You’ll love the flavor of these savory, flaky, and flavorful beef empanadas baked in a muffin tin. This post is sponsored by Laura’s Lean. All views expressed are that of my own.
Empanadas are a classic dish that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. They are typically made with a dough that is filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables, and then fried or baked. However, this recipe for empanada cups takes a lighter approach. The empanadas are baked in a muffin tin, which helps to reduce the amount of fat. The filling is also made with lean ground beef and low-fat cheese, which makes these empanadas a healthier option.
Why We Love These Empanadas
- Easy to eat. The small size of empanadas makes them easy for kids to pick up and eat with their hands.
- Delectable. The flaky empanada crust and flavorful filling are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
- Fun to make. Kids can help with the preparation of empanadas, from filling the pastry cups to adding the cheese. This can be a great way to get them involved in the cooking process and teach them about different cultures.
- Versatile. Empanadas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, so you can tailor them to your child’s taste. Some popular fillings include ground beef, chicken, cheese, and vegetables.
- Portable. Empanadas are a great snack for on-the-go. They can be packed in a lunchbox or taken on the go for busy parents like
Best Beef for Empanadas
These days, empanadas can be fried, air fried, or even baked in the oven. We prefer to bake ours to reduce the grease/fat content. Using beef from brands like Laura’s Lean also helps to reduce excess fat in these baked cups.
We used the #1 beef brand in the U.S. –Laura’s Lean 92% Lean/8% Fat Ground Beef in our recipe which worked out perfectly! Laura’s Lean is gluten-free, and contains no added hormones or antibiotics. I love how it is lower in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than most other beef products.
Muffin Tin Empanadas Ingredients
- Laura’s Lean 92% Lean/8% Fat Ground Beef is a good source of protein. It is also low in fat, which makes it a healthier choice for empanadas.
- Extra virgin olive oil is used to sauté the onions, and garlic.
- Onion is a flavorful vegetable that adds a bit of sweetness to the empanadas.
- Garlic is a flavorful herb that adds a bit of heat to the empanadas.
- Cumin is a spice that has a warm, earthy flavor. It adds depth and complexity to the empanadas.
- Oregano is an herb that has a slightly sweet, minty flavor. It adds flavor and complexity to the empanadas.
- Salt enhances the flavor of the other ingredients in the empanadas.
- Chili powder is a blend of spices that gives the empanadas a spicy flavor.
- RO*TEL is a canned tomato and green chili product that is a good source of flavor and moisture. It adds a bit of heat to the empanadas.
- Premade empanada dough is a flaky pastry dough that is made with flour, water, and butter. It is a good choice for empanadas because it gives the pastries a light and airy texture.
- Shredded cheese adds a bit of creaminess and richness to the empanadas.
- Green onion is a flavorful vegetable that adds a bit of color and freshness to the empanadas as a garnish.
How to Make Muffin Tin Empanadas
Prepare the filling – In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and chili powder. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green chilies and tomato.
Preheat the oven – Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (200 degrees C). Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Assemble the empanadas – Unroll the empanada dough circles. Place dough discs in each muffin cup and press firmly down. Spoon the beef mixture into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake the empanadas – Bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Let cool and serve – Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with green onion, if desired.
How to Store Empanadas
Baked empanadas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To do this, place the empanadas in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
When reheating empanadas, it is best to reheat them in the oven or air fryer. To do this, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. To air fry, set the unit to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and fry until warmed throughout or about 5 minutes.
Easy Baked Muffin Tin Empanadas
- 1 12-count muffin tin
- large skillet
- cutting board & knife
- oven adjusted to the center rack position
- 16 ounces Laura's Lean 92% Lean/8% Fat Ground Beef
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground chili powder
- 10 ounces green chilies and tomato (RO*TEL)
- 12 empanada dough discs thawed
- ½ cup shredded cheese
- green onion *for garnish
- In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Drain off any excess fat.
- Stir in the onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and chili powder. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the green chilies and tomato.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (200 degrees C).
- Grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Unroll the empanada dough circles. Place dough discs in each muffin cup and press firmly down.
- Spoon the beef mixture into the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle on cheese.
- Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with green onion, if desired.