Beef and Mushroom Empanadas. Baked, not fried, with light and flaky pastry and a ground beef and mushroom filling. They make a delicious snack, appetizer or part of a main dish, brought to the next level with a chimichurri dipping sauce.

Dipping an empanada in the chimichurri

Empanadas are very versatile because they can be made with a range of fillings, from savory to sweet. These empanadas are made with ground beef and mushrooms. I love this filling and by adding the mushrooms, you get an extra serving of vegetables as well as extra vitamins like B & D, antioxidants and potassium.

An empanada cut in half showing the beef and mushroom filling

Mushrooms require minimal growing space and water, and are ready to harvest in just a matter of days, making them one of the most earth-friendly and renewable crops available.

Umami (the fifth taste) is created along with the addition of carrots and herbs in a tomato sauce with green olives for extra flavor. I love this blend so much, I think I may have become a ‘blenditarian’ / blend-ǝ-‘ter-ē- ǝn / noun /

One who believes that the mighty mushroom has meaty powers to make meals more delicious, nutritious and sustainable, enabling us to do better for people, palate and planet!  Mushrooms are fat free, cholesterol free and low in calories too.

Colorful green chimichurri sauce with empanadas

Let’s talk about the chimichurri. If the empanadas weren’t flavorful on their own, this dipping sauce adds that element of freshness with a tiny kick from the red chili. This is the first time for me making empanadas, but it won’t be the last and it won’t be  your last either. Cinco de Mayo is next week and this would be the perfect time to make these, but make a lot because they will go fast.

Can you freeze empanadas?

Yes. You can freeze them before or after baking.

To freeze unbaked

Lay them on a flat surface without touching so they don’t stick together. Once frozen  you can add them to a ziptop bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To bake from frozen

Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C and bake on a baking sheet.  Add 10-15 minutes to the recommended baking time of 25-30 minutes.

To freeze when baked

Use the same method as above.

To bake from frozen

Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C and bake on a baking sheet until well heated through.

Empanadas viewed from overhead on a board with sauce

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Yield: 8

Beef and Mushroom Empanadas

A green, herb sauce for dipping the empanadas

Beef and mushroom empanadas. Light and flaky pastry with a ground beef and mushroom filling  make a delicious snack or part of a main dish that are brought to the next level with a chimichurri dipping sauce.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • For the dough:
  • 3 cups (450 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup /2 sticks (226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • For the chimichurri sauce:
  • Small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion/spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and deveined, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) light olive oil
  • For the filling:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (250 grams) portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 pound (453 grams) ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup (225 grams) tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup (90 grams) pitted green olives, finely chopped


  1. To make the pastry in a food processor: Add the flour and salt, pulse to mix. Add the butter and egg. Pulse. While the processor is running add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until it starts to come together and form a ball.
  2. To make the pastry by hand: Add the flour, salt and butter to a large bowl. Using your fingertips (or a pastry cutter) rub the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Drizzle in the water and mix using a fork until the it starts to come together and holds together when pressed in your hand. You may not need all of the water.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface, form into a smooth ball, flatten and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. For the chimichurri sauce:
  5. Mix all the ingredients except oil in a bowl, then whisk in the oil. set aside.
  6. For the filling:
  7. Add vegetable oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat until the oil ripples. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often until the start to brown. Add the beef, onion, carrot, salt and pepper and cook while breaking up the meat until browned. Stir in the garlic, cumin and oregano and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  9. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
  11. Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 6 inch circle. Place a small amount of meat into center of dough circle, brush egg wash around edges and fold in half. Press edge with a fork to seal.
  12. Line them all up on the baking sheet and brush all over with egg wash.
  13. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 566Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 80mgSodium 658mgCarbohydrates 78gFiber 4gSugar 3gProtein 18g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.