These EASY Beef Empanadas come together quickly in about 30-minutes and are absolutely bursting with flavor! They start with a pre-made crust instead of homemade empanada dough -- making them quick to put together! These minced beef empanadas are perfect for appetizers or tapas parties, and even Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Homemade Beef mince Empanadas are just good. Luckily, this shortcut version is quick & easy to make, and if beef isn't your thing, swap in ground chicken, pork, or lamb, too.
1tbspChipolte in Adobo Saucemore or less to taste, [Optional]
1/2cuptomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, or more if you prefer a saucier filling.
1/4tspcuminmore or less, to taste
1tspground cayenne pepper, more or less depending on your spice level
1/4cupsliced green olives, optional
salt and ground black pepper, more or less to taste
For the Empanada Dough:
10(1 pkg)Empanada Dough Discs[See Note 5]
1egg, lightly beaten
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking tray with a silicone mat, parchment paper, or aluminum foil and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it us with a spoon or rubber spatula, about 10 minutes.
Add onions and peppers and cook until soft, about 5 minutes more.
Stir in tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes), chipolte in adobo (if adding), cumin, cayenne, garlic, oregano, sliced olives, salt, and black pepper. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust spice level to your tastes.
Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of meat mixture into the middle of the empanada wrapper, fold in half to form a half-moon; moisten the edges with water and pinch to seal or crimp edges with a fork.
With a pastry brush, lightly brush egg wash over the top side of the empanada dough. This encourages browning, but may be omitted for egg-free empanadas.
Place empanadas on a foil-lined sheet pan sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Bake Empanadas until crisp and golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes.
This recipe is easily doubled or tripled.
To Freeze Empanadas:
Prepare the recipe as instructed. After the empanadas come out of the oven, allow them to cool completely.
Flash freeze the empanadas on a rimmed baking tray in the freezer to prevent them from sticking together.
Transfer the empanadas to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag.
To reheat, place frozen empanadas in a pre-heated 350 degrees F oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Empanadas may be frozen for up to 3 months.
What kind of dough should I use to make Empanadas?
Homemade Empanada Dough: similar to pie dough, empanada dough is rolled out and cut by hand into small, typically 4-inch, circles. If you prefer to make your own dough, Laylita has a great Empanada Dough recipe.
Pre-Rolled Pie Crust: You could also opt for a pre-rolled pie crust sold in the refrigerated section. This will turn out sweeter than traditional empanada dough.
Canned biscuits or crescent rolls: pressed and rolled thin for a flakier empanada.
Empanada Dough Discs: If the grocery store near you carries them, they are in the frozen food aisle near the international foods section of the freezer case. Smaller Asian, Hispanic, and international food stores may also carry them if you are having trouble finding them.
For a spicier filling, increase the amount of cayenne to taste. I like the hint of background heat that this dish brings to the party. It's subtle and delicious.In addition to the cayenne pepper, you may also choose to omit the bell pepper and replace it with diced jalapenos. If you are not afraid of the heat, leave in the seeds and white interior veins of the jalapeno pepper. This is where the majority of the heat comes from. For a milder amount of spice, remove the seeds and white veins inside the jalapeno.