Beef Empanada with Pie Crust

These are so good, the aromatic ground beef is wrapped in super flaky, buttery melt in your mouth. The combination of moist beef and buttery dough is amazing.

I have made beef empanada many times using the ready-made empanada wrappers, which are not as flaky and buttery as pie dough…so I am splurging myself with this recipe.

– What are empanadas?

Empanadas are like hand pies, small and can be filled with any kind of savory filling. They can be baked or fried.

– Why should you try making these empanadas?

Because they are super easy and so tasty…great as appetizers.

– Can I make these empanadas ahead?

Definitely, you can bake them and store in the freezer and heated up when ready to serve.

– Are you ready to  look at the recipe?


  • 1 package of ready-made all butter pie crust (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup sliced green olive
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all spice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, for egg wash

How to:

In a frying pan, add the olive oil under medium heat and sauté the onion, shallot and garlic, until slightly golden brown and aromatic.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Add the tomato paste, all the spices and olive. Cook for 2-3 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Remove the pre-made pie crust and place in a flat surface. Use a cookie cutter of approximately 3.5 inch in diameter and press onto the dough, cut into disks.

Add 2 spoons of the ground beef filling in the middle of the disk. Fold in half and press the edges around the half circle to seal. Make small folds throughout the edge. Repeat the same with all the remaining dough.

Brush the empanadas with the egg wash and bake in a pre-heated convection oven for 20 – 25 minutes at 395oF or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let the empanadas cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm.

– If you enjoy this simple recipe you might want to check on these…

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

Asian Style Cheeseburger

Looking for easy and fast meal ready to go at any time? These soft buns filled with gooey cheese and ground beef are “a must”.

– How these burgers taste?

Well, the gooey cheese mixed with the flavorful ground beef in between super soft and cottony dough is just heaven…and no mess at all!

– Why are these Asian cheeseburgers so good?

They make an easy meal if you have them in the refrigerator or freezer…just warm them up and serve with a side of salad.

– Can you make these cheeseburgers ahead?

Absolutely, they can stand the freezer very well. The buns can be warmed in the oven or microwave, whichever way you like.

– Ready to look at the recipe?


Bread dough from the recipe HERE.

Ground beef filling

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef, 85%
  • ½ large onion finely chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon dry oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 100 g mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes or grated
  • Egg wash
  • Sesame seeds
  • 180 g cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes or grated


Bread dough

When ready to use, split the dough into16 small balls of approximately 72 g each.

Let it rest on the counter covered for 10 minutes.

Ground beef filling

In a frying pan or wok sauté the onion with garlic until golden and aromatic.  Add the ground beef and stir fry until the meat is cooked, by stirring. While stirring add all the spices.

Let it cool and add the cheese, mix until uniform. Set aside for assembly of the buns.


Flat the dough and open into a disk using a rolling pin.

Add into the middle of the disk approximately 45 g of the ground beef and cheese mix.

Seal the bun with the ground beef mix in the middle and shape into a ball.

Repeat the procedure with all the remaining dough.

In the meantime, turn the oven to 350oF.

Cover the buns and let it proof until its size double.

When ready to bake brush the egg wash on top of the buns and sprinkle with sesame seed.

Bake in a preheated oven of 350oF for 15-17 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.

– Looking for more bread recipes? Check these out…

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

Curry Beef Pinwheels

Pinwheels are great finger food for parties and these curry beef pinwheels are super easy to make and loaded with flavors.

These pinwheels are great because they are super easy to make and only require a few ingredients…they can be served as an appetizer, snacks or even as a side for soup or salad. They are at their best when warm…but still good at room temperature.

– Can I make them ahead?

Absolutely, you can bake them and freeze and refresh in the oven before serving or even freeze the pinwheels before baking and pop them in the oven when it is time to serve.

– Can I fill the pinwheels with other kind of meat?

Yes, please feel free to use your imagination, just make sure to you add a sort of binding ingredients when making the Swiss roll so the meat does not crumble off the wheels.  I used a bit of cheddar cheese.

– Should we head to the recipe?


