Easy Empanadas Recipe Perfect for Any Occasion

Hey guys, it’s me, Gary Vee! Today, I am here to give you an amazing recipe that will surely make your taste buds go on a wild ride – Empanadas!

As a chef, I specialize in Brazilian and American cuisine, and let me tell you, nothing beats the fusion of these two flavors in one bite. Empanadas are fried or baked dough pastries filled with almost anything – from meat, cheese, potatoes to fruits and vegetables. And today, we’re going to make beef empanadas that will leave you craving for more.

Empanadas are perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s for a party snack or a quick meal on-the-go, they are easy to make and loved by everyone.

So come along with me as we learn how to make these delicious beef empanadas that will surely satisfy your taste buds. Don’t forget to get all your ingredients ready and let’s start cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


Listen up, my fellow foodies! I’ve got a recipe that will knock your socks off – empanadas! You might be thinking, “oh, I’ve had empanadas before, what makes this recipe so special?” Well, let me tell you why you’ll love this recipe.

First of all, these are not just any ordinary empanadas. These are beef empanadas with a twist! We’re talking about juicy ground beef mixed with spices like dried thyme, chili powder, curry powder and cumin. Just imagine the aroma of flavors wafting through your kitchen!

But wait there’s more. These empanadas have a unique combination of white cheddar cheese and frozen corn (yes, corn!) that adds a sweet and savory kick to the already delicious mix. Trust me when I say that biting into one of these bad boys will be an explosion of savory delights that will make your tongue dance!

Not only is the filling perfection in every bite, but making the dough from scratch makes all the difference in the world compared to store bought options. The dough has an airy and flaky texture when deep-fried or baked to perfection.

Not only is this recipe easy-to-follow for beginners and empanada experts alike, but when hosting guests or having a family dinner, you can personalize these delectable bites by choosing different filling combinations like beef chorizo or cheesy beef.

This empanada recipe can easily become a staple in your household because not only is it easy to make and deliciously addicting, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can even make mini empanadas as appetizers or dessert empanadas filled with sweet pumpkin or cinnamon-spiced apple.

In conclusion, you’ll love this recipe because it’s packed with flavor and versatility that everyone can enjoy no matter their tastes. Trust me, one bite and you’ll be hooked on these beefy delights forever!

Ingredient List

 These savory empanadas are perfect for a tasty snack or a meal on the go
These savory empanadas are perfect for a tasty snack or a meal on the go

Ingredients for the Empanada Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

Ingredients for the Beef Filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 250g ground beef
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Pinch of allspice (optional)

The empanada dough is made with flour, salt, unsalted butter, a large egg, and ice water. For the beef filling, you will need olive oil, onion, garlic cloves, ground beef, frozen corn kernels, grated white cheddar cheese, chili powder, curry powder, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, dried thyme leaves and pinch of allspice (optional).

The Recipe How-To

 These empanadas are packed with flavor, and the aroma alone will make your mouth water
These empanadas are packed with flavor, and the aroma alone will make your mouth water

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let’s dive in to make some delicious beef empanadas everyone will love! This recipe is straightforward and won’t take more than an hour of your time.

Step 1: Making the dough

To start, combine flour, water, unsalted butter, and salt in a bowl. Mix all of the ingredients until the dough is well-formed. Then, knead the dough for several minutes until it becomes pliable. Next, let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Making the filling

While waiting for the dough to rest, prepare the filling. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion then cook them until they become translucent. Then add the ground beef and cook it thoroughly until its internal temperature reaches at least 160°F. Add frozen corn, dried thyme, allspice, chili powder, curry powder, ground cinnamon, ground cumin then mix it well.

Step 3: Assembling the empanadas

Roll out the rested dough into small balls about 2 inches in diameter. Flatten each ball using a rolling pin until it becomes roughly ¼ inch thick. Place about a spoonful of filling on top of each flattened dough circle then top it with shredded white cheddar cheese.

Fold over the other half of the dough to form a half-moon shape and press down on the edges to seal it shut. Then use a fork to crimp the edges together tightly.

Step 4: Cooking

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F or heat oil in a deep fryer to about 350°F. You can either deep fry or bake these empanadas depending on your preference. Arrange them on a baking sheet if baking or into a frying basket if using a fryer.

Bake the empanadas in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes or cook them in a deep fryer until they become golden brown.

Serving and Pairing
Once your empanadas are cooked, simply serve and enjoy them. They go well with ketchup or chimichurri sauce. You can even pair it with some delicious Spanish wine like a Tempranillo or a Garnacha.

Now that you know how to make beef empanadas, feel free to experiment with different fillings for your own unique flavor. You can try chorizo, potato, or chicken fillings as well!

Substitutions and Variations

 I love serving these bites with a tangy and spicy dipping sauce for an extra kick of flavor
I love serving these bites with a tangy and spicy dipping sauce for an extra kick of flavor

Now, let’s talk about substitutions and variations. The beauty of this empanadas recipe is that it can be adapted to your own taste buds and preferences. Here are a few ideas to help you get creative in the kitchen:

– Instead of ground beef, use ground chicken, pork or even a vegetarian meat substitute.

– For a cheesy twist on this recipe, swap the white cheddar cheese with pepper jack or queso fresco.

– Frozen corn can be substituted for other frozen vegetables such as peas or mixed vegetables.

– Don’t have all the spices on hand? You could use a pre-made spice blend such as taco seasoning or fajita seasoning to give your empanadas a Mexican-inspired flavor.

– Want to try a different dough recipe? You could make the empanada dough with pie dough or puff pastry instead of corn masa dough.

Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and finding what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try out new combinations!

Serving and Pairing

 These empanadas can be made with a variety of different fillings to suit any taste preference
These empanadas can be made with a variety of different fillings to suit any taste preference

Alright, so you’ve baked or fried your delicious beef empanadas to a perfect golden brown. Now what? It’s time to serve and pair them with some scrumptious sides and drinks to take your meal to the next level!

First off, let’s talk about serving sizes. Empanadas are a great finger food for a party or appetizer for a small gathering but can also be served as a main dish. I’d recommend 2-3 empanadas per person as an entree or 1-2 empanadas per person as an appetizer.

Now let’s talk about pairing these beef empanadas. I’m a big believer in pairing dishes with drinks that complement their flavors, and these empanadas are no exception. For a refreshing and light drink, try pairing your beef empanada with iced tea or a citrusy lemonade. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for some Argentinian wine like Malbec or Bonarda, which pairs well with the juicy and savory filling of these empanadas.

As for sides, you can’t go wrong with some creamy guacamole or refreshing pico de gallo. You can easily make both sauces at home by combining diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, avocados, cilantro along with some lime juice and salt. Another classic side is rice and beans which offers a hearty addition to your meal.

Lastly, if you’re feeling daring enough to make dessert after having your savory beef empanada feast then I’d love to recommend some filipino-style turon. Turon is basically sticks of ripe bananas wrapped in lumpia wrappers (similar to the dough used in making empanadas) that are then deep-fried until golden brown and crunchy on the outside while soft on the inside. It’s a perfect BFF (Beef-Filling followed by Fried-bread dessert) that will satisfy your sweet craving without being too heavy.

So, there you have it – a complete meal and drink pairing that will make your beef empanadas even more enjoyable.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The dough is easy to work with and can be made ahead of time for convenience
The dough is easy to work with and can be made ahead of time for convenience

Once you’ve made your beef empanadas, you might be wondering what to do with any leftovers or how to prepare them for later. Luckily, this recipe is perfect for making ahead and reheating whenever you’re ready!

To make ahead: simply prepare the empanadas as instructed in the recipe and let them cool completely. You can then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

To reheat: if thawing from frozen, let the empanadas come to room temperature first. Preheat your oven to 375°F and arrange the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

If you’re short on time, you can also reheat them in the microwave by placing them on a microwave-safe plate and heating on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Just keep in mind that this method may result in a less crispy exterior.

Overall, these beef empanadas are perfect for meal prepping, entertaining or midnight munchies! Whether you decide to store them in the fridge or freezer, you’ll be able to enjoy their deliciousness whenever the cravings hit!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Baking the empanadas gives them a crispy exterior without the
Baking the empanadas gives them a crispy exterior without the

As a chef, I know that even the simplest recipes require proper technique to achieve the best results. Here are some tips to make perfect beef empanadas every time:

– Use cold unsalted butter when making the dough. This will help create a flaky texture.

