Delicious Empanadas with Spicy Chili-Cheese Sauce Recipe

Attention all food lovers! I’m thrilled to share with you my latest recipe for Empanadas with Chili-Cheese Sauce. This scrumptious dish combines the best of both worlds – Brazilian and American cuisine – to create a meal that is incredibly delicious and easy to make.

Imagine biting into a flaky, savory chili cheese baked good that is packed with lean ground beef and diced tomatoes. The empanada’s corn masa dough combined with the extra cheesy dipping sauce will have your taste buds dancing in joy.

Whether you’re looking for something to serve at a family gathering, a picnic on the beach, or even just an easy dinner at home, these empanadas are sure to be a hit. You can easily customize them to your liking by adding hot sauce for that delicious spicy kick or by using your leftover savory chili as filling.

Trust me, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a plate full of hot and fresh empanadas on a cool evening. So why not head over to your local grocery store and pick up the ingredients for this incredible dish? Your taste buds will thank you later!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Empanadas With Chili-Cheese Sauce
Empanadas With Chili-Cheese Sauce

Are you looking for a dish that is incredibly delicious and easy to make? Look no further than these empanadas with chili-cheese sauce! This recipe offers a savory chili flavor complemented by the cheesy goodness of melted queso sauce. Trust me when I say, once you try this recipe, it will become one of your go-to options for any occasion.

Not only does this recipe have a deliciously spicy kick to it, but it also has great texture. The combination of ground lean beef and corn masa dough gives the empanadas a delectable meaty center with a baked flaky crust. Plus, if you’re looking to add some variety, there are also chicken or poblano pepper empanadas options available that will surely tantalize your taste buds.

But the real star of this dish is the chili-cheese sauce. With its creamy, velvety texture and bold flavor, it can be used as a dipping sauce or poured generously over the empanadas. The diced tomatoes and salsa in the cheese sauce add an extra zest that creates a perfect complement to the savory chili flavor.

In short, this is not your average cheese empanada recipe – it is so much more! Imagine enjoying delicious spicy beef or cheesy chicken empanadas accompanied by a dipping sauce that enhances their already perfect flavor profile. Or perhaps you have leftover chili in your fridge and crave something new to do with it – these empanadas are just what you need! Trust me, once you try them, they’ll become one of your favorites in no time.

Ingredient List

 Dive into these delicious empanadas with a flavorful chili-cheese sauce
Dive into these delicious empanadas with a flavorful chili-cheese sauce

For this empanadas with chili-cheese sauce recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:


  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef or chicken
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning mix
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup corn masa dough
  • 1/2 package (6 count) refrigerated biscuits (like Pillsbury Grands!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chili-Cheese Sauce

  • 1 can of your favorite cheese sauce (I prefer queso sauce)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (or plain diced tomatoes if you prefer less spice)
  • Tony Chachere’s seasoning mix, to taste

These ingredients will be enough to make approximately 10 empanadas. If you want to make more, simply double the recipe accordingly. You can also adjust the spice level by adding more hot sauce or using milder ingredients such as plain diced tomatoes instead of those with green chilies.

The Recipe How-To

 Our empanadas are baked to perfection for a crispy outside and a warm, savory inside
Our empanadas are baked to perfection for a crispy outside and a warm, savory inside

Now, it’s time for the fun part, cooking our empanadas chili cheese!

Before we begin, make sure you have all the ingredients ready. Here’s a quick recap of what we need:

Now that everything is prepared let’s start cooking!

Step 1: Cook the beef

Grab a large skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the beef and break it up using a spatula while it cooks.

Cook the lean ground beef until browned and no more pink portions are visible.

Step 2: Add the seasoning & tomato

Once your ground beef is ready, it’s time to add the taco seasoning mix in! You can choose any taco seasoning you want but I recommend Tony Chachere’s seasoning mix, which offers fantastic flavor.

While stirring continuously, add in your half cup of diced tomatoes. Mix them well with the lean ground beef as they simmer down on low heat.

Step 3: Prepare Empanadas

While waiting for your beef to cook down let’s prepare our empanadas! Grab your package of refrigerated biscuits Pillsbury Grands.

Open your biscuits container and separate each piece of dough.

Working with one piece of dough at a time – roll each piece into a ball in between your hands to make it more pliable.Then press each ball flat with a rolling pin or pastry rolling brush to create a disc-like shape.

Each flattened dough circle should measure at least 2-3 inches in diameter, the perfect size for your empanadas.

Step 4: Add Chili Cheese

In this step, our goal is to add the savory chili & cheese mixture to our empanadas. To start, grab a tablespoon and scoop a spoonful of chili cheese sauce onto each empanada dough circle.