  • 1 package of ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 lb of lean ground meat
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Curry powder to taste
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 50 to 100 g grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg slightly beaten


Heat olive oil in a frying pan or wok under medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes until fragrant and slightly golden brown.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

Stir fry the ground beef in the same pan, add salt, pepper and curry powder to your taste until golden brown.

Add the mixture of onion and garlic back to the ground beef and mix gently.

Remove from the heat and let it cool down.

While the curry beef is cooling preheat oven to 400oF and line a baking sheet with silicone mat of parchment paper.

Open the puff pastry sheets and carefully roll out

Divide the meat into two portions and spread the meat over the pastry, leaving approximately 1 inch at one of the shorter border. Sprinkle on the grated cheese and firmly and tightly roll the pastry like a Swiss roll.

Place the Swiss roll in the freezer for approximately 10 minutes.

Remove the roll from the freezer and slice it using a sharp knife.

Place the pinwheels on the baking trays, spacing them apart and brush the top of each one with the beaten egg.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Serve warm.

– More appetizers recipe? Check these out…

Did you know that curry is a mix of many spices? Mainly a combination of cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric and chilies. Curry is used in many Indian, Malaysian, Thai…and many other Southeast Asian cuisines.  It can be used as dry powder or added to stews with all kind of meat, chicken and vegetarian dishes.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

Pan-Fried Beef Buns with Chive

Have you ever tried these crispy juicy buns? They come packed with flavors and surprisingly soupy…

The ground beef that I used in this recipe was provided by ButcherBox. The company offered me to try their products, therefore I received a generous box containing a variety of beef and chicken products and a package of uncured hickory smoked bacon.  Before I continue, I just want to clarify that I did not receive any compensation for this post and all the content and opinion in this post are solely mine. The box came to my door in dry ice and went straight to my freezer. The packages are very convenient as they are packed in small portion under vacuum.  If you like to learn more about ButcherBox, please check it HERE.

My son when little used to called these “Chinese hamburger” maybe because the filling resemble hamburger (ground beef), not to insult hamburger’s lover, but these beef filling of ground beef are much tastier than hamburger patties, they are loaded with chives, green onion, ginger and a hint of soy sauce and sesame oil.  I still picture my son’s face when eating these buns, he would have his spoon ready to collect the “soup” and drink it with such gratification.

These buns are crispy on the outside and slightly chewy…but I must advise you that there is a trick when eating the buns…you must first take a small bite making a small hole on the skin of the bun.  Carefully suck the juice (meat broth) from the bun and then eat as you would normally eat a bun.  If you do not extract the “soup” first, you will not only make a mess as the “juice” will come out as you bite and splash all over you, not to mention that you will lose one of the best part of these buns.

This recipe was inspired by my mom’s experience in the kitchen…



  • 400 g bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 130 g boiling hot water
  • 120 g cold water
  • Pinch salt

Beef Filling

  • 1 lb 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 small bunch garlic chives, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch green onion or scallion, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • 100 ml water



In the mixing bowl or bread machine bowl, place the flour and salt.

Add the boiling water to the flour and mix. The flour mixture will be lumpy.

Place the bowl in the mixer or bread machine or mixer and then add cold water. Mix until the dough is smooth, approximately 10 minutes.

Remove the dough and place in a container with lid and let rest for 1 to 1 ½ hour.

Beef Filling

Mix the ground beef, chives, scallions,  gingers and all the other seasonings together. Add water gradually to the beef mixture, and stir in the same direction until all the water had been absorbed in the meat mixture.


Remove the dough from the bowl and weigh approximately 30g of dough (approximately 21 balls). If the dough is very stick, sprinkle a little bit of flour on the working surface.

Roll the pieces into circles of approximately 4in (10cm) in diameter. Wrap approximately1 to 1 ½ tablespoon of meat mixture) and seal it the same way as you are going to fold Chinese bun.  Place the fold side down and gently patch slightly flat.

When ready to pan fry, heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a pan under medium-low. Place the buns first fold side down and cover. Flip the buns until both side are golden brown. Approximately 5 minutes each side.

Serve hot.

If you enjoy this very traditional dish you might want to take a look at this Brazilian inspired Esfiha – Baked Meat Pie.

