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Tender, flaky crust surrounding a hearty mixture of warmly-spiced ground beef and vegetables: beef empanadas are perfect little appetizers and great for any occasion.
Makes about 36
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 lb. ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
2 small red bell peppers, seeded, chopped
3 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 tsp. sugar
½ cup peas
½ cup corn
3 packages (12 each) Puff Pastry Dough for Turnovers/Empanadas
½ cup pitted green olives, rinsed well, cut in half lengthwise
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large pot over high. Cook beef, breaking up with a spoon, until browned but not completely cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in pan as possible.
Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, bell peppers, and remaining 1 tbsp. oil, stirring, until tender but not browned, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper. Add cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and reserved beef along with any accumulated juices to pot. Stir in sugar, 4 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 15–20 minutes; taste and season with salt and black pepper, if needed. Stir in the peas and the corn. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and chill at least 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°. Let dough sit at room temperature 15 minutes to temper. Remove 6 rounds from package, keeping plastic divider underneath, and arrange on a work surface. Place 2 tbsp. filling in the center of each round. Top with 2 olive halves. Brush water around half of outer edge of each round. Using plastic divider to help you, fold round over filling and pinch edges to seal. Using a fork, crimp edges. Remove plastic and transfer empanada to a parchment-lined sheet tray, spacing 1″ apart. Repeat with remaining rounds (you’ll get about 12 empanadas on each tray).
Bake empanadas, rotating tray halfway through, until golden brown and slightly darker around the edges, 25–35 minutes.