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Make Eric Kim’s “Judy’s Empanadas”!

by Eric Kim


Eric Kim’s “Judy’s Empanadas”


1 tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 medium yellow onion, diced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

10 store-bought empanada wrappers

2 large, hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped

10 pimiento-stuffed green olives

16 oz. shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese

Vegetable oil, for frying


  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring often, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the tomato sauce, and cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the filling cool completely before assembling the empanadas.
  • To assemble the empanadas, spoon a heaping tbsp. of filling into the center of a wrapper, making sure not to overstuff it or else the empanada will be difficult to seal. Top with some hard-boiled egg, a single olive, and a generous sprinkle of mozzarella. Using your finger, moisten the outer edge of the wrapper with water. Fold the wrapper in half so you have a half-moon shape. Pinch the edges of the wrapper together with your thumb and index finger to seal in the filling.
  • To finish, crimp with a fork, or try my mother’s more elegant design: With your thumb, pinch a small section of the edge over into the dough and repeat all around so you’re left with a sequence of rounded rainbows.
  • To fry the empanadas, pour about 2 inches vegetable oil into a medium pot. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Line a plate with paper towels. Working in batches of one or two, add the empanadas to the hot oil and deep-fry, turning them often with a frying spider or slotted spoon, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to the paper towels to drain. Although the fried empanadas will last up to 2 days in the refrigerator, they’re best eaten hot and fresh.

Note: You can find empanada wrappers in the frozen section of most groceries, especially Latin supermarkets. Our favorite is the orange annatto-dyed discos (they’re chewier than their white counterparts).

Tip: For any you that don’t fry and eat right away, individually wrap them in plastic and place in the freezer; thaw in the refrigerator before frying.

Makes 10 empanadas.


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