HomeEducation By SubjectBilingual ParentingCosta Rican Shredded Beef Empanadas

Costa Rican Shredded Beef Empanadas


This post may contain affiliate links.

This shredded beef empanada recipe evokes the authentic flavors of Latin America. Savory shredded beef is tucked into a perfectly fried homemade corn dough for the perfect snack or appetizer.

FREE COSTA RICAN RECIPES EBOOK

Sign up for the free ebook, then never miss a new recipe when it’s published. 

About This Costa Rican Beef Empanada Recipe

These crispy deep-fried half-moon-shaped empanadas are filled with shredded beef and then fried to golden perfection. This beef empanada recipe uses a traditional Costa Rican shredded beef filling. While many empanada recipes from Latin America use ground beef to fill their empanadas, you will rarely find a ground beef empanada in Costa Rica.

Instead, we use the same shredded beef recipe that we use for nachos, tacos, soups and more. The beef is pressure-cooked until tender and finely shredded before frying it in a traditional Costa Rican sofrito and adding a touch of Salsa Lizano. The end result is basically heaven in a half-moon.

Many countries in Latin America make homemade empanadas with a flour-based dough that is then filled with ground beef. The half-moons are brushed with egg wash and baked on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. These empanadas are so good- but not traditional Costa Rican.

Related post: Costa Rican Appetizers You’ll Love

Shredded Beef Empanada Recipe

Ingredients:

(printable recipe below)

Optional for serving

Instructions:

In a medium mixing bowl, measure out your Maseca and add your salt. Whisk together.

Pour in water, and mix until the dough (or masa) forms. I use my hands for this.

Divide the dough into 8 equal-size dough balls.

Place the plastic bag inserts (I just cut up a piece of Ziploc bag in a square shape a bit larger than the tortilla press) into your tortilla press.

Using your tortilla press, press the balls out into a flat shape. (You’ve just made a Costa Rican tortilla!)

Related post: 30+ Foods To Try In Costa Rica

In one half of the circle, place your beef filling. I generally make Costa Rican-Style Shredded Beef Recipe and use a bit of it for this filling.

Fold dough over the non-filled side of the empanada and seal with your finger.

Heat the oil on medium-high heat to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. I use a small cast-iron skillet for this. Gently place your empanadas in the hot oil and fry until golden brown.

Drain off excess oil and serve.

Join me over at my favorite place- Instagram.

Notes:

I generally fry these empanadas at a lower temperature for about 5-7 minutes. This is because the empanadas dough is fairly thick, and if you don’t let it cook for a long time, the inside dough is raw and the outside is burned. Patience is the key to this!

Substitutions

You can substitute Maseca blanca (white flour) for the Maseca amarilla (yellow flour). Some people use a packet of Maggi chicken bouillon in place of the salt.

Variations

You can make all kinds of empanadas with different fillings: cheese, potato, with black beans, bean and cheese, fish. Yum! I really love them with Monterey Jack cheese too!

You can also find store-bought Masa that is ready to go at many Hispanic grocery stores. This is a great option if you don’t want ot make your own homemade empanda dough!

Finally, you can bake these- but fair warning- they are not nearly as delicious. Place empanadas on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, turning once.

Related post: Gluten Free Foods in Costa Rica

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this beef empanada recipe with hot coffee, tea, or agua dulce and great company. You can also make what we call an empanada arreglada– which is adding shredded cabbage on top and slathering ketchup and mayonnaise on top.

We definitely always serve empanadas with Salsa Lizano– most people just pour extra salsa into the empanadas after taking one bite.

FAQ

Can I make the beef empanada dough ahead?

You can but you need to store it in the refrigerator and bring it back to room temperature before forming the empanadas. I think it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Do empanadas reheat well?

Sort of. Some people pan-fry them or microwave them. I think there’s nothing better than a freshly fried empanada so we just eat them right away.

Where can I buy Maseca?

I find it in the Hispanic aisle of almost any grocery store. You can also sometimes find it in the baking aisle. You can order it on Amazon too– or buy it in 3lb packages at Sam’s Club. Costco definitely does not carry it. Bob’s Red Mill has a version that I want to try too.

Our most popular Costa Rican recipes:

FREE COSTA RICAN RECIPES EBOOK

Sign up for the free ebook, then never miss a new recipe when it’s published. 

Printable Recipe

Prep Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
15 minutes

Total Time
30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Maseca amarilla
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 cups Costa Rican shredded beef, warm
  • 3-4 cups oil for frying (I use vegetable oil)
  • tortilla press with plastic inserts
  • cast iron skillet
  • Optional for serving 
  • shredded cabbage
  • Salsa Lizano
  • ketchup
  • mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, measure out your Maseca and add your salt. Whisk together. 
  2. Pour in water, and mix until the dough (or masa) forms. I use my hands for this. 
  3. Divide the dough into 8 equal-size dough balls.
  4. Place the plastic bag inserts (I just cut up a piece of Ziploc bag in a square shape a bit larger than the tortilla press) into your tortilla press.
  5. Using your tortilla press, press the balls out into a flat shape. (You’ve just made a tortilla!)
  6. In one half of the circle, place your beef filling. I generally make Costa Rican-Style Shredded Beef Recipe and use a bit of it for this filling.
  7. Fold dough over the non-filled side of the empanada and seal with your finger.
  8. Heat the oil on medium-high heat to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. I use a small cast-iron skillet for this. Gently place your empanadas in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. 
  9. Drain off excess oil and serve.

Notes

I generally fry these empanadas at a lower temperature for about 5-7 minutes. this is because the empanadas dough is fairly thick, and if you don’t let it cook for a long time, the inside dough is raw and the outside is burned. Patience is the key to this!

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 3180Total Fat: 342gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 303gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 371mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 11g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

Pin it!



Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.
RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments