We are excited to be partnered with Jenn Fillenworth from Grand Rapids, MI for this recipe! Jenn is a registered dietitian who puts a focus on making simple and flavorful dishes while also working to inform people that a healthy diet can include all foods. She runs a great blog called Jenny With the Good Eats, can be seen in televised media segments and works as a food liaison for GRNow.com. 

It’s time to bring out another fun holiday appetizer, empanadas! This Latin and South American staple is similar to what us Michiganders call a pasty. It’s a delicious meat, seafood, or vegetable filled pastry pocket. These empanadas are easy (and fun) to make with the entire family. They are best served with salsa and/or guacamole. Start a new tradition this year by having an empanada making party!


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup sweet onion, small dice

½ pound Schaendorf ground beef

salt and pepper, to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup red pepper, small dice

½ cup tomato sauce

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon dried parsley

2 pie crust doughs

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 green onions, green parts, sliced (for garnish, optional)


Preparation (Makes 8 Sliders):

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) While oven is preheating, heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan and when it is hot, add onion and sauté 3-5 minutes.

3) Once onion has softened, add ground beef and cook until no longer pink (about 8 minutes). Season with the desired amount of salt and pepper at this stage.

4) Once beef is cooked through, drain the fat off then return it to the stove.

5) Add garlic, red peppers, tomato sauce, paprika, cumin, coriander, and parsley to the pan. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste filling and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Remove filling from heat and cool to room temperature.

6) While the filling cools, use the lid of a mason jar to cut circles into the pie doughs. Combine all of the scrapes of the dough and re-roll to get additional circles.

7) Once the filling has cooled, scoop a tablespoon and place in the center of each circle. Fold the circle over and pinch it closed. Using a fork, press tines into the pinched side of the dough to seal. Brush each empanada with egg wash and bake for 12-15 minutes.

8) Serve immediately.

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