Brianna's Empanada with Chimichurri Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 (4.5-ounce) cans mild chopped green chiles

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

3 packages empanada wrappers

Canola oil, for frying

Chimichurri Sauce, Serena Palumbo's recipe follows

Chimichurri Sauce:

2 lemons

1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves roughly chopped, about 1 cup

1 bunch fresh parsley, leaves roughly chopped, about 3/4 cup

1 bunch fresh mint, leaves roughly chopped, about 3/4 cup

6 cloves garlic

Pinch kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

1/2 cup light olive oil


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Stir the beef and cook it until browned. Remove the beef from the pan to a dish. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Return the pan to the heat and add the onion, cooking until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chile powder, cumin, and coriander and cook for 3 minutes. Add the ground beef back into the pan and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the green chiles and chopped egg. 
  2. Fill a small bowl with water. 
  3. Lay out a few of the empanada wrappers on a flat surface. Top the center of each wrapper with about 3 tablespoons of the beef filling. Dip your finger lightly in the water and run it along the edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the beef, into a half moon shape and pinch it shut. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling ingredients. 
  4. Heat a deep saute pan over high heat and pour in enough canola oil to fill the pan halfway up the sides. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the empanadas until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Be sure to flip them so they cook on both sides. Remove from the pan and drain them on paper towels. Transfer the empanadas to a serving platter and serve with the Chimichurri Sauce for dipping.

Chimichurri Sauce:

  1. To make Chimichurri Sauce: 
  2. Grate 2 tablespoons of zest from the lemons and squeeze out 1/4 cup of juice. Add the zest and juice to a food processor or blender along with the cilantro, parsley, mint, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Pulse to blend the ingredients. If the sauce is too thick, add more oil and lemon juice. The sauce should be just thin enough to pour. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and serve with the empanadas. 
  3. Yield: about 2 cups