This recipe for puff pastry empanadas was originally a sponsored post. Some links are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
Summer is coming, and we have all sorts of adventures planned. My daughter and I want to explore her love of music more, which means concerts!
As she’s also my constantly hungry child (she literally hand blocked the platter of puff pastry empanadas in the hopes of preventing anyone else from eating any), I always bring food along to keep her happy. Literally. The girl gets cranky when she’s hungry.
Of course, at this rate, these puff pastry empanadas may not make it out the door before they get devoured. The ground beef filling gets amazing flavor not just from the habanero hot sauce but honey and lime, too.
My husband told me to write down the proportions of this recipe after his second bite so that I could recreate it. Little did he know I already planned to turn this into a blog post and had notes!
The flavors match better than I’d hoped with a slightly sweet taste and habanero that gives it a little heat that doesn’t stay with you. It’s a good thing I made 36 empanadas!
Looking for more unique Mexican recipes? Check the end of this article for some of my favorites.
This time, we’re focusing on these puff pastry empanadas. Using puff pastry dough means I can make them faster than using traditional empanada dough.
The filling flavor still shines, and the flaky pastry makes eating them fun. They’re the perfect hand pie to take on the go! I also transformed this recipe to make honey habanero tacos, which are now our go to taco night filling.
7 Tips for Making Your Puff Pastry Empanadas
Make sure your filling isn’t dry.
When you bite into that flaky crust, you want a juicy mouthful. After cooking your filling, add some broth and reduce it most of the way. This concentrates additional flavor and gives you needed moisture.
Don’t overfill the empanadas.
It’s so tempting to want to fit it all in there, but you need less than you think. Too much filling either bursts through the dough or prevents you from sealing it.
Keep your puff pastry dough cool.
When puff pastry dough gets warm, it tends to stretch and actually sticks together less. This makes both forming and sealing the puff pastry empanadas more difficult.
I work with about a quarter of the puff pastry dough at a time, leaving the rest in the fridge – especially in warmer weather.
Use some of your egg wash to help seal your empanadas.
I always have extra egg wash left over when I make anything that needs it. Rather than trashing it, use it earlier in the recipe.
Dip your finger in it and run just enough to barely moisten the edge of one half of the empanada. That helps the puff pastry dough cling to the other edge. Gently press along the edges to start the seal.
Use a fork to crimp the edges of the empanadas.
Press firmly without pushing through the dough and gently draw it away from the empanada. It looks pretty and keeps the filling from leaking out.
Use the right side of your puff pastry sheets.
Puff pastry sheets have one side with more flour than the other. Make sure the more heavily floured side is the outside of your empanada.
Even with the egg wash around the rim, the side without the flour seals better than the side with more flour.
Use egg wash.
The egg wash provides that golden flaky crust on the outside that you see in bakeries with their pastries. Add a teaspoon of water to your egg before you whisk it with a fork to create an egg wash that’s easier to work with than straight egg.
How to make Honey Habanero Ground Beef Filling for Puff Pastry Empanadas
Start with the ground beef filling
Start by browning your beef in a skillet over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat periodically.
While the meat cooks, cut your onion. Add it to the beef once you chop it and let it cook with the ground beef.
Mince your garlic, and add it to the pan after the beef browns. Add the cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, honey, and hot sauce, then stir.
Add the broth and cook until the broth reduces almost entirely and is just barely visible. Remove from the heat, and add the lime juice. Stir to incorporate, and let cool slightly while you prep the puff pastry.
Assemble the empanadas
Make your egg wash before you assemble anything. Mix together your egg and water with a fork until frothy and well combined, then set aside.
Open thawed puff pastry dough and gently let it unfold slowly to prevent cracks. If the dough does crack, gently press the edges together. They’ll seal enough when baking.
Use a large biscuit cutter or wide glass to cut circles from the puff pastry dough. The two packages will make 36 rounds. Work with nine at a time, and return the remaining circles to the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Add a bare teaspoon of filling to the circle, just off center. Dip your finger into your egg wash and run along the rim of the circle.
Pull the longer edge over, and gently press together. Use a fork to crimp the edges, then repeat until all circles are filled.
Dip a pastry brush into your egg wash and lightly coat the exposed surface of each empanada.
Place one baking sheet in the fridge and bake the other for 13-15 minutes until the puff pastry empanadas are golden brown and flaky, then bake the second sheet.
Alternatively, bake both at the same time on different racks and switch positions halfway through baking.
Be sure the puff pastry empanadas have fully cooled before closing the container to avoid them getting soggy.
Have you ever tried puff pastry empanadas?
More favorite Mexican inspired recipes:
- The best guacamole ever
- Instant Pot Spanish rice
- Crockpot Mexican beef in masa cups
- Mexican skillet quinoa
- Easy cheesy ground beef and rice casserole
- Mexican sheetcake brownies
- Roasted tomatillo salsa
- Instant Pot carnitas
- Easy chicken enchiladas
- Spiked Mexican iced latte
- Mexican mostacholi
- Chicken and rice casserole
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 t cumin
- 1 t smoked paprika
- 3/4 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1/2 c beef broth
- 3 T honey
- 2 T El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve hot sauce
- 1 T lime juice
- 2 packages puff pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 egg (mixed with 1 t water for egg wash)
- Brown beef in a skillet over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. While the meat cooks, cut your onion. Add to beef and cook together.
- Mince garlic, and add to pan after the beef browns. Drain beef.
- Add cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, honey, and El Yucateco® Black Label Reserve hot sauce, then stir. Add broth and cook until reduced. Remove from heat, and add lime juice. Stir to incorporate.
- Use large biscuit cutter or wide glass to cut circles from puff pastry dough.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together egg and 1 teaspoon water to make egg wash.
- Add a bare teaspoon of filling to the circle, just off center. Dip finger into egg wash and run along the rim of the circle. Pull the longer edge over, and gently press together. Use a fork to crimp the edges, then repeat until all circles are filled.
- Place empanadas on a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper. Use two baking sheets, with half on each sheet. Use a pastry brush to add egg wash to empanadas.
- Place one baking sheet in the fridge and bake the other for 13-15 minutes until the puff pastry empanadas are golden brown and flaky, then bake the second sheet.
- Serve immediately with salsa or guacamole. Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. Be sure the puff pastry empanadas have fully cooled before closing the container to avoid them getting soggy.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 empanada
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 55Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 102mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
This site uses an outside service to calculate nutrition. If you need exact nutritional details, please calculate yourself.
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