Empanadas are a classic Latin American dish that is loved by people all over the world. These delicious turnovers are filled with a variety of ingredients, but one of the most popular choices is ham and cheese. If you’re looking for an easy and tasty ham and cheese empanada recipe, you’ve come to the right place!

To make the best ham and cheese empanadas, you’ll need the following ingredients:

– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
– 1/4 cup ice water
– 1 cup diced ham
– 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or your favorite)
– 1/4 cup diced onions
– 1/4 cup diced bell peppers
– 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon paprika
– 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Now, let’s dive into the recipe:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

2. Gradually add the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the diced ham, shredded cheese, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.

4. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out circles from the dough.

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6. Place a spoonful of the ham and cheese filling onto one half of each dough circle, leaving a small border around the edges. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal. You can use a fork to crimp the edges for a decorative touch.

7. Transfer the empanadas to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the empanadas with the beaten egg wash for a golden finish.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the empanadas are golden brown and crispy.

Now that you have the delicious ham and cheese empanadas ready, it’s time for some frequently asked questions:

Q1. Can I use a different type of meat instead of ham?
A1. Absolutely! You can substitute ham with cooked chicken, ground beef, or even vegetarian options like tofu or mushrooms.

Q2. Can I freeze the empanadas before baking them?
A2. Yes! You can freeze the assembled empanadas on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a freezer bag once they are firm. When ready to bake, simply add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

Q3. Can I use pre-made empanada dough instead of making it from scratch?
A3. Yes, you can use store-bought empanada dough if you prefer a quicker option.

Q4. Can I add other vegetables to the filling?
A4. Of course! Feel free to experiment with different vegetables like corn, peas, or spinach to add more flavor and nutrients.

Q5. Can I make the empanadas smaller for appetizers?
A5. Absolutely! Simply use a smaller cookie cutter or glass to cut out the dough circles and adjust the amount of filling accordingly.

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Q6. Can I serve the empanadas with a dipping sauce?
A6. Yes! Popular options include salsa, guacamole, or a spicy aioli.

Q7. Can I make the empanadas in advance and reheat them later?
A7. Yes, you can make the empanadas ahead of time and reheat them in the oven or microwave when ready to serve.

Now that you have all the information, it’s time to get cooking and enjoy these tasty ham and cheese empanadas!