Worth the time and these are delicious. I think a Keto version is such a win, as it’s meat wrapped in a cheese dough. I mean, how can that not be good?!
If you have leftover savoury ground beef these would be the perfect leftover plan. Also, I would suggest making the ground beef filling ahead and let it cool off completely as it’s easier to work with in the dough. Hot filling in a cheese dough is not fun to work with – I found that out as this was one of those spur of the moment “I need empanadas – after 3 years of none – in my life” now! Also let your dough chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes. It’s possible to make these in one go but you’ll see how hard it was to work with fresh warm dough and filling in my pics below.
- Pastry: your favourite keto recipe or I used the reliable standby – Fathead Dough and you will need to make this larger batch I have listed below as you need quite a bit for empanadas
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (preferably the dry version I find the pre-grated bag the best, it’s nice and dry)
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese (Philly is definitely the best)
- 2 1/4 cups almond flour
- 1 tsp arrowroot powder (optional)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 Large eggs
- add the mozzarella and cream cheese to a large microwave proof bowl
- microwave 1 minute on high, remove and mix well with a fork, microwave again another minute
- mix in the almond flour quickly with a large fork then add the seasonings
- let dough reach a touchable cool temperature (you don’t want the eggs to scramble) then add the two beaten eggs (keep the eggy bowl as you will use the leftover egg to brush on the empanadas once they are ready to go into the oven)
- place dough in fridge to cool off, it makes it so much easier to work with
While your dough is cooling off in the fridge make your filling if you have not yet done so.
- Filling: if you have your own ground beef recipe with taco seasoning or a savoury mince go ahead and use it – otherwise here is what I made:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb (about 500 grams) ground beef (I used turkey last night when I made this recipe again and it’s great too!)
- 1 small sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tblsp Taco seasoning ( mix of dried oregano, paprika, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chili peppers, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper)
- 2 tblsp thick tomato paste
- 1 tblsp beef stock liquid concentrate (optional)
- ground salt and pepper
- heat your saucepan, add the dry spices briefly to heat them up and after a minute or two when the fragrance of the spices reaches your nostrils, add the oil, take care the spices don’t burn!
- when oil is heated, add the diced onions and when just browned add the carrot, bell pepper, garlic adding the ground beef when the vegetables have reached a cooking temperature
- break up the ground beef with a wooden spoon and cook through well.
- add the tomato paste, beef stock if you are using it, and season with salt and pepper
Here is where I suggest you let your filling cool off well. It’s rather a bother to work with a hot filling as the dough is sticky and when it warms with the hot mince, it makes it harder to work with.
- To assemble: Divide your dough into 6 – 8 balls (depending on how large you want your empanadas)
- roll into balls and place balls onto parchment paper, fold the paper over and press into a flat round using the palm of your hand or a rolling pin – work gently though
- add 3 tablspoons of your filling off-centre and fold over dough (mine was warm still, so I lifted up the parchment paper to fold over dough)
- another good reason to use a cooled filling is the juices won’t run quite as much
- press closed on the edges and lift carefully onto a parchment lined baking tray
- brush with any leftover egg, or a beaten egg
- bake for 15 minutes at 400F or until browned
Does this look too daunting? I hope not, but I felt I should write up all the pitfalls. Maybe make the filling and dough a day or two ahead, then it will be a quicker process. If you’re impulsive like me though … it will all happen in an hour!
Serve with chimichurri sauce or cilantro pesto.