Cheesy Beef Empanadas

For those of you out there who aren’t yet familiar with the empanada, here’s all you need to know: 1. They’re essentially the Spanish version of a Hot Pocket. 2. They’re fucking delicious. As you may have noticed, I’ve been on somewhat of a beef kick lately. I know, bad me. I will throw in a fish or chicken recipe soon, pinky promise. Until then, let’s focus on these killer beef empanadas. I must warn that these handheld treats may require a bit more work than most of the recipes I’ve shared thus far. Why? Pie dough, that’s why. I’ve included the easiest pie dough recipe I have in hopes that I won’t scare you off. This being said, if making dough is enticing you to run for the hills; don’t! Take your sprinting gear off and wait a damn minute. There is a simple solution and it comes in the form of store-bought pie dough. Just because I prefer to make my own doesn’t mean that your empanadas will be lesser if you don’t. The most important part is the mouth-watering filling, after all. Scroll below for this Cheesy Beef Empanada (and Easy-Peasy Pie Crust) recipe!


Here’s what you’ll need:

Empanada filling:

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp of diced jalapenos (depending on how spicy you want to go)
  • ½ cup of Monterey jack cheese, grated
  • ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Green onion for garnish (optional)

Pie Dough:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 sticks of cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 – 8 tbsp of ice water

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. On medium heat, add ground beef, onion and garlic to a large skillet. Cook until ground beef is browned. I recommend breaking up the beef, leaving as little large pieces as possible. Drain grease and return to pan.
  3. Add cumin, oregano, red peppers and chili powder and stir.
  4. Add tomato sauce and jalapenos and stir. Lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add a little bit of water to the edges of your dough before filling to help seal.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove the pan from heat and allow the beef to cool.
  8. (If you went with store-bought crust, skip to #9.) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add cold butter pieces and mix into the flour with a food processor or pastry cutter. Add 1 tbsp of water at a time, tossing the mixture with fork, until there are no dry piles left at the bottom of the bowl. Bring mixture together into a ball.
  9. With a rolling pin, roll thin and flat onto a floured surface. I cut my dough into circles by using pressing a cereal bowl down onto it.
  10. Spoon about ¼ cup of beef filling onto one half of cut out circles of dough. Add a sprinkle of Monterey jack and cheddar.
  11. Fold dough over and using a fork, close the edges be pressing to seal.
  12. Place each empanada onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  13. In a bowl, whisk egg with 1 tbsp of water. Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash over the top of each empanada.
  14. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  15. Remove from oven. Garnish with green onion and serve with a side of sour cream for dipping.

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Hey there! I’m Jennifer, the human behind Cashmere & Cocktails. I’m a food, product and travel photographer from New-Brunswick, Canada. For business inquiries, please email me at:

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