Flavorful Meat Empanadas: A Mexican Delight

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I’m excited to share with you a recipe that will satisfy your cravings for savory and hearty food – the Meaty Empanadas Recipe. These delectable pockets of dough, filled with a mixture of ground beef, mild Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, and onions, are a staple in Brazilian and American cuisine.

Empanadas are a type of savory turnover or pastry that can be found in many variations across Latin America. Each country has their unique take on how to make empanada dough, fillings, and cooking methods. In this recipe, I’ll be showing you how to make my version of the classic beef empanada filling using easy-to-find ingredients such as ground beef, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and Monterey Jack cheese.

Whether enjoyed as an appetizer or main dish, Beef Empanadas have a widespread fan base due to their rich flavors and versatility in filling ingredients. They can be customized with various meats, vegetables, herbs and spices according to personal taste – making them perfect for family dinners or entertaining guests.

So without further ado, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started on making these crowd-pleasing meat empanadas. Your taste buds will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Meaty Empanadas
Meaty Empanadas

My dear food enthusiasts, let me tell you why you are going to fall head over heels in love with this Meaty Empanadas Recipe that I’m about to share with you. Just imagine golden-brown, perfectly baked empanadas- crumbly on the outside, irresistibly meaty and cheesy on the inside. This empanada recipe encompasses all the flavors and richness of both the Brazilian and American cuisines.

What makes this recipe unique is how it offers variations of fillings- Beef Empanadas, Cheesy Beef Empanadas, Baked Beef Empanadas plus so much more that you can experiment with. With key ingredients like beef, Monterey Jack cheese, fresh mushrooms, onion, mild Italian sausage and tomato sauce, this recipe is sure to knock your socks off.

Not only is this recipe impressive in taste and texture but it’s also very easy to make. The dough is made out of corn masa or pie crust depending on preference while the empanada filling is composed of an array of vegetables and spices- galore onion, celery peas, carrots, cloves of garlic minced plus ground cumin 1 2. With a simple list of ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, even beginners in the kitchen will relish making Mouthwatering Meaty Empanadas.

Whether you’re craving for a snacking option during game night or hosting a summer barbecue party with friends and family, these deliciously satisfying savory handheld pies are sure to please everyone present. These empanadas are wonderful for packed lunches as well because when reheated properly they still retain their warm and flaky exterior coupled with delightfully warm fillings inside.

In conclusion, if there’s one thing you’ll love about this meaty empanadas recipe is its versatility. It’s an all-encompassing dish that honors the unique flavors of both Brazilian and American culture while allowing your creativity to roam. It’s simple to make, delicious in taste and sure to be a people pleaser. So fire up your ovens, gather the ingredients and let’s get cooking!

Ingredient List

 Satisfy your hunger with a plateful of these delicious meaty empanadas!
Satisfy your hunger with a plateful of these delicious meaty empanadas!

Get Ready to Cook! Here are the Ingredients for Our Meaty Empanadas Recipe

Before we start putting our culinary skills to the test, let’s make sure we have everything we need in our pantry and fridge. Here are the ingredients we’ll be using to make these delicious Beef Empanadas:

Empanada Dough:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 20g of corn masa (corn flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of warm water
  • 1/3 cup of cold extra-virgin olive oil

Beef Empanada Filling:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb mild Italian sausage
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 4 oz fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You can also adjust the ingredients based on your liking. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try adding some other vegetables such as peas and carrots to give more texture and flavor. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to go on a flavor trip with tender meat, aromatic spices, and flaky pastry.
Get ready to go on a flavor trip with tender meat, aromatic spices, and flaky pastry.

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients needed for this delectable Meaty Empanadas Recipe, it’s time to start with the cooking process. Don’t worry if you are not an expert in cooking as I will guide you through every step of the recipe how-to. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Prepare Empanada Filling

Use a large pan and heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced yellow onion, minced garlic, and sauté for about 2-3 minutes until soft. Then, add 1 pound ground beef and cook for 10 minutes until browned.

Step 2: Season Empanada Filling

To add flavors to the empanada filling, sprinkle 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and 2 teaspoons salt. Mix well until evenly coated.

Step 3: Add Vegetables to Empanada Filling

Add in chopped tomato sauce, sliced fresh mushrooms, diced red bell pepper, and cook until all vegetables have softened. This process should take around 5-7 minutes.

Step 4: Cool Empanada Filling

Set aside the filling from heat and let it cool completely before filling. While waiting for it to cool down, prepare your empanada dough.

Step 5: Prepare Masa Dough

In a separate large mixing bowl, combine two cups of purpose flour with two cups of corn masa dough. Mix them thoroughly using a fork or whisk until they are well combined.

Step 6: Knead Masa Dough

Slowly pour water into the mixture while stirring. Knead until the dough becomes soft and doesn’t stick to your hands.

Step 7: Roll Out Empanada Dough

Roll out the masa dough on a floured surface until it reaches an 1/8-inch thickness.

Step 8: Cut Empanada Dough

Using a cookie cutter, cut out circles with a diameter of 3-4 inches from the dough. You can also use a cup or any circular object as a guide.

