These French dip homemade empanadas are perfect savory pockets of meat and cheese, wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust. So good!
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Empanadas have been a favorite special treat for me for almost 20 years, since I first tried them in Argentina. They’re so good, and the variations are almost endless since it’s hard to go wrong wrapping food up in pie dough.
These French dip empanadas were inspired by a collaboration with Kate from Naptime Kitchen. Today we are both sharing versions of my Instant Pot French Dip recipe from my cookbook, along with recipe ideas for the leftovers.
You can find her recipe for Beef and Vegetable Soup using leftover au jus and shredded meat on her blog. Both recipes, empanadas and soup, are freezer friendly too!
French Dip Homemade Empanadas
While making empanadas can be a little more time consuming, the end result is always worth it, and once you find your rhythm with forming each empanada, it’s not so bad. Turn on a little music, an audiobook, or a podcast and have fun with it!
I always use homemade pie dough when I make empanadas because, if I’m going to take time to make homemade empanadas, I want to use the best pie dough too. My go-to pie dough can be made in about five minutes and is what I use for all my sweet and savory pies, empanadas, pop-tarts, and so on. You can also make it earlier in the day, or even the day before, so it has plenty of time to chill before rolling out.
I’ve shared a recipe for ham and cheese empanadas before. They are also definitely worth trying and a favorite in our house! If you want to see more of the process of filling and forming the empanadas, watch this short recipe video I made for my ham and cheese empanadas.
French Dip Empanadas
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 2-3 dozen empanadas 1x
- Method: baking
Savory pockets of meat and cheese, wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust. So good!
- 2 portions of pie dough
- 3 cups of shredded French Dip meat (beef or venison work well)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg
- Make the pie dough if necessary. Divide the dough into two. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and let it chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator while you assemble the filling. (You can also make this hours, or even a day, ahead of time).
- Stir together the shredded meat and cheese in a small bowl. Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Roll one half of the pie dough into a 1/4″ thickness on a floured surface. Cut circles in the dough using a 5″ cutter. (I use the lid to the coconut oil container I buy at Costco).
- Spoon two tablespoons of filling into the center of each circle and fold the circle in half, pressing the edges with a fork to seal*. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Continue rolling and filling the dough until you run out of dough or filling.
- Combine an egg and a teaspoon of water in a small bowl and mix with a fork. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash. Bake the empanadas for 15-20 minutes in preheated oven, until the empanadas are hot and golden brown.
- Cool for five minutes before serving. The filling is very hot right out of the oven!
*Empanadas, like many other things, may be a little awkward to make the first or second time you try. But after you’ve made them once or twice, the process gets easier and you’ll figure out how to make them with less difficulty and in less time!
To freeze the empanadas, take them out just before they are done baking and let them cool completely. Once cooled, freeze them on a baking sheet, then transfer the frozen empanadas to a freezer bag. When you’re ready to enjoy one (or five), reheat in the oven.
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