Beef Picadillo Empanadas

California Raisin Marketing Board
  • Yield: 30 pieces
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins


1tablespoon olive oil
1pound lean ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tomatoes; peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cooking apple; peeled, cored and chopped
1 serrano chile pepper, chopped
3 3/4cups California raisins, plumped in warm water
1/4cup green olives, chopped
1/2teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2teaspoon ground cumin
1 3/4teaspoons salt
teaspoon pepper
3cups masa harina for tortillas
3/4teaspoon salt
1tablespoon lard
2 to 3cups warm water


  1. Filling: Heat oil in sautépan over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté, breaking up any chunks until nicely browned. Add onion and garlic; continue to sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes more. Season to taste and cool.
  2. Dough: In a large bowl mix masa, salt and lard together. Gradually, add enough water to form a smooth soft dough. Divide into 30 walnut-size balls. Place a ball of dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and flatten into 6-inch circle with a tortilla press. Remove top layer of plastic and place 1 tablespoon of filling in center of dough. With fingertip or pastry brush, brush edges of dough with water. Fold over and seal. Remove from plastic and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for all. Pan fry or deep fry in hot oil until nicely browned.

Recipe by the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, courtesy of the California Raisin Marketing Board

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Glycemic Load 9.02
  • Calories 140
  • Fat 3.5g
  • Saturated Fat 1g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 1.5g
  • Cholesterol 10mg
  • Sodium 236mg
  • Potassium 260mg
  • Carbohydrate 25g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 12g
  • Protein 5g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Vitamin A 2%
  • Vitamin C 4%
  • Calcium 4%
  • Iron 10%