Empanadas and Quick Guac Dip

Anyone else overstuff everything? I ALWAYS do as you can see, but that’s OK. You can scrape the melty goodness as it oozes from the sides of these delicious empanadas. In Portuguese, we call them pastéis, or pastel for a single one. I’ve made these 2 ways – beef and chicken! I grew up eating these, probably the fried kinds more often than baked, so this baked version is spectacular with no loss of taste caused by the oven – I actually prefer it! I now leave you with a less than perfect real life shot, but also with a very delicious and easy empanada recipe!



  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green Chile or jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 pound ground beef or shredded chicken (or half and half)
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 packages prepared pie dough (or if you can find it, empanada dough already pre-cut) which I happened to find on the Hispanic section of the refrigerated part in the supermarket.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Mexican shredded cheese

Quick Guac

  • 1 ripe medium avocado

To taste:

  • Salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • garlic and onion powder
  • Lime juice from 1/2 lime
  • Optional: fresh cilantro

This is the dough I like to use for simplicity sake. I find it at the Hispanic corner of the refrigerated section in the super market.


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and green Chile or

jalapeño, and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.

3. Add the ground beef or chicken and cook through, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and tomatoes, then bring to a simmer, mixing to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool slightly. Mix in shredded cheese until well combined. It will obviously melt. You want that. (TIP: I made 2 batches with halved ingredients because I wanted half meat, half chicken empanadas, so you can do that too if you can’t decide!)

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to flatten any creases. Using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass (about 3 inches in diameter), cut circles from the dough. (If you find the empanada pre-cut dough, skip this step, obvy).

5. Place 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of a dough circle, try not to overstuff like I did. Brush one side of the dough with water, then fold the dough over the filling, pressing gently to seal. Use the tines of a fork to fully seal the edge of the dough or press them together with your fingers. Repeat with the remaining dough circles and filling.

Note: The empanadas can be made up to this point and frozen in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the fridge before moving on to the next step.

6. Transfer the empanadas to the prepared baking sheets, and If the dough feels sticky, refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.

7. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water to combine. Brush the egg wash onto each empanada.

8. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes, or until you’re filling starts poopin out of the sides because you’ve overstuffed it, yet again. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

9. For the dip: Cut avocado in half, scoop out the avocado and mash it up. Mix it with spices and lime juice and place it back in the avocado “shells”. Serve together for a perfect balance! I just love this appetizer, snack, meal…it all depends on your mood and how many you’re willing to eat up!


Serve warm or at room temperature, or if you’re life me and just can’t wait, serve it piping hot with a dab of guacamole or simply mashed avocado. Make sure the avocado is ripe and mash with a fork right within its “shell”. Add spices for a kick, or allow it to cool down the heat from the empanadas it’s each bite! t’s seriously delicious.

Xo, Ana

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