This is the classic beef empanada filling that I think of when empanadas come to mind. Its the most popular with my friends and family, even with our friends from South America!
The seasonings have a Cuban influence, but I bake instead of fry them. Even though this is a healthier take on beef empanadas, the flavors are still all there. The ground beef has a nice richness to it. The fresh onions and bell peppers add a sweetness, and the tomato sauce and vinegar add a hint of acid. The green olives are an unexpected pop of flavor.
You can use homemade empanada dough or pre-made discs. The discs are found in the frozen section of the grocery store. The pre-made discs are small so they make good appetizer sized empanadas.
Flavors of the Islands
Call them hand pies, pasties or empanadas, Joe likes almost anything that comes packaged inside of dough, so I created this recipe for him. We lived in Florida for quite a while and we enjoyed the Cuban and Puerto Rican food in the area. This empanada is influenced by those cuisines.
Make a big batch of beef empanadas to eat now and freeze some for later
Lots of times, I’ll make these early in the day, chill them in the refrigerator and then bake them just before serving. Pairing these with a salad make the perfect meal.
These empanadas freeze well. I bake all of them and then wrap them individually in plastic wrap and put them in a freezer bag. When we’re ready to eat them, we pull a couple out of the freezer, unwrap them, microwave them for one or two minutes and then finish warming them up in the oven at 350F so the outside dough can get crispy again.
I like to make big empanadas, but little ones are great as appetizers. If you make smaller ones, bake them at 375F.