Beef Empanadas with Black Bean Dipping Sauce

One of my favorite features in Bon Appetit is R.S.V.P. Readers Favorite Restaurant Recipes . Here's how it works- readers write in and ask BA to get recipes for them from their favorite restaurants.  After acquiring the requested recipe, the magazine publishes the request along with the coveted recipe.  I've found loads of great recipes over the years in this section of BA. Here's my latest find, in the June 2011 edition... the reader says:

"We spent our honeymoon at Grace Bay Club in Turks and Caicos  (really? We spent our honeymoon at the Homestead in Heber City) .  One of my best food memories is the Beef Empanadas served at the lounge. I'd love the recipe. "

Since Grant LOVES empanadas, I decided to give these a try. They are not quite like traditional empanadas you'll find in South America...the chef at Grace Bay Club says "Every cook in the Islands knows this dish." So I guess this is the "island" version of empanadas.
Result: We loved them as much as the Turks and Caicos lady.
YUM. And we didn't even need to leave Bountiful to get them.

Oh, since I like you so much, here's a little step by step tutorial.


Cook, Mix, Cool




Beef Empanadas with Black Bean Dipping Sauce
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1  17.3-oz packages frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
2 large egg yolks, beaten, for glaze

Dipping Sauce
1/2 15-oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Roma tomato, seeded, chopped, divided
1 lg scallion, chopped, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, chopped onion and garlic; cook, stirring often and breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon until beef is cooked, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, cumin, and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring often, to let flavors meld, about 4 minutes. Add cilantro; season to taste with salt & pepper. Let filling cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut each pastry sheet into four 4 1/2" squares for a total of 8 squares. Lightly brush edges of squares with glaze. Spoon filling into center of each, dividing equally. Fold edges over, forming triangles, and press to seal. Crimp edges with tines of a fork. Divide triangles between prepared sheets. Brush tops with glaze.

Do Ahead: Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover & chill.

Bake until tops are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Dipping Sauce
Meanwhile, puree beans and sour cream in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in half of tomatoes and half of scallions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining tomatoes and scallions over.
- I think ground turkey would be a great substitute, or maybe an equal amount of shredded chicken. 


  1. These look just wonderful! It's funny - I have always loved the RSVP section of Bon Appetit too! And these caught my eye but I hadn't gotten a chance to make them. Thanks for trying them out and the great tutorial!

  2. si, these look so yummmy! i made up my own empanadas that i blogged about sometime ago, but these i'll have to try! with puff pastry.. and that bean dip... yum!

  3. Where do you find frozen puff pastry? I have looked and looked for it to make some other things and I can't find it anywhere! I really want to find it, but apparently I just struggle!

  4. These sound good, and easy. Love that combo. I will definitely have to give them a try. Thanks

  5. My husband lived in Panama for 9 years and is always asking me to make empanadas, I will definitely give these a try, they look delicious! Amberly, I think you can usually find frozen puff pastry in the freezer section of your grocery story near the frozen fruit and frozen pies. Hope this helps!

  6. Yes, Amberly, Scrappy is right, you should be able to find puff pastry in almost any grocery store in the freezer section.

  7. Puff pastry dough makes them so easy!

    Cook Lisa Cook

  8. Si! I just made these for my family and a ward potluck ( I tripled it)! They were a hit, seem so fancy and got asked for the recipe (I told them I got it from a Bountiful Kitchen!). Thanks so much

  9. Empanadas seem intimidating to make but yours look perfectly golden brown and delicious!!

    ps..I would love to know where you get the fig, beet, and yam salad you mentioned on my blog or do you make it at home?!

  10. These empanadas look amazing!! gloria

  11. Brooke,
    You made these for a ward potluck? I want to be in your ward :) btw- I ran into your sweet Aunt Pam the other day. Great to see her!
    Becky, I found that salad at CPK Gateway or Fash Place.

  12. These look really great! I'm going to give them a try for dinner tonight... thanks for sharing :)

  13. Made these for dinner tonight and they were delicious! I substituted chorizo instead of the ground beef and it gave them an amazing flavor. I will definitely make these again!

  14. some friends wanted to do a freezer meal swap, so i am in the process of making mass amounts of these! the filling is so yummy (love the flavor the cilantro and cumin add), and i ended up making the crust from scratch just to save a few bucks (got the crust recipe from the martha stewart website). According to Martha these can be frozen for up to 3 months, and cooked from frozen for an additional 10 mins or so. Thanks for another yummy recipe!

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