Easiest Ground Beef Empanadas

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Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan.  Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

What’s not to love about Empanadas?  They are little savory pastry pockets of love!  These Ground Beef Empanadas recipe is the absolute easiest way to make these babies at home!  Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  You can make them all ahead and freeze so you can later bake them off one by one as a snack or all at once for dinner or a party!  And incredibly easy to make with only a few steps.  

These Ground Beef Empanadas are also a great way to use leftover ground beef from Taco night or leftover burgers.  Click here to get 30 Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas to give you even more ideas like this.

Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Apps for Dinner

Every once in a while we have a Smorgasbord dinner in my family.  It’s where I serve a bunch of appetizers across protein, veggie, and other categories.  ‘Other’ is just whatever we are craving or have in the house that’s fun and yummy. 

These Ground Beef Empanadas are perfect for filling the Protein category in a Smorgasbord Dinner!  Other proteins that I may include are my Baked Chicken Taquitos or my Hanky Panky Canapes (Cheesy Sausage & Meat).  My Baked Coconut Shrimp would also be perfect!

For the Veggie category, I will typically cut up some raw veggies and serve with a dip, such as my Sriracha Hummus or Pimento Olive Ranch Dip.  Other great veggie appetizers are my Baked Parmesan Zucchini Chips or my Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites (yep, just like the shrimp, but with cauliflower!)

The ‘Other’ category includes things like cheese and crackers, chips and guacamole, or other fun nibbles.  Include things you love and make it fun!

Making Ground Beef Empanadas - crust rounds with filling in center, beef filling in dish, and empanada on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Nothing special for this one! Just a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11) and a 4 3/4 inch diameter circle for cutting the empanadas from the dough. You could use a plastic lid, and large circle biscuit cutter or anything really that you can run a knife around to cut the dough.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR GROUND BEEF EMPANADAS

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

One of the best things about these Ground Beef Empanadas is that they can be made ahead and frozen before baking them.  They will last in your freezer for up to 4 months!  Here are the easy steps.

First, buy a good quality ready-to-bake pie crust dough.  I like Immaculate Pie Crusts, which are not overly sweet.

Making Ground Beef Empanadas - pie crust dough roll, beef filling in dish. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Mince the garlic. Thinly slice the scallions. Beat the egg in a small bowl.

Next make the ground beef filling.  I used a 90% lean ground beef without antibiotics.  Simply sear the beef with 2 minced cloves garlic, 2 sliced scallions, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper.

Ground Beef in pan with seasonings for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

ASSEMBLE YOUR EMPANADAS

Roll the dough out onto a large smooth, clean and floured surface. Using a Rolling pin, roll it even thinner to spread it out to about 15-16″ in length and 11″ in width. If it breaks as you open or roll it, simply patch it back up together. Lift it up to ensure it isn’t sticking to the surface.

Using a lid or large biscuit cutter about 4 3/4″ in diameter, cut circles into the dough. When you run out of space, roll out the scraps again after you make the first batch. You should get about 8 empanadas from each pie crust.

Circles cut into dough for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Take the cooled beef filling and add a heaping spoonful to the center of each circle, creating a tall mound that leaves about 3/4″ space from filling to edge.

Pie crust dough circles with beef filling in center for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Using your finger or small pastry brush, brush a small amount of the beaten egg around the outer edge of the right half of the circle.

Using both hands, carefully fold over one side using the other hand to push the filling inside away from the edge so that you get dough on dough to seal. Push down to seal with fingers. Then use a fork to crimp around the edge.

Brushing milk around dough with finger for Ground Beef Empanada closed. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Hand pressing Ground Beef Empanada closed. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Fork pressing edges around Ground Beef Empanada. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Place each empanada on an oiled sheet pan. Brush the tops with the egg and then give a very light sprinkle of chili powder. Now, either bake them (see below) or place the sheet pan in the freezer and then transfer the empanadas to a storage container after frozen.Hand sprinkling chili powder on Ground Beef Empanada. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Raw Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Raw Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan in freezer. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

COOK YOUR GROUND BEEF EMPANADAS 

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.  Place the empanadas (fresh or frozen) on an oiled sheet pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling. Hand holding a Ground Beef Empanada with more on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Hands holding a Ground Beef Empanada with more on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

ENJOY! 😍 Carrie

 

Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
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Easiest Ground Beef Empanadas

These Ground Beef Empanadas are delicious and easy to make!  Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling. Simply start with ready-to-bake pie crust dough, cut out circles, make the filling with lean ground beef, then fill, fold, and seal! You can freeze them up to 4 months or bake immediately and enjoy! #empanadas #appetizers #easydinners #easyrecipes #beefempanadas

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword empanadas, ground beef
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Filling Cooling Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 Empanadas
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 Ready-to-Bake Pie Crust Rolls (thaw in fridge the night before if frozen)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef, 90% Lean no antibiotics
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil (1 for making filling, 1 for baking the empanadas)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 Scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg, large

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Set the pie crust dough out on the counter (unopened) to bring to room temperature.

