Deliciously Spicy Empanadas Recipe for Your Taste Buds!

Hey there foodie friends! Are you ready to spice up your life with my mouth-watering, palate-pleasing empanadas recipe? I’m Chef [Your Name], and today, I’m going to guide you on how to create the perfect spicy beef empanadas in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Empanadas are a beloved staple in Latin American cuisine, but today we’re going to put an extra kick into these pockets of deliciousness. This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves bold flavors and a bit of heat in their food.

Trust me when I say that the balance of flavors in this recipe is out-of-this-world! As we take this culinary journey together, I’ll share some tips and tricks that will elevate your empanada game and leave your taste buds wanting more. Get ready for a flavorful adventure that you won’t forget!

So go ahead, gather up all the ingredients, put on your apron and let’s get started with this spicy empanadas experience.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Spicy Empanadas
Spicy Empanadas

Hey, foodies! I’m excited to present to you my spicy beef empanadas recipe, the perfect fusion of American and Brazilian cuisine. This recipe is guaranteed to blow your taste buds away! Trust me; you won’t regret trying it out.

Are you a spice lover? Then this recipe is custom-made for you. The combination of dried chipotle chiles, ancho chili, and chili flakes will give your tongue a delightful kick without overpowering the other flavors. The result is a mouth-watering treat that leaves you wanting more.

Besides being spicy, these empanadas are richly filled with ground beef and topped with Monterey Jack cheese, making it the very definition of comfort food. The spices used in this recipe intensify the flavor of ground beef and create an ardent desire for this dish every time your appetite pangs hit.

One of the best parts about this spicy empanada recipe is that it caters to people with different dietary needs. If you’re gluten-sensitive, substitute flour with corn masa dough for a gluten-free version. You can also add or subtract certain ingredients to make vegan or vegetarian options.

Still not convinced? These empanadas are versatile, easy-to-make and perfect for both small and large gatherings or as a snack-on-the-go meal. Bake them if you prefer a healthier option, or deep-fry them for a more indulgent treat. Trust me when I say; you won’t be able to get enough of this unique creation.

So, what are you waiting for? Mix paprika with cumin and lime juice right now! Enjoy these delicious empanadas while cherishing their fusion of Brazilian and American cuisine. Let your taste buds lead the way to one of the best dishes ever invented!

Ingredient List

“These empanadas are hot, hot, hot!”

Ingredients for Spicy Beef Empanadas:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark raisins
  • 2 dried chipotle chiles, re-hydrated and finely chopped
  • 1 ancho chili, re-hydrated and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. adobo sauce (reserved from the canned chipotle chiles)
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup spicy beef broth or water

Additional Ingredients for the Empanada Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup water

In this recipe, we will be using ground beef to create our signature empanadas that can add a spicy kick in your taste buds! You can use other types of filling such as cheese or chicken for your empanada but today, we’ll be focusing on spicing up our ground beef filling. Here’s everything you need:

Aside from the ground beef filling, we’ll also be making the empanada dough from scratch! Our dough is made with all-purpose flour, unsalted butter,and salt to create a crispy and flaky texture. Here are the additional ingredients that you’ll need to create the perfect dough for your spicy beef empanadas:

The Recipe How-To

“A delicious burst of flavor in every spicy bite.”

Preparing the Filling

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup chopped white onion and cook until it becomes translucent, roughly 5 minutes. Add in two cloves garlic minced, and stir for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Step 3: Mix in 2 lb of lean ground beef and cook it until fully browned (no pink!) while carefully breaking it apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain off the excess grease before adding all other seasonings.

Step 4: Add in 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of cumin along with 2 dried chipotle chiles and 1 ancho chili*, finely chopped. Cook for another couple of minutes.

Step 5: Add one can of tomatoes with their juice and mix well. Pour in 1/4 cup dry white wine and 1/4 cup of lime juice. Add a handful of dark raisins*, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens (around 30 mins).

Making the Dough

Step 6: In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1/4 teaspoon) or more salt, as desired to taste, along with 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion, mashed potatoes (optional) and cheese (also optional but delicious).

