These taco empanadas are made from scratch with my ground turkey taco meat and my quick and easy pizza dough recipe!
The texture of the yogurt dough, which is similar to this bagel recipe and easy garlic knot recipe, is closer to a calzone or hot pocket, but who cares, they are delicious and so much lighter than frozen empanadas discs. Of course, if you want a more traditional empanada you might like this Air Fryer Empanada recipe.
Empanadas can be filled with just about anything you can think of, I usually make them with picadillo but why not taco meat? I put them to the test, and my youngest Madison who loves empanadas ate four, she loved them!! Serve these for lunch, pack them in your kids lunch box or serve them as appetizers with salsa!
I usually buy the frozen Goya empanada disks, but many of you tell me they aren’t available near you so I decided to test them out with my pizza dough recipe and they worked out great. They do have a slightly different texture but if you wish to use the frozen discs, go for it!
How To Make Baked Taco Empanadas
To cut the rounds I used a small glass jar and cut out 10 4-3/4-inch circles. Do do this you want to roll it out as thin as possible, then cut as many as you can. Roll the remaining dough and repeat. If you have a large round cookie cutter, even better.
Variations and Tips:
- To make the dough, you MUST use a thick Greek yogurt such as Stonyfield or Fage. It won’t work with Chobani, the dough will be too sticky. It also won’t work with plain yogurt.
- Use beef instead of turkey
- For dairy-free, omit the cheese and replace the yogurt with Kite Hill Dairy Free Greek Yogurt (blue label).
- 1/2 pound 93% ground turkey
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 small onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon bell pepper, minced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 ounces canned tomato sauce, 1/4 can
- 5 tbsp part-skim shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 cup (5 oz) unbleached all purpose or whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, make sure it’s not expired or it won’t rise
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, use less if using table salt
- 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, use Stonyfield or Fage, not regular yogurt, not Chobani, it will be too sticky
- 1 whole egg, beaten
For the meat:
- Brown turkey in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks.
- When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well.
- Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover.
- Simmer on low for about 15 minutes, uncover and simmer until dry, about 8 to 12 minutes. You don’t want any liquid remaining, it will make the dough soggy.
For the dough:
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place parchment paper or a silpat on a baking sheet. If using parchment paper, spray with oil to avoid sticking.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk well.
- Add the yogurt and mix with a fork or spatula until well combined, it will look like small crumbles.
- Lightly dust flour on a work surface and remove dough from the bowl, knead the dough a few times until dough is tacky, but not sticky, about 15 turns (it should not leave dough on your hand when you pull away).
- Place on a floured work surface and roll the dough out until it’s very thin. Cut circles about 4-3/4 inches (I used a small work bowl turned upside down) cut out as many rounds as you can.
- With the remaining dough, roll out and form into more rounds. I got 10 altogether.
- Place 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture on each round topped with 1/2 tablespoon cheese.
- Brush the edges with egg wash then fold the edge over and crimp with a fork.
- Transfer to the baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 22 minutes, or until golden
235 comments on “Taco Empanadas”
Have you done them in the airfryer?
I’ve made these with turkey before and loved them so tonight I decided to try it with Beyond Beef and they still turned out fantastic. Love these!
These we delicious! I am not normally a fan of ground turkey, but still good! I think in future I might make with leftover pulled pork or yves veggie ground. I am in Ontario Canada so unfamiliar with the brands of yogurts mentioned. I used 0% Presidents Choice Greek yogurt. And as per another comment I just measured out balls of dough (9) and rolled them in a ziploc bag. Worked out fantastic! Definitely in our rotation now:)
OMG! I’M so thrilled I came across your recipes. The recipes are easy to follow, perfect instructions and food is delicious. Thank you 🥰
I use Stonyfield yogurt and I think next time I’ll try Fage and see if that helps because I too ran into problems with the dough being too sticky no matter how much flour I used. That said, once I got the first batch in the oven the second were much easier once I got the hang of it. All things considered, these were absolutely delicious.
