Low-carb beef empanadas with dip

Low-carb beef empanadas with dip

Tasty, meat-filled turnovers from Latin America get a low-carb twist. The name empanada literally means "wrapped in bread" but here the wrapping is made of keto-friendly almond flour, eggs, and ricotta cheese. Filled with a tasty ground beef mix and served with a dipping sauce, these empanadas will have everyone saying "Gracias" and "Uno más, por favor"

Low-carb beef empanadas with dip

Tasty, meat-filled turnovers from Latin America get a low-carb twist. The name empanada literally means "wrapped in bread" but here the wrapping is made of keto-friendly almond flour, eggs, and ricotta cheese. Filled with a tasty ground beef mix and served with a dipping sauce, these empanadas will have everyone saying "Gracias" and "Uno más, por favor"
USMetric
4 servingservings

Ingredients

Empanada dough
  • 1¼ cups (5 oz.) 300 ml (140 g) almond flour
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 2 egg, dividedeggs, divided
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp heavy whipping cream (for egg wash)
Filling
  • 3 tbsp 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ (1 oz.) ¼ (28 g) red onion, finely choppedred onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1 garlic clove, mincedgarlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ lb 110 g ground beef
  • ¼ cup 60 ml tomato sauce
  • ¼ (1 oz.) ¼ (30 g) red bell pepper, mincedred bell peppers, minced
  • 1 (7 oz.) 1 (200 g) zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 1 egg, hard boiled and finely choppedeggs, hard boiled and finely chopped
Dipping sauce
  • ½ cup 120 ml sour cream
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp salt
  • 1 1 fresh jalapeño, choppedfresh jalapeños, chopped
  • 13 oz. (9 tbsp) 10 g (150 ml) fresh cilantro
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Instructions

Instructions are for 4 servings. Please modify as needed.

For the filling

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook while stirring until it turns translucent.
  2. Add in the garlic and ground beef, stirring until meat browns.
  3. Pour in the tomato sauce, add bell pepper, zucchini, salt, and pepper. Stir and cover. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste if needed. Remove from the heat. Mix in the minced egg and set aside.

Empanadas

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk to combine almond flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and xanthan gum.
  2. Add the butter, ricotta, and half of the eggs.
  3. Using the hook attachment of a mixer, knead until it has become a smooth ball of dough (about 2 minutes).
  4. Remove from the mixer, wrap in plastic film and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
  5. Cut parchment paper into squares, roughly 7” x 7” (18 x 18 cm).
  6. Once the dough is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator, cut them into pieces, and form each piece into a ball.
  7. Press each ball between two pieces of parchment paper using a cutting board (or extend using a rolling pin) to make a flat disc that is 5” (13 cm) in diameter.
  8. Peel off the top layer of paper and reuse for the other balls, leaving the discs on the bottom paper. The dough is softer and more delicate than the traditional empanadas dough, so you have to handle it with a bit more care. Set the discs aside.
  9. Split the remaining egg into yolk and white. Set the white aside. Whisk the yolk and heavy cream together. Set it aside too.

Assembly

  1. To fill the empanadas, scoop a tablespoon of the filling into the center of each of the dough discs.
  2. Fold each over, using help from the parchment paper, to form a half-moon. Press the edges to seal. You have to be delicate in handling these and may need to gently fix any cracks in the dough. Don’t worry though, the empanadas will need to have some holes to let the steam out.
  3. Once they are all assembled, pierce once in the center with a toothpick. Paint each with the egg/cream wash.
  4. Arrange on a baking tray on top of a wire rack lined with parchment paper.
  5. In a preheated oven, bake at 300 ºF (150 ºC) for 20 minutes, or until they turn a light golden brown. You really need to keep an eye on them as almond flour is a bit unpredictable and may go from golden to burnt in little time.

