Ashley, our studio assistant, LOVES empanadas. And by loves, I mean she would eat them almost every day. So, when it came time to figure out the food for her surprise birthday dinner, this recipe came to the top of the list!

I went to 3 grocery stores trying to find empanada wrappers from Goya, but to no avail. So, I ended up using regular ole pie dough. They actually were quite flaky and lovely, but it was a lot more work to prep the dough than I had planned.


2 packages of pie dough (4 rolls total)

2 pounds of ground beef

2 medium onions, diced

2 jalopenos, minced

1/2 tsp chilli powder

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 cup of fresh cilantro

salt & peppa

1 egg

1 tbsp water

For the aioli:

1 cup of mayonnaise

hot sauce to taste

Cook your filling

Get the dough out of the fridge and let is sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so that it doesn't stick together too much.

Break up the meat into pieces in a medium skillet. Over medium-high, cook the beef until all the pink is gone, about 5 minutes.

Add in the onions and jalopenos and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the chili powder and tomatoes and cook over medium until the filling thickens, about 12 minutes. Take off heat and season with salt and pepper.

Roll out your dough

Roll out the dough and cut into circles using a cookie cutter or a cereal bowl. Fold the cilantro into the filling. Then, scoop filling into the middle of the dough circles and fold the circles in half. Close the edges with your fingers.

Lay the empanadas out on parchment paper on a metal baking sheet. Whisk up your egg wash with 1 egg and a tablespoon of water. Either brush or use your fingers to drop egg wash on each empanada - this creates a pretty brown crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30.

If you want to pre-make these, you can freeze them in tightly wrapped plastic or ziploc baggies pre-egg wash. Bake them for an extra 10 minutes (total of 40) at 400 degrees.

Mix up your mayonnaise with hot sauce to taste for a creamy aioli to complement!

Voila! Yummy, homemade South American goodness!