Homemade baked empanadas are full of amazing flavor stuffed with ground turkey, corn, potatoes, and can be fried instead, if desired.
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Every Christmas Eve we have a family gathering and have a huge Mexican (or at least Mexican inspired) feast. Usually we’ve gotten the empanadas from a local Mexican bakery but I wanted to be able to eat them without having to go out to that bakery. So I’ve figured out how to make baked empanadas from home.
I’ve tried making the baked empanadas a few times but the recipes I tried have never really hit the spot. I finally found a recipe off Food Network that with a little tweaking fit the bill. I really love tomatoes and potatoes but my husband prefers them with just the meat and olives. These are really simple to customize to your liking.
Need ideas on how to help your kids love new foods like empanadas? Check out my resource guide on how to make Latin American Food Kid Friendly.
I use my pie dough instead of the empanada dough she suggests. I’m sure to purists this is a sin but I know I can make this pie dough without screwing it up and I often have leftovers of it floating around in my fridge or freezer so I just use that. No need to over complicate things. If making pie dough freaks you out, go ahead and buy a couple rolls of the store bought stuff. You do what you need to do!
I made the first batch fried which were amazing! Flaky pie fried pie crust with that savory filling. Yum! They do take longer to make because I could only do one in a time in my little deep fryer but I love that little deep fryer!
Baked empanadas are easier because you can bake a whole ton at once and certainly lighter without all that deep fried goodness but they don’t have quite the same flavor as the fried version. So I leave it up to you!
What to serve with empanadas?
Other Latin American inspired recipes:
Baked or Fried Empanadas
Baked or Fried Empanadas
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 4 tsp garlic powder
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 small potatoes chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- Oil if frying
- 9 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 2/3 cups shortening
- 3/4 cup water ice cold
To make pie crust:
- In a large bowl (or in a large food processor fitted with pastry blade), combine flour and salt. Add shortening to the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or the food processor to combine the shortening with the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs.
- Add water and combine just until the mixture can be formed into a ball. Do not over mix! Separate into 4 flattened dough balls. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
To make empanada filling:
- Clean potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Microwave for about 6 minutes, until tender, turning half way through. Allow to cool slightly and then dice.
- For empanada filling, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Cook ground beef and garlic salt until beef is cooked completely. Drain the grease and remove beef to a separate container.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add the remaining spices and bell peppers and onions. Cook for about 8-10 minutes over medium heat until they begin to soften.
- Add the ground beef and diced potatoes and continue to cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured work surface till a 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 5 inch rounds and fill with a large spoonful of meat filling. Carefully fold the dough over the filling and pinch to seal. Using a fork, press the tines into the edges to completely seal them.
- If frying, heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Fry the empanadas until golden brown turning over if necessary to brown the top, about 5-7 minutes.
- If baking, heat oven to 350 degrees F and place empanadas on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is a light golden brown color.