Delicious Empanadas Con Queso Recipe for Cheese Lovers

As a chef, I have come to appreciate the art of creating delicious food that not only satisfies our taste buds but also brings people together. That’s why I am excited to introduce you to this recipe for Empanadas Con Queso.

Empanadas are one of my favorite dishes because they allow me to be creative with different fillings and flavors. With this recipe, we’ll be featuring a cheesy twist that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Whether you’re looking for a filling snack or an appetizer for your next party, these Empanadas Con Queso won’t disappoint.

So, if you’re ready to take your taste buds on a journey through Latin America and indulge in a savory and fluffy pastry filled with cheese goodness, then let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Empanadas Con Queso
Empanadas Con Queso

This recipe for empanadas con queso is the perfect blend of Latin American flavors and American comfort food. Melted Monterey Jack cheese wrapped inside a crispy, golden puff pastry crust will leave your taste buds singing.

But that’s not all. The filling is a savory mix of seasoned ground beef, aromatic garlic and onions, juicy green bell peppers, and zesty tomato paste. Every bite delivers a unique flavor experience that will have you coming back for more.

Whether you’re looking for a quick snack, appetizer or main dish, this recipe has got you covered. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile — You can substitute the meat with beans or sweet potatoes for a vegan twist, switch up the cheese variety for different tastes, or make mini versions for easy finger food at parties.

Not only is this empanada recipe easy to make, but it’s also budget-friendly as it makes use of simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. It’s also great for meal prepping as it can be stored in the freezer and reheated perfectly for an on-the-go meal.

Don’t settle for plain old cheeseburgers or boring quesadillas when you can impress your friends and family with homemade empanadas con queso. Try it out today and watch as they disappear from the plate in mere minutes!

Ingredient List

 Behold the cheesy goodness of these Empanadas Con Queso!
Behold the cheesy goodness of these Empanadas Con Queso!

Here is a breakdown of all (bold) the ingredients you will be needing to make these delectable Empanadas Con Queso:

For the dough:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ cup of butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup of milk

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup tomato paste diluted in ½ cup beef broth or water.
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

For frying:

  • 48 empanada discs (made with store-bought puff pastry sheets or homemade pastry or masa)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

With these ingredients, you’ll be able to make approximately 24 empanadas.

The Recipe How-To

 Who can resist the crispy crusts and melted cheese of these delicious empanadas?
Who can resist the crispy crusts and melted cheese of these delicious empanadas?

Now that you have all your ingredients ready, let’s get started!

Making the Empanada Dough

Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Step 2: Add 6 tablespoons of butter and mix it with your hands until the mixture becomes crumbly.

Step 3: Gradually add 1-2 cups of milk, stirring constantly until the dough holds together.

Step 4: Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This will increase its elasticity, making it easier to work with.

Filling the Empanadas

Step 1: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

Step 2: Add one finely chopped onion and one green bell pepper sliced into small pieces. Saute for 2-3 minutes until tender.

Step 3: Next, add three minced garlic cloves to the onion and green pepper mixture. Cook for another minute.

Step 4: Add one pound of ground beef to the pan and cook it until browned.

Step 5: Add one tablespoon of tomato paste, half a cup of beef broth, one teaspoon each of cumin and oregano, and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for about five minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Step 6: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Shaping the Empanadas

Step 1: Roll out your empanada dough on a floured surface to about a thickness of 1/8 inch.

Step2: With a cookie cutter, cut out circles about five inches in diameter

Assembling the Empanadas

Step1: Place a spoonful of the meat mixture and a tablespoon of shredded Monterey Jack cheese in the center of each circle.

Step 2: Fold the circle in half to make a half-moon shape. Use a fork to crimp the edges closed.

Step 3: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the empanadas on top.

Step 4: Brush the empanadas with an egg wash (one beaten egg and one tablespoon of water).

Baking the Empanadas

Step 1: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Step 2: Let them cool down for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Empanadas con Queso recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 Close your eyes and take a bite of these Empanadas Con Queso, and you'll feel like you're in Latin America!
Close your eyes and take a bite of these Empanadas Con Queso, and you’ll feel like you’re in Latin America!

When it comes to substitutions and variations for empanadas con queso recipe, there are endless possibilities to customize and experiment with. For instance, if you don’t have access to monterey jack cheese, you can try using cheddar or gouda cheese to create a more distinctive taste.

If you are looking for a vegetarian alternative, swap the ground beef with black beans and add diced avocado for some creaminess. To make it spicier, consider adding some jalapeño peppers or red pepper flakes to the filling.

For those who are gluten-free, replace the flour with corn masa dough for an authentic taste that won’t cause any gluten intolerance issues. If you prefer a pastry crust for your empanadas, use puff pastry sheets instead of making empanada dough from scratch.

