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.

Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

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Chili Mac and Cheese on a plate with fork.  This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

This Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is a no-apologies meal that layers indulgence on top of indulgence and then garnishes with a bit more indulgence.  It has a super creamy and cheesy curly pasta on the bottom that lays a perfect foundation.  Then it’s topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili filled with tomatoes, onions, and carrots for layers of sweet and savory flavors.  Both the mac and cheese and the chili are super easy to make.  They can be made ahead and then reheated, making them great for weeknight dinners. 

This recipe is also a great one to make directly from your freezer and pantry!  The chili can be cooked ahead and frozen to pull out, warm, and add to mac and cheese any time you want!  Click here to get lots more Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

Scooping Chili out of pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Substitutes – Because you don’t have time to worry!

With our crazy schedules and limited time, you sometimes have to make do with whatever you have in the house, so here are your swaps and substitutes!

Chili Subs

  • Ground Beef – you can easily sub with ground turkey or chicken here!  I use 90% lean beef, but you can use any fat content.  You can also ADD chorizo or ground pork.
  • Seasonings – Feel free to use a Chili Spice mix you like, just taste for salt and pepper.  Paprika and Cayenne are optional, but I find they really boost the smokiness and give a bit of heat.  You can also add more of both of these!
  • Veggies – I use mirepoix for this recipe – onion, carrot, and celery – which bring the right amount of sugar and flavor.  You could eliminate the carrot and celery, but the onion is a must as it brings so much flavor!  You can also add in green or red pepper!

Mac and Cheese Subs

  • Pasta – I suggest using a short-cut curly pasta, such as Rotini, Fusilli,  or Riccioli.  These will hold the cheese and chili in every nook and cranny.  You can also use tube-cut pastas, such as Penne, Rigatti, or even elbows.  Frankly, any pasta will taste great, if you don’t have any of these!
  • Cheese – I prefer to shred my own aged cheddar for homemade mac and cheese.  I find that a little goes a long way for deep cheesy flavor and it melts perfectly smooth and creamy!  Any cheddar you have on hand can be used for shredding.  You could also use Fontina, Monterey Jack.  You can also use a pre-shredded cheese.

Here are a couple other comforting family dinners to try:  Shell Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage and Kale  or Easy Cottage Pie with Beef & Chorizo!

Chili Mac and Cheese on a plate with fork. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

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

You need 2 pots for this recipe, unless you make the Chili a day or more ahead. For the Chili, you need a large (5-6 quart) pot with lid that can go from the stove to the oven. My prized possession dutch oven was perfect for this! Or any good quality enameled cast iron 5-6 quart dutch oven with lid is great. For the pasta, any large pot to boil the water and cook the pasta will work!

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR CHILI MAC AND CHEESE 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… (Full recipe below!) 

For this recipe, you can either just prep the veggies and seasonings or make the Chili entirely ahead, as it reheats perfectly!  In fact, you can make it months ahead and freeze too!

For the veggies…Dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Remove the skin and mince the garlic cloves. 

Diced onion, celery, and carrots Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Measure out your seasonings and spices, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, and Paprika.

Spices for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

If your cheese is not shredded, you can also shred that ahead of time.

At this point, you can either make the chili in advance and store it in the fridge/freezer or you can stop for today and pick up cooking in the next couple days! 

COOK YOUR CHILI! 

Preheat your dutch oven or large pot (with lid) on high. Drizzle in a tsp of Olive Oil and then add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it apart so that it can all cook evenly. Let it brown without touching it for 4-5 minutes. Once you see the pink starting to disappear, you can stir the meat so that it browns and cooks on all sides.

Beef cooking in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

When the meat is fully browned, add the garlic, carrots, onions, and celery. Stir to combine and start to cook the veggies. Cook for 5 minutes.

Veggies and beef in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Next add the Seasonings, broth, diced tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Stir again and then cover and simmer for 20-60 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes. (The longer you cook this, the more the ingredients will meld together and become one amazing chili!)

Diced tomatoes and beef in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Adding tomato paste to chili pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

COOK YOUR MAC AND CHEESE 

For the pasta, I recommend a short curly variety, such as Rotini, Fusilli, or this fun Riccioli.

Boil the pasta until al dente (about 5-10 minutes depending on the pasta). Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer or transfer to a large mixing bowl until the sauce is ready.

In a small pot or in the microwave, warm up the milk (do not boil).

Make your roux by adding 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour to a preheated pan (heated to medium, not high heat). Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts.

Butter and flour in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Once they are fully combined, slowly pour in the milk, whisking the entire time to incorporate it into the roux and prevent lumps from forming.  Bring the sauce up to a simmer so that it starts to thicken.  You can test the sauce by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it.  If it leaves a trail, you’re set.

Adding slurry to roux for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

sauce with whisk and spoon for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

When the sauce is thickened, stir in the cheese until you have a smooth cheese sauce.

Adding cheese to sauce for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Whisking cheese sauce for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Either add the pasta to the sauce or pour the sauce over the pasta in a bowl and fold it in to coat each pasta.

Pouring Cheese sauce over pasta for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Mixed Mac and Cheese for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

To serve, simply add a heaping scoop of mac and cheese to each plate, then top with an equally heaping scoop of chili! Sprinkle cheese on top and dig in!

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Ladling Chili over Mac and Cheese on a plate. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Beef Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

This Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is a no-apologies meal that layers indulgence on top of indulgence and then garnishes with a bit more indulgence.  It has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili.  Both the mac and cheese and the chili are super easy to make.  They can be made ahead and then reheated, making them great for weeknight dinners.  #macandcheese #chilirecipes #familydinnerideas #easydinners #comfortfood

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili, easy dinner, ground beef, Mac and cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Chili

  • 1 lb ground lean beef, 90% lean raised without antibiotics
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 28 oz Diced Tomatoes (whole peeled tomatoes in sauce or crushed tomatoes are fine too.)
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth (vegetable stock is fine too)

Mac and Cheese

  • 10 oz Dry Curly Pasta
  • 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Salted Butter
  • 1.5 cups Milk warmed
  • 4-6 oz Shredded Cheddar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Remove the skin and mince the garlic cloves.

    Diced onion, celery, and carrots Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  2. Measure out your seasonings and spices, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, and Paprika.

    Spices for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  3. If your cheese is not shredded, you can also shred that ahead of time.

  4. At this point, you can either make the chili in advance and store it in the fridge/freezer or you can stop for today and pick up cooking in the next couple days!

Cook your Chili

  1. Preheat your dutch oven or large pot (with lid) on high. Drizzle in a tsp of Olive Oil and then add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it apart so that it can all cook evenly. Let it brown without touching it for 4-5 minutes. Once you see the pink starting to disappear, you can stir the meat so that it browns and cooks on all sides.

    Beef cooking in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  2. When the meat is fully browned, add the garlic, carrots, onions, and celery. Stir to combine and start to cook the veggies. Cook for 5 minutes.

    Veggies and beef in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  3. Next add the Seasonings, broth, diced tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Stir again and then cover and simmer for 20-60 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes. (The longer you cook this, the more the ingredients will meld together and become one amazing chili!)

    Adding tomato paste to chili pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Cook your Mac and Cheese

  1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir so that it's all immersed in the water and doesn't stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente (about 5-10 minutes depending on the pasta). Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer or transfer to a large mixing bowl until the sauce is ready.

  2. In a small pot or in the microwave, warm up the milk (do not boil).

  3. Make your roux by adding 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour to a preheated pan (heated to medium, not high heat). Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts. Once they are fully combined, slowly pour in the milk, whisking the entire time to incorporate it into the roux and prevent lumps from forming.

    Adding slurry to roux for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  4. Bring the sauce up to a simmer so that it starts to thicken.  You can test the sauce by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it.  If it leaves a trail, you're set.

    sauce with whisk and spoon for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  5. When the sauce is thickened, stir in the cheese until you have a smooth cheese sauce.

    Adding cheese to sauce for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  6. Either add the pasta to the sauce or pour the sauce over the pasta in a bowl and fold it in to coat each pasta

    Pouring Cheese sauce over pasta for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Serve!

  1. Simply add a heaping scoop of mac and cheese to each plate, then top with an equally heaping scoop of chili! Sprinkle cheese on top and dig in!

    Ladling Chili over Mac and Cheese on a plate. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes