Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas & Abuelita Chocolate Tamales

Written by Liz –

Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas recipe

It’s time to celebrate Hispanic heritage month with some delicious new recipes from our kitchens: Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas and Abuelita Chocolate Tamales. Empanadas are popular in almost all Latin American countries.  There are a vast amount of different versions and fillings…some are fried, some are baked, some are sweet and some are savory.

This Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas recipe was inspired by the Argentinean empanada with its popular picadillo filling. Picadillo is a ground beef filling and it varies on the ingredients and method of preparation, depending on the country of origin. Some have hard-boiled eggs, olives, raisins, potatoes and even capers. This version has a sweet and salty combination of ingredients like raisins and green olives and flavorings like cumin and Maggi seasoning.

This version is very easy to prepare, and it’s a healthier alternative to the more typical fried version. Using our Maggi Sofrito cooking base and pre-made frozen dough cuts preparation time by more than half. And baking the empanadas cuts fat and calories. And they’re delicioso!

Easy Baked Picadillo Empanadas

Ingredients for 24 empanadas:

  • 24 (two 11.6-ounce packages) frozen store-bought empanada dough discs, defrosted
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 MAGGI Beef Flavor Bouillon Tablet, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 packet (3.98 ounces) MAGGI Sofrito Seasoning Paste (tomato, garlic, onion)


PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease large baking sheets.

HEAT large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, bouillon and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Add bell pepper, potato, olives, raisins and sofrito. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until mixture is heated through and has thickened slightly.

PLACE 2 heaping tablespoons beef mixture in center of each pastry disc. Wet edges with water; fold in half and crimp edges with fork.

PLACE empanadas on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Abuelita Chocolate Tamales recipe

And for dessert: tamales. Tamales (sweet or savory) are a must during any Hispanic celebration. Even President Obama celebrates Hispanic Heritage with tamales!

This is a sweet tamale recipe and Abuelita Chocolate Tamales are a breeze to make since there is no stuffing involved. Simply prepare it like a cake batter and spread on a corn husk, wrap and then steam! And the cinnamon cream sauce on top is the perfect finishing touch! Double your chocolate enjoyment and pair these tamales with a hot Atole.

Abuelita Chocolate Tamales

Ingredients for 14 servings:

14 large dry corn husks
2 cans (7.6 fluid ounces each) NESTLÉ Media Crema, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablets (90 grams each) NESTLÉ ABUELITA Chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 3/4 cups masa harina flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups warm milk


SOAK husks in warm water for at least 1 hour or until softened and easy to fold.

COMBINE 1 can media crema, sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon in small bowl; refrigerate.

PLACE Abuelita chocolate and remaining 1 can media crema in medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat; set aside.

BEAT butter in large bowl until creamy. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Alternately add flour mixture, milk and Abuelita mixture to butter, mixing well after each addition until consistency of thick cake batter (masa). (If masa is dry add a few tablespoons of warm milk; mix well.)

SPREAD 1/4 cup masa mixture, using back of a spoon, to form a square in the center of the lower wider portion of one husk. Fold right then left edge of husk over masa. Fold up bottom edge. Repeat with remaining masa mixture and husks.

PLACE vegetable steamer in pot with lid; add water to just below steamer. Arrange tamales upright in steamer rack. Cover top of tamales with a damp towel; cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Steam, adding water as needed, for about 1 hour or until masa pulls away from husks. Serve warm with media crema sauce.


More Hispanic recipes:

Quesadilla Pizzas recipe
Quesadilla Pizzas
Chicken and Cheese Entomatadas recipe
Chicken and Cheese Entomatadas


  1. Posted September 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love picadillo-thanks for sharing!

  2. Posted September 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I really like the idea behind this, it’s been years since I’ve had authentic Mexican food. I need to buy some Masa.

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