Traditional recipes

Three Chili Empanadas

Three Chili Empanadas

Homemade beef empanadas spiced with three different chilis and packed with cheese.MORE+LESS-

Updated November 20, 2014


ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cubed


(up to 6) tablespoons cold water


chipotle peppers from adobo (seeds removed)


dried New Mexico chilis, soaked in hot water and seeded


dried arbol peppers, crumbled


ounces cheddar cheese, grated


egg + tablespoon water (egg wash)

Hide Images

  • 1

    To make dough, combine flour and salt in a bowl. Cube cold butter and cut it into the flour until it resembles small balls. Then add the egg and stir in enough cold water to bring the dough together into a bowl. It should resemble pie crust, but be a bit easier to work with.

  • 2

    Once the dough is in a tight ball, wrap it in plastic and let it sit for 30 minutes.

  • 3

    To make the filling, soak the larger dried New Mexico chilis (you could also use ancho chilis) in very hot water for 10 minutes. Then remove the seeds and dice small. Also dice the chipotle peppers and crumble up the Arbol peppers.

  • 4

    In medium pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and then all the ground beef. Once the ground beef is almost browned, add the onions, chilis, and a few Tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.

  • 5

    Add grated cheese straight to beef. The cheese will melt slightly and make filling the empanadas easier.

  • 6

    Roll dough out until it's pretty thin, about 1/8 inch. Cut out rounds using cookie cutters or use a bowl as a guide if you're making larger ones.

  • 7

    Add filling to one half of empanada circle, leaving about 1/2 inch around the ends.

  • 8

    Brush egg wash around the edge of the empanada and then fold it over. Press out as much air as you can and seal the empanada by rolling over the edges.

  • 9

    Cut a few slits in each empanada and brush them with egg wash to make sure they turn golden brown while baking.

  • 10

    Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes until empanadas are a golden brown.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • The only thing I can think of that's close is a pastry stuffed full of spicy cheesy-meaty goodness.

    So that's what we're working on today. While these may look like a bit of work, the dough is actually a lot easier to work with than say, pie dough, and the results will blow away your guests.

    Or you could just hoard them all for yourself, of course. Or you could do what I did: double the recipe. Share some, hoard some!

    If you've ever made pie crust from scratch, this dough will be a lot easier for you. It's basically pie crust plus an egg which makes it much more flexible, but still flaky and delicious.

    Start by mixing your flour and salt together and then cut in your cold butter until the butter is in small balls (above). Then add the egg and a few tablespoons of ice cold water and mix until the dough forms a tight ball.

    Wrap this in plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes while you work on the filling.

    I call these three chili empanadas because they have…three different kinds of chilis in them! How original am I?! I used dried New Mexico peppers, dried arbol peppers, and chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce.

    You should be able to find most of these things. You can substitute almost any peppers you want though (anchos for the New Mexicos for example). This mix should give you a good amount of heat with a wide range of chili flavor.

    For the dried New Mexico (or ancho) peppers, soak them in very hot water for about 10 minutes. For all the peppers, remove the seeds (or leave them in for more heat) and dice them up.

    Once you're peppers are ready, the filling is pretty straightforward. Cook the beef with a tablespoon of oil until it's browned. Then add onions and chili peppers and a few tablespoons of water. Let it simmer for a few minutes on low until the flavors combine.

    Adjust with salt and pepper and feel free to add more of the peppers if you like it spicier.

    Making the empanadas is actually pretty straightforward. Start by rolling out your dough until it's fairly thin, maybe 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Then use a bowl or cookie cutters to cut out the rounds.

    Feel free to use lots of flour during this so the dough doesn't stick to your counter.

    Then take each round and roll it out individually until it's even thinner.

    Add filling to one half of the round. Leave about a 1/2 inch of room around the filling so you can seal the empanada.

    Take your egg wash and brush around the edges of the empanada and then fold over the dough to encase the filling. Try to push out as much air as you can and get a tight seal on it. I like to roll my edges up to seal the empanada but you could also use a fork to seal them.

    When you have them all made, cut a few slits in the empanadas, brush them all with egg wash and, if you want, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top.

    As I mentioned, I made some mini versions of these to take to a party. Mini ones aren't any harder than large ones. They just require a bit more time.

    Stuff them and fold them just like you would the big guys!

    If you're doing larger ones, bake them at 350 degrees for about 25 or 30 minutes until they are golden brown. Smaller ones will take maybe 20 minutes to finish.

    The end result is a nice flaky crust with a cheesy and spicy filling.

    Basically the best thing in the world.

    If you've ever made pie crust from scratch, you can make these. In fact, these are a stepping stone to homemade pie crust because the dough is a lot easier to work with.

    Nick wishes he could mail all of you an empanada. He's still trying to figure out how to mail things through the Internet on his blog, Macheesmo and on his Tablespoon profile.

