- All-purpose flour 550 grams (4¼ cups)
- Milk 360 ml (1½ cups) • 49 kcal
- Sugar 1 tbsp (15 ml) • 470 kcal
- Salt 1 tsp (5 ml) • 1 kcal
- Yeast 7 grams (2¼ teaspoon)
- Oil 2 tsp (10 ml)
- Mince beef 500 grams
- Onions 2, diced
- Pepper ½ tsp
- Carbonated water 50 ml (⅕ cup)
Beef Empanadas are a fun and tasty homemade snack to make with kids in the kitchen. Make your own yeasted dough, beef mince filling and fry them to perfection!
What's an empanada? Where does it come from?
Empanadas are meat-filled pockets originally from Latin American and Southern European countries like Spain, Portugal, Colombia, and Mexico. They’re also common in Indonesia and the Philippines.
An empanada consists of a flaky dough pastry around some sort of filling, usually made with ground beef. They sometimes contain vegetables like peas and carrots as well. Other versions contain potatoes.
Ingredients to Make Homemade beef Empanadas
This recipe for beef empanadas is a straight-forward and traditional way to make the street food treats. You’ll need the following ingredients for the empanada dough:
- All-purpose flour
- White granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- Instant dry yeast
- Canola oil
For the beefy filling, you’ll use:
- Minced beef
- Freshly grated black pepper
- Carbonated water
How To Prepare the Dough
Empanada dough contains yeast, so after you mix the ingredients together ot form a ball, you’ll need to let the dough rise for an hour. After an hour (preferably somewhere warm, like an oven that’s turned off), the dough will be doubled in volume and full of air bubbles. From here, punch the dough down to “degas” it and knead it a few times on a work surface.
Then shape the dough into individual balls for the empanadas and let it rest while you prepare the beef filling. If the dough ever becomes tough or difficult to work with, let it rest for a few minutes.
Can I Make the Dough Ahead of Time?
You can prepare the dough in advance and freeze it until you’re ready to use it. Simply make the dough and place it in an airtight container in the freezer before the first rise. When you’re ready to prepare the empanadas, let the dough come to room temperature. It will rise, but it make take two or more hours. Once the dough is puffy and defrosted, continue with the recipe as written.
How to make it Empanadas: Step-by-Step Instructions
Start by making the dough. In a large bowl, combine the milk, sugar, and yeast. Whisk well to combine.
Add the oil and salt, then fold in the all-purpose flour. Mix with a spoon until the dough comes together into a ball.
Knead the dough a few times then shape it into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour. The dough should double in volume.
Transfer the risen dough to a flat work surface and knead until flexible and soft.
Divide the dough into equal portions with a pastry cutter or a knife.
Roll each piece of dough into a round ball. Then flatten with a rolling pin and let the dough rest while you make the filling.
Heat oil in a large, flat skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook browned and softened. Remove the onions from the pot to a bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the minced beef, cooked onion, raw diced onion, salt and pepper. Add carbonated water and mix with a spoon to combine thoroughly.
Fill each piece of dough with a tablespoon of beef filling.
Pinch the dough pocket closed to seal the filling inside.
Heat a shallow skillet with a couple inches of cooking oil over medium high heat. When hot, add as many empanadas as comfortably fit into the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides, flipping halfway through.
As they cook, transfer the empanadas to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until cooked through and puffy. Enjoy!
How to store and Freeze Empanadas
You can easily make beef empanadas ahead of time and freeze them for later. Simply bake the pockets as directed in the recipe. Then let them cool fully to room temperature before arranging on a baking sheet and placing it in the freezer for one hour. When he empanadas are fully frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to three months.
To enjoy the empanadas, let them thaw fully in the refrigerator overnight. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange the empanadas on a baking sheet. Heat through in the oven until crisp and hot.
- Pour the milk into a bowl, add sugar, yeast and mix.
- Add oil, salt, flour, and mix.
- Shape the dough. Wait an hour.
- Shape the dough and divide into several small balls and flatten.
- Add chopped onion in a pan until golden brown.
- Add the fried onion to the meat. Add more raw chopped onion, salt, pepper and mix well.
- Add sparkling water and mix again.
- Place a spoon of the meat mixture on one of the dough disks. Cover the meat well and mold.
- Place the empanadas in a saucepan with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes, turning over once.
- The place the empanadas on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 175ºC (347ºF).