can be sealed properly. Fold the dough over itself  and use your fingers to pinch together the dough on the edges. Then use the back of a fork to press the dough together once again to ensure that the filling is properly enclosed. If there’s too much filling, remove a small amount to prevent them from bursting while in the oven.

Pierce the empanadas with a fork

Before placing the empanadas in the oven, make sure to poke holes in the dough to allow the steam to escape from inside the empanadas. if you don’t do this, the steam will not be able to release and the empanadas may burst. 

Alternate Fillings

if you’re not in the mood for beef and cheese empanadas, or if you want to change things up a bit, you can most definitely switch up the filling in the empanadas! You can try out a variation of fun flavors like pizza (cheese and tomato sauce filling), tomato and mozzarella, chicken and mushrooms or even sweet fruit empanadas! Feel free to be bold and choose whichever toppings you’d like. 

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