Did you know that onion and garlic chive belong to the same family? Garlic chive is widely used in Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese. Garlic chive is garlicky and juicy, often added in dumplings filling.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

Esfiha – Baked Meat Pie

This is a very popular snack found in Brazil, it is mainly another version of our “hamburger” the ground meat baked wrapped in a bread dough.

Sorry for being away…this couple of weeks so much has happened in my life…one of my very good friends has stopped all the treatments for cancer, therefore she is under palliative and hospice care, with the support of my husband I flew with her out of state to help and spend some time with her along with her family. During the time I was with her, we talked and talked, we laughed and cried, we remembered facts in the past, places we went together, we teased each other…and we comforted each other…it was so hard to say goodbye when was time for me to come home, but she was always very gracious and comforting, telling me that she was okay and that I could leave and not to worry about her. It was an experience that I have never imagined going through…it was a life lesson, being able to face death openly and accept that we all one day will have to come across with. As for now, we still communicate by text and phone, and I am so thankful that she is in such a good spirit, very peaceful, serene and enjoying every day.

I hope I did not spoil your day by sharing this event…now the bright side of my post…a recipe for esfiha, which are simply meat pies. Esfiha are very popular in Brazil. These meat pies are of Middle East origin and they are found everywhere, a very common street food. They can be open-faced, like pizza and topped with cheese, lamb, beef or vegetables.

What I have here is a closed one, and for the dough I used an Asian inspired recipe, therefore the bread dough is super soft and cottony as compared to the recipe that I originally posted HERE…no more ”talk” and let’s head for the recipe. By the way, these meat pies are so tasty and juicy, they can be frozen, and are great as an appetizer or as a main dish served with a side salad. One more thing…they are usually served with hot sauce or wedge of lime/lemon.


Dough, from HERE

Meat Filling
1 lb 85% fat ground beef
2 tomatoes, seed removed and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Egg Wash
1 egg
½ tablespoon water


In a large mixing bowl combine the ground meat and all the other ingredients, mixing them together. Set aside in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours. Remove the excess of liquid. Mix again gently and it is ready for the assembly.


After the first rise, divide the bread dough into small balls, approximately 45 to 50 g each. Roll into small circle of about 12 cm or 5 inch in diameter.
Place in the middle of the circle approximately 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture.
Fold the circle into thirds, forming a triangle shape pie. Seat the ends and place them on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mate or parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cover the pies and let them rise for approximately 30 minutes or until the pies double of its original size.

Gently brush the top of the pies with the egg wash.

Bake the pies in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Please note that some of the filling might “leak” and it should be bubbling.

Remove from the tray and let it cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with hot sauce and/or lemon/lime wedge.

Did you know that esfiha is also called sfiha in Arabic? It means meat with dough. In Brazil, esfiha is very popular due to the presence of a large Arab population.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

Simple Chili

This is a very simple version for chili recipe made with ground beef.  It is such a comforting dish, and great for a cold evening meal.

I have been so busy lately that I had no time to make my usual “weekly” visit to you…I am sorry…I will try to stop by and see what is new with you…

This week, I am sharing a simple recipe for chili…I learned this recipe at one cooking class that I attended a while ago. The recipe called for turkey, but I made it with regular ground beef. Of course I had to make some changes to adapt our palate…I did cook the beans from scratch instead of using bean in can. Now that the weather is cooling down, nothing like a hot and spicy bowl of chili to warm up the evening…

Trust me, this is very simple to put together and it is very tasty!


  • 1 cup dry pinto bean, soaked overnight in water, cooked until soft with a couple of bay leaves.
  • 2 ½ lbs ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 10oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can corn
  • 3 cup beef broth
  • 2 4oz cans green chiles, chopped with liquid
  • ¼ heavy cream or sour cream, optional
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cornmeal or masa


Over medium heat high heat in a big saucepan, heat the oil. When hot, add the onions, garlic and jalapenos and cook about 2 minutes until tender.

Add in the ground meat, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano and paprika mixing thoroughly making sure to break up the clumps of meat. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the meat is cooked completely.

Add the beef broth, canned tomatoes and green chiles. Mix in then reduce the temperature to a simmer and cook uncovered to about 45 minutes.

Add in the beans and corn and bring to boil. Add the cornmeal or masa until the desired thickness.

