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Easy Beef Empanadas Recipe

This Easy Beef Empanadas Recipe is the perfect appetizer loaded with ground beef, melted cheese, and seasoned to perfection with homemade taco seasoning. The dish comes together quickly using Goya empanadas wrappers. This South American and Puerto Rican dish is perfect for any gathering, including Cinco de Mayo.

beef empanadas on a white plate with white sauce and cilantro

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This recipe was originally published in 2017. It has since been updated.

What are Empanadas?

If you have never enjoyed one, then you are in for a treat! This meat-filled pastry is one of my all-time favorites.

It’s a stuffed bread pastry that can be baked or fried. The name comes from the word empanar, a Spanish word, which means to wrap bread.

It’s made with a savory dough and then stuffed with meat, vegetables, or fruit. They are well known throughout Latin America, South America, Spain, Portugal, and areas surrounding the Caribbean like Puerto Rico.

Egg Wash to glaze prior to baking or air frying

Goya Wrappers

These are my favorite wrappers to use and the only ones I use for this recipe. I grab them from a local Mexican grocer. You can try calling local stores in your area. They will likely have a substitute brand you can check out.

Goya empanada wrappers in packaging

How to Make Beef Empanadas

  1. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions to the skillet. Cook until fragrant.
  2. Add ground beef to the skillet. Season the beef with the seasonings. Using a spatula, break up the beef into small pieces. Cook the beef until browned. Add cheese and stir until melted.
  3. Lay the empanada wrappers on a flat surface. Dip a cooking brush in water. Glaze each of the empanada wrappers with the wet brush along the edges.
  4. Load the ground beef mixture into each of the empanadas. Add 1 tablespoon of beef per empanada. Do not overstuff.
  5. Close the empanadas. Use a fork to seal the empanadas along the edges by creating indents in the crust. Press the fork down into the crust along the edge of each.
  6. Glaze each with an egg wash.
  7. Bake or air fry.
cheese and beef empanadas
empanada wrappers on a cutting board

What Can I Use if I Can’t Find Empanadas Wrappers?

You can substitute with puff pastry which can be found in the frozen or refrigerated aisles in the grocery store. The cook time will remain the same.

beef and cheese empanadas
cheese and beef empanadas
beef and cheese empanadas
cheese and beef empanadas
cheese and beef empanadas
cheese and beef empanadas

Other Filling Substitutes

  • Shredded Beef
  • Chicken
  • Red Peppers
  • Green Peppers
  • Beans and Corn
  • Olives
  • Cooked Potato
  • Cream Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Apples
  • Honey
cheese and beef empanadas

How Long Will the Empanadas Last in the Fridge?

Store them in the fridge in an airtight container or sealable bag for 3-4 days.

Freezer Tips

To freeze the pastries, freeze them in an airtight container or sealable bag for 3-4 months. To reheat you can reheat them frozen.

Bake for 8-10 minutes on 350 degrees or until warm.

Air fry for 3-4 minutes on 350 degrees or until warm.

cheese and beef empanadas

Can You Make This Dish Ahead of Time

Yes, the best way to do this is to freeze the empanadas and follow the guidance above for reheating.

Dipping Sauce Suggestions

Chipotle Mayo
Salsa
Salsa Verde

What to Serve With the Dish

Keto Taco Bowls
Instant Pot Barbacoa
Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
Keto Guacamole
Shrimp Avocado Salad
Instant Pot Black Beans

person holding beef and cheese empanada

More Empanadas Recipes

Air Fryer Apple Empanadas
Shrimp and
Red Pepper Empanadas

beef and cheese empanada on a white plate
beef empanadas on a white plate with white sauce and cilantro
Print Pin
4.97 from 26 votes

