I visit Tecate, Baja California, Mexico on a regular basis. There is a Mexican panadería (bakery) that is extremely well known. It is called, El Mejor Pan de Tecate.
Guys, I have never seen a panadería like this! We are talking rows and rows of pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread). They even have diabetic and whole wheat options.
Tecate is about 45 minutes east of Tijuana. Grab a bread at this panadería and enjoy it at the charming plaza only a few blocks away. It is a destination spot for bread lovers all over the world.
It’s not just Mexican sweet bread. They also sell pizza, coffee, and savory breads like Empanadas de Queso. This is my take on this yummy baked treat.
Ingredient for Empanadas de Queso
- Pie dough
- Oaxaca Cheese
- Pickled Jalapenos
- Egg wash (water and egg)
You can also use Monterey Jack or Manchego. Any cheese that will melt well works well in this recipe.
I’m trying to give you an authentic Mexican recipe. That’s why I’m not suggesting mozzarella. However, you do as you do in your own kitchen.
For those of you who are long time readers, you know I like shortcuts. Use refrigerated pie dough to make Empanadas de Queso. It will make life a lot easier.
At the Mejor Pan de Tecate, they make their own pie dough.
Here’s my pie dough recipe:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 to 8 Tbsp ice water
- Put everything (except for the butter and water) in the food processor. Pulse a few times.
- Add the butter a little at a time. Slowly add the water until it forms a crumble.
- Remove and place on a dusted surface. Knead slightly until it forms into a disk.
- Divide into two. Don’t over mix. Let it rest for 1 hour before rolling out.
However, for savory empanadas, simply omit the sugar.
How to Make Empanadas de Queso
You don’t need a fancy dough cutter. I used a small bowl to cut out the circles.
Be sure to use something with a sharp edge. Or, take knife and cut around the edges of the bowl in order to cut through the dough.
Add the Pickled Jalapeños and strips of cheese.
Use your best judgement. Do not to overcrowd or add too much filling, or you won’t be able to close the empanada.
You can also add one of the pickled carrots that comes in the escabeche (pickling) container.
Brush the edges of the dough with an egg wash.
An egg wash is simply a few tablespoons of water and 1 egg mixed together. It will help bind the dough.
There are people who do fancy edges. Again, I’m the get in and get out of the kitchen type of cook.
I use a fork to press the edges together. Go around the edges, making sure it is completely sealed.
Please note: These are Empanadas de Queso estilo Mexicano (Mexican-style), but even within Mexico, this recipe differs. There is another version of this recipe made with masa harina. I’ll share that recipe with you another day.
Place all of the Empanadas de Queso on a baking sheet.
I like to line my baking sheet with foil paper. It just makes for easy cleanup. No scrubbing for me!
How to Fry Empanadas:
Heat oil to medium-high heat (not smoking, 350 degrees F on the deep-fry thermometer).
Fry 4-6 minutes, flipping once. Place on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
- To make them golden brown, brush the top of each of the empanadas with egg wash.
- Place them in the oven at 400 degrees F for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
You have to let them cool completely before eating. That’s the hard part, I know. I’m always tempted to nibble as soon as they come out, but they need a few minutes to rest. It’s best.
Serve with salsa verde. They make an easy Mexican appetizer at parties. You can even make them ahead of the event. Then simply warm them up before your guests arrive.
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How to Store Empanadas:
Empanadas de Queso store well at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
How to Freeze Empanadas: Place in a sealable bag and remove as much air as possible. They will last up to 5 months in the freezer. Thaw completely until ready to eat.
To Reheat Empanadas: You can also bake them in the oven for 12 minutes or microwave them for 2-3 minutes until warm.
Empanadas de Queso
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll out pie dough.
- Cut out 8-10 round pieces. About 3-inches each.
- Add a 2-inch piece of pickled jalapenos and a 2-inch piece of Queso Oaxaca.
- In a small bowl, mix the egg and the water.
- Brush the edge of the crust with egg mixture.
- Fold the rounds in half.
- Gently press the edges with a fork to seal.
- Place on an a cookie sheet.
- Brush the tops of the empanadas with more egg mixture.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve with your favorite salsa.
For More Mexican Appetizer Recipes:
Carne Asada Nachos is a tasty, delicious, and indulgent appetizer loved by foodies everywhere. Try this easy sheet pan recipe for game day or your next party.
Coctel de Camarones, or Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, is an easy recipe that is low in calories and incredibly yummy. It’s a seafood heaven in every bite!
Chorizo Cheese Dip is a cheese-lovers dream. Ooey gooey, melted cheese that’s mixed with Mexican chorizo. Add tortilla chips, and this party appetizer is sure to please any crowd.
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