  2. Mince the garlic. Thinly slice the scallions. Beat the egg in a small bowl.

  3. Make the ground beef filling by first preheating a medium-large pan on high heat. Add 1 tsp Olive Oil, then the ground beef. Break up the beef and add the minced cloves garlic, sliced scallions, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and a touch of cayenne (optional).  Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool in the fridge.

    Ground Beef in pan with seasonings for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  4. Roll the dough out onto a large smooth, clean and floured surface. Using a Rolling pin, roll it even thinner to spread it out to about 15-16" in length and 11" in width. If it breaks as you open or roll it, simply patch it back up together. Lift it up to ensure it isn't sticking to the surface.

  5. Using a lid or large biscuit cutter about 4 3/4" in diameter, cut circles into the dough. When you run out of space, roll out the scraps again after you make the first batch. You should get about 8 empanadas from each pie crust.

    Circles cut into dough for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  6. Take the cooled beef filling and add a heaping spoonful to the center of each circle, creating a tall mound that leaves about 3/4" space from filling to edge.

    Pie crust dough circles with beef filling in center for Ground Beef Empanadas. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  7. Using your finger or small pastry brush, brush a small amount of the beaten egg around the outer edge of the right half of the circle.

    Brushing milk around dough with finger for Ground Beef Empanada closed. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  8. Using both hands, carefully fold over one side using the other hand to push the filling inside away from the edge so that you get dough on dough to seal. Push down to seal with fingers. Then use a fork to crimp around the edge.

    Fork pressing edges around Ground Beef Empanada. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.
  9. Place each empanada on an oiled sheet pan. Brush the tops with the egg and then give a very light sprinkle of chili powder. Now, either bake them (see below) or place the sheet pan in the freezer and then transfer the empanadas to a storage container after frozen.

    Raw Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan in freezer. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

Bake your Empanadas

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees

  2. Place the empanadas (fresh or frozen) on an oiled sheet pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

    Ground Beef Empanadas on a pan. Flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.

 

Five 5-Ingredient Dinners You Can Freeze with Grocery List

When life deals you a tough hand, such as – just throwing this out there as an example – a Pandemic-forcing-you-to-change-your-life-and-stay-inside-your-home 🙄, it’s an opportunity to simplify and focus on the positive.  One positive is that you can have more dinners with your family!  To help you plan, prepare, and serve EASY family dinners, here I have 5-Ingredient Dinners that can be frozen WITH a Grocery List!  

When it comes to dinners, look to comforting and simple, not fancy and complicated.  You may not be able to get to the grocery store often, so simple ingredients and dinners that you can freeze ahead are so important to your sanity.  These 5-Ingredient Dinners are perfect for this.  

5-Ingredient Dinners You Can Freeze!

When it comes to simple dinners, leaning on your pantry and freezer can be a huge help!  For each of the 5-Ingredient Dinners below, I have added in freezer instructions.  Make sure that you label anything that you place in the freezer with the following information:

  • Name/Description – try to label as detailed as possible
  • Ingredients – 4 months later, you may not remember what you put into that sauce
  • Date – this should be the date that you place it into the freezer

But the freezer can be used for so much more than storing fully prepared casseroles and meals!  The freezer can be a huge friend in the kitchen, helping you to keep fresh veggies, meats, and so much more on hand.  Be sure to check out the full printable cheat sheet with 10 Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

5 Recipes, 5 Ingredients Each, 1 Grocery List

Because you can so easily make all of these recipes and freeze them, I’ve gone ahead and prepared a consolidated grocery list here for you!  Please note, I have not included Salt, Pepper, or Olive Oil in the ‘5-Ingredients’.  I have also listed a couple ingredients as optional.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD LISTS

Five, 5-Ingredient Dinners you can freeze with grocery list Five, 5-Ingredient Dinners you can freeze with grocery list

 

Your 5-Ingredient Dinners

1.  Easy Meatloaf without Breadcrumbs!

Close up picture of sliced meatloaf with ketchup on top. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don’t have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist – and it’s gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

Freezer:  Meatloaf freezes so well raw.  For this recipe, simply double the ingredients and make 2 meatloaves.  Cook one to enjoy right away.  Make the second meatloaf and freeze raw.  It will last up to 4 months in the freezer.  When you go to cook the frozen meatloaf, place it directly into the oven from freezer.  Add 20-30 minutes to the cooking time.  Use a thermometer to ensure the center is cooked to 160 F degrees.