Easy Beef Empanadas Recipe

This Easy Beef Empanadas Recipe is the perfect appetizer loaded with ground beef, melted cheese, and seasoned to perfection with homemade taco seasoning. The dish comes together quickly using Goya empanadas wrappers. This South American and Puerto Rican dish is perfect for any gathering, including Cinco de Mayo.
Save this recipe here.
Course Appetizer, dinner, lunch
Cuisine Argentinian, Latin American, South American
Keyword beef and cheese empanadas, beef empanadas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 empanadas
Calories 261kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 Goya Empanadas wrappers thawed
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican Blend cheese shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons water

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Instructions

Empanadas

  • Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions to the skillet. Cook until fragrant.
  • Add the ground beef to the skillet. Season the beef with the seasonings. Using a meat chopper, break up the beef into small pieces. Cook the beef until browned. Drain any excess fat. Add the shredded cheese and stir until melted.
  • Lay the empanada wrappers on a flat surface. Dip a cooking brush in water. Glaze each of the empanada wrappers with the wet brush along the edges. This will soften the crust and make it easier to roll. 
  • Load the ground beef mixture into the middle of each of the empanadas. Add 1 tablespoon of beef per empanada. Do not overstuff. Flatten out the beef mixture with a spoon.
  • Close the empanadas. Use a fork to seal the empanadas along the edges by creating indents in the crust. Press the fork down into the crust along the edge of each.
  • Add an egg to a small bowl and whisk it along with 2 teaspoons of water.
  • Use a cooking brush and glaze the top of each empanada with the egg wash.

Oven and Baking Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
  • Add the empanadas to a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool before serving.

Air Fryer Instructions

  • Spritz the air fryer basket with oil or line with air fryer parchment paper.
  • Place the empanadas in the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry on 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until crisp.

Notes

  • For the cheese I use a blend of Monterray Jack, Sharp Cheddar, and Queso Blanco.
  • If you want really gooey, cheesey empanadas, you will need to add more cheese, consider doubling the amount of cheese.
  • I often double this recipe for a crowd, the process photos above reflect doubling the recipe. Simply double every ingredient.
  • You can substitute puff pastry if you can’t find empanadas wrappers.
  • Instead of making your own seasoning, as directed in the recipe, you can purchase store-bought taco seasoning.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1empanada | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g
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Recipe Rating




Sarah

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

Happened upon empanada wrappers at the grocery store the other day (I've been looking for them forever!) and immediately thought of this recipe. Absolutely delicious and so easy to make! 100% recommend grating your own cheese for the recipe, it makes the empanadas so much more deliciously cheesy. We dipped these in TJ zhoug, guacamole, and a red pepper cream sauce, and served with Mexican street corn - SO good.

staysnatched

Wednesday 6th of January 2021

That sounds amazing! I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Annie

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

This recipe is now one of my all time favorites! SO easy and something I never would have thought to make myself but now I don’t know how I ever lived without it!! And I love that it also gives you a foundation for other delicious food since you can easily switch up the filling! And the homemade taco seasoning..seriously try it. Why would you ever waste $ on the prepackaged stuff again😂

staysnatched

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

Yes! I agree! No need for prepackaged.

Nicolina Gueriera

Sunday 20th of December 2020

Made these with puff pastry dough and they were delicious and flaky! The homemade taco seasoning is bomb and will definitely be using it on other recipes.

staysnatched

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Yay! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

Anna

Sunday 20th of December 2020

I had sworn off empanadas after an unfortunate experience in Costa Rica that I’d rather not relive 😂 but everything Brandi touches is GOLD, so I decided I’d give these a chance. They are fabulous... no surprise there. So easy, so delicious, and very customizable. Thanks for restoring my faith and love for empanadas 😂

staysnatched

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

You're welcome! I'm so glad you enjoyed these.

Kristie Ondracek

Sunday 20th of December 2020

Made these for brunch today and 5+ Stars from everyone. Already requested for Christmas and New Years Eve. Thanks for creating this recipe and helping me enjoy the air fryer even more. Great work!

staysnatched

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

You're welcome! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe.