Tender flakey empanadas loaded with ground beef, potatoes, peas and tons of Mexican spices. I’ve included instructions for frying or baking these easy empanadas. Just in time for Cinco De Mayo!

Empanadas on a plate with salsa

Empanadas are one of my favorite Mexican dishes! It’s not as hard as you would think to make these at home. All you need is a few pantry staples to make the empanada dough and the filling can be made with whatever you have on hand! The empanada dough is similar to a pie dough. It is made with cold butter, cold water, flour and egg. It comes out perfectly flakey, crispy and golden brown! The homemade empanadas are then stuffed with ground beef, potatoes, cumin, chili powder, paprika, peas and fresh herbs. These are the best empanadas you will ever have!

Empanada filling in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

How to make Authentic Empanadas:

  1. Make the empanada dough: Add flour, butter, and salt to a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse a few times until the butter is the size of peas. Add egg and cold water to the food processor. Pulse just until ball of dough forms. Form the dough into a flat round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Make the filling: Meanwhile you can get started on your filling. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in onion and jalapeno and saute for 2-3 minutes or until softened and golden brown. Next add ground beef and brown until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes. Add in salt, chili powder, paprika and cumin. Stir in tomato paste. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add in frozen peas, boiled potato, fresh parsley, and green onion.
  3. Assemble: Roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into circles about 5 inches in diameter using a ring cutter or small bowl. Alternatively divide into 12 small balls of dough and roll into individual circles. Place filling (about ¼ cup) on each circle and fold in half, crimp the edges with a fork
  4. Fry: Add oil to a deep pan or pot so that it reaches 1 inch in depth. Heat oil to between 350 and 375 degrees. Fry in batches, 3 at a time, 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  5. Serve: The empanadas immediately while they are still warm! I love serving mine with sour cream, salsa or chipotle cream!

Baking Instructions:

If you want to lighten up this dish a bit you can bake the beef empanadas at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. I like to add a quick egg wash on them before going in the oven. It helps them to get perfectly golden brown!

Empanadas on a plate with salsa in a side dish.


  1. Feel free to add shredded Mexican cheese or cheddar cheese to the filling!
  2. If you don’t have peas feel free to substitute corn, diced carrots or celery.
  3. We added diced jalapeno for a little bit of a kick if you don’t like spice feel free to omit.
  4. You can make these vegetarian by omitting the beef and adding in diced veggies.
  5. Ground chicken or turkey can also be used in place of the beef!

Storing the Perfect Empanadas:

  1. Store: Leftover empanadas in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days long.
  2. Reheat: These empanadas reheat really well! I like to heat mine up in the toaster oven for 4-5 minutes or until warmed through and crisp again on the outside. You can also reheat them in the oven at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes.

Empanadas on a plate with salsa in a side dish.

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