Meat and Cheese Filled Empanadas
by Stella Zedman
Average User Rating:
These tasty Mexican turnovers are quick, easy and great to have on hand. Simply assemble these savory beef or chicken bundles and freeze without baking, then pop them in the oven directly from the freezer for a simple, satisfying weeknight supper.
- 1 package (14 oz./397 g) frozen puff pastry
- 12 oz. (340 g) lean ground beef, ground chicken or sausage meat
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. (5 mL) paprika
- 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. (1 mL) hot pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped tomato
- 1 cup (250 mL) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- Thaw puff pastry according to the instructions on the package.
- In a large skillet, combine the beef, chicken or sausage with the onion, green pepper and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to break up the clumps, until the onion and pepper are soft and the meat is no longer pink, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain off any fat that accumulates. Add the paprika, cumin, hot pepper flakes and chopped tomato and continue to cook, stirring, for another 4 or 5 minutes, to combine flavours. Let mixture cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Working with half the package of pastry at a time, roll it out to a 12-inch (30-cm) square. With a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the pastry into quarters. In the center of each individual square, place about 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the meat mixture, mounding it up into a neat pile away from the edges of the dough. On top of this, sprinkle about 1 tbsp. (15 mL) of the cheese. With a wet brush or fingers, wet the edges of the square of dough and carefully fold in half diagonally, pressing the edges down firmly so that they stick. Seal shut by pressing with the tines of a fork. Place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
- Bake empanadas for 18 to 20 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving either hot or at room temperature.
Roll out puff pastry and cut into squares.
Prepare ingredients for filling, and older kids (10 and up) can help cook (with adult supervision).
Fill pastry squares and, with adult help, seal the empanadas shut.