These brisket empanadas are made with leftover smoked beef brisket with a delicious cream cheese mixture that is seasoned perfectly, loaded with shredded cheese and diced jalapenos, then baked in a homemade flaky crust.
If you love Mexican-inspired dishes, and you’re a fan of beef, then get ready for the best empanada recipe you’ve ever had. It’s full of tender brisket and all the Tex-Mex flavors of jalapeno poppers, and it’s baked to golden brown, flaky perfection. I’ve been making these empanadas for years, and they’ve always been a big hit. The flavors just pop, and the empanadas are perfect for appetizers, snacks, or a fun dinner.
These delicious empanadas start with a classic jalapeno popper filling of cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, diced jalapenos, and zesty seasonings. As if that weren’t enough, I then add shredded leftover brisket to the mix. Next, I wrap the filling up in homemade dough and then bake these homemade empanadas to perfect until they’re golden, flaky, and delicious. They’re so good and so easy!
Why You’ll Love This Leftover Brisket Empanada Recipe
- It’s a great way to use leftover brisket and they are easy to make.
- The filling is packed with flavor thanks to the combination of smoked brisket, cream cheese, seasonings, shredded cheese, and diced jalapenos.
- They’re versatile and can be served as an appetizer, a main course, or a midday snack.
- They are great for parties, potlucks, and family gatherings.
Brisket Empanadas Ingredients
Everything you need to make this recipe is either in your kitchen or a quick trip to the grocery store away.
For the Filling
- Leftover beef brisket
- Jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, diced
- Cream cheese
- Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Slap Ya Mama seasoning
- Black pepper
- Onion powder
For the Crust
- All purpose flour
- COLD butter, cubed
- Vegetable shortening
- Ice cold water
- Large egg
How to Make Brisket Empanadas
This entire recipe is fully homemade, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s difficult. It’s actually very easy to make, and even beginners will have no trouble with it.
Step 1: Make the Empanada Dough
Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Then, cut cold butter and shortening into the flour mixture until crumbly. Add 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water at a time, mixing with a fork between each addition until the dough forms and sticks together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Make the Filling
Beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Then, add the seasonings, shredded cheese, jalapenos, and brisket and stir to combine.
Step 3: Cut Out the Dough
Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Then, cut it into circles with a large biscuit cutter.
Step 4: Fill and Bake
Spoon the brisket mixture into the center of each dough circle. Then, fold the dough over the filling, moisten the edges, and seal them shut by crimping the edges with a fork. Brush with egg wash and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!
- Keep your butter in the refrigerator until just before you’re ready to cut it into the dough.
- Be sure your water is ice cold before adding it to the dough.
- Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes for the best texture.
- You can make this with chicken, pork, ground beef, or chorizo instead of brisket.
- If you prefer you can use store-bought pie dough for this recipe.
- For extra rich and flaky dough, use lard in place of shortening.
What to Serve with Brisket Empanadas
These empanadas are a delicious addition to any appetizer tray or taco Tuesday. You can also pair them with a variety of American and Mexican sides like:
- French fries
- Sweet potato fries
- Pico de Gallo
- Corn salad
- Mexican coleslaw
You can use store-bought pie crust in place of homemade crust in almost any scenario.
Brisket tip has more internal marbling than brisket flat, making tip the more tender of the two brisket cuts.
The empanada de pino is generally considered the most popular and representative of empanadas. It’s filled with beef, onions, hard-boiled egg, and olives.
Broadly speaking, empanadas can be found in meat, vegetarian, and dessert varieties.
Absolutely. These empanadas freeze very well and will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Brisket Empanadas
Refrigerate these empanadas in an airtight container for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags.
To reheat the empanadas, place them on a baking sheet and reheat them at 350 degrees until heated through.
Try This Delicious Brisket Empanadas Recipe Today
These brisket empanadas are filled to capacity with brisket and classic jalapeno popper filling then baked to golden perfection. They’re a delicious and easy way to use up leftover brisket, and they’re so easy that they make the perfect appetizer or meal for any occasion. If you love spicy, beefy treats, then this is the recipe for you!
For dessert, here is a Raspberry Cream Cheese Empanadas recipe that you’ll enjoy too.
- 2 cups leftover beef brisket
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, diced
- 4 ounce cream cheese
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama seasoning
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- For The Crust
- 2 ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup COLD butter, cubed
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 6-8 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a large bowl, whisk flour and salt together.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut cold butter and shortening into flour until crumbly.
- Add ice cold water, a tablespoon at a time. Mix with a fork and repeat adding the water until dough forms and sticks together.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll out dough on a flour surface.
- Using a large biscuit cutter cut out dough circles.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.
- Add seasonings, shredded cheese, jalapenos, and brisket. Stir to combine.
- Spoon the brisket mixture in the center of the dough.
- Fold the dough over in half and moisten the edges.
- Using a fork, crimp the edges to secure.
- Mix egg and water together in a small bowl and brush over each empanadas.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
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