Those with sweet tooths may want to try adding a sweet twist to their empanadas by incorporating guava paste (commonly used in Costa Rican and Bolivian empanadas) into the filling. Alternatively, mango or peach jam could also work.

Lastly, consider experimenting with different dips and sauces. While salsa is traditionally paired with empanadas, other options such as chimichurri (a tangy Argentinean sauce) or a creamy avocado sauce can take your dish to another level.

In conclusion, there’s no need to stick to the traditional recipe when it comes to making empanadas con queso. With these substitution and variation suggestions, you can create your own unique version that suits your tastes preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 Don't let their small size fool you--these Empanadas Con Queso pack a big flavor punch!
Don’t let their small size fool you–these Empanadas Con Queso pack a big flavor punch!

When it comes to serving empanadas con queso, there are several options that will complement this tasty dish well. One of the best ways to enjoy these cheesy delights is to pair them with a fresh, green salad or a light vegetable side dish. The crispiness of the empanada pairs particularly well with something fresh and light.

Another great option is to serve the empanadas with a savory tomato salsa or guacamole, both of which add a nice bit of zing to the dish. If you’re looking for something with a bit more kick, try pairing your cheese empanadas with some hot sauce, chili flakes, or chopped jalapenos.

If you’re serving these empanadas as part of a larger meal, they make an excellent appetizer or side dish. Alternatively, you can also use them as a snack or party food – mini versions of these cheese empanadas are particularly popular for parties and gatherings.

When it comes to drinks, there are a few options that will complement your cheese empanadas nicely. Beer is always a good choice – something light and crisp like a pilsner or lager will work particularly well. If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, consider pairing with fresh fruit juice or agua fresca, which will balance out the richness of the cheese nicely.

Overall, there are many different ways to serve and pair your empanadas con queso. Whatever you choose, be sure to savor each flavorful bite!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These Empanadas Con Queso are like little pockets of happiness!
These Empanadas Con Queso are like little pockets of happiness!

When it comes to make-ahead meals, empanadas con queso are a great option. You can prepare them ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until they are ready to be fried or baked.

To make sure that the empanadas stay fresh, store them in an airtight container lined with parchment paper. If you are making them in advance for a party or an event, store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to cook them, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Once they have thawed, fry or bake them according to your preference. To reheat leftover empanadas, simply place them in the oven at 350°F for 10-12 minutes until heated through.

It’s important to not leave the empanadas out at room temperature for an extended period of time as this can lead to bacterial growth and spoilage. Additionally, if you’ve already cooked them and have leftovers, refrigerate within two hours of cooking and consume within three to four days.

Empanadas con queso can be enjoyed hot and fresh or reheated as leftovers. Take advantage of having a stockpile of tasty empanadas on hand by whipping up a batch in advance!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Get ready to experience some serious cheesy indulgence with these Empanadas Con Queso!
Get ready to experience some serious cheesy indulgence with these Empanadas Con Queso!

Cooking empanadas can be a challenging task. However, with a few tips and tricks, it is possible to achieve the perfect results for your cheese empanadas. Here are some important pointers that you should consider while preparing your empanadas con queso recipe.

Firstly, use cold butter instead of melted butter to make the puff pastry dough. The chilled butter will help to create more air pockets in the dough, which in turn will make it flaky and crispy after baking or frying.

Secondly, ensure that the filling has cooled down before assembling the empanadas. This will help prevent the filling from leaking out of the pastry during cooking.

Thirdly, when rolling out the empanadas dough, always dust your surface and rolling pin with flour to prevent sticking. Additionally, make sure not to overwork the dough as this will cause it to toughen up and lose its flakiness.

Fourthly, make sure not to overstuff your empanada with cheese or any other filling as this could cause it to burst open while cooking. A good rule of thumb is to use one tablespoon of filling for every mini-empanada and two tablespoons for larger ones.

Fifthly, if you are deep-frying your empanadas, make sure that your oil is at the right temperature (around 350°F) before adding them in. If the oil is too hot or too cold, it could burn or undercook your empanada.

Lastly, remember that you can always experiment with different types of cheese and fillings in your empanadas. Don’t limit yourself to just Monterey Jack cheese; try using queso blanco, cheddar cheese or even guava paste for a unique flavor profile.

By following these tips and experimenting with different ingredients, you will soon become an expert in making delicious and crispy empanadas con queso.


Now that you have all the information you need on how to make the perfect Empanadas Con Queso, we understand that some questions may still arise. For this reason, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help clarify any doubts that may come up during the cooking process.

What is empanadas de queso made of?

Empanadas de queso, also known as Costa Rican cheese empanadas, are a delicious street food commonly found in Costa Rica. These savory snacks consist of a corn dough exterior filled with salty white cheese, and are typically fried before serving. Fortunately, this gluten-free and vegetarian appetizer can easily be made at home with just three ingredients.

What is the difference between Spanish empanadas and Mexican empanadas?

Various empanada versions exist across Mexico, with each region having its unique take on the dish. While some make use of wheat flour, others employ corn masa dough. Additionally, the preparation method differs as some empanadas are fried while others are baked.

Is it better to fry or bake empanadas?

Empanadas can be cooked in two different ways, and both methods result in tasty treats. Opt for baking in the oven for a healthier snack, whereas frying is ideal for those who are short on time.

What are Mexican empanadas made of?

The delectable empanadas are a Latin staple, consisting of a freshly made corn masa tortilla filled with a variety of savory options such as cheese, beef, or chicken. The edges are sealed and then fried until a perfect golden hue is achieved, creating a mouthwatering treat. In Mexico, cheese empanadas and ground beef empanadas are frequently found.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, you don’t have to fly to South or Central America to get a taste of delicious empanadas. With this recipe, you can have scrumptious and authentic Empanadas Con Queso right in the comfort of your own home. From the rich and savory filling made with ground beef, veggies, and plenty of Monterey Jack cheese all wrapped up in a crispy-fried or baked dough, these empanadas are sure to become an instant family favorite.

Whether you plan to serve them as appetizers, snacks, or main dishes, everyone will enjoy biting into these cheesy delights that are perfect for any occasion. And with various substitutions and variations available, you can easily adjust the recipe to suit your taste preferences.

So why settle for boring and dull recipes when you can whip up some delicious and exotic Empanadas Con Queso? Don’t hesitate to give this recipe a try today and experience the satisfaction that only comes from cooking a fantastic meal that will make your taste buds go wild!

Empanadas Con Queso

Empanadas Con Queso Recipe

These are so yummy! This is supposed to serve 4, but DH and I always wolf it all down and it's just the 2 of us!! Serve with rice and beans. There will be a lot of cheese sauce, which is a little more than you need to top empanadas...but we love it so much, we drizzle it all over our rice and beans and use it as dip for our tortilla chips!! I usually make the filling up ahead of time so it goes faster for me. Note: The original recipe calls for you to make eight 4.5" circles out of both puff pastry sheets. I find it easier to just cut each pastry sheet into thirds (where it's been folded) and cut each third into thirds (each sheet gives you 9 squares, so 18 total). If you use circles, it will make 8 half moon shaped empanadas and if you use squares it will make 18 triangle shaped empanadas. I think it's so much faster to cut squares. Enjoy!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 1279.9 kcal


  • 1/2 lb steak, diced into 1/4-inch bite-size chunks or 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon cajun spices (I use Old Bay)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 serrano peppers, minced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons beef broth (I use beef boullion granules)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (I keep a tube of sun-dried tomato paste in the fridge for stuff like this)
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Queso Cheese Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Toss meat with cajun spices, oregano, cumin, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  • In a medium skillet, saute onions, peppers and garlic in oil until soft. Add seasoned steak and saute until cooked through.
  • In a small bowl, combine salsa, broth, and tomato paste. Pour over filling mixture in skillet, simmering for a minute or until slightly thickened.
  • Add cheese to filling, then transfer filling mixture to a bowl and chill in the fridge while you get to work on cutting the puff pastry.
  • Cut 18 squares from pastry sheets (you'll get 9 squares out of each sheet by cutting it into thirds at the two creases and cutting each strip into three squares). At this point, I like to sprinkle a little flour on each square and make them a bit bigger using a rolling pin.
  • Retreive filling from fridge and spoon 1 or 2 tablespoons of filling onto each square or circle. Moisten the edges with water and fold over meat mixture, creating a triangle. Make sure to stuff all the filling in and press the edges together well with your fingers. Then seal the dough by pressing down on the edges with a fork. Repeat with remaining filling and pastry.
  • Place empanadas on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Brush each empanada with melted butter and pierce the top with a fork to vent steam. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While empanadas are baking, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Wisk in flour and cook for about 1 minute. Wisk in milk gradually until incorporated. Gradually stir in cheese until melted and thickened. Season with cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over empanadas.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 376gCalories: 1279.9kcalCarbohydrates: 64.1gProtein: 36.3gFat: 98.2gSaturated Fat: 38.3gCholesterol: 135.5mgSodium: 1063.9mgFiber: 2.8gSugar: 2.9g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Cheese, Meat, Mexican, Savory, Savory Pies, Spicy, Steak
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.