 2. Pancetta, Parmesan, & Pepper Pasta

Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta on plate with fork holding bite. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

This 30-Minute Quick & Easy Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta is a creamy, peppery, and absolutely delicious pantry dinner.  The Pancetta is diced to give a salty and slightly peppery flavor and meatiness in every bite. The Parmesan cheese creates this nutty, salty, and creamy sauce coating every piece of pasta. And last, but not least, the ground black pepper gives that peppery flavor that really makes this pasta stand out.

Freezer:  For this recipe, rather than freeze the entire dish, you will be freezing some of the ingredients so that you can make it anytime!  The Pancetta (diced), Grated Parmesan Cheese, and Minced Garlic can all be frozen separately.  When you go to cook this recipe, the pancetta and minced garlic can added to the hot pan directly from the freezer.  The parmesan cheese just needs to be loosened a bit in it’s container by either shaking it or using a fork. 

3.  Chicken & Cheese Corn Tortilla Quesadillas

Hand holding Chicken Corn Tortilla Quesadilla triangle with melty cheese pulling. They have crispy edges, a soft gooey center, and are mouthwatering flavor. They have hearty shredded chicken flavored with warm and smoky Mexican spices. Then shredded Pepper Jack cheese and Cheddar is layered to get melty and oozy and delicious. It's an irresistible new easy dinner or appetizer idea. #quesadillas #mexicanfood #enchiladas #familydinner #chicken

If Chicken Enchiladas and Cheese Quesadillas had a baby, it would be these incredible Corn Tortilla Quesadillas! With crispy edges, a soft gooey center, and mouthwatering flavor, they will become your new obsession. I filled these with hearty shredded chicken, flavored with warm and smoky Mexican spices. Then layered in shredded Pepper Jack cheese and Cheddar that gets so melty and oozy and delicious.

Freezer:  For these quesadillas, you can assemble them and then freeze them flat on a sheet pan.  Once frozen, I wrap them individually in aluminum foil so that they don’t stick together.  Then cook them directly from freezer without thawing them first.  You may need to add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time to ensure that they get crispy on the outside.

4.  Easy Sesame Sweet Chili Chicken

Sesame Sweet Chili Chicken cooked and sliced on a plate with rice and cilantro. It is slightly sweet, tangy, savory, nutty, with a touch of heat. You can prepare it days ahead, it takes just minutes to prepare, minutes to cook, and everyone will love it!! #chicken #marinades #easydinner #easychicken #chickenrecipes #easysauces #healthydinner #healthyfood #healthyrecipes

This EASY Sesame Sweet Chili Chicken is quick to make and mouth wateringly yummy! The fantastic marinade and sauce is slightly sweet, tangy, savory, nutty, with a touch of heat. You can prepare it days ahead, tt takes just minutes to prepare, minutes to cook, and everyone will love it!!

Freezer:  The fantastic thing about this recipe is that you can make tons of the marinade and portion it out to freeze with the chicken for several dinners!  Be sure to freeze the chicken flat and try not to squish the chicken together.  If the chicken breasts freeze separately, they will thaw faster and more evenly.  When you want to cook it for dinner, transfer the frozen raw chicken to the fridge to thaw 24 hours in advance.  When thawed, simply follow the cooking instructions in the recipe.

5.  Super Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together.

This is one of my favorite comfort foods with a healthy twist: Super Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. It’s so good that I didn’t even get fancy here by adding any other flavors. You get cauliflower and cheese…plus some other ingredients to help it get it on. This Cheesy Cauliflower Rice is a delicious gluten free, low-carb alternative to a pasta or rice side dish.

Freezer:  Make this entire recipe and freeze it!  It’s that simple :).  Then thaw it in the fridge overnight and warm it up in the oven 350 F degrees, on the stove in a covered pot on low heat with a half cup of water, or in the microwave.  If you find that it has a bit too much liquid when reheated, you can add some parmesan cheese or shredded cheese to help thicken it.  You can also mix in some cornstarch, but be sure to cook the dish for at least another 5 minutes.