    • Filling :
    • 1kilo of sirloin steak cut into small chunks
    • 3 large onions
    • 1 bunch of parsley
    • 1 bunch of cilantro
    • 4 green chili peppers, mild diced
    • 10 cloves garlic
    • Spices:cumin,oregano,allspice,herbs de Provence,paprika,salt & pepper
    • Pastry: 1 bag, kilo of flour, spelt or Wheat/white mix all work well
    • 1 cup shortening
    • Or 1/2 cup butter &
    • 1/2 cup shortening
    • 1 tsp yeast
    • 1 tsp.salt
    • 2 cups warm milk
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 2 beaten eggs
    • To put inside pastries on top of meat filling:
    • 30 kalamata olives
    • 30 golden raisins
    • 10 hardboiled eggs sliced
    1. Sauté onions, add meat, peppers, spices then add herbs. If meat is too dry add white wine Set aside to cool , do not drain the meat too much , keep moist. Make the pastry, let sit 1/2 hour, separate into 30 small or 15 large balls. Roll out into rounds, cut with bowl, fill with meat filling, top with kalamata olive,raisins, and hard boiled egg according to taste. Seal pastries brush with beaten egg. Bake in 375 oven for 20-30 min depending on size.

    Tips for Empanada dough

    One last tip that is so important and one that many people may already know if they’ve worked with dough, refrigerate the dough for about an hour or longer before you start rolling it and cutting it in circles for the empanadas.

    It’s less sticky and cooperates far better.

    After you cut enough rounds to work with easily, put the scraps back in the bowl and put it back in the refrigerator to firm.

    You’ll need less flour so your dough will be flakier and less tough.

    I don’t care how old you are or how mature, these are so tasty that you’ll love picking them up with your fingers and eating them.

    They make a great meal by just adding a salad or you can use them as a late night snack.

    I’m personally trying them with different dipping sauces, just to see how the flavors blend, but it’s only to experiment.

    I love them plain and so will your family. You can check my Shrimp Shumai recipe as well.

    Three Chili Empanadas - Recipes

    By Charlotte on May 28, 2014 6:18 AM

    By Lisa Eisenman Frisk and Monica Eisenman, authors of The Party Food Bible

    An excellent way to serve Tex-Mex at a casual gathering is to fill the table with an array of dishes, such as these three empanadas, piquant pico de gallo and creamy guacamole--served with homemade tortilla chips, of course.

    Cheese, Corn & Chili, Chicken & Orange and Spicy Beef empanadas

    Ready-baked empanadas can be stored in the refrigerator for about 1 day or in the freezer for about 3 months. Heat them in the oven at 300ºF for 7-8 minutes just before serving. They taste best when fresh, but can be baked the day they are to be served.

    Empanadas with Chicken & Orange

    Makes: approximately 24 Time: approximately 1 hour
    Empanada Dough
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
    • 1 tablespoon melted butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1/2 - 2/3 cup water
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten (to be brushed on empanadas before baking)
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 7 ounces ground chicken
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon coriander finely chopped
    • 1/2 orange, zested
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • Salt and pepper

    Start with the dough by mixing the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Add butter, eggs and oil into the flour mixture. Heat the water to 100ºF, add the flour mixture and knead the dough smooth. Let it rise for 30-40 minutes under a kitchen towel.

    Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

    Sauté the onion in the oil. Add the chicken, ginger and cinnamon, and cook until the chicken is cooked through. Put it in a bowl and add parsley, coriander and orange zest. Stir in the egg.

    Season with salt and pepper and let it cool.

    Remove the dough, and knead until smooth. Roll it out thin, and using a round cutter, cut out rounds about 3 inches in diameter. Place 1 tablespoon of filling on each round. Brush the edges with water, and fold the circle in half, forming a half moon. Press and seal the edges with a fork. Place empanadas on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush with egg.

    Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

    Empanadas with Cheese, Corn & Chili

    Makes: approximately 24 Time: approximately 1 hour
    1 batch empanada dough (see recipe above)
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 cups corn
    • 1 teaspoon seeded, finely chopped green chili
    • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
    • 3 tablespoons grated Cheddar
    • 2 scallions, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
    • Salt and pepper

    Sauté the onion in oil. Add the corn and chili, and sauté for another few minutes. Stir in the cream and cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Add the scallions, parsley and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

    Empanadas with Spicy Beef

    Makes: approximately 24 Time: approximately 1 hour
    1 batch empanada dough

    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, pressed
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2/3 pound ground beef
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
    • A pinch of ground cloves

    Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Stir in the ground beef, and cook until it cooked through. Mix the dry spices and stir into the ground beef, and cook for a few more minutes. Let the filling cool.

