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Beef Brisket Empanadas

Nathan Congleton/TODAY
makes 12 empanadas

Chef notes

I love empanadas because they are a great finger food and a crowd favorite. I like to serve them for parties and especially on game days. They're meaty, easy-to-eat and so satisfying. Just use any leftover Instant Pot Brisket to fill them up! 


  • Canola oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper
  • 1 cup leftover brisket
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño
  • Barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 12 rounds empanada dough, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup sour cream



Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and peppers, and cook about 5 minutes. Add the brisket, garlic and jalapeño, and 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce. Cook 5 minutes.


Place the mixture in a food processor and add cayenne and parsley; pulse a few times, but do not overwork the meat. 


Taste and adjust seasonings, if too dry add more barbecue sauce and pulse again.


Place 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture into each round of empanada dough.


In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together.


Brush the egg wash on the edges of the dough rounds and seal edges (tightly) with the tines of a fork, or using an empanada press.


Heat a pot of oil to 350 F, if frying or preheat oven to 350 F, if baking.


Fry the empanadas until golden brown (about 5 minutes per side, then flip), or bake on cookie sheet for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and set aside. 


In a small serving bowl, mix one cup of barbecue sauce with the sour cream.


Serve the empanadas hot with the sour cream sauce on the side.