Step 9: Fill Empanadas Dough

Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each dough. Add slices of Monterey Jack cheese for that extra flavor.

Step 10: Seal the Empanadas

Fold the empanada over to make a half-moon shape and seal edges by pressing them with your fingertips crimping them with a fork.

Step 11: Brush with Egg Wash

Lastly, lightly brush empanadas with an egg wash made from beaten eggs mixed with water. This will give them that golden brown color once baked.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown in a preheated oven. When cooked, serve

Substitutions and Variations

 Perfect for parties, picnics, or as a quick snack on-the-go.
Perfect for parties, picnics, or as a quick snack on-the-go.

When it comes to this delicious meaty empanadas recipe, there are plenty of ways to make it your own. Here are some substitution and variation ideas that you can try out:

– Cheese: If you’re a cheese lover, consider adding in some Monterey Jack cheese to your empanada filling. This will give it a tangy and salty kick that pairs well with the savory beef.

– Vegetarian: For a vegetarian option, substitute the meat for fresh mushrooms or use a mixture of cooked onion, celery, peas, and carrots. The flavor may be different but the empanadas will still turn out to be as delicious.

– Spice: If you’re a fan of spicy foods, add some chili powder or ground cumin to your beef empanada filling. This will give it a subtle kick that will tantalize your taste buds.

– Different Doughs: While corn masa dough is commonly used in Latin American empanadas, feel free to experiment with other types like pie crust or Spanish Empanada. And not just the type, you can also try out different dough use – baked empanadas or baked beef filling.

– Different cuisines: You don’t have to limit yourself to Latin American cuisine as you can also use the same filling for other types of ethnic empanadas such as Argentinean Empanadas or Chilean Empanadas.

With these simple variations and substitutions, you can easily make this classic recipe your own while still enjoying its traditional flavors.

Serving and Pairing

 Bite into a warm, freshly-baked empanada and feel the burst of savory goodness in your mouth!
Bite into a warm, freshly-baked empanada and feel the burst of savory goodness in your mouth!

It’s time to indulge in the warm and flavorful meaty empanadas! These savory pockets of goodness are perfect for sharing with friends and family, and they make a great addition to any party.

To serve, arrange the empanadas on a platter and sprinkle some chopped fresh herbs on top for an extra burst of flavor. You can try parsley, cilantro or even chives. Empanadas are also perfect to pair with a fresh green salad or some roasted veggies on the side.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try pairing empanadas with different sauces like guacamole, salsa verde or chimichurri. For those who prefer a spicier kick, hot sauce is always an excellent accompaniment. If you want your empanadas to have a cheesy twist, try melting some Monterrey Jack cheese on top before serving.

For drinks, I highly recommend serving them with a refreshing and fruity sangria that would balance out the richness of the empanada filling. A cold beer, mojito or margarita would also work wonderfully.

Regardless of how you choose to serve them, these meaty empanadas are sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your table. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Make your taste buds dance with the melding of American and Brazilian flavors in every bite.
Make your taste buds dance with the melding of American and Brazilian flavors in every bite.

As the saying goes, “time is of the essence.” And in the kitchen, where inspiration and innovation take center stage, a little bit of time can be all you need to elevate your dish to new heights. That’s why it’s always good to think ahead when making delicious meaty empanadas.

After preparing your beef empanada filling and wrapping it with corn masa dough, you can choose to store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. If you decide to refrigerate them, they can last for up to 3 days. But if you prefer to make them ahead of time and store them in the freezer, they can last for up to 2 months.

When reheating your beef empanadas, it’s important to keep in mind that these delicious delicacies are best enjoyed warm and crispy. To keep their texture intact, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C), place the empanadas on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until heated through.

If you prefer a faster reheating option, empanadas can be reheated in the microwave on medium power for 30 seconds to 1 minute per empanada. Be aware that this method may not give you the same crispy texture as the oven reheating method.

Lastly, don’t forget to serve your hot empanadas with some extra tomato sauce or cheese dip on the side for added flavor and enjoyment. Now sit back, relax and savor every bite of these tasty meaty empanadas!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Empanadas may be small in size, but they're bursting with flavor that's larger-than-life!
Empanadas may be small in size, but they’re bursting with flavor that’s larger-than-life!

To ensure that your meaty empanadas turn out perfect every time, I have a few helpful tips that I swear by. These small tweaks to your cooking technique can make all the difference in creating the most delicious, flavorful beef empanadas.

First and foremost, use fresh ingredients where possible – this includes your meat, vegetables and herbs. Not only will using fresh ingredients improve the overall flavor of your meat empanadas, but it will prevent any issues with spoilage or bacteria that could cause food poisoning.

Additionally, if you’re making homemade dough use a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil to give the dough more flavor and a softer texture. In general, aim to let the meat empanada filling cool down before filling the dough. If you add hot filling to cool dough or vice versa, it can result in a soggy crust or undercooked filling.

When assembling your beef empanadas, be sure not to overfill them. When in doubt, err on the side of adding less filling rather than too much. Overfilled empanadas can burst while baking and lead to disastrous results.

