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a beef and cheese empanada on a plate

Homemade Ground Beef and Cheddar Cheese Empanadas

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 empanadas 1x
  • Category: Snack, Appetizer, Entree, Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish
  • Method: Baked, Fried
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Latin, American


These beef and cheese empanadas are made with an easy seasoned ground beef filling, topped with shredded cheddar cheese, and wrapped in a flakey homemade empanada dough. You can bake or fry them and enjoy as a snack, meal, or appetizer!


Units Scale

If Baking

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water

If Frying

  • 2 cups canola or vegetable oil


  1. Cook the ground beef filling. Begin in a pan over medium heat with the sofrito. Sauté for a minute until fragrant before adding the ground beef. Continue to brown the meat while breaking it up with a spoon, until it’s fully cooked. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Season the beef. Season the meat with sazon & adobo and mix to combine everything.
  3. Fill the empanadas. Add a tablespoon of ground beef to the center of an empanada dough disc and top with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese.
  4. Close the empanadas. Fold the empanadas closed and fold the edges over themselves or crimp with a fork. Continue steps 3-4 until all of the filling and/or empanada dough is used.
  5. If baking: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F / 205 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat together the egg and water in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Arrange the empanadas on the baking sheet before brushing with the egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown all around.
  6. If frying: Heat oil over medium high heat. Fry empanadas in batches for a few minutes on each side, or until crispy and golden brown all around. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil before serving.


If air frying: Do not use an egg wash. Simply spray basket with a non stick spray and bake at 400 degrees F / 205 degrees C until golden brown (usually about 10-15 minutes).