    Lisa Eisenman Frisk and Monica Eisenman, authors of The Party Food Bible

    About the Authors

    The award-winning Eisenman sisters grew up in both America and Sweden. They are the co-authors of Two Sisters' Sweets Soups, Breads, and Spreads Winter Sweets and Summer Sweets. After co-running the Cookbook Café, a combined cookbook store and café, for several years, they now freelance for food magazines and newspapers and make guest appearances on national TV. They live (and cook!) with their families in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Recipes Excerpted from

    The Party Food Bible*:

    565 Recipes for Amuse-Bouches, Flavorful Canapes and Festive Finger Foods

    Authors: Lisa Eisenman Frisk and Monica Eisenman

    Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

    Penned: November 2013

    What's Inside: 565 easy-to-follow recipes for bite-size eats and stylish drinks perfect for parties or any festive occasion. Served up on everything from skewers to spoons, these eclectic ideas draw on the flavors and cuisines of Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, Asia, Mexico and the U.S. Think prosciutto chips, sushi sliders, gazpacho shots, noodle baskets, deep-fried spring rolls and much more on a small scale.

    Packed with gorgeous photos, this handy entertaining companion also includes suggested menus and tips to help you plan what and how much to serve for game-day get togethers, cocktail parties,baby and bridal showers, wedding receptions and many other celebrations.

    Mexican Street Corn Empanadas

    Mexican Street Corn Empanadas are filled with a Mexican Street Corn Salsa and baked for a delicious and unique appetizer or snack.

    This post contains affiliate links.

    I love my Mexican Street Corn Salsa and it is one of the most popular recipes on this site – ever! I have been incorporating it into different unique recipes and Mexican Street Corn Empanadas are a fun twist on these delicious flavors.

    These Mexican Street Corn Empanadas are a labor of love but they are worth it! You can easily make these in stages and in advance to make it easier. First, start by making your empanada dough (you can also use pie crust). This is the empanada dough I use. I also like to add a tablespoon of paprika to this dough recipe for some added flavor and color. Then make sure you have your filling ready to go. In a small bowl combine the corn, jalapeno, cotija cheese, lime, cilantro, chili powder, and salt. Roll out the dough until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick. Then use a glass or another round object to cut out the circles. I just press a drinking glass and twist it in the dough. You can also trace around something with a knife.

    You can use the ratio that you prefer, but you do not want to over stuff or else the filling could pop out. A three inch circle can fit approximately 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons total of filling. Fold the dough in half. Using your fingers, press all the way around the edges to seal. For the patterned edge, use a fork to press down along the edges. If the corn mixture is overly wet, cut some slits in the top of each empanada which will allow any steam to release and prevent the dough from getting soggy inside. You can use any design you like! Repeat this process with all of the discs.

    Optional: you can refrigerate the empanadas for 30 minutes to help seal them, but this is not necessary. Bake them off at 375 F for approximately 20-22 minutes, or until the dough is completely cooked and hard to the touch. These Mexican Street Corn Empanadas are great with guacamole, sour cream, or your favorite sauces like our Roasted Poblano and Lime Enchilada Sauce shown here (SO GOOD!). (I believe in empanadas always having a sauce because they can be a little dry on their own).

    Mexican Street Corn, also called Elote, is AMAZING. A corn cob is roasted and slathered in mayonnaise, chili powder, lime, cilantro, and cotija cheese. It is a special, special thing. One of my favorite party appetizers to make is a Mexican Street Corn Salsa which is always a huge hit. The flavors are so amazing and simple that they deserve to have a mini line of Mexican Street Corn inspired recipes which you can find here!

    Extra Ingredients To Modify Your Beef Empanada

    If you’re looking to create a unique flavor, I suggest modifying your beef empanada dish with any of these ingredients:

    • Béchamel Sauce: Turn your beef empanada into a rich, creamy delicacy with some spinach and béchamel sauce.
    • Cheese: Draw inspiration from the Argentinian favorite Quatro Quesos and stuff your beef empanada with four types of cheese: Stracchino, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, and Mozzarella.
    • Cheese and Tomato: Add in some cheese and tomato to turn your empanada into a hybrid between a caprese and beef empanada.
    • Corn and Cheese: This draws inspiration from the Choclo y Queso, a simple, affordable empanada variation made of cheese and corn.
    • Chicken: The light, zesty flavor of chicken blends well with rich, savory beef umami.

    Recipe Summary

    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 pound yellow onions, chopped
    • 6 scallions, chopped
    • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
    • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
    • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon butter, or as needed
    • 36 empanada pastry discs
    • 1 egg white, beaten

    Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, scallions, and bell pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes.

    Add ground beef, oregano, salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin to the onion mixture. Cook and stir beef until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then cover and place in the refrigerator until meat is completely cooled, about 1 hour.