Once assembled, be sure to let your empanadas chill for at least 20 minutes before baking. Chilling allows the gluten in the dough to relax, resulting in an even better texture when baked.

When baking your meat empanadas, keep a close eye on them during the last five to ten minutes of baking time to ensure they don’t burn or become too dry. The precise cooking time will vary depending on individual ovens and altitudes.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your beef empanada fillings! While this recipe is delicious on its own, there are countless variations that you can experiment with – from cheesy beef empanadas to chilean-style baked beef turnovers to sweet meat empanadas commonly found in Mexican cuisine.

By following these simple tips and experimenting with different filling variations, you can create the perfect meaty empanadas every time.


Now that you have all the information needed to prepare the tasty meaty empanadas recipe, we are going to address some of the most common questions that may come up in the process of making them. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions along with their respective answers to help you achieve those perfectly delicious empanadas.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

Down in Tucumán, where the National Empanada Festival is held, the local empanadas are made by encasing your choice of beef, tripe, or chicken in a doughy shell, and then baked in clay ovens with beef fat.

What are meat empanadas called?

If you are looking for a savory pastry dish, then you should try making Empanadas. These turnovers are typically filled with various ingredients, but this particular recipe uses meat and a blend of tomato, onion and garlic for a flavorful mix. Empanadas can be served as an appetizer or entree, depending on your preference.

Is it better to fry or bake empanadas?

Empanadas can be prepared via two cooking methods, and both result in tasty treats. Those looking for a more health-conscious option can choose to bake them in the oven, while those pressed for time can opt for the faster frying method.

What are beef empanadas made of?

I’ve got a tasty recipe to share that involves some flavorful ground beef and boiled potatoes. And to make things even more delicious, I’ve added a bunch of veggies such as onions, celery, peas, and carrots into the mix. Oh, and don’t forget about the garlic and warm spices that give this dish a kick of flavor. Plus, I’ll be sharing a tip to prevent the ground beef from drying out – just a touch of beef stock.

What kind of dough do you use for empanadas?

It has been noted that for making empanadas, people typically rely on pre-made pie doughs, since the ingredients required for both are very similar. The majority of pie dough recipes call for ingredients like flour, butter, salt, water, and occasionally egg; all of which are also essential for this particular empanada recipe.

What is the difference between Spanish empanadas and Mexican empanadas?

The empanada, a popular dish known for its versatility, has been adapted and transformed in various ways across different regions in Mexico. While bread dough is commonly used in Spanish empanada recipes, corn masa dough is the go-to ingredient used in Mexican empanadas. Each Mexican region has its unique take on the empanada, with variations in the choice of dough and method of cooking, such as baking or deep-frying.

Bottom Line


Being a chef who specializes in Brazilian and American cuisine, I highly recommend trying out this Meaty Empanada Recipe for your next meal. With its delectable beef filling and a perfect crust, I guarantee that not only will you be satisfied with the dish but so will everyone else who gets to taste it.

The beauty of this recipe is its versatility because you can substitute any ingredient to create different variations of empanadas. You can also make them ahead of time, store them in the fridge or freezer, and reheat them whenever you want. Plus, you won’t have to worry about handling leftovers because they will be gone before you know it.

Lastly, one of the many perks of cooking this recipe is that it allows for creativity in your presentation and pairing options. Whether you want to pair these meaty empanadas with a sweet dessert or a spicy salsa, trust that it will go perfectly with anything.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an easy-to-make yet delicious meal that satisfies your cravings and makes your taste buds sing praises in any occasion or gathering, then this Meaty Empanadas Recipe is definitely one for the books. So go ahead and give it a try, and let me know how it goes!

Meaty Empanadas

Meaty Empanadas Recipe

This is my version of empanadas. I adapted this recipe from a magazine....can't remember which one, it is written on a piece of paper. I find rolling the biscuits takes the most time, but is worth it. Prep time is a guess (I never time myself).
No ratings yet
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 24 empanadas
Calories 158 kcal


  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 lb mild Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 3 (7 1/2 ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • vegetable oil, for frying


  • Cook ground beef and sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until mixture crumbles and is no longer pink.
  • Drain and set aside, reserving 2 Tbs. of drippings in skillet.
  • Saute onion in hot drippings 5 minute or until tender. Add mushrooms and saute for 2 minute.
  • Return beef mixture to skillet and stir in tomato sauce and Cajun seasoning.
  • Simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 minute or until the liquid has evaporated.
  • Cool completely and stir in cheese. Cover and chill while rolling out the biscuits.
  • Roll biscuits into 4" circles on a lightly floured surface.
  • Spoon 1 Tbs. of beef mixture in center of biscuit, brush edges with egg. Fold edges over, pressing with a fork to seal.
  • Place on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. They can be chilled for up to 2 hours at this point.
  • Pour oil to a depth of 1/2" into a Dutch oven. Fry empanadas in hot oil, in batches for 30 sec on each side or until golden.
  • Drain on paper towels. Serve with your favorite toppings (i.e. salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc.).

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 2132gCalories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 14.3gProtein: 6.5gFat: 8.3gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 23.2mgSodium: 451.8mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Low Cholesterol, Meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You



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.