Beef Empanadas


Flaky dough. Meaty filling. They might ooze while they bake, but that’s okay. Just let them cool and any drippings will cling to the empanadas. The filling for these empanadas is endlessly adaptable! If you prefer a salsa verde to our tomato-based version, or if you’d like to use ground turkey or chicken in place of beef, the end result will be just as delicious.


Olive oil cooking spray

3 spray(s)

Uncooked 93% lean ground beef

½ pound(s)

Uncooked onion(s)

1 small, finely chopped

Garlic clove(s)

1 medium clove(s), minced

Table salt

¾ tsp

Canned tomato paste

2 tsp

Ancho chile powder

2 tsp

Ground cumin

¾ tsp

Plum tomato(es)

1 large, chopped

Pimiento stuffed olives

6 olive(s), chopped

Refrigerated pie crust, unprepared

2 crust(s)

Egg white(s)

1 large, lightly beaten

Plain fat free Greek yogurt

1¼ cup(s)

Uncooked scallion(s)

2 large, finely chopped

Lime zest

1 tsp, grated

Fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp

Hot pepper sauce

½ tsp


  1. To make the filling, spray a large skillet with olive oil cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. Add the beef, onion, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until the beef browns and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chile powder, and cumin; cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and the olives; cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato softens, about 2 minutes. Cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil.
  3. On lightly floured surface, roll 1 pie crust into a 14-inch circle. With a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Re-roll the scraps to 1/8-inch thick to cut out a total of 12 rounds. Working with 1 round at a time, place 1 tablespoon of the filling on half of the round. Brush the edge of dough round with water. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and seal with the tines of a fork. Repeat with the remaining pie crust and filling to make a total of 24 empanadas. (Can be made ahead. Place in and airtight container with sheets of wax paper between layers of empanadas. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
  4. Place the empanadas 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet; brush the tops with the egg white. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, in small bowl mix the yogurt, scallions, lime zest and juice, pepper sauce, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Can be made ahead. Transfer to airtight container. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.) Serve the empanadas with the sauce.
  6. Serving size: 1 empanada and about 2 teaspoons sauce

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