Easy Beef Empanada Recipe

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By Kristin Henry-Dallager

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Crispy pie crust stuffed with savory beef and creamy, hot cheese? Yes, please! Serve this amazing Easy Beef Empanada Recipe with guacamole for the perfect flavour combination – and they’re easy to freeze!

Empanada w: Guac 2

How to Make Easy Beef Empanadas

A detailed recipe with full quantities can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.

Step 1: Start by preheating your oven to 200°C (400°F) or 180°C fan (350°F). Line the baking sheet (you’ll use this for freezing) with parchment paper. Next, measure out all your ingredients and then dice the onions & chiles. Finally, shred your cheese if it isn’t already, and beat the egg for an eggwash you’ll use later on.

Can I Use Frozen Ground Beef?

Yes! This recipe is perfect for previously frozen ground beef. Learn how to freeze ground beef here.

Step 2: Unroll and flatten the pie crust on a hard, flat surface. Using a 3″ round pastry cutter, cut out circles. If you’ve got leftover bits, push them together, roll them out, and then cut more circles.

Cut empanada dough

Step 3: Brown your beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. This usually takes 5-6 minutes.

Brown the Beef

Step 4: Once the beef is browned, add the onions, cumin, chili powder, salt, green chiles, and pimento peppers. Saute this all together for about 2-3 minutes.

Add ingredients

Step 5: Next, stir in the tomato paste and cheese. Mix 1-2 minutes until cheese is fully melted. Remove the skillet from the heat.

stir empanada ingredients

Step 6: Using a spoon, place 2 tbsp of beef mixture in the center of each pie crust circle. Fold the dough over, then using a fork tines along the edge, seal closed each little empanada. (Freeze here if making in advance.)

Step 7: Place the empanadas in a single layer on your parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of each empanada with your egg wash and then bake them for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Egg wash empanadas

Step 8: Remove the tray from the oven and allow your empanadas to cool. Then serve warm (not hot) with guacamole.

Empanada close up


Change things up with a few tweaks …..

  • More Spices: Enhance the traditional flavor by adding spices such as smoked paprika, oregano, or garlic powder to the beef mixture.
  • Add Veg: Mix diced bell peppers, corn, or black beans into the beef for added texture and flavor.
  • Different Cheese: Experiment with different types of cheese, such as pepper jack or mozzarella.
  • More Heat!: Try doubling the green chiles to 4 oz instead of two. Or, add some chopped jalapeños and a dash of hot sauce to the filling for a spicy kick.
  • Healthier Version: Use lean ground beef or turkey and whole wheat pie crust for a healthier version of these amazing empanadas.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnishing the empanadas with freshly chopped cilantro is a family favorite in our house.
  • Different Sauces: Instead of guacamole, try serving your empanadas with salsa, sour cream, and a chimichurri sauce.
  • Eggs & Olives: Add a small slice of hard-boiled egg or a couple of green olives to the filling for a traditional Argentine touch.
  • Lime Juice: The acidity of lime can help cut through the richness of the beef and cheese, adding a fresh and vibrant flavor to the dish. Just squeeze a little juice on each empanada before you eat it.


Freeze it Again?

If you used raw frozen beef for this dish it’s okay to freeze it one more time. That’s because, generally, you can freeze food once raw and once again cooked. If you used already cooked ground beef, then we recommend not freezing it again.

Refrigerate: Cooked empanadas can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator when properly stored. Do this by placing them in an airtight container and removing as much air as possible.

Freeze: You can freeze empanadas for up to 3 months. Full freezing instructions can be found here.

Reheat: Although it’s best to freeze uncooked empanadas, here’s how to defrost leftover ones:

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then……

Oven: Reheat in an oven at 350°F until warmed through (time will vary depending on size).

– or –

Microwave: For a quick option, microwave on the defrost setting, then heat on high until warmed through, checking frequently.


Can I Use Previously Frozen Vegetables for this Dish?

Yes. Generally, you can freeze food once raw and again once cooked. Which means it’s perfect for those onions you froze fresh earlier.

Beef Empanada Recipe

0.0 from 0 votes
Course: DinnerCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


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  • 1/2 pound 225 g – Ground Beef

  • 1/4 1/4 – Onion (diced)

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp – Ground Cumin

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp – Chili Powder

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp – Salt

  • 2 oz 2 – Green Chilies (diced)

  • 4 oz 4 – Pimento Peppers

  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp – Tomato Paste

  • 1/2 cup 55 g – Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

  • 2 2 – Pie Crusts (refrigerated)

  • 1 1 – Egg (whisked)


  • Prep and Preheat
    Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) or 180°C fan (350°F). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Measure out all ingredients. Dice onion & chiles. Shred cheese.
  • Pie Crust
    Unroll and flatten pie crust. Use 3″ round pastry cutter to cut out circles.
  • Brown the Beef
    Brown beef in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Saute Ingredients
    Add onions, cumin, chili powder, salt, green chiles, and pimento peppers to skillet. Saute 2-3 minutes.
  • Tomato Paste & Cheese
    Stir in tomato paste and cheese. Mix 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Put them Together
    Spoon 2 tbsp of beef mixture onto center of each pie crust circle. Fold dough over then use fork tines along edge to seal closed. (Freeze here if making in advance.)
  • Bake
    Place in single layer on baking sheet. Brush with egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes (until golden brown).
  • Serve & Enjoy
    Serve warm with guacamole.

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