I’ve had a sheet of phyllo dough hanging out in my freezer ever since I made chicken strudel a few weeks ago. So I decided that I would use it to make some beef empanadas for dinner. However, just as I was getting the dough ready, my 2 year old walked into the kitchen with a diaper that needed to be changed immediately. I forgot all about the dough as I headed into the other room to change her. When I got back, it was completely dry. I pitched it and decided I’d have to make do with an alternative.

So I quickly threw together a simple biscuit dough. I rolled it out and it worked perfectly. These kinda, almost empanadas actually turned out really good. I think I might try making a double batch next time and freezing them. They’d be perfect to have on hand for a quick lunch or dinner.



  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 2 t. chili powder
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3/4 c. butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 – 1 c. milk
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded cheese

1. Add ground beef and onion to a skillet and cook until beef is browned completely. Drain. Add the cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder and black powder. Stir to combine. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cool.

2. While the beef cools, add the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Cut in the butter or margarine. (A little tip…I do this with my hands. It is so easy and takes hardly any time.) Add milk just until the mixture comes together to form a soft but not sticky dough.

3. Roll out thinly on a floured surface. Cut circles out of dough. (I wanted larger circles so I used a clean sour cream container for my circles.) Add ground beef in the center of each circle. Top with some shredded cheese and pinch to seal closed. Repeat until done. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until dough is golden brown.

5 thoughts on “Kinda-Empanadas

  1. If you want a more Argentine style empanada, you can use paprika instead of cumin. Also depending on the part of Argentina, some people add raisins to them or olives. Also, a 1/8 of a hard boiled egg is a must in carne empanadas! Yum!

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