These Mini Taco Hand Pies are a cinch to make using refrigerated pie dough instead of crunchy taco shells, seasoned ground beef using my Taco Seasoning, red onion, refried beans and cheese.
Now some of you out there might be thinking, “aren’t these empanadas?” and I’d have to say yes and NO. To me, an empanada really needs to have homemade dough, otherwise it’s cheating, and I’m not about to get into a “authentic” story here either, so save the comments.
If you’re looking to find “authentic” empanadas, try my Empanadas Mendocinas, or these Shredded Beef Verde Empanadas. Since I used frozen pie dough here, and since this was a taco filling, hence the name.
These Mini Taco Hand Pies were the result of leftover taco filling from the previous night. Think of a burrito or taco filling wrapped up in a flakey pastry dough baked until all golden and delicious. That’s what you get with these easy to make Mini Taco Hand Pies.
I didn’t want the same meal and with pre made pie dough in the freezer they came together in no time. I had pepper jack and cheddar cheese, but needed something to hold it all together and hit up a local Mexican restaurant for a pint of refried beans. That worked perfect!
I used the lid of the refried beans container, it was 4 inches, to cut out the dough circles. Scoop about two tablespoons of the meat filling and fold. Press those edges to seal and a egg wash on top.
I made them and before baking them decided to pop them in the freezer for safe keeping. They ended up being perfect for lunch over the weekend!
Flakey, golden brown pastry dough surrounds a flavorful taco-styled beef mixture.
I sauté the red onion with the ground beef and add My Homemade Taco Seasoning Spice Blend, a perfect blend of cumin, chili powder and the warm spices.
With some refried beans to hold it all together and lots of pepper jack and cheddar cheese this filling is perfect.
On the go snacking made easy, these Mini Taco Hand Pies are great for lunches, dinner with a salad and they freeze well for later.
- 1 lb ground beef (80/20)
- 1 red onion medium, chopped
- 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning Spice Blend (See Note 1)
- 1 cup refried beans (See Note 2)
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese shredded
- 4 pie crusts (frozen/thawed 2 packages double pie crusts)
- 1 egg beaten
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large skillet brown ground beef, red onion and Taco Seasoning Spice Blend over medium heat, breaking up to crumble.
Add the refried beans and stir in cheese. Set aside to cool slightly. Meat mixture will thicken.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out a pie crust to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using a 4 inch round circular mold (I used the refried beans container lid) cut 6 circles, re-rolling dough if needed. Repeat with other pie crusts for 24 circles.
- Top each dough circle with about 2 tablespoons of the filling. Fold in half and press edges with a fork to seal. (You can use a 4-inch mold or dumpling press if you have one). Place on a lined baking sheet. (See Note 3)
Brush the tops and sides with beaten egg then pierce the top of each with a fork. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- See my Taco Seasoning Spice Bend Recipe or use your favorite.
- I buy a pint of refried beans and used 8 oz (1 cup) to keep the beef mixture holding together, but not too loose.
- These can be frozen and sealed in an air tight freezer bag or container at this point for future use. Brush with egg wash after thawed and follow remaining instructions.