Recipe Image
Carol Kicinski
Need something simple and delicious to feed a crowd? These empanadas are sure to add some excitement to your next gathering!

Gluten-free empanadas to feed a crowd

Author Byline Image   If you are looking for an easy recipe that feeds a crowd that is a little out of the ordinary, give these gluten free empanadas a try. They can be served as an appetizer, part of a buffet, or as a main course. They can also be made ahead and re-heated just before serving, perfect for stress-free entertaining.
   To keep the recipe simple (and grain free) I used gluten-free focaccia mix (Chebe brand) for the dough – so much easier than making pastry crust.
   If you don’t have a big crowd to feed or really want to get a jump on your entertaining workload, the empanadas can be baked ahead and frozen, just let them thaw and re-heat in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes until hot.
   Simple, delicious, and sure to wow a crowd!
Gluten-Free Empanadas
Makes 36, depending on size
½ pound ground sirloin
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
½ small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons black olives, chopped
½ cup canned tomatoes and chilies (such as RoTel), drained
2 (7.5 ounce) boxes gluten-free focaccia mix (such as Chebe)
4 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese (omit for dairy free)
5 large eggs, use divided
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup water
   In a large skillet, brown the ground sirloin over medium-high heat. Remove from the pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add the pepper, onion, garlic, raisins, chili powder, and salt to the pan and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the ground beef back to the pan along with the almonds, olives, and canned tomatoes and chilies. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Let cool in the pan.
   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
   In a large mixing bowl, combine the focaccia mix, oil, cheese (if using), 4 eggs, sugar, and water. Mix with a fork. Dump the mixture onto a clean work surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place a piece of waxed or parchment paper on the work surface, place one portion of dough on top, cover with another piece of waxed or parchment paper, and roll into a rectangle 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut the dough into 3-inch circles using a cookie or biscuit cutter. Repeat with the remaining portion of dough. If needed, gather up the scraps and re-roll.
   Beat the remaining egg and brush onto the dough circles. Place a heaping tablespoon of the meat filling on the dough circles and fold the dough over, forming a half circle. Press the edges together and brush with more beaten egg.
   Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot or warm.