Empanadas You Make Now Freeze For Later
a genius idea – well not really but it is a great ‘in advance’ recipe to make on a rainy day and freeze them for those crazy days ahead.
I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes. There are days that are so busy there’s no time to cook a real meal. For those days when stress takes it’s toll on you having something in the freezer to heat up is just what you need.
Here is a quick and easy recipe for empanadas you make now freeze for later so you can have a delicious meal when time is short. All you need to do is spend an hour or two to make a double batch of empanadas and you’ll have snacks, a quick meal or lunches at your finger tips.
Using store bought dough to make empanadas is a definite time saver when life is hectic and you want to make something a little different especially if you like taking leftovers for your lunches.
Fill the empanadas with your favorite fillings. You can step out of your comfort zone and use shredded pork, chicken or add leftover beef stew, just don’t add the liquid.
I made a simple beef mixture and added in chopped chorizo which was leftover and it added great flavor. My family is not keen on different spices or flavorings so I keep everything simple, but using your family’s favorite foods and flavors is what makes family meals special so feel free to create your own fillings.
When days are crazy you can make a simple tomato salsa for a great side ‘salad’. Using the last of the garden tomatoes I chopped up fresh cilantro and parsley and if you like corn you can add that in as well. This recipe is very flexible so if you are super busy use a jar of your favorite salsa.
- 2 tsp. avocado oil (or any light oil)
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ¾ lb. ground beef
- ½ cup chopped chorizo (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbls. chopped jalapeno
- 1-2 pkgs. flat crescent roll or refrigerated pie crust
- ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup grated pepper jack cheese
- 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
- 2-3 fresh tomatoes chopped
- ⅓ cup cooked corn kernels
- 2 tsp. chopped parsley
- 1 tbls. chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp. chopped jalapeno
- 2 tbls. fresh squeezed lime juice (or lemon juice)
- Heat the oil in a large fry pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook until translucent - approx. 3 minutes.
- Stir in the jalapeno and then add in the chopped meat stirring with a wooden spoon to break it in small pieces and add in the chorizo if using. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Cook until browned, approx. 5 minutes. Set aside to cool about 15 minutes and drain the liquid from the pan. Refrigerate until ready to prepare the empanadas. If making the empanadas right away you can keep the filling at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough to get it as thin as possible, about ⅙ inch. Cut out circles about 5 inch rounds, use a cookie cutter or a plastic container and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling onto one half of the circle, sprinkle with some cheese, brush edges of the circle with egg wash fold over the dough and seal, pressing the edges using a fork. Poke a few holes in the top with the fork and brush tops with egg wash and bake 18-25 minutes. Baking time will depend on the size of the empanadas and your oven.
- When they are golden brown most likely they will be cooked.
For the dough you can find pre-made dough disks in your local supermarket. My supermarket was out of them so I used 2 rolls of crescent dough which turned out great. I’ve made them several times already and my daughter always puts a few aside for the boys lunches.
The 2 rolls of crescent dough made about 12 empanadas. That was a weekend snack and lunch for a couple of days. Making this one batch of empanadas took me just under an hour which I thought was good. Since this was my first time making empanadas I was expecting this to take me all afternoon. A successful recipe for sure.
When I made them again I made a double batch. I kept a few to have for lunch and gave the rest to my daughter and her family. Both she and my son-in-law work so the boys can warm up the empanadas in the microwave if they’re hungry while waiting for dinner to be ready.
I would recommend heating the empanadas in the oven when preparing dinner or party snacks.
Having a gathering or planning a party? Beef and Cheese Empanadas can be made a day in advance, refrigerate until ready to bake just before the guests arrive. These ‘hand’ pies are a delicious addition to the buffet table for any party, game-day or afternoon snacks.