Beef Empanada Pie with Gluten Free Dough

Beef Empanada Pie with Gluten Free Dough

I started out making this recipe with beef empanadas for a picnic in mind. However, gluten free dough is a little trickier to work with than I bargained for. I made three little ones, cursed (a lot), and then rolled the remaining dough into a double pie crust using parchment paper. It may have been that I used baking mix instead of all-purpose gluten free flour. I’ll have to make the dough again and see. For now I can say that the empanada pie worked out very well, or at least the people I fed it to didn’t leave anything behind. I take that as a good sign.

I adapted this recipe from Saveur’s recipe for Empanadas de Carne (I love that site). The dough takes a bit of time (has to chill for 2 hours) and while it was finicky to work with, it did taste like regular pie crust (two thumbs up, high fives all around).


  • 1 C water
  • 34 C vegetable shortening
  • 2 34 C gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Baking Mix), plus more for dusting
  • 2 tsp. sea salt

Empanada Filling

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 12 tsp cumin
  • 1 12 tsp Spanish smoked paprika (you could use regular paprika or chili powder)
  • 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 12 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and finely chopped (leave out if you don’t eat eggs)


For the Dough

  1. Heat water and vegetable shortening in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat until shortening has melted; let cool slightly.
  2. Whisk gluten free flour and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center of flour mixture. Slowly stir in shortening and water mixture until a wet dough forms.
  3. Knead until dough is smooth.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

For the Empanada Filling

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season with salt and saute until browned.
  3. Transfer beef to a bowl; set aside.
  4. Add bell pepper and onion to pan and saute until golden.
  5. Add cumin, paprika, chili flakes, and white pepper; saute until fragrant.
  6. Add bell pepper and onion mixture to the beef and let cool. Stir in salt, and white pepper. Add the eggs if using.

Making the Pie

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°.
  2. Divide dough in half and roll out first have between two pieces of baker’s parchment.
  3. Place first half in the bottom of a 9″ pie tin.
  4. Fill with cooled empanada filling.
  5. Roll the second half the same way and place on top (minus the parchment, of course).
  6. Crimp the edges and slash the top to create a good number of vents so the crust doesn’t get soggy while it bakes.
  7. Bake on a baking sheet on the middle rack of your oven until golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Keep an eye on the top crust to make sure it’s not getting to brown. Shield it with aluminum foil if so.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Great with mashed potatoes and a green salad.

Serves 6-8 depending on your other sides.

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