Baked Beef EmpanadasWho does not love empanadas? They seem to be the first thing I look for when I pass a row of food trucks or walk through a food market. As usual, I tried to make these beef empanadas as healthy as possible. The dough is make of 100% whole wheat flour. The filling also uses extra lean ground beef and the empanada is baked rather than fried. I made these as an appetizer size, which are great as a quick start to a meal or you can bake a few more and have them for lunch. I also keep the freezer stocked with these because they are perfect for a quick snack when you have guests. Try these with the chimmichurri recipe I posted a while back. Enjoy!

Makes 36 small empanadas
Prep time: 20 minutes, Cooking / Baking time: 40 minutes
Empanada dough Ingredients
  • 4 cups wholewheat flour
  • 3/4 cup butter (as cold as possible)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water (as cold as possible and more if needed)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
Beef Empanadas Ingredients
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • Large frying pan
  • Baking sheet
  • Large cookie cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Food processor

Beef Empanadas Dough Method

  1. To make the dough, add the flour and salt to the food processor
  2. Chop the butter into 1″ cubes and add them to the food processor as wellButter in Flour
  3. Pulse the mixture until it looks like coarse bread crumbs
  4. Start to add the water a couple tablespoons at a time while pulsing until everything comes togetherDough Mixed
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic food wrap and put it in the fridge for at least an hour
Beef Empanadas Method
  1. Add the oil to the frying pan and turn to medium heat
  2. Add the ground beef directly to the pan and let it start to brownGround Beef in Pan
  3. Add the salt, pepper, herbs, and spices to the pan
  4. Chop the vegetables into small 1/4″ pieces and set them asideChopped Raw Vegetables
  5. Keep stirring the beef until all of it is cooked through and browned
    • This should take about 10 minutesGround Beef Browned
  6. Add the vegetables and let everything continue to cook for another 5 minutesVegetables in Pan
  7. Add the tomato puree to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan while mixing everything together
  8. Turn off the heat and let the filling cool downEmpanada Filling
  9. To make the Empanadas start by rolling out the dough to about 1/8″ thick
    • You can do this in two parts if the dough is too large
  10. Use the cooking cutter to cut out circles from the dough
    • You should have about 36 total circles
    • You can keep bringing all the left over dough together and cutting circles until all the dough is used upDough Circles
  11. Separate the filling between all the dough circles
    • Use about 1.5 tablespoons per each empanadaFilling on Empanada Dough
  12. Fold the dough in half over the fillingBeef Empanada Folded
  13. Start on one side and keep folding the dough over the edge until you have reached the other endBeef Empanadas Before Oven
    • If you prefer, you can also press the edges together with a fork
  14. Once all the Beef Empanadas are formed, brush the tops with a beaten egg
  15. Preheat the oven to 375F and bake them for about 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown on top
  16. You can also freeze the raw empanadas and bake them directly from the freezer
    • It will take about 5 minutes longer if you use this method
Estimated nutritional information per empanada

Calories 96

  • Fat 5g
  • Carbohydrates 11g
    • Fiber 2g
    • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 4g
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