Step 7: Next, add slowly approximately ⅓ cup cold water into the bowl while kneading the mixture gently by hand until smooth dough is formed. If the mixture is too dry or floury drops by drop more water while kneading to form a uniform soft mass.Let your dough rest in a cool place protected by a towel for some minutes.

Making the Empanadas

Step 8: Once rested, fetch the empanada dough and roll it out into circles around 3½” to 4″ inches in diameter. You can use plastic wrap to make this process easier. On one half of each circle, carefully spoon a heaping portion of the beef mixture. Top with shredded monterey jack cheese if you’d like.

Step 9: Seal the empanadas by folding the empty half of the wrapper on top of beef mixture half (use water or egg wash as an adhesive). Using your finger tips crimp edges tightly closed

*Step 10:Arrange them on a baking sheet, separating each evenly spaced with non-stick parchment paper.

*Step 11:Brush lightly with a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.


Step 12: For Crunchy Empanadas: Bake

Substitutions and Variations

“Turn up the heat with these fiery empanadas.”

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to this spicy empanadas recipe to switch things up in the kitchen.

If you’re looking to switch up the meat, try using ground turkey or chicken instead of beef for a lighter option. You could also try using pork or even canned tuna for a different flavor profile altogether.

For those who prefer vegetarian options, swap out the meat entirely and use a combination of chopped mushrooms, diced bell peppers, and black beans as your filling.

When it comes to the spices, you can experiment by adding more or less chili powder depending on your preferred level of heat. Feel free to introduce other spices into the mix as well – perhaps cinnamon, coriander or smoked paprika. Nutmeg can also add a nice depth of flavor.

If you’ve got guests who aren’t too fond of spicy food, it’s easy to tone down the heat in this recipe by using less cumin and chili powder, or skip the dried chipotle chiles altogether. You could also consider milder pepper flakes for an extra bit of flavor.

As for cheese options, monterey jack cheese is included in the recipe because its mild flavor doesn’t compete with the spices – but feel free to experiment with other cheeses like cheddar or pepper jack. And if you’re not a fan of cheese altogether, simply omit it from the filling.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your empanada dough itself! While traditional corn masa dough is used for Argentinian-style empanadas, you could also try making a wheat flour-based dough or even experimenting with pre-made puff pastry for added crunchiness.

Remember that cooking is all about being creative and making things that suit your taste buds – so have fun with these substitution and variation ideas and make this awesome empanadas recipe truly your own!

Serving and Pairing

“If you like it hot, these empanadas are the perfect choice.”

Now that you’ve got these spicy empanadas fresh out of the oven, it’s time to dig in and serve up a fiesta of flavor! The heat from the dried chipotle chiles and ancho chili powder, along with the sweetness from dark raisins and tangy tomatoes, will leave your taste buds singing. These empanadas are perfect as a side dish or as a main course.

To bring out the bold flavors of these scrumptious empanadas, pairing them with a dry white wine is an excellent choice. Try a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, which have the acidity and fruitiness that can complement the spice of these empanadas perfectly.

For those of you that prefer beer rather than wine, opt for a pale ale or lager with a light and refreshing taste. These beers can contrast the heat of these spicy empanadas and offer refreshment for your palate.

You can also add some variety to your meal by serving these beef empanadas with some cool and refreshing salsa verde. The acidity in the lime juice and raw onion create a tangy and sharp flavor that contrasts nicely with the heat in the empanadas. You can also sprinkle some crumbled Monterey Jack cheese or queso fresco on top for added creaminess!

There are many sides that pair well with spicy beef empanadas—embrace your creativity! You could make Mexican-style street corn or fresh guacamole as an additional side to bring out the Latin American flare of the dish.

All in all, enjoy experimenting with different serving options to complement your beef empanadas recipe! Whether you prefer sweet or salty sides, beer or wine, there are endless ways to find what works best for your cravings. And when it comes down to it, let your taste buds do the talking – there’s no right or wrong way to indulge in this spicy delight.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Our secret blend of spices will tantalize your senses.”

Listen up, my peeps! If you’re planning to make these fiery Spicy Empanadas but want to do the work ahead of time, I got you covered. These empanadas are perfect for making in advance and storing in the fridge or freezer. You can whip up a big batch of these bad boys on the weekend and have them ready to go for weekday lunches, appetizers, or even dinner.

To make-ahead, prepare the filling as instructed and let it cool completely before moving on to assembling and baking the empanadas. Once your empanadas are baked or fried to perfection, let them cool down before storing them. Wrap each empanada tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing them in an airtight container or freezer bags.

When it comes to reheat these spicy delights, there are a few options depending on your preference. The best way is to pop them in the oven at 375°F for about 15-20 minutes until they’re heated through and crispy again. You can also microwave them for 1-2 minutes or reheat them on a skillet with a little bit of oil.

Now, let’s talk storage options. If you’re planning on eating your empanadas soon, store them wrapped in plastic wrap or foil at room temperature for up to 24 hours. For longer storage periods, store the wrapped empanadas in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Whenever you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply take them out of the fridge or freezer and follow my reheating methods above. You’ll have piping hot spicy beef empanadas in no time! So go ahead and make that big batch – these fiery treats will keep you satisfied long after their initial bake.

Tips for Perfect Results

Let me tell you a secret, cooking empanadas is not difficult. But there are a few subtle things you can do to take this spicy empanada recipe to the next level.

First, bear in mind that when baking the empanadas, every oven behaves differently. So, it is essential to preheat the oven to the right temperature stated in my recipe instructions.

The second tip is to avoid overstuffing your beef empanadas. Be sure that each disc of dough has plenty of space around the filling. It helps maintain their shape and keeps them from bursting open while frying or baking.

Another essential thing to keep in mind is the texture of your corn masa dough for Argentinian beef empanadas. Take your time preparing it correctly by adding water little by little to avoid making it too wet or too dry. The amount of water needed may vary depending on the type of cornmeal you have.

Also, add plenty of spices like chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika as we want our spicy beef empanadas to be full of flavor and aroma.

When cooking the ground beef for the filling, make sure to stir frequently with a wooden spoon or spatula to promote even cooking and avoid clumps.

Lastly, let the spicy beef mixture cool down before wrapping them in the beef empanada dough. Doing so helps prevent soggy dough that could cause them to fall apart while frying or baking.

By following these tips, your beef cheese empanadas will turn out beautifully crispy on the outside and savory on the inside, ready for any occasion.


Before we wrap it up, let’s go over some frequently asked questions about the recipe that might still be lingering in your mind. It’s important to address these questions head-on to ensure that your experience with this spicy empanadas recipe is as smooth and successful as possible. So, let’s dive into these popular questions and provide you with some helpful answers!

What are 3 types of empanadas?

When it comes to empanadas in Tucumán, there’s a lot to celebrate. The region is renowned for its delicious fillings, which include beef, tripe, and chicken. Once wrapped in dough, these savory treats are cooked in beef fat and baked in a traditional clay oven. It’s no wonder that Tucumán is home to the National Empanada Festival!

Should empanadas be baked or fried?

Empanadas can be prepared in two different ways, both of which yield tasty results. For a more nutritious option, I recommend baking them in the oven. However, if time is of the essence, frying them is the quicker route to go.

What is the difference between Spanish empanadas and Mexican empanadas?

Empanadas have been an integral part of Latin American cuisine for hundreds of years, with each country showcasing its unique take on the dish. While the Spanish version of the dish is made using bread dough, the Mexican recipe is created with corn masa dough. Mexico is renowned for its diverse regional cuisine, and empanadas are a prime example of this. Every region in Mexico has its version of the dish, some using wheat flour while others opt for corn masa dough. Additionally, while some empanadas are deep-fried, others are baked to perfection.

What are empanadas usually filled with?

Empanadas are delicious pastries that originate from Latin America, and they come in various savory flavors. They are often shaped like a crescent and are filled with a combination of meat, seafood, veggies, or cheese. The filling is seasoned perfectly and then either fried or baked until it’s crisp and irresistible.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this is a must-try recipe for anyone who loves bold and spicy flavors. These Spicy Empanadas are perfect for feeding a crowd or as a snack to enjoy anytime. With simple ingredients and easy preparation, these empanadas are a fantastic way to experiment with different flavors and discover new favorite recipes.

Once you try these Spicy Empanadas, you’ll understand why they’re the ultimate comfort food. Armed with your new culinary skills, you’ll be able to create unbeatable traditional dishes like Beef Empanadas, Cheese Empanadas or even Chicken Empanadas to impress your family and friends. Be creative and add your twist by trying different fillings like potatoes or pork.

The possibilities with this recipe are endless, and it’s time for you to give them a try! Don’t forget to share this recipe with your loved ones so that they too can enjoy the fiery deliciousness of these Spicy Empanadas.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s fire up the stove and start cooking! One bite of these amazing empanadas and you’re sure to be hooked!

Spicy Empanadas

Spicy Empanadas Recipe

I Threw all these ingredients together when I was bored one day and man, do they really kick! Tone 'em down with less peppers if you can't stand the heat. They can be made ahead of time and frozen, and then popped into the oven for 15 minutes and then served with guacamole and sour cream. A good spicy salsa would also go well with these! Use frozen puff pastry dough to speed it up a bit. They are well worth the effort!
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Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 524.8 kcal


The dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable lard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ice water

The filling

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tomatoes (Romas are great)
  • 1 large ancho chili, reconstituted, seeded, deveined and diced
  • 4 dried chipotle chiles, reconstituted in hot water
  • 4 fresh jalapenos, seeded, and diced (optional)
  • 4 serrano peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup finely shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup dark raisin
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 pinch coriander
  • 1 pinch nutmeg


  • To make the dough-.
  • Cut the chilled lard into small pieces and mix into the flour with your fingers until it is lumpy and coarse.
  • Don’t overwork it.
  • Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time, while stirring it with a fork or spoon until it forms a ball.
  • You will have to pick it up and form the ball, but you will still see the lard in it, a bit like streaked marble.
  • It should be a little sticky, but not too.
  • Put it in the fridge for an hour to chill and then remove and let it come to room temperature for one hour before you roll it.
  • When you are ready to fill the empanadas, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch.
  • Cut 4 inch circles with a cookie cutter, or whatever you have on hand.
  • A friend taught me the secret to puff pastry dough.
  • It is this-2 parts flour to 1 part lard (butter has water in it and therefore will not be flakey like lard.) You can alter the amount of dough you need but keep this simple formula and you will have success.
  • You can also use ready made dough to speed things up considerably.
  • To make the filling-.
  • Soak the raisins in the white wine until plump, about 20 minutes, do this before you start the rest.
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and grate them (yes, GRATE them on your cheese grater) by pressing down hard right down to the skins.
  • Discard the skins.
  • Add the contents to a blender and add the reconstituted ancho and the chipotles, juice of 1 lime and ½ of the cumin.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Brown the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain off the excess fat and add the onions, stir until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the diced Jalapeño, and the Serranos, stir until fragrant and a bit soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the glass with the raisins, including the wine and stir, while scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is evaporated and the raisins are soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the pressed garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the rest of the cumin, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon and salt and stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the contents from the blender, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour.
  • Taste, and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
  • HINT- if you use chipotles in adobo, omit the tomatoes, and use a little low-sodium chicken broth to thin the sauce, if necessary.
  • To fill them-.
  • Have a fork, a glass of water, and some excess flour handy.
  • Dip your finger in water, and run it around the bottom half of the dough circle, on the edge, like a smiley face.
  • Take a tablespoon of filling, a pinch of cheese and then fold the dough over it and press down gently, so it stays in place.
  • Take the tines of the fork, dip them in flour and press down around the edges of the empañada to seal.
  • Poke a hole in the top and freeze immediately.
  • Adjust the amount of filling so that the empanada is not over-filled, but plump.
  • Your first ones will be ugly, but with a little practice, they will turn out perfectly, and well sealed.
  • This will make about 30+ empañadas, depending on how much filling you put inside.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 252gCalories: 524.8kcalCarbohydrates: 59.5gProtein: 26.4gFat: 18.3gSaturated Fat: 8.2gCholesterol: 68.2mgSodium: 644.3mgFiber: 3.6gSugar: 6.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Meat, Mexican, Oven, Savory Pies
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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.