    Remove filling from the refrigerator and transfer into a colander to drain. Return filling to the Dutch oven.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Liberally grease a baking sheet with butter.

    Place about 2 tablespoons filling into the center of an empanada disc. Fold empanada in half into a crescent shape, press the edges of the dough together with a fork or your fingers to seal, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining empanadas and filling. Brush tops with egg white.

    Mason Social — Our Favorite Spot for Chili & Empanadas

    One of our favorite neighborhood spots in Old Town is Mason Social. They describe their cuisine as “Modern American.” The food — delicious. The service — outstanding.

    We decided to call the decor “polished urban” with exposed brick, library leather chairs, and mason jar lighting hanging from the ceiling. PLUS they’ve got Turner Classic Movies muted on the dining room television. So clever!

    The menu is delightfully diverse, and they’ve got some great deals on various days of the week. One deal, however, they’ve always got going is the Mason Chili. It only costs 7 bucks!

    It’s one of my favorite chilis (next to my own – lol) and they serve it year round. I’m more of a chili soup fan versus the stuff that’s so thick you can eat it with a fork. The Mason Chili is a beef and bean chili with some great flavor. They garnish it well with shredded cheddar cheese, scallions, and a dollop of sour cream. It also comes with a generous portion of garlic toast.

    The Mason Chili is really is enough for a whole meal. But their empanadas are so darn tasty that we always split those as an appetizer when we order the chili. The flavor of the empanadas and the chili really compliment each other nicely.

    You get three empanadas for 12 bucks. The reason you only see one in the shot is because we both grabbed one and started eating. Here’s what the platter actually looked like before I zoomed in on the lonely empanada . . .

    The empanadas are stuffed with shredded beef, sweet potato, and raisins. They’re garnished with chopped scallions and plated with ramekins of chimichurri and habanero sauce. They’ve got a delicious kick!

    There ya have it. A 26 dollar dinner for two in Old Town. That’s a bargain!

    Cheese, Corn and Chilli Empanadas

    Don&rsquot you just love a simple home made snack, bursting with flavour and deliciousness? Well, I found my weak spot, these Cheese, Corn and Chilli Empanadas are the type of appetizer that gets me going and going&hellipuntil they&rsquore all gone, you see.

    I also used a pretty nifty kitchen tool to make these pleasing pastries and I have to just say that I will be using it for my Christmas baking this year, for sure. I might even wrap a few of these up as gifts this festive season. I&rsquom talking about this very cool Empanada Fork from the team over at UncommonGoods.

    Founded in 1999 and head quartered in Brooklyn, New York, UncommonGoods is a privately-owned retailer that endeavours to feature unique designs and hand crafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. How absolutely cool is that? These guys make it their mission to support and provide a platform for artists and designers, in fact, half of what they sell are made by hand.

    I don&rsquot know about you but I will be scouring their amazing site for loads of goodies this Christmas for hubby and for the boy . Spoilt brats, I say.

    And guys, you can even spoil wifey with a few cool gadgets right here. There might be something for the whole family this Christmas, really, so do go browse around and order online &ndash they ship to South Africa, by the way &ndash making shopping online a complete breeze.

    I couldn&rsquot wait to test out this Empanada Fork, and upon opening my parcel after delivery I found a cool information booklet inside, all about the artist&rsquos story. Heart-warming indeed&hellip

    Back to the recipe, I used a combination of three cheeses with corn kernels and chilli flakes to make a pretty decent bite, to enjoy at any special occasion. I used a very simple sour cream dough recipe for these Empanadas and if you have any of it left, just pop it in the freezer until you feel like baking again.

    Most of the products these guys carry are created in the USA, and about one-third of their entire collection incorporates recycled and/or up cycled materials.

    &ldquoAt the core of our company is a great respect for the integrity of the creative individual and the belief that it is our responsibility to use our business to impact the world in a positive way.&rdquo

    I absolutely love this concept &ndash so go on guys &ndash it&rsquos never too early to start buying Christmas prezzies. I will definitely be giving gifts with a great cause this year.

    *This post was sponsored, images and recipe my own. I was given the Empanada Fork free of charge to review.

    How to assemble beef empanadas?

    Make sure both dough and filling are properly chilled.

    Dispose the dough disks on your countertop and add a generous spoon of the filling at the center of each one. Add a dash of butter.

    Fold the dough over the filling and use your fingertips to press the dough around the filling, sealing the empanada tightly. Now you have a half moon.

    You should work fast to avoid the dough from drying out and becoming warm because it makes the job more complicated.

    Working in batches of 6 empanadas at a time is a great idea.

    The final step is to crimp the edges: you can use a fork or try any crimping that you like best. The one pictured here is the classic one we do in Argentina for meat empanadas.

    Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.