recipe

Crispy golden brown empanadas are fun to eat–and make! Recruit a sibling to help you crimp the edges of your empanadas.

safety
  • Uses a knife
  • Uses the oven
  • Uses the stovetop
difficulty
  • Advanced
time
  • 1¾ hours, plus 15 minutes cooling time (plus time to make pie dough, if making)
yield
  • Makes 10 empanadas

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Prepare Ingredients

All-­purpose flour (for sprinkling on counter)
1 recipe
Pie Dough
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon
extra-­virgin olive oil, measured separately
6 ounces
85-­percent lean ground beef
1
shallot, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon
tomato paste
2
garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon
ground cumin
¼ teaspoon
salt
¼ cup (2 ounces)
water, plus extra for shaping empanadas
½ cup
shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces)
1 tablespoon
minced fresh cilantro

Gather Cooking Equipment

  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Ruler
  • 3¾-­inch round biscuit cutter (or drinking glass with same diameter)
  • Plastic wrap
  • 10-­inch nonstick skillet
  • Wooden spoon
  • Medium bowl
  • 1-­tablespoon measuring spoon
  • Fork
  • Pastry brush
  • Oven mitts
  • Cooling rack
1
 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

 
2
 
All-­purpose flour (for sprinkling on counter)
1 recipe
Pie Dough

If using homemade Pie Dough, sprinkle flour over clean counter. Place dough on floured counter and sprinkle dough with a little extra flour. Use rolling pin to roll dough into 14-­inch circle, about ⅛ inch thick, rotating dough and reflouring counter in between rolls. (Store-bought dough is already rolled out.)

2up rolling out pie dough for empananda

Sprinkle flour over clean counter. Unwrap pie dough and discard plastic wrap. Place dough on floured counter and sprinkle dough with a little extra flour. Use rolling pin to roll dough out from center.

Turn dough a quarter turn and continue to roll out to 14-inch circle, rotating dough and reflouring counter in between rolls.

 
3
 

Using 3¾-­inch round biscuit cutter, cut out 10 rounds of dough, discarding dough scraps. Transfer dough rounds to parchment-­lined baking sheet. Cover baking sheet loosely with plastic and refrigerate while making filling.

 
4
 
1 teaspoon
extra-­virgin olive oil
6 ounces
85-­percent lean ground beef
1
shallot, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon
tomato paste
2
garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon
ground cumin
¼ teaspoon
salt

In 10-­inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Add beef, shallot, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, and salt. Cook until beef is no longer pink, about 3 minutes, stirring often with wooden spoon to break up meat.

 
5
 
¼ cup (2 ounces)
water

Carefully pour ¼ cup water into skillet and cook until mixture is thick but not dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to medium bowl and let cool slightly, then refrigerate mixture until completely cooled, about 30 minutes.

 
6
 
½ cup
shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces)
1 tablespoon
minced fresh cilantro

Once filling is chilled, use clean wooden spoon to stir in cheese and cilantro.

 
7
 

Remove baking sheet from refrigerator and discard plastic. Use 1-­tablespoon measuring spoon to place 1 tablespoon filling in center of each dough round. Shape, seal, and crimp empanadas.

3up shaping empanadas

Dip your finger in water and lightly moisten edges of each dough round.

Fold dough over filling to create half-­moon shape. Use your fingers to press edges together to seal.

Use fork to press sealed edges together to crimp dough.

 
8
 
1 tablespoon
extra-virgin olive oil

Use pastry brush to paint tops and sides of empanadas with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until empanadas are golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes.

 
9
 

Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking sheet on cooling rack and let empanadas cool on baking sheet for at least 15 minutes. Serve.