Smoked Brisket Empanadas

An incredible use for leftover smoked brisket and great appetizer idea for the holidays. Smoked brisket, sautéed vegetables, herbs and spices rolled in puffed pastry dough and served with a creamy crème fraîche BBQ dip.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine BBQ, Barbecue
Keyword beef empanadas, leftover brisket recipes, Smoked Brisket Empanadas
Servings 1 dozen empanadas
Author Mary Cressler ,Vindulge


For the Empanadas:

  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup sweet bell peppers, a mix of red and yellow, diced
  • 1 cup leftover brisket, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño, diced
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce, plus more if you need it after tasting the filling
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 package store bought puff pastry dough, we like Grand Central Bakery, or 12, 3"x3" squares of homemade pastry dough

For the Crème Fraîche BBQ Dipping Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce we like Valentina
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

For the Empanadas:

  1. In a medium sized skillet add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, and add onions and peppers and cook about 5 minutes, until starting to soften.

  2. Add the brisket, garlic, and jalapeño, and 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Place the mixture in the food processor, add the cayenne powder and parsley, and pulse a few times (just enough to mix everything together, but not so much that your filling looks like a paste). Taste and adjust seasonings. If it’s too dry, add an additional tablespoon of BBQ sauce and pulse again.
  4. Roll out dough into 12 squares approximately 3” by 3”. If you are using store bought puff pastry I like to roll it out a little thinner than the way it comes from the box.
  5. Brush the edges of small squares with egg wash, and place 1-1 ½ tablespoons of the filling in the center. Fold one edge to meet the opposite edge and seal edges together using the tines of a fork.
  6. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is golden.
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

For the Creamy Crème Fraîche BBQ Dipping Sauce:

  1. Mix everything together in a small bowl. Transfer to serving bowl for dipping.