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Easy Family Recipes: Fiesta Empanadas

Fiesta EmpanadaInternational foods bring a fun flair to weeknight dinners, and Mexican food is always a hit. These empanadas are a lot like an enclosed taco in crust instead of a taco shell. If you’re in a time crunch, try using roll out pie crusts instead of making your own crust. Just unroll, cut in half, then proceed with the recipe filling as directed. It will save a bit of energy if you don’t have the time to make the crust from scratch. A bit of salsa and sour cream on the table for dipping and you’re set for a fun family dinner. If you’re feeling ambitious, make an extra batch and pop them into the freezer before you bake them. These freeze great and you’ll have an extra dinner waiting for whenever you’re ready. Enjoy!

Fiesta Empanadas

Makes 4 empanadas

Cornmeal Crust (can substitute 2 rollout pie crusts)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons water


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup taco sauce
  • 1/4 cup pitted ripe olives, chopped (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons Tabasco green jalapeno pepper sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten

If prepareing dough from scratch, combine flour, cornmeal and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough sticks together.

On lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin, roll out half of dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough into two 7-inch rounds. Repeat with remaining dough and scraps. Cover; set aside.

If using rollout pie crusts, unroll and cut each in half. Proceed with recipe as directed. (Note: These will be fairly large. Feel free to cut smaller.)

Cook ground beef and garlic in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned on all sides, stirring occasionally to break up beef.

Stir in scallions, taco sauce, olives (if using), 3 teaspoons green jalapeno pepper sauce, oregano, cumin and salt until well blended. Stir in cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease large cookie sheet. Spoon about 1/2-cup filling on 1/2 of each round, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Stir together egg and remaining teaspoon green jalapeno pepper sauce.

Brush border with egg mixture.

Fold dough over filling, pressing out air. Crimp edges with fork or fingers to seal.

Place on baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until golden.

Recipe adapted from Tabasco

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