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These tasty and convenient Latin-American-style turnovers can be frozen for up to three months, individually wrapped in plastic and placed in resealable plastic bags. There's no need to thaw before baking, they can go right from the freezer to the oven.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Source: Everyday Food, April 2004


For the Filling

  • 2 pounds ground pork or beef
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, minced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) tomatoes, diced
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For the Dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water (do not beat until ready to bake)


  1. Make the filling: In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, cook meat until no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces, 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Add onion and jalapenos; cook until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder and tomatoes. Cook over medium until mixture has thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in cilantro. Let cool.

  3. Make the dough: In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your fingers, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add just enough cold water so dough comes together.

  4. Form empanadas. If desired, freeze on a baking sheet until firm, 2 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic; freeze in plastic bags.

  5. To bake fresh or frozen empanadas, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush tops with egg wash, avoiding crimped edges. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 30 to 40 minutes.

Reviews (6)

  • littlefeetoffury 10 May, 2012

    Another great recipe from! I didn't use the jalapenos in my version, and I added whole kernal corn to mine. Next time I plan on adding sauteed bell peppers as well! My boyfriend, who is a very "meat & potatoes" kind-of-guy, went absolutely crazy for these! The dough recipe provided is just perfect!

  • annie_cz 5 Nov, 2011

    Simply the best. They are perfect for the freezer.
    In summertime I reheat them in an aluminium foil over the BBQ

  • JLA 8 Oct, 2008

    These are really good! I'm not very good at rolling out the dough and they don't look very pretty but they taste great.

  • mg0nzalez 29 Jun, 2008

    Really good!!! I made these with a Filipino Lumpia filling instead of the filling in the recipe. i made these for my husband who works in construction, they're perfect for him to take for lunch. :)

  • CeciliaMaria 23 Apr, 2008

    Try this recipe using cornmeal. It is delicious! Add a little bit of milk when you are preparing this dough. Your empanadas will be more crunchy.

  • kudani 22 Apr, 2008

    You can also use frozen pie crusts (Trader Joe's has the best in a pinch for time) which will make this dish fast and delicious!

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