Happy Empanada Day!

Baked Empanadas
There's a day for everything, and today is no exception. We've put together another easy ground beef recipe to celebrate National Empanada Day! 

Empanadas are a fun way to combine several ingredients you may already have in your pantry with delicious 1 Source ground beef for a handheld treat that looks fancy but is super easy to make. 

Though there are a few steps, the process is really quite quick and simple:
  1. Make the filling.
  2. Fill the dough.
  3. Fold and crimp.
  4. Bake or fry. 
Onions and green bell peppers are the base of our zesty filling. We use chipotles in adobo sauce (easy to find at your local grocery store) to add a deep, smoky flavor. If your filling is too thick to combine well, add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin it out slightly. The filling should be fairly thick to hold up well in the wrapper, though, so be careful not to thin too much!
Empanada Filling
After stuffing your empanadas, you may have some filling left over. Use it up in tacos, scrambled eggs, omelettes, or queso! 

Once your empanadas are filled and folded, use a fork to crimp the edges, a perfect tool for the task! After sealing, be sure to brush with an egg wash to help the empanada crush form. Use a sharp knife or fork to make a couple of holes to allow steam to escape during cooking. 
Crimping and sealing empanadas with fork.
You know your empanadas are done perfectly when they form a deliciously golden crust on top!
Finished baked empanadas.
As with most of our recipes, you can customize this one to you or your family's likes! We use pre-made empanadas wrappers for ours, but you can make your own dough. Frozen pie crust or refrigerated crescent rolls will also work in a pinch. You can change up the flavors of your filling. We like sharp cheddar cheese, but you can use the cheese or your choice or omit entirely. We prefer our empanadas baked, but you can also give them a fry instead. And then we get into dipping sauces - SO many options here! We've included one of our favorites below, a chipotle aioli. You can flavor your aioli however you would like or try a flavored sour cream (like lime and cilantro). We also like a good salsa, such as a tomatillo salsa or even a fruit salsa. 

While you are spending a bit more time in your kitchen during this time of social distancing, give this recipe a try and let us know how you made it your own!

Easy empanadas with Chipotle aioli

10 Servings
Prep Time
30 Minutes
Cook Time
25 Minutes
Total Time
55 Minutes
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. 1 Source ground beef
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • Empanada wrappers, thawed
  • ¼ c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbsp. water)
  • Chipotle Aioli:
  • ¼ c. mayo
  • 5.33 oz. plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. adobo sauce (from the chipotle can)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a medium skillet, over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, peppers and garlic and sauté until onions are soft and almost translucent, about five minutes. Add ground beef and brown, crumbling with a spoon (about 8-10 minutes or until meat is browned and cooked through).
  3. While the ground beef cooks, combine lime juice, tomato paste, diced chipotle pepper, cumin, oregano, garlic salt and pepper. Pour over beef and stir to combine. Add 2 Tbsp. water if needed. The filling should hold together well, so be careful not to make it too thin! Cook for one minute.
  4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Spread empanada wrappers onto sheets. Add about 2 Tbsp. filling to each, leaving room around the filling to fold over and crimp. Sprinkle with cheese. Using a pastry brush or your clean finger, brush water around the edges of the wrappers. Fold over, covering the filling completely, and crimp with a fork. 
  5. Brush each empanada with egg wash, and create small holes on the top with a knife or fork to allow steam to vent. Place in preheated oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. 
  6. While the empanadas bake, combine aioli ingredients. Serve and enjoy with warm empanadas!
Note: You will likely have some filling left over - it's great in tacos, scrambled eggs or as an addition to queso! 

Written By

Jill Turley, MS, RD/LD

Jill Turley is the Chief Creative Officer at Real Noshes. She is a registered dietitian, joyous eater, lover of the kitchen and fan of keeping life simple. She resides in Northwest Arkansas and is mom to a four-year-old whackadoodle and equally whacky bernedoodle. Follow her food adventures on Instagram @realnoshes and check-out www.realnoshes.com for more resources and kitchen fun.


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