Empanadas are a stuffed bread or pastry that are filled and then baked or fried. They are very popular in a lot of Latin cuisine. They are very simple to make as they just require folding the dough around your filling and then sealing it closed. The best part of making empanadas is that you can literally put ANYTHING in them. Other ideas for filling include pulled pork, just cheese, pulled chicken, etc.
I wish I would have taken photos of the process for these to come together. They were so delicious and fun to make. I baked mine because I was making a lot and wanted them all to be finished at the same time. It’s also healthier. They freeze really well so make the whole batch and throw them in the freezer. Also, do not skip the sauce!
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 12 ounces of grated mozzarella
- 4 ounces of queso fresco
- seasoning to taste for the beef (achiote, salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.)
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water whisked together to use as egg wash to brush on empanadas
Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan over medium low heat, add the diced onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add and cook the beef on medium heat until it is fully cooked; stir frequently to help break up the pieces of beef. Add seasoning.
Mix the grated mozzarella with the crumbled queso fresco.To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the cheese mix topped with a spoonful of the beef to the center of each empanada disc. Fold the empanada discs and gently seal the edges with your fingers. Use a fork to press down on the edges.
Chill the empanadas for at least an hour – this will help them seal better and prevent leaks. This is especially needed if you are baking the empanadas.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Also, brush the empanadas with egg wash right before baking to give them a nice golden glow. Bake the empanadas for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Serve the empanadas with avocado sauce below.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 4 limes, juiced – a little over ½ cup of juice
- 1 medium sized bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 2-3 jalapeños, seeded and deveined
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a blender; it helps the blending process if the avocados are in small chunks and the cilantro is lightly chopped. Blend until you have a smooth sauce. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.