Sauce

  1. For the dipping sauce, blend everything with an immersion blender to your preferred consistency. Serve.

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12 comments

  1. 1 comment removed
  2. MARYBETH ISAMINGER
    I enjoyed this recipe very much, but being a spice lover I replaced the tomato sauce with the equivalent amount of chipotles in adobo sauce. Chopped up the chipotles. Delish!
  3. jvd
    I can’t get xatham gum where I live. Is is vital and if so is there a substitute?
    Reply: #4
  4. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I can’t get xatham gum where I live. Is is vital and if so is there a substitute?

    You may be able to use glucomannan for this recipe.

  5. Sylwia Vaclavek
    can I use cream cheese or sour cream instead of the ricotta cheese?
    Reply: #6
  6. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    can I use cream cheese or sour cream instead of the ricotta cheese?

    We have not tested this recipe with sour cream or cream cheese in place of the ricotta. I would think that the cream cheese would be a more viable substitute, that there may be too much moisture in the sour cream.

  7. Diana
    Having been born and raised in Argentina, of course I had to try the empanadas! They were an absolute hit and I enjoyed them very much. A few comments to hopefully help with the recipe. I feel that the dough needs a bit of salt in it. Additionally, when the recipe is adjusted to increase the servings, there's an insane amount of eggs for the egg wash (as the egg quantity is supposed to be half for the dough, half for the wash). One egg alone is enough to use for the wash of probably 15-20 empanadas, and there's even no need for whipping cream in the mix, if that helps. If the idea is to include more fat and/or protein, eggs could be boiled and minced to use as part of the filling with the beef (minced olives are also a possibility, though I know that would increase the fat content as well). Lastly, the oven time was about 40 minutes at 300 degrees for the dough to become golden brown. That will probably depend on the thickness of the dough, I suppose. I did not want to roll it too thin, so that the empanadas wouldn't break much when assembling them, but it wasn't too thick either. All comments aside, I absolutely loved them and I'm glad I made extra, so I have more to freeze and enjoy later. Thank you DD for all the recipes!
    Reply: #8
  8. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Having been born and raised in Argentina, of course I had to try the empanadas! They were an absolute hit and I enjoyed them very much. A few comments to hopefully help with the recipe. I feel that the dough needs a bit of salt in it. Additionally, when the recipe is adjusted to increase the servings, there's an insane amount of eggs for the egg wash (as the egg quantity is supposed to be half for the dough, half for the wash). One egg alone is enough to use for the wash of probably 15-20 empanadas, and there's even no need for whipping cream in the mix, if that helps. If the idea is to include more fat and/or protein, eggs could be boiled and minced to use as part of the filling with the beef (minced olives are also a possibility, though I know that would increase the fat content as well). Lastly, the oven time was about 40 minutes at 300 degrees for the dough to become golden brown. That will probably depend on the thickness of the dough, I suppose. I did not want to roll it too thin, so that the empanadas wouldn't break much when assembling them, but it wasn't too thick either. All comments aside, I absolutely loved them and I'm glad I made extra, so I have more to freeze and enjoy later. Thank you DD for all the recipes!

    Thank you for your feedback!

  9. Lindasoraya1
    Hello everyone, There is any way i can substitute de ricotta, or cream cheese in these recipe? Thank you and have a great day!
    Replies: #10, #14
  10. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hello everyone, There is any way i can substitute de ricotta, or cream cheese in these recipe? Thank you and have a great day!

    We have not tested this recipe with a substitute for the ricotta cheese.

  11. Luke
    I once made some absolutely disastrous empanadas, but I just made these and they’re fantastic! Thanks!
    Reply: #12
  12. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    I once made some absolutely disastrous empanadas, but I just made these and they’re fantastic! Thanks!

    So glad you enjoyed them!

  13. 1 comment removed
  14. Angela Day

    Hello everyone, There is any way i can substitute de ricotta, or cream cheese in these recipe? Thank you and have a great day!

    I made them with cream cheese and they were fantastic.

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