A Flavorful Mexican Hand Pie Recipe for Delectable Beef and Cheese Empanadas

The delectable Mexican hand pies known as empanadas are filled with a fusion of flavors and have a flaky, buttery crust. The beef and cheese empanadas stand out among the selections as a traditional and flavorful favorite. Originally from California, my passion for Mexican food grew when I moved to Texas and was introduced to the diverse range of Tex-Mex flavors. Today, I’m thrilled to provide a straightforward but delectable recipe for beef and cheese empanadas that perfectly encapsulates Mexican comfort cuisine.

The savory Filling: The savory filling that forms the basis of these empanadas is composed of ground beef, onions, garlic, and jalapenos that have been perfectly cooked with a combination of tangy spices. The meat acquires an unmistakably Mexican flavor through the addition of chili powder, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder. Two types of cheese—Pepper Jack and sharp cheddar—are added to the mixture to enhance the flavor profile even more. Every bite is enhanced by this combination’s wonderful richness and gooey sweetness.

Making Empanadas is Simple: These empanadas are surprisingly easy to make, which makes them a great choice for evening dinners or spectacular appetizer buffets. A few crucial elements in the procedure work in unison to produce a delicious end product.

  1. Cook the Beef: In a big skillet or cast iron pan, brown the ground beef, onions, jalapenos, and spices. A wonderful perfume fills the kitchen while the meat cooks, turning from pink to a delicious brown. To intensify the flavors even more, add garlic. After removing excess grease, add tomato sauce to the skillet along with the previously cooked components to create the filling’s savory base.
  2. Fill the Empanadas: Filling empanadas includes putting a tiny bit of cheese in the middle of each dough circle, which is a creative task. The meat mixture is then generously spooned on top, and cheese is then sprinkled on top once again. To ensure a tight closure, lightly moisten the dough’s edges. Then, fold it over and use a fork’s tines to crimp the edges. The classic half-moon shape of the empanada is produced by this procedure.
  3. The Egg Wash: Making an egg wash is the last step before baking. A glossy mixture is made by whisking a sizable egg with a tablespoon of water, and it gives the baked empanadas a lovely golden sheen.
  4. Perfect Baking: The empanadas are arranged on a baking sheet and liberally coated with egg wash before being put in a 425°F preheated oven. The empanadas turn into golden pockets of delight in just 15 minutes, their flaky crust beckoning you to take a bite.

Tips and Variations: Keep in mind the following essential advice to make perfect empanadas:

  • To give the steak the most taste, season it properly.
  • Lightly moisten the dough’s edges to prevent oversaturation.
  • To avoid leaks, don’t overfill the empanadas.
  • To get diverse flavors, try experimenting with variations such ground turkey or chorizo.
  • Reduce the spiciness by leaving out the red pepper flakes and jalapenos.
  • Examine different kinds of cheese, such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Queso Fresco.

These beef and cheese empanadas are adaptable treats that may be eaten in a variety of contexts. They shine when served as appetizers with your preferred dipping sauces. Include them on a menu that includes traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, fajitas, burritos, and Mexican rice. Additionally, empanadas are a wonderful complement to Taco Tuesday, giving the custom a distinctive touch.

Storage and reheating: If you have any leftover empanadas, they can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days. Put them in a freezer-safe container after individually wrapping them in plastic wrap to extend their shelf life. Simply lay the empanadas on a baking sheet, wrap them in foil, and reheat them for 10 minutes at 300 degrees.

The process of making beef and cheese empanadas demonstrates the enchantment of Mexican food, showing how basic components can be combined to make intense flavors. These hand pies represent the rich history of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine more than just as a meal. These empanadas will quickly become a favorite in your kitchen, whether you eat them as a snack, an appetizer, or a main course. Therefore, don your aprons and go out on a culinary journey to discover the heart and soul of Mexican comfort food.


  1. Q: What is the filling made of?
    A: The filling consists of ground beef, onions, garlic, jalapenos, spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder), and two types of cheese (Pepper Jack and sharp cheddar).
  2. Q:How are the empanadas assembled?
    A: The empanadas are filled by placing a bit of cheese in the center of each dough circle, then spooning the meat mixture on top. More cheese is sprinkled on before folding the dough, crimping the edges with a fork to create the classic half-moon shape.
  3. Q: How is the golden sheen achieved on the empanadas?
    A: An egg wash made by whisking a sizable egg with a tablespoon of water is brushed onto the empanadas before baking to give them a glossy golden appearance.
  4. Q: Can I adjust the level of spiciness?
    A: Yes, you can reduce the spiciness by omitting the red pepper flakes and using fewer jalapenos if desired.
  5. Q: Can I use other types of cheese?
    A: Absolutely! The recipe suggests trying different cheeses like Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Queso Fresco for a variety of flavors.
  6. Q: How should leftover empanadas be stored?
    A: Leftover empanadas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  7. Q: Can I freeze empanadas?
    A: Yes, you can freeze empanadas by individually wrapping them in plastic wrap, then placing them in a freezer-safe container. Reheat by baking at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.
  8. Q: Are there any recommended side dishes for serving with empanadas?
    A: Empanadas can be served as appetizers with dipping sauces or alongside traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, fajitas, burritos, and Mexican rice.
  9. Q: Can I experiment with different types of meat?
    A: Yes, you can experiment with variations like ground turkey or chorizo to create diverse flavors.
  10. Q: How long does it take to bake the empanadas?
    A: The empanadas are baked at 425°F for about 15 minutes until they turn golden and the crust becomes flaky.

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