Easy Homemade Empanadas: Perfect for Any Occasion

Discover this versatile, family-friendly recipe ideal for Cinco de Mayo and beyond!

By Sandra Kuczynski May 4, 2024

Looking for a delicious meal that's both fun to make and perfect for sharing? Our homemade empanada recipe offers a flavorful escape into culinary delight any day of the year. Ideal for family gatherings, festive holidays like Cinco de Mayo, or simply a cozy night in, these empanadas will become a go-to favorite. Read on to learn how to craft these delightful treats that everyone will love.

I am Spanish and one of the foods I love making in my home is empanadas. I learned how to make empanadas at a very young age with my grandmother. She has been gone for several years, but her recipe lives in my heart. Now I’d love to share a modified version, which is a little on the healthier side. Everyone loves them - Enjoy!

Homemade Empanadas

First, preheat oven to 450 degrees

Then you will need: 

  • Empanada discs - they can be found in the international section of the frozen food aisle – they are round in shape kind of like a tortilla but frozen
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 can of red beans
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sofrito - optional and also found in the international frozen food section, it is a thick mixture of cilantro, green peppers, garlic, onion, and olive oil
  • Adobo - also optional, but authentic
  • Salt / pepper to taste
  • Small can of tomato sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of water or milk
  • A dash of olive oil
  • Round perforated pizza pan - it helps cook the empanadas evenly so they won’t need to be turned

Macaroni tip:  Want to make it vegetarian or vegan? Swap out the meat for tofu or your favorite plant based meat

Sandra Kuczynski

What you do:

  1. Mix eggs and milk in a bowl, set aside. 
  2. Heat sofrito in a hot skillet then add ground meat for browning, season with adobo and / or salt / pepper and add half of the can of the tomato sauce. 
  3. Once the meat is cooked through, drain the excess fat and add the beans - Let cool.
  4. On a cutting board, place a disc, then add a spoonful of mixture to the center with some cheese, being careful not to overfill. Fold over - like a half moon, then crimp the edges of the empanada with a fork, then brush with a little of the egg mixture. 
  5. Lightly grease the pizza pan with olive oil, then place the empanadas on it. 
  6. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown. 

This is a great recipe if you want the children to help. The less healthier version of this recipe, and what most prefer, is deep frying in a pan of oil until both sides are golden brown.

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