Using that same tablespoon you could portion out and place a sizeable amount of ground beef onto one half of the circle so you can fold it over.

Step 5: Fold, Crimp, & Fry

Now that all our Chili cheese empanadas are made let’s bring them together using the simple technique of folding & crimping. With the use of your fingers seal the edges making sure each chili cheese empanada is air-tight before moving on to cooking.

Get your skillet ready! Heat up your frying pan over medium-high heat and add corn oil until it’s heated up.

In batches fry up each crimped empanada for 3-4 minutes, or

Substitutions and Variations

 A South American classic meets American comfort food with these empanadas
A South American classic meets American comfort food with these empanadas

When it comes to empanadas, the filling possibilities are endless. Here are some alternative options to try:

– Cheesy Chicken: Swap out the ground beef for cooked, shredded chicken and add in diced poblano peppers for a bit of spice.

– Corn Empanadas: Use corn masa dough instead of regular empanada dough for an authentic Mexican twist. Fill with leftover chili or cheesy beef.

– Vegetarian: Skip the meat altogether and fill your empanadas with sautéed vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions. Add a sprinkle of cheese for extra flavor.

– Pizza Empanadas: Instead of chili cheese filling, try stuffing your dough with classic pizza toppings like pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and marinara sauce.

– Chili Cheese Dog Empanadas: Take the flavors of a classic chili cheese dog and stuff them inside an empanada. Fill with diced hot dogs, chili, and shredded cheddar cheese.

If you’re looking to switch up the dipping sauce, try adding some hot sauce to your queso sauce or making a salsa to go alongside your savory chili cheese baked empanadas. The possibilities are truly limitless – experiment with different fillings until you find your perfect combination!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready for a flavor explosion with every bite
Get ready for a flavor explosion with every bite

Once your empanadas with chili-cheese sauce are baked to golden perfection, it’s time to savor them with some exciting pairings. These savory pockets of deliciousness will make a perfect meal or appetizer on their own but pairing them with the right trimmings and dips can take your culinary experience to the next level.

Firstly, let’s talk about serving these mouthwatering empanadas! These hearty treats are incredibly versatile and can be served on almost any occasion, be it a casual game night, weekend brunch or a fancy dinner party. You can serve them hot or at room temperature, and they’ll still taste amazing.

For an extra punch of flavor, whip up a queso sauce using the recipe provided or use a store-bought version. This gooey and irresistible sauce strikes the perfect balance between creamy and spicy, making it an ideal dipping partner for your empanadas. Moreover, you can also serve them with sides of hot sauce or salsa for that extra kick.

When it comes to pairings, many options work well with these empanadas. For example, chopped lettuce or mixed greens tossed in a zesty vinaigrette offer an excellent contrasting freshness against the rich beefy stuffing. Roasted corn salsa is another great accompaniment that adds texture and flavor to these already delicious pockets.

If you’re looking for something more substantial to pair with your empanadas, try serving them alongside some traditional Mexican rice or refried beans. You can also try serving them as part of an elaborate Mexican-themed spread that includes all your favorite dishes such as tacos, enchiladas and guacamole.

In conclusion, these empanadas open up a world of possibilities when it comes to pairing and serving. Experimenting with different dips, sides and combinations will surely tantalize your taste buds and keep you coming back for more!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Our chili-cheese sauce is the perfect complement to these savory empanadas
Our chili-cheese sauce is the perfect complement to these savory empanadas

Now that you’ve made these incredibly delicious empanadas with chili-cheese sauce, you might be wondering how to make them ahead of time or store them for later. Luckily, these empanadas are easy to prep ahead of time and can be stored in both the freezer and fridge.

To make the empanadas ahead of time, follow the recipe instructions up to the point of baking. Instead of baking, place the unbaked empanadas on a baking sheet and freeze them until they are firm. Once they are frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To reheat the frozen empanadas, simply bake them in a preheated oven at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until they are heated through and crispy. You can also reheat them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if you’re short on time.

If you have leftover empanadas that have already been baked, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat them, place them on a baking sheet in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes or until they reach your desired temperature.

Lastly, if you accidentally made too many servings and don’t have enough room to store them all in your fridge or freezer, consider sharing with some friends or neighbors! These tasty treats are perfect for sharing at parties or events.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Elevate your snacking game with these mouthwatering empanadas
Elevate your snacking game with these mouthwatering empanadas

In order to make the best empanadas with chili-cheese sauce, here are some helpful tips and tricks to follow.

Firstly, when making the filling mixture, it is important to not overcook the ground beef. Overcooking can cause the beef to become tough and dry, making it difficult to form into empanadas. Cook the beef until just browned, and then add in diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, water, and any other desired ingredients.

When it comes to making the dough for the empanadas, using corn masa dough is preferred as it results in a more authentic flavor and texture. However, if you don’t have corn masa on hand, refrigerated biscuits such as Pillsbury Grands can be a quick substitute. Just keep in mind that the texture may be slightly different than traditional dough.

Another important aspect of making empanadas is ensuring that they are well-sealed before baking. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough together tightly so that none of the filling spills out during baking.

To make a great cheese sauce for dipping or topping the empanadas, use a combination of queso and savory chili to create a tangy and spicy flavor. To make it even cheesier and more indulgent, add some shredded cheese on top of the empanadas before baking them.

Finally, remember that this recipe is versatile and can be adjusted to your liking. Add poblano peppers or switch out ground beef for cheesy chicken or leftover chili. The possibilities are endless! Just be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly.

By following these tips and experiment with different ingredients, you’ll have delicious and perfectly cooked empanadas with chili-cheese sauce every time.


As you embark on making these savory chili-cheese empanadas, you may have some questions or doubts about the recipe. Fear not, as I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers to help guide you through the process. Whether it’s regarding the perfect cheese sauce or substituting ingredients, we have got you covered. Keep reading to get all your queries answered and ensure that your dish comes out perfectly baked every time.

What kind of sauce goes with empanadas?

I will share with you some fantastic dipping sauce options for empanadas that will elevate your dining experience. Get ready to explore the flavors of sweet and tangy Salsa Criolla, the robust Chimichurri Sauce, the tasty Salsa Verde, the sweet Honey Mustard Sauce, the nutty Romesco Sauce, the spicy Anaheim Chili Sauce, the classic Marinara Sauce, and the rich Mole Sauce.

What makes Chilean empanadas different?

If you want to make Chilean empanadas, the dough preparation is unique and straightforward. All you need to do is to combine egg yolks, flour, warmed milk, and butter to achieve a smooth and silky dough. The best part? You can roll it out immediately without having to let it rest.

What is the difference between Spanish empanadas and Mexican empanadas?

The origins of the Mexican empanada differ from the Spanish recipe, as the former is typically made using corn masa dough instead of bread dough. Interestingly, each region in Mexico has its own unique take on the empanada, with some utilizing wheat flour while others opt for corn masa dough. Furthermore, preparation methods can vary as well, with some empanadas being baked while others are deep fried.

Do empanadas taste better baked or fried?

When it comes to making empanadas, there are two ways to go about it and both yield equally delicious results. If you’re looking for a healthier option, then baking them in the oven is the way to go. However, if you’re short on time, frying them is a quicker alternative.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, empanadas with chili-cheese sauce recipe is one of the most delicious and easy-to-make recipes that you can prepare at home, especially if you are looking for something savory and spicy. With its cheesy and beefy filling, along with a flaky and crispy outer layer, these empanadas are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

And with the addition of homemade chili-cheese sauce, this recipe takes on a whole new level of flavor. Rich, creamy, and slightly spicy, this sauce adds the perfect amount of kick to each and every bite.

So whether you are hosting a party or simply looking for a quick and satisfying meal, this recipe is sure to please. I highly recommend giving it a try – your taste buds will thank you!

Empanadas With Chili-Cheese Sauce

Empanadas With Chili-Cheese Sauce Recipe

Also from the Desperations Dinner's cookbook. Very easy and very tasty. We use tostada chips to scoop up the sauce! Yummy!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine South American
Calories 370.5 kcal


  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 8 refrigerated biscuits, such as Pillsbury Grands
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup store bought salsa con queso sauce, such as Pace


  • Heat oven to 450.
  • Place the beef in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook, turning and breaking up the meat, until it is crumbled and browned.
  • Meanwhile, use a rolling pin or straight-sided glass to flatten each biscuit until it measures about 4 ½ inches across and is about ¼” thick. If biscuits stick, use a bit of flour. Place the flattened biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • When the meat is browned, stir in the taco seasoning mix and water. Remove from heat.
  • Place 2 Tbsp of meat in the center of each bisquit; leave the meat you have left over in the skillet. Fold dough over the meat to form a turnover, stretching as necessary (it’s OK if it tears a little), then press down on the edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Bake the turnovers until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the tomatoes with their juice and the salsa-cheese sauce to the skillet with the leftover meat and place over low heat, stirring well. Cook until heated through, continuing to simmer until the turnovers are done, stirring from time to time.
  • To serve, place the turnovers on individual serving plates and top with about 1/3 cup of the chili-cheese sauce.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 293gCalories: 370.5kcalCarbohydrates: 32.1gProtein: 28.7gFat: 13.8gSaturated Fat: 4.6gCholesterol: 70.3mgSodium: 947.2mgFiber: 2.3gSugar: 8.2g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, Meat, One-Dish Meal
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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.