Empanadas Stuffed with Lamb, Sweet Potatoes, and Montrachet

Mary Anne here. These were created in