These are really labor intensive. The taco meat filling is great but the dough is very difficult to work with. I used the exact ingredients and a well floured work surface. I had to keep flouring my rolling pin because the dough was sticking to it. Folding the dough over the filling and sealing it was really difficult. The dough kept getting holes in it. I made 10. Won’t do these again.
Has anyone froze these? Either precooked or post cooked?
I just joined WW and have been dying to see what all they hype was about the 2 ingredient dough so I was thrilled to give these a whirl for Cinco de Mayo. I was nervous the dough would be hard to deal with but I didn’t have any problems. The Fage worked great and I just made sure to have a very floured surface. I used ground beef (at hubbys request) and was lazy so used a spicy taco seasoning I had on hand and his words were “I could eat these every day!” So, thank you for yet another delicious recipe! Yum!!
These are so delicious! Instead of rolling the dough, I make 10 gold ball sized balls, then flatten them on a sandwich bag so they don’t get stuck to my counter — much easier for me! The turkey is surprisingly good, I usually can’t stand ground Turkey. In the rotation!
Should be GOLF ball hha
I think you should make an entire cookbook based on this dough. Using Fage really does make a difference (I was trying with Walmart brand).
This was great! I followed the recipe exactly using Fage yogurt and had no problem with the dough at all. Made 9 beautiful empanadas in total! I did egg wash the outside of all mine and added a small pinch of salt. Husband LOVED them. My 6 year old enjoyed them too (dipped in ranch of course). We’ll be making again. Thank you!
How long would these have to be cooked in the air fryer?
Check out this recipe— https://www.skinnytaste.com/air-fryer-beef-empanadas/
After I made these, I was hoping nobody liked them. I hate flour and rolling out dough (nothing to do with the recipe, just personal!). Of course, the whole family loved them. Used GF dough since my daughter is GF and nobody else knew the difference. So it is definitely on our rotation!
I like others struggled with this dough. I made the chicken parmesan rolls yesterday, one batch and though sticky I had better luck. I doubled this as I had 1lb of ground chicken. The dough stuck to everything. I ended up with 16 ugly empanadas. They taste good but the dough is so frustrating. Any suggestions for improvement. I used Fage yogurt and self rising flour.
If too sticky, add a little more flour to your hands and the work surface.
I’ve been enjoying the Chicken Parmesan Rolls for lunch so of course I had to try these Taco Empanadas! I’ve read some of the comments that the dough is just too sticky to work with. I always use 1c of flour and 3/4c of Greek yogurt and I never have problems. I recently purchased a cast iron tortilla press and it’s a total GAME CHANGER! I just devide the dough into the appropriate servings, roll them into balls and press them out on the tortilla press! Perfect circles and I don’t have to use a rolling pin. I cut a gallon sized freezer bag into 2 squares and place the dough in between before I place it in the press. Makes cleanup a breeze.
I did not have success with this dough! It was way too sticky and the circles kept ripping. Suggestions? The filling is delicious, and we ended up pivoting to tacos instead.
I have taco seasoning mix, can I use it instead of all the spices listed?
Are these okay room temperature? Or better served warm.
Has anyone tried subbing Greek yorgurt for sour cream (which is what I have in the fridge)? Thanks
Could you cook these in the air fryer?
Gina, I am speechless. These were incredible. Honestly, I’m a little frustrated and how good they are, because they are certainly labor intensive. Despite using the 0% Fage as recommended and ensuring the two or three drops of liquid on top was drained, I still ended up fighting with the dough. (That said, I’m not a baker, so there’s probably a little inexperience at play with manipulating dough.) Loved the flavor of the meat – your spice blend is spot on. My husband said they are better than regular tacos, and believe me when I say that man LOVES tacos. Thank you so much!
I love these, but instead of making empanadas (because the dough is so sticky) I just make open faced empanadas! Empanada pizzas.
I used a different empanada dough recipe but these were amazing! I also decided to try the filling like a sloppy joe sandwich. Just delicious!!!
I tried these tonight and they were great! The store didn’t have Stonyfield or Fage yogurt, but I used Oikos and it worked really well. No issues with the dough. The whole family loved them. I’ll be adding this one into my rotation. Thanks!