Baked Empanadas de Picadillo with Arugula, Queso Fresco & Pickled Onion Salad

Baked Empanadas de Picadillo

with Arugula, Queso Fresco & Pickled Onion Salad

Group Created with Sketch. 40 min
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  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    4 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 700 Cals/serving

With origins in Portugal and Northern Spain, empanadas are savory turnovers now enjoyed in a variety of cuisines worldwide. Our baked, Mexican-spiced empanadas “de picadillo” are savory-sweet and deliciously complex, stuffed with a filling of ground beef, tomato sauce, apricots, almonds and spices. (“De picadillo” refers to the minced filling.) We’re pairing our hearty empanadas with a tangy sour cream dipping sauce and a refreshing salad of arugula tossed with crumbly queso fresco and quick-pickled onion.

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Baked Empanadas de Picadillo with Arugula, Queso Fresco & Pickled Onion Salad
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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and halve the onion; thinly slice 1 half and small dice the other half. Roughly chop the apricots. Crumble the queso fresco.

Brown the beef:
2 Brown the beef:

In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Carefully drain off and discard the drippings from the pan.

Make the filling:
3 Make the filling:

Add the diced onion and spice blend to the pan of beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the onion is slightly softened. Add the tomato sauce, apricots, almonds and ½ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the beef is cooked through; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Assemble & bake the empanadas:
4 Assemble & bake the empanadas:

Lightly oil a sheet pan. Fill a small bowl with water. Place the empanada wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling into the center of each wrapper (you may have extra filling). Working 1 at a time, using your fingers, lightly moisten the edges of the wrappers with water; carefully fold the wrappers in half over the filling. Using a fork, firmly press down on the edges to crimp and seal completely. Transfer to the oiled sheet pan. Lightly drizzle the empanadas with olive oil. Bake, rotating halfway through, 16 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up. Remove from the oven; let stand for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish.

Pickle the onion:
5 Pickle the onion:

While the empanadas bake, in the pan used to make the filling, combine the sliced onion, vinegar, sugar and ¼ cup of water. Cook on medium, occasionally swirling the pan, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside to pickle, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.

Finish & serve your dish:
6 Finish & serve your dish:

Just before serving, reserving the pickling liquid, drain the pickled onion. In a large bowl, combine the pickled onion, arugula and queso fresco; season with salt and pepper. Add half the reserved pickling liquid and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. To make the dipping sauce, in a bowl, combine the sour cream and remaining pickling liquid; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the baked empanadas and salad with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and halve the onion; thinly slice 1 half and small dice the other half. Roughly chop the apricots. Crumble the queso fresco.

2 Brown the beef:

In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Carefully drain off and discard the drippings from the pan.

Brown the beef:
Make the filling:
3 Make the filling:

Add the diced onion and spice blend to the pan of beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the onion is slightly softened. Add the tomato sauce, apricots, almonds and ½ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the beef is cooked through; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

4 Assemble & bake the empanadas:

Lightly oil a sheet pan. Fill a small bowl with water. Place the empanada wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling into the center of each wrapper (you may have extra filling). Working 1 at a time, using your fingers, lightly moisten the edges of the wrappers with water; carefully fold the wrappers in half over the filling. Using a fork, firmly press down on the edges to crimp and seal completely. Transfer to the oiled sheet pan. Lightly drizzle the empanadas with olive oil. Bake, rotating halfway through, 16 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up. Remove from the oven; let stand for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish.

Assemble & bake the empanadas:
Pickle the onion:
5 Pickle the onion:

While the empanadas bake, in the pan used to make the filling, combine the sliced onion, vinegar, sugar and ¼ cup of water. Cook on medium, occasionally swirling the pan, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside to pickle, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.

6 Finish & serve your dish:

Just before serving, reserving the pickling liquid, drain the pickled onion. In a large bowl, combine the pickled onion, arugula and queso fresco; season with salt and pepper. Add half the reserved pickling liquid and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. To make the dipping sauce, in a bowl, combine the sour cream and remaining pickling liquid; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the baked empanadas and salad with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!