Serve hot by topping with heavy cream or sour cream and cilantro.

If you enjoy this simple chili, you might want to try the Turkey version of this Chili recipe.


Did you know that chili pepper contain capsaicin, a substance that stimulates secretions that help clear mucus from stuffed up nose or congested lungs? Due to its intense red color, chili peppers are rich in vitamin A.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!

Ground Beef with Polenta

This is a very simple and hearty meal by just topping ground beef sauce over creamy polenta. So easy and yet so satisfying.

I hope you all had a great weekend, either celebrating Easter, Passover or just an enjoyable weekend…

I love to make this dish…it is simple and so delicious. Not to mention so comforting…
This time I added a little jalapeno in the polenta, which added an extra flavor to it. It is so good when you scoop the polenta together with the ground beef and its sauce…yum!

Anyway, enough of bragging about how delicious this dish it is…lets be practical…


Ground Beef

2 garlic cloves chopped finely
1 small onion cut into small pieces
Approximately 12oz lean ground beef
1 can stew tomatoes
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Soft Polenta

1/3 cup cornmeal
2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno
Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil leaves


In a medium sauce pan, sauté garlic and onion in the olive oil until slightly golden brown. Add the ground beef until browned using medium high heat.

Add the ground all spice, dry oregano and the can of stewed tomatoes. Once the mixture starts to boil, lower the heat to low and cover the pan. Let is cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the ground beef is soft.

In the meantime cook the polenta by adding the polenta in the boiling water with butter. Stir constantly in low heat until the fully cooked. As the cornmeal cooks the texture will change from watery to cream consistency. Add the jalapeno, mix gently and remove the polenta from the heat.

To assemble the plate, scoop the polenta in the center of a deep dish and using the back of the spoon make an indent. Add the ground beef on the little crater. Garnish with fresh basil or freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

If you enjoy this simple and delicious dish with soft polenta, you might want to check on Chicken with Soft Polenta or Shrimp with Cheesy Polenta.

Did you know that polenta or its variety is widely used throughout Europe, Africa, North and South America?

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful day!

Bell Pepper Stuffed wtih Quinoa

I have been trying to cook more with quinoa, so I decided to substitute the grain in the stuffed bell peppers with quinoa. I usually use cracked wheat or rice. The way that I prepared this bell peppers are very easy and simple and sure makes a great one meal dish.


1/3 cup quinoa
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tomatoes, seed removed and chopped
½ large onion chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1/3 teaspoon ground all spice
1 tablespoon olive oil
5~6 medium size green bell peppers
Salt and pepper to taste


Rinse the quinoa and let it drain well. Mix all the ingredients together, except the olive oil and stuff the bell peppers.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil and place the stuffed bell peppers with the stuffing facing the pan. Let the meat brown for a few minutes. Turn the bell peppers and add 1 cup of hot water.

Cover and let it cook for approximately 15 minutes.

Serve it hot.


Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!


Growing up in Brazil, we were so exposed to Middle Eastern food and Esfiha was something that you could literally find in almost every corner.


¾ cup of water
2 cups bread flour
1½ tablespoon sugar
1½ tablespoon dry milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon yeast


1 lb of lean ground beef
2 large tomato cut in small pieces
1 large onion chopped
½ bunch Italian parsley
2 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
Sal and pepper to taste



I use my mini bakery Zojirushi for the dough, or follow the instructions of your bread machine.In my bread machine.

Place the water first at the bottom of the bucket and add the dry ingredients. Choose the dough setting, when the cycle is complete, gently remove the dough from the bucket and knead until all the bubbles are removed.

Mix all the ingredients and let it set for a few minute.


Knead the dough to remove the air bubbles, after removing the air bubbles from the dough make a roll and cut into 12 equal pieces.

Open the dough (approximately 4 in diameter), place approximately 3 tablespoon of the meat filling in the middle of the dough and close it by making a triangle (see the pictures).

Place the esfihas in a flour surface and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Bake in a hot oven, 400F for 20 minutes.

Did you know that esfiha is also called sfiha in Arabic? It means meat with dough. In Brazil, esfiha is very popular due to the presence of a large Arab population.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!