Effortless Savory Empanada Beef Pie Recipe

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Sometimes good things come in small packages.  This is not one of those times, lol!  Enter my Effortless Savory Empanada Beef Pie Recipe!  It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that it’s so much easier to make then all of those individual empanadas.  But yet, it still delivers all of the familiar amazing flavors and textures in a full-on family dinner!

Need some strategies to make busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

SIMPLE SAVORY PIES

My family adores Empanadas, but they can be a bit time-consuming to make.  So, instead of a bunch of individual Empanadas, I decided to make one giant one!  I started with my Ground Beef Empanadas recipe.  And then updated it to add more filling ingredients, such as carrots, tomato puree, and ehem, cheese. 

There are many different types of savory pies that you can make just like this!  Try any of these skillet dinners and place a pie crust on top for an extra-special dinner! 

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 :).  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 small-medium pot with lid for the quinoa.

You need a large skillet or frying pan for making the beef mixture. You also need to make sure that it can go into the oven, i.e. does not have a plastic handle. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It’s also safe to go into the oven.

Mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR EMPANADA BEEF PIE RECIPE

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)

Prepping ahead for this recipe is just a few steps.

Set one pie crust dough roll out on the counter (unopened) to bring to room temperature.  You will want a good quality ready-to-bake pie crust dough.  I like Immaculate Pie Crusts, which are not overly sweet.

Peel and dice the carrot. Dice the celery. Mince the garlic. Thinly slice the scallions.  Beat the egg in a small bowl.

Can I use a frozen pie crust dough?

Yes, just make sure to put it in the fridge to thaw the night before.

COOK YOUR EMPANADA BEEF PIE 

This recipe starts out on the stove and then moves to the oven for the pie crust to cook.  As mentioned below, you need a large frying pan or skillet that is safe for the oven.

On high heat, you first start to sweat and cook the diced carrots, celery, and scallions.

Carrots and celery in skillet for Empanada Beef Pie Recipe. It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that everything cooks in one skillet!

Then add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula. Cook for 5 minutes to brown the meat.

Carrots and raw beef mixture cooking in skillet for Empanada Beef Pie Recipe. It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that everything cooks in one skillet!

Then add the minced cloves garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper, the tomato sauce, and the broth. Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and mix in the shredded cheese.

Beef mixture in skillet for Empanada Beef Pie Recipe. It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that everything cooks in one skillet!

Shredded cheese on top of beef mixture in skillet for Empanada Beef Pie Recipe. It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that everything cooks in one skillet!

Roll the dough out onto a large smooth, clean and floured surface. If needed, using a Rolling pin, roll it out to the size of your pan/skillet + 1 inch (example if your pan is 10″ then roll it out to 11″ diameter). Lift it up to ensure it isn’t sticking to the surface, then fold it in half, then in half again to make it easy to unfold over the pan.

Place the pie dough over the beef mixture. Brush the beaten egg over the top. With a knife, cut 3-4 1-inch slits in the top of the pie dough.

Beef mixture in skillet and pie crust being added to top for Empanada Beef Pie Recipe. It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that everything cooks in one skillet!

Pie crust on skillet for Empanada Beef Pie Recipe. It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that everything cooks in one skillet!

Bake in the oven, center rack, for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Effortless Savory Empanada Beef Pie Recipe

Sometimes good things come in small packages.  This is not one of those times! Enter my Effortless Savory Empanada Beef Pie Recipe!  It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that it's so much easier to make then all of those individual empanadas.  Everything cooks in a skillet starting on the stove and then baking in the oven. It's a delicious and effortless family dinner! #empanadas #beefpie #savorypies

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword easy dinners, empanadas, family dinner, ground beef
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • 1 Celery stalk
  • 1 pound Ground Beef 90% Lean no antibiotics
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil 1 for making filling, 1 for baking the empanadas
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 Scallions sliced thin
  • 8 ounces Tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup Beef Broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Egg, large
  • 1 Ready-to-bake Pie Crust dough rolls (thaw in fridge the night before if frozen)
  • 1-2 tablespoons All-purpose flour (for rolling the dough if needed)

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

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

  2. Peel and dice the carrot. Dice the celery. Mince the garlic. Thinly slice the scallions. Beat the egg in a small bowl.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees
  2. Make the ground beef filling. Preheat a large frying pan on high heat. Add 1 tsp Olive Oil, then the diced carrots, celery, and scallions. Cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula. Cook for 5 minutes to brown the meat. Then add the minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper, the tomato sauce, and the broth. Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and mix in the shredded cheese.

    Beef mixture in skillet for Empanada Beef Pie Recipe. It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that everything cooks in one skillet!
  3. Roll the dough out onto a large smooth, clean and floured surface. If needed, using a Rolling pin, roll it out to the size of your pan/skillet + 1 inch (example if your pan is 10" then roll it out to 11" diameter). Lift it up to ensure it isn't sticking to the surface. Lift it up to ensure it isn't sticking to the surface, then fold it in half, then in half again to make it easy to unfold over the pan.

  4. Place the pie dough over the beef mixture. Brush the beaten egg over the top. With a knife, cut 3-4 1-inch slits in the top of the pie dough. Bake in the oven, center rack, for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes, then cut and serve. Enjoy!

    Pie crust on skillet for Empanada Beef Pie Recipe. It has a perfect flaky, buttery pastry on the outside with a savory, smokey, salty ground beef filling.  The best part is that everything cooks in one skillet!

Recipe Notes

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

Easiest Lentils & Zucchini Cakes Recipe

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Ok, let me just say that you are about to try little savory bites of heaven!  Crispy outside, soft and warm inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are so satisfying!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note.  The scallion gives a mild onion flavor.  But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini.  Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil.

Delicious and Good for You!

Lentils are not just a vegetarian staple, they are actually VERY versatile and very healthful. They have high levels of soluble fiber. Fiber is important for helping keep cholesterol low, supporting heart health and digestive health. Lentils are also high in protein, and a good source of iron. If you are a newcomer to the world of lentils, try this recipe and I promise, you will be Loving Lentils too!  

BTW, Lentils are a great protein to make a ton of and use in different ways.  You can use in soup, in these cakes, or in my Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe.  Click here to get 30 More Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas.

Zucchini is also healthy!  I mean, obviously, it is a veggie.  But here’s how!  Zucchini is low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A.  Zucchini is also rich in antioxidants that are linked to benefits for your eyes, skin, and heart.   I love using Zucchini in my Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Zucchini recipe and my Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Chips!

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 :).  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

For shredding the zucchini, I simply used the large-hole side of a grater. You could also use a food processor with a shredding insert if you have it.

You also need a large frying pan to cook the zucchini cakes. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR ZUCCHINI CAKES RECIPE

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)

Cook the lentils on the stove in water for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain the lentils, then mash with a fork so that about 50% are mashed.
Fork mashing cooked lentils for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

While the lentils cook, finely slice the scallions. Using the large hole side of a grater, shred the zucchini. After it is all shredded, squeeze out and discard the excess water.

Add the shredded zucchini, scallions, flour, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Note: If the mixture seems too thin, add additional flour, a little at a time, until it thickens up.

Parmesan, flour, shredded zucchini and lentils in a bowl for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Can I add or swap ingredients in this recipe?

Yes, as long as you have the general measurements and include the flour and egg to bind it all together.  You can swap the Parmesan out for another cheese.  Shredded cheddar, gruyere, or manchego would all be fantastic.  You can swap out the lentils as well.  In their place you could add black beans or chickpeas.  Or you could add more of the zucchini.  You may need a tablespoon more flour if you remove a creamy bean from the recipe just to help it all hold together.

You can also add herbs, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic, and a great many other seasonings.  I kept these simple in flavor as that’s what I found my kids wanted.

Can I make this Zucchini Cakes Recipe ahead?

Yes, you can make the mixture and store it in the fridge sealed airtight for up to 3 days before cooking them.  You can also form the cakes and freeze them raw.  From the freezer, you can bake them in a 400 F degree oven for 20-30 minutes until cooked through and browned on the outside.

COOK YOUR ZUCCHINI CAKES RECIPE

Divide the mixture loosely in the bowl into 8-9 equal large cakes or 16-18 small cakes.  Add oil to a large skillet, heat to medium, add pancakes and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.

Lentil and Zucchini Cakes cooking in a frying pan. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Lentil and Zucchini Cakes starting to cook in a frying pan with center cake flipped over. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Serve with my Mind-blowing Remoulade or a Sriracha and Mayo mixture.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Lentil Zucchini Cakes Recipe

Crispy outside, soft inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are such satisfying little bites of heaven!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note.  The scallion gives a mild onion flavor.  But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini.  Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil. They make a perfect main dish or side! #zucchinicakes #lentilrecipes #zucchinirecipes #vegetarian

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword Lentils, zucchini
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 cakes
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large zucchini 2 cups grated
  • 1/4 cup scallion finely sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked lentils drained cook according to directions on bag
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • ½ cup parmesan freshly grated
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Cook the lentils by adding 1/2 cup of uncooked lentils to 2 cups of water and 1 tsp salt. Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat to lowest setting, cover and let cook for 15 minutes until tender.

  2. While the lentils cook, finely slice the scallions. Using the large hole side of a grater, shred the zucchini. After it is all shredded, squeeze out and discard the excess water.

  3. Drain the lentils and then transfer to a large bowl. Mash the lentils with a fork so that about 50% are mashed. Add the shredded zucchini, scallions, flour, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Note: If the mixture seems too thin, add additional flour, a little at a time, until it thickens up.

    Parmesan, flour, shredded zucchini and lentils in a bowl for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.
  4. Divide the mixture loosely in the bowl into 8-9 equal large cakes or 16-18 small cakes.

Cook the Lentil and Zucchini Cakes!

  1. Add oil to a large skillet, heat to medium, add pancakes and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.
    Lentil and Zucchini Cakes starting to cook in a frying pan with center cake flipped over. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.
  2. Serve with my Mind-blowing Remoulade or a Sriracha and Mayo mixture.