Empanadas are essentially the perfect food. You know that feeling when you wake up super hungover hungry and you’re craving something flaky, warm, savory, even cheesy? Yeah, you’re craving these.

Although there is absolutely nothing as good as one of these fresh out of the oven, you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it, and the fillings each take less than 30 minutes. All in, you’ve got a perfect meal in under an hour. Below are recipes for both vegetarian and beef options.

Simple Empanadas


Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 12 (of each flavor)

Vegetarian Empanada Filling

3 cups spinach
1 cup roast vegetables and olives
tip: I used the Wegman’s Olive bar for this part
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon paprika

1. Wash and slice the spinach into thin vertical strips.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

2. Roughly chop the roast vegetables and olives into bite-sized pieces.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

3. Portion the ricotta and grate the parmesan cheese.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

4. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet on medium-low heat. Add garlic and paprika and let simmer until fragrant (about 2 minutes).


Photo by Daisy Dolan

5. Add the spinach and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes), stir frequently to ensure the spinach cooks evenly.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

6. Remove the spinach from heat and add the parmesan cheese.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

7. Stir until melted.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

8. Add the ricotta, roast vegetables, olives, and stir together.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

Beef Empanada Filling

8 ounces (1 package) ground beef
1 cup roast tomatoes or olives
1/2 cup roquefort cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika or red pepper flakes

1. Chop the olives into roughly bite-sized pieces and portion and crumble the roquefort.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat, add the garlic, cumin, and paprika and simmer until fragrant.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

3. Add the ground beef and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

4. Add the chopped olives and roquefort and stir to combine.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

Assembling the Empanadas:

1. Roll your dough to about 1/2-inch thick and portion into circles. I used this recipe, but any store-bought frozen dough works well.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

2. Spoon two to three heaping tablespoons of filling into the center of each circle, and fold to close.
tip: Don’t overfill the empanadas, as the filling (especially the veggie) expands in the oven.
3. Seal the edges either by curling one edge over the other, or by making ‘crimps’ with a fork.
4. Whisk one egg in a bowl, and brush the egg wash over each assembled empanada.
5. Bake at 375ºF for about 30 minutes, or, until golden brown.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

6. Enjoy.


Photo by Daisy Dolan