Cheesy Beef Empanadas

Sabado Mexicano

Yet another appetizer – I told you I am in a rut!

I always like to have an array of foods for my guests. Different flavors for varying palates, a selection of textures to feast on and an assorted presentation for the eyes to gaze on while grazing. I mean come on, soft music in the background, overheard bits of neighborhood gossip coming from the corners and the gulps of flowing booze makes for a great party but hey, it’s the food that really matters, right. And as long as everyone is grazing, as we call it down here, then everyone’s having a good time.

Today’s recipe is another favorite, meat filled pockets with a Mexican flair makes an outstanding addition to the table. The best part is they can be made weeks ahead, frozen and baked just before serving. Enjoy!

Cheesy Beef Empanadas
makes about 6 dozen

Cream Cheese Pastry
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 packages (12 oz total) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all purpose flour
2 egg yolks
4 teaspoons cold milk

Cheesy Meat Filling
1 pound lean ground beef (chicken or turkey works fine)
1 -1.5 oz package spaghetti sauce mix
1/4 cup minced onion
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Salt to taste
Mexican seasoning if desired
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Prepare the pastry dough the day before making. Mix butter, cream cheese, salt and flour to form a soft dough. The egg yolks and milk will be used when baking. Chill dough overnight wrapped in wax paper. When ready to prepare and after filling has cooled, break off part of the dough and roll it out paper-thin on a floured surface. Keep remaining dough chilled in the refrigerator. Use a 2 or 3 inch round cookie cutter and cut out the dough. Place a small amount of filling on one side of the round, fold over and crimp edges with fork tines. Continue rolling out dough and making the empanadas. The unbaked pastries may be frozen at this time. When ready to bake, slightly thaw and brush the tops with the wash using the egg yolks and milk. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for about 20 minutes if completely thawed or a bit longer if partially frozen.

To make the filling, brown the beef in a skillet, drain off any fat and stir in the next 5 ingredients. I sometimes add Mexican seasoning for added flavor. Simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the two cheeses. Let cool before filling the empanadas.


  1. I like that these can be made ahead and frozen-- I'm thinking they'd be a great treat to have out for Monday night football!

  2. Drick your so-called ruts are better than most people's new ideas!

  3. I have never made cream cheese pastry! I have to try it. I can use vegetarian ground "meat" instead of beef for the filling. This is a great recipe. Thanks Drick:)

  4. I actually heard about these from a friend that told me that I would love these, and this recipe sounds so good since hers is fried and I have to watch my Cholestral now :( and easy to I have a reason to try them.. thanks cant wait to make these! Drick!

  5. Empanadas are a favorite of mine, but I have never made them....Not sure why..BUT I really want to now!

  6. Whah....must be some of the rare times you bake. I only remeber your shrimps anyway....haha. These looks very good as starter. Looks like Malaysian curry puffs. Keep cooking & baking!

  7. Can freeze ahead! Great idea party food.

  8. I love empanadas but I have never had a cheesy one...more reason to try this recipe out!! Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Cream cheese pastry sounds interesting! Must save up the recipe for later use. Thanks so much! You're getting there.... a pro baker! hehe... Have fun! Cheers.


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