You’ll love these incredible air fryer empanadas! Delicious, seasoned ground beef filling wrapped in empanada dough, then air fried until golden brown and crispy. Perfect for snacks or lunches or just anytime you’re in the mood for something hearty.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- The air fryer gives you a beautifully light crust that has all the crunch and texture of a deep fried dough without any of the work or unhealthy aspects of actual deep frying.
- They’re super easy to make! There’s a little effort needed to create the filling, but no more than your average taco meat or sloppy Joe filling. Once your empanadas are formed, it’s just another 8 minutes or so in the air fryer!
- Air fryer empanadas are a perfect freezer recipe! You can actually do it two ways. 1) Mix up the ground beef filling and freeze that until you’re ready to make empanadas, or 2) mix up the filling and actually form the empanadas, then freeze them, formed but uncooked. Option number 2 is my favorite because I can just grab an empanada or two out of the freezer and pop them right in the air fryer! They’ll keep in the freezer up to 6 months.
Empanada Dough – Keep things simple by using store-bought empanada discs! You can make your own dough if you’d rather, or if you have trouble finding empanada discs, you can use pie dough that’s been rolled thin and cut into discs. Pie dough won’t have quite the same texture, but it’ll work.
Ground Beef – Since we’re making beef empanadas, you’ll need ground beef! Use an 85/15 ground beef to keep things juicy since you’ll cook it on the stovetop and then air fry it. You can also use ground chicken or ground turkey if you’d rather. Just aim for that 15% fat content!
- You can use any kind of spray oil you like, but as always, make sure it’s air-fryer-safe! Avoid aerosols as they’ll damage the non-stick coating on the air fryer basket. If you’re cooking multiple batches of empanadas, give the basket a light spray between each batch.
- Make sure the empanadas don’t touch or overlap in the air fryer basket. The air has to circulate fully to cook the food evenly, so any spot the air can’t reach is a spot that won’t be cooked and crisp.
- All appliances are different, and that includes air fryers. What works for me and my Chefman air fryer may not work for you and your Chefman air fryer – or whatever brand you have! Keep an eye on your empanadas the first time or two you cook them and adjust the cook time and temperature as needed.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Enjoy
- Air Fryer Corn Dogs
- Frozen Mozzarella Sticks in the Air Fryer
- Sausage in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ of one yellow onion chopped
- ½ of one red bell pepper chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¾ cup beef broth
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 10 empanada dough discs
- Large skillet
- Medium bowl
- Small bowl
- Fork (optional)
- Brush (for egg wash)
- Air Fryer
- Air-Fryer-Safe Cooking Spray
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add ground beef and cook until browned, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Remove ground beef from skillet and drain fat.
- Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper to skillet. Cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add in cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour in beef broth, then return ground beef to skillet. Simmer approximately 10 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
- Transfer mixture to bowl and let cool.
- In separate small bowl, mix egg and water together until combined.
- Lay empanada discs on flat surface. Work in batches if needed.
- Form Empanadas: Place approximately 3 tablespoons of filling mixture in center of each empanada disc. Fold dough in half, bringing one edge over dough filling to meet other edge. Pinch edges with fingers or press with tines of fork to seal. Lightly brush egg wash on outside of dough. Repeat until all empanadas are formed.
- Preheat air fryer to 330° Fahrenheit.
- Spray air fryer basket with air-fryer-safe cooking spray. Place empanadas in basket in one even layer, not touching or overlapping. Work in batches as needed.
- Cook empanadas at 330° Fahrenheit for 8 to 9 minutes, until golden brown and warmed through. Repeat until all empanadas are cooked. Serve hot.
- Make it Vegetarian: Use a plant-based ground beef substitute and vegetable broth.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.