This is a take on traditional fried empanadas, except these are baked – eliminating a lot of grease and fat, but they are still equally delicious! My mother-in-law, who is from Brazil, first introduced this recipe to me and they’re so good, I was always asking her to make them. The recipe is fairly simple & even easier if you make the filling in advance. If you can, try to find the frozen Goya empanada discs since this dough really does taste the best compared to other brands we’ve tried. I can find these frozen discs in Mexican grocery stores, or even large local grocery stores may carry them in the freezer section. You can eliminate the hard-boiled eggs if you like and typically I do if I’m making the filling in advance and freezing for later (you can add the eggs to the meat filling just before preparing the empanadas). I think these taste best when prepared & immediately baked – & they really don’t take that long to prepare if the filling is done. I like to serve these with ketchup and Tabasco sauce for dipping.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the ground beef and cook for about 15 minutes until no longer pink, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon into small pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the tomato, olives and parsley and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer the meat mixture to a bowl and mix in the chopped hard-boiled eggs, if using.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lay out several empanada discs on a large baking sheet. Spoon about 2 tblsp of the meat filling onto one half of an empanada disc. Fold the other half of the dough over to form a half circle. Tightly seal the edges by crimping with a fork. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat with the remaining filling and empanada discs.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and golden. Serve with ketchup and Tabasco sauce for dipping.
Freezer Method: Prepare filling, cool and freeze in a freezer bag. Defrost before cooking and prepare empanadas. Bake as instructed.