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Basic Empanadas

Basic Empanadas

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to make these Empanadas!

Basic Empanadas

Recipe & Photo credit


  • For the Filling:
  • 2 pounds ground pork or beef

  • 2 medium onions, finely diced

  • 2 jalapeno chilies, minced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) tomatoes, diced

  • coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • For the Dough:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1 cup cold water

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water (do not beat until ready to bake)


  • Make the filling: In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, cook meat until no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add onion and jalapenos; cook until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder and tomatoes. Cook over medium until mixture has thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in cilantro. Let cool.
  • Make the dough: In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your fingers, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add just enough cold water so dough comes together.
  • Form empanadas. If desired, freeze on a baking sheet until firm, 2 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic; freeze in plastic bags.
  • To bake fresh or frozen empanadas, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush tops with egg wash, avoiding crimped edges. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 30 to 40 minutes.
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