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You’ve heard me say this a million times, but we live for weekend visits to the farmer’s market. On any given Saturday, I’m strolling the Historic Pearl – baby in tow- trying to get my hands on the freshest, and most responsibly sourced ingredients. But, perhaps my favorite part of these visits (other than people-watching and buying fresh flowers for my home) is the abundance of local vendors dishing out fresh and authentic fare for us to enjoy. I’m talking fresh bread loaves (yes, they have a keto-friendly vendor!), hot meat and egg scrambles, fresh tamales, and of course, empanadas! We do live in San Antonio, after all!
Insert only vaguely related photo of me (and the baby, I guess) at the farmer’s market.
What are Empanadas?
An empanada is a pastry turnover, typically filled with meat and/or assorted diced vegetables and sauces, and then baked or fried. Empanadas, by name, are most popular in Latin cultures, but the concept is widespread. Meat pies of countless variations, styles, and flavors can be found in most cultures across the world, dating back as far as 9500 BC.
Have it Your Way!
Don’t eat beef? Fret not. The good thing about empanadas is that they are highly customizable. You can fill these bad boys with just about any ingredient under the sun. You may try turkey, ground or shredded chicken, or even pork. You might even skip the meat altogether, and go the vegetarian route. The choice is yours.
So, How Do I Make Them?
Since I follow a mostly low-carb diet, I opted to make my empanadas with almond flour and mozzarella cheese. Not traditional, I know, but neither am I. I melted the cheese in a glass bowl in the microwave before adding the almond flour. I wanted to make sure my dough was stretchy and malleable to withstand the turnover process without falling apart. Almond flour can be finicky at times. My filling was a mixture of ground beef, green onions, tomato paste, and spices. It was perfectly seasoned without being too salty.
I did not use any special equipment or rare ingredients in the execution of this recipe. You can probably make it using items and ingredients you have on hand right now! For pairing, I simply served alongside a fresh salsa verde using roasted tomatillos. So good! The method I used is actually super similar to that of my Low-Carb Calzone.
If you’re going to try this out, you absolutely cannot be afraid of getting your hands dirty. I’d imagine that if you’re already a seasoned home cook, this won’t be an issue for you. That’s one of my favorite things about cooking though; you’re literally creating art with your hands. It ain’t always pretty in the trenches, but the end result is always so worth it.
Try It Out
If you decide to make this recipe tag me on Instagram @AGirlCalledAdri_
- 1 ½ lb. Ground Beef
- 2/3 cup Green Onion, chopped
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 6oz. Can Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp. Cumin
- 1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 2.5 cups Mozzarella
- 1.5 cups Almond Flour
- 1 tbsp. Butter
- 2 tbsp. Salt, separated
- 3 tbsp. Water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- In a skillet, begin browning the ground beef.
- Add the cheese to a glass mixing bowl, and microwave until melted; about two minutes. Immediately add the butter to the cheese and allow to melt. Wait 2-3 minutes, then add the almond flour, egg, water and about a teaspoon worth of salt. Use your hands to work the dough until it is well-mixed and cohesive with no dry spots. Set aside.
- When the beef is nearly done, add the green onion, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, and tomato paste. Allow to finish cooking. Taste and add salt as needed.
- On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, separate almond flour dough into desired number of empanadas. Form flat circles. Tip: Wetting your hands makes handling the dough a lot easier.
- Fill half of each circle with the beef mixture, before folding the other half over to cover. Seal by using a wet fork to press the edges.
- Cook at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Optional: For the final 1-2 minutes in the oven, allow your empanadas to sit under the broiler for extra color and crispiness. Brush tops with butter and fresh herbs of choice.