Traditionally a beautiful Argentinian delight, you’ll find these gluten free and keto empanadas to be bursting with flavor and all wrapped up in a suuuper flaky low carb pie crust!
Gluten Free & Keto Empanadas
That’s right, empanadas are a true delight, which we’ve adopted here in Mexico as our own (a no-brainer!).
This version, however, is a bit more on the traditional Argentinian side; with the addition of green olives being non-negotiable!
Bonus: they’re very filling! So you can easily get 8 empanadas out of a batch of dough (they’re not very big traditionally), bake them up, freeze, and warm up as needed.
Alternatively, they also freeze quite well unbaked. So if you’re all about fresh empanadas, simply bake them straight from them freezer when the need (i.e. desire) arises.
Bonus numero dos: they’re easy. The filling is stupidly simple (like most great things in life!), and while working with the pie crust does take a little practice- freshly made empanadas are hard to beat!
Many of you already know and love my gluten free & keto pie crust. Suuuper flaky and a breeze to make, I’ve already used it anywhere from strawberry pop tarts to quiche and numerous keto pies (think pumpkin and ‘apple’!!).
The one trick is to work quickly and in a cool place. And if at any moment the dough feels unmanageable, simply pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
Note: a few of you have reported back that using an ‘empanda press‘ to handle the dough makes the process absolutely seamless (and I’m dying to try!).
And do keep in mind that as the filling expands while baked, it will crack your pastry slightly. Honestly don’t sweat it, as the only way around this would be to increase the xanthan gum to make up for the lack of gluten. But that would mean less flakiness, and I’m just not into sacrificing taste and texture for looks.
And… the video story!
Gluten Free & Keto Empanadas (with a flaky pie crust!)
- empanda press optional
For the pie crust
- 1 batch gluten free & keto pie crust *
For the beef filling
- extra virgin olive oil for cooking
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/3 onion very finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper freshly ground, to taste
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon xylitol or sweetener of choice
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives rinsed well and halved lengthwise
- 1 egg lightly beaten for egg wash
- See recipe video for guidance on the pie crust!
- Make a batch of our keto pie crust and chill while you make the filling.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Cook beef, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned but not completely cooked through. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in pan as possible.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook onion and bell pepper, stir- ring, until tender but not browned, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper. Add cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth and reserved beef along with any accumulated juices to pot. Stir in sug- ar and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, allow to come to room temperature, cover, and chill at least 3 hours
- Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C and line a baking tray with a mat.
- Roll out dough between parchment paper and cut out 8 rounds. Place 2-3 tablespoons filling (depending on the size of your em- panadas) in the center of each round and top with a couple olive halves. Fold round over filling and pinch edges to seal, using a fork to crimp the edges. Transfer empanada to prepared tray, spacing 1” apart. Repeat with remaining rounds (you’ll get about roughly 8 large empanadas out of a batch).
- Note: a few of you have reported back that using an 'empanda press' to handle the dough makes the process absolutely seamless (and I'm dying to try!).
- Brush with egg wash and bake, rotating tray halfway through, until golden brown and slightly darker around the edges, 25–35 minutes.
Anxious to try recipe. But when I think of empanadas (thinking of an old Mexican restaurant that is closed), they were a sweet dessert.
Empanadas are generally savory in Latin America, but you can definitely do sweet fillings too if that’s more your thing 😉
Can these be fried like traditional empanadas?
Tbh I haven’t tried Dena, but I have a feeling the fat content in the dough may be too high for frying…
Can these be baked in an air fryer?
I rarely leave comments but had to in this case. I’ve followed a keto diet for several years now and usually just stick to whole foods instead of baking with flours etc. I absolutely loved the empanadas I had in Chile back in 2016, before changing my diet. So I purchased xantham gum for the first time so that I could make this recipe.
The dough is tricky to work with (I rolled out and cut quickly and in batches, keeping the unused portion in freezer) and the empanadas were time-consuming to make, but it’s SO worth the effort. Both the filling and the crust are delicious!!! And they passed the true test – my husband and daughter both LOVED them and wanted more. (they are not on a keto diet and eat grain-based flours) The crust is tender and flaky and so good, and the filling is delicious. (one change to filling – I used finely chopped fresh jalapeno instead of cayenne pepper)
I tried using an empanada press and it was a disaster. Despite my dough being well-chilled, it completely stuck to the press and made a mess. So I just used the press to cut the circles and pressed the filled empanadas by hand, crimping with a fork.
I can’t wait to make some berry hand pies now. Thank you, Paola!! 🙂
Recipe shows 6 carbs, 3 g fiber, so are they 4 net carbs each? Thanks for the recipe, dying to try.
Really, really good! I made a double batch using crazy keto dough instead of the pie crust, as I find it easier to work with. Remembering an old, non-keto empanada recipe I used to make, I added six, chopped, boiled eggs to the beef mixture after it cooled, a few cloves of garlic in with the onion, and I sliced the olives into rings rather than halving them and just mixed those in with the beef too. The olives are very important, as they add a lot of flavor. So get some nice, fresh ones in a glass jar, such as castelvetrano or green olives with pimentos. I tried it once with canned, black olives once, and it was nowhere near as good. I made a double batch of the dough, but should’ve tripled it instead to account for the eggs I added to the filling. I had to roll out my dough super thin to accommodate all the filling, which was difficult and time-consuming. I separated the dough into equal-sized balls, then rolled each one out between two Silpat baking sheets dusted with coconut flour, which worked well. I ended up with 15 empanadas at 230 calories each and 3.2g net carbs. Not bad. I put some uncooked ones in the fridge, and bake them as needed in the toaster oven for 10-15 minutes until browned. I put the rest in the freezer, and they come out well after baking in the toaster oven for 15-20 minutes. I like to serve them with a little Sriracha mayo. These took me a long time to make, but next time it’ll be easier if I make a little extra dough. Also, I chilled the beef mixture only for one hour, and it was pretty cold by then. Three hours seems like overkill. Of course, the pie crust is way more fussy than the crazy dough, what with all the butter in it that needs to be kept really cold in order to not fall apart. Great recipe! I’ve got lunch for two weeks now!
If I don’t have coconut flour, what could I use in place?
How long did you air fry and a what temp?