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Mini Empanadillas (Puerto Rican Beef Turnovers)

This is an authentic recipe of Puerto Rican Beef Turnovers. They are full of flavor with a flaky outside!

Mini Empanadillas (Puerto Rican Beef Turnovers). This is an authentic recipe of Puerto Rican Beef Turnovers. They are full of flavor with a flaky outside.

Besides gathering with family, one of my favorite things during the holiday season is the food. There’s truly nothing better than being able to eat all the thing without having to slave in the kitchen to make it all.

When I was growing up one of my family’s favorite recipes was Empanadillas AKA Puerto Rican Beef Turnovers. My aunt owned a small food joint where she only sold Puerto Rican fritters and this slice of fried food heaven was on the menu.  

Empanadillas are very similar to empanadas except the dough is a bit thinner. Some people also like to add other ingredients to give the dough an orange color.

They are typically made much larger than what you’ll find in this recipe, but I wanted to share a “mini” version that would make a perfect appetizer for your holiday gatherings and beyond. 

Although the traditional recipe calls for a beef filling, you can pretty much use any filling that you like. So if you have a preference in meat, seafood or vegetarian filling, go for it! 

Organic-Bobs-Red-Mill-Flour

For this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour. However, you can also use the pre-made empanada discs to save time.

Empanadilla-Dough-Mix

This flour is great because is not enriched with any additives so it produces light, airy baked goods. The empanadilla dough was very light and flaky which made this recipe even better.

Empanadillas-Dough

For the dough, mix flour, salt, butter (slice up the stick of butter first) and egg with a food processor or mixer. Start adding water slowly until you get a nice stretchy dough consistency.

The dough shouldn’t be sticky, if it is, add more flour to the mix. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This step is not absolutely necessary, but it does make the dough easier to work with.

Season ground beef with Adobo to desired taste, add chopped garlic cloves and brown the meat in a skillet. You may also use salt and pepper instead of Adobo if you prefer.

Beef-Filling

Once meat is cooked add Sofrito, Sazon, tomato sauce, onions, green peppers, red peppers, and potatoes. Let it simmer until potatoes are tender.

Take your dough and roll it out with a rolling pin. Make sure to sprinkle flour on the surface, your rolling pin and hands to prevent the dough from sticking.

Empanadillas-Disc

Once you roll the dough out, use a cup or a round cookie cutter to cut circular shapes.

Mini-Empanadillas-Filling

Place a spoonful of beef filling on the dough and fold it shut.

Beef-Empanadilla-Seal

My favorite method for sealing empanadillas is to use a fork. Simply press on the edge with a fork on both sides and you’re done. You’ll want to fry each side of the empanadilla in hot oil.

Simply remove when the empandilla gets a light golden color. You can also bake them, but I prefer to fry my empanadillas since it’s the authentic way to make them.

The dough will yield at least 2 1/2 dozen mini empanadillas. You can also make them larger if you prefer and serve them for lunch or with dinner.

Mini-Beef-Empanadillas

The filling will be more than sufficient and I actually wound up with some leftover meat that I used to add over my rice.

What are some of your favorite family recipes? Feel free to comment and share below!

Mini Empanadillas (Puerto Rican Beef Turnovers)

Mini Empanadillas (Puerto Rican Beef Turnovers)

Mini Empanadillas (Puerto Rican Beef Turnovers) – This is an authentic recipe of Puerto Rican Beef Turnovers. They are full of flavor with a flaky outside.

Ingredients

  • Dough-
  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of butter (cold)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 or a cup of cold water
  • Beef Filling-
  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • Adobo (or salt & pepper)- found in the Latino products aisle
  • 1/4 cup of Sofrito- same as above
  • 1 small envelope of Sazon- same as above
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 of an onion diced
  • 1/2 green pepper diced
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 1 small potato diced
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce

Instructions

  • Dough - Mix flour, salt, butter (slice up the stick of butter first) and egg with a food processor or mixer. Start adding water slowly until you get a nice stretchy dough consistency.
  1. The dough shouldn't be sticky, if it is, add more flour to the mix. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This step is not absolutely necessary, but it does make the dough easier to work with.
  • Beef Filling - Season ground beef with Adobo to desired taste, add chopped garlic cloves and brown the meat in a skillet. You may also use salt and pepper instead of Adobo if you prefer.
  1. Once meat is cooked add Sofrito, Sazon, tomato sauce, onions, green peppers, red peppers and potatoes. Let it simmer until potatoes are tender.
  2. Take your dough and roll it out with a rolling pin. Make sure to sprinkle flour on the surface, your rolling pin and hands to prevent the dough from sticking. Once your roll the dough out, use a cup or a round cookie cutter to cut circular shapes.
  3. Place a spoonful of beef filling on the dough and fold it shut.
  4. My favorite method for sealing empanadillas is to use a fork. Simply press on the edge with a fork on both sides and you're done.
  5. Fry each side of the empanadilla in hot oil. Simply remove when the empandilla gets a light golden color.

Notes

You can also bake them, but I prefer to fry my empanadillas since it's the authentic way to make them.

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Annie

Friday 16th of October 2020

I have a bunch of extra. How can I freeze and then cook later? Thank you.

Traditional Puerto Rican Dishes to Add to Your Table – FamilySearch October 7, 2020 | Ups Downs Family History

Friday 16th of October 2020

[…] Empanadillas—A Savory Beef Dish […]

Yvon

Monday 27th of July 2020

Hi there! I've been looking for a pizza empanadilla recipe. What ingredients would you use to make the pizza ones? Is it similar to this?

Valerie

Monday 11th of May 2020

The dough is fabulous and flaky! I made my own filling and it was amazing! Great recipe, thank you so much!

Desiree

Monday 27th of August 2018

Hi , If u wanted to bake it instead of frying, How many degrees and for how long to bake it? Thank you!