Go Back
+ servings
Empanadas Recipe - These delectable little pockets of yummy-ness can start a family tradition that your kids will remember forever.

Empanada Beef and Cheese Recipe

4 from 8 votes
Print Pin
Empanadas Recipe - These delectable little pockets of yummy-ness can start a family tradition that your kids will remember forever.
Servings: 10
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


For Empanada Dough:

  • 2 ounces vegetable shortening, melted (¼ cup lard)
  • 3 cups flour (plus more as needed for kneading and rolling out the dough)
  • 1 cup hot water

For Fillings:

  • 3 tbsp neutral oil (plus extra for baking and/or frying)
  • lbs ground beef
  • 1 red onion (finely diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup Spanish olives (minced)
  • 2 red holland chili peppers (minced *optional)
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes (minced)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp annato powder (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon chili de árbol (optional)
  • 1 pack raisin (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 oz melting cheese of your choice


For Empanada Dough:

  • In a mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients and add the melted lard or shortening, flour, and hot water. Mix it until it comes together into a smooth ball of dough, adding a little more flour if necessary. Refrigerate the dough for one hour.

For the Fillings:

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Brown the ground beef. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Next, add the olives, the chili peppers, the sun-dried tomato, the spices, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine, and let cook for an additional few minutes.
  • Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the tomato paste, stirring thoroughly to dissolve it, and let cook until the water has cooked off and the filling has thickened. Sprinkle some raisins (optional). Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Prepare the Dough:

  • Roll the dough into a ⅛-inch layer. Using a round cookie cutter in the size of your choice cut out as many rounds as you can. I'm using here my Empanada mold.
  • For each empanada, spoon filling into the middle of the dough and top with a generous amount of cheese, ensuring you have enough margin around the edge of the dough to fold it over. Brush the edges using egg wash to seal the empanada.
  • Fold in half and crimp the edges, either with a fork. Repeat these steps with all of the dough rounds.

Bake or Fry Them:

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees, if you are baking the empanadas. Brush the empanadas with oil / egg wash prior to baking, and bake for 10-15 minutes. If you are frying the empanadas, heat a small, deep pot with enough oil to submerge a couple empanadas.
  • Heat the oil to 350 degrees, and fry the empanadas until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack lined with a paper towel to drain.
  • Eat these empanadas on their own or with a nice salad!

Watch the Video:


1.) You can store uncooked empanadas in the freezer using airtight bag. Bake them in a 350° oven without thawing.
2.) If you want to bake the empanadas: Preheat the oven to 350°. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of milk. Evenly space the uncooked empanadas on 2 baking sheets and brush with the egg wash.
3.) Bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.


Nutrition Information:

Calories: 506.63kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.3g | Protein: 21.57g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 11.4g | Sodium: 372.23mg | Fiber: 1.68g | Sugar: 1.88g

Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

Did you make this?I would love seeing what you've made! Tag me on Instagram @theforkbitedotcom or leave me a comment or rating below.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Latin America
Keywords: beef and cheese empanadas, cheesy beef empanadas, empanada dough for frying, fried empanadas