Brisket Empanadas


These are easy to make and freeze well, plus they go straight from freezer to oven, making them the perfect pocket pies to have on hand at all times. 

By now you should know I am using the same All Buttah Pie Dough recipe for every crust, even these empanadas. For the filling, I searched around until I found ingredients and a method I liked. This was too easy and now I have dozens of empanadas in my freezer. 


  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter

  • 1 1/4 C all purpose flour

  • Pinch salt

  • Ice water

In a food processor, whisk together the flour and salt to combine. Add the butter, pulsing until it is the size of walnut halves (for a flaky crust) or peas (for a mealy crust). Add the water a few tablespoons at a time and mix just until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill well (30-45 minutes).


  • Cooked brisket (about 4-5 oz., I would guess)

  • 3-4 Garlic cloves

  • 1/2-1 cup chopped onion

  • 2-3 oz cheddar cheese

  • splash of Worcestershire sauce

  • teaspoon of prepared horseradish

  • 1 fresh jalapeno (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Try not to overfill it, because you don't want to pulse this into mush. You just want to pulse until everything is diced finely and mixed. 


  • pie dough

  • brisket filling

  • egg (optional)

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut into circles (I don't know what size, but I used a pint wide mouth mason jar, if that gives you any idea). Gather the scraps and re-roll, cutting out circles until you've used all the dough. 

Take a circle of dough, place about a teaspoon of filling on one side of the dough. Pick up the other side and stretch it over the top of the filling and press down around the edges where the dough meets. Crimp around the edges with a fork to seal it. Use a fork or small knife to cut a few tiny incisions in the top (this lets steam escape while baking). Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze for at least 10 minutes. 

Bake in a 400 oven for 10-15 minutes. Optional: before baking, brush each empanada with a whisked egg for a more golden crust. Serve as is, or with a dipping sauce, like chimichurri, guacamole. queso, salsa, or a gravy made from the brisket drippings. 

Other empanada fillings I have since made

  • Buffalo Chicken (leftover Grandy's chicken nuggets, swiss cheese, diced celery, diced carrots, Frank's Red Hot sauce)

  • Cherry Lemonade (lemon curd and cherry compote, with a lemon juice glaze)

  • And I am trying some new ones tonight - will update as I go.