– Add an egg to the dough for extra richness and flavor.

– White cheddar cheese is a great option for its sharpness and meltability.

– Frozen corn adds a sweet crunch to the filling.

– Ground cinnamon, dried thyme, allspice, chili powder, curry powder, and ground cumin give depth of flavor to the beef filling.

– Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until they are soft and fragrant before adding them to the ground beef.

– Roll out the dough thin enough to be flexible but not too thin that it snaps or tears when you fold it over.

– Don’t overfill the empanadas. A couple of tablespoons should be enough for each one so that they don’t burst or lose their shape during baking or frying.

– Brushing the empanadas with egg wash helps them turn golden brown during baking or frying.

Remember these tips next time you make empanadas, and your result will surely impress you and everyone who tries them!


Alright, now that we’ve covered all the bases on making the perfect empanadas with our recipe from scratch, let’s answer some frequently asked questions to ensure an even better cooking experience.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

Tucumán is known for its top-notch empanadas, which are cooked in a traditional way. The fillings that dominate the region are beef, tripe, and chicken. The protein-rich contents are wrapped in dough and cooked to perfection with beef fat in a clay oven.

What kind of dough do you use for empanadas?

In line with the information shared earlier, several individuals opt to utilize their preferred pre-made pie dough when preparing empanadas, given the striking resemblance between the necessary components of most pie doughs and the ingredients needed for this recipe, such as flour, butter, salt, water, and occasionally egg.

Are empanadas deep fried or baked?

One popular type of Brazilian and American cuisine are savory pastels, which consist of corn dough filled with either fish, chicken, or beans. These delicious treats are often deep fried and garnished with a cabbage or salsa topping.

What are traditional empanadas made of?

Empanadas are delightful treats that consist of a homemade dough that envelops a savory filling. The fillings are commonly composed of protein like chicken, pork, beef or even fish, and can also be filled with cheese. These small pockets of deliciousness are usually complemented with basic vegetables such as diced potatoes, carrots or corn.

What is the difference between Spanish empanadas and Mexican empanadas?

Empanadas have a rich history in Mexico, with each region offering their unique take on the dish. While some rely on wheat flour, others opt for corn masa dough. Additionally, there are various methods of cooking empanadas, including baking and deep-frying. This sets the stage for a diverse array of empanada recipes throughout the country.

Bottom Line

Are you looking to impress your guests with an appetizer or main course that bursts with flavor and impressive presentation? Look no further! These homemade beef empanadas are sure to become a new favorite in your cooking repertoire.

By combining a variety of spices, such as cumin, thyme, and allspice, with ground beef and cheddar cheese, you’ll create a flavor explosion that will have everyone asking for the recipe.

But don’t stop there! Get creative with your empanada fillings by trying variations like chorizo or cheesy chicken. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different dough recipes or even baking versus frying.

Not only are empanadas a delicious addition to any meal, but they’re also versatile and easy to make ahead for parties or lunches throughout the week.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try – I guarantee it will become a crowd-pleaser in no time. And who knows? You may even come up with your own unique twist on the classic empanada. The possibilities are endless.


Empanadas Recipe

This recipe is from Sunny Anderson's Cooking for Real on Food Network.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer/Snack
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 12 Empanadas
Calories 127.8 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sazon seasoning
  • 12 store-bought empanada wrappers (6-inch)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  • Saute onion in oil until soft. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Stir in the beef. Add cumin, curry, chili powder, allspice, thyme, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Saute until the beef has browned. Add the corn and the Cheddar to the beef and set aside to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Melt the butter with the sazon powder. Stir well and set aside. Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling into the center of the wrapper. Brush the edges of the dough with beaten egg, then fold the dough over to form a half moon. Use the tines of a fork to pinch the edges and seal, creating a border about 1-inch wide. Transfer the empanadas to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Coat the tops with the sazon butter with a pastry brush. Bake according to dough package instructions, or until puffed and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 45gCalories: 127.8kcalCarbohydrates: 3.6gProtein: 6gFat: 10.2gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 44.3mgSodium: 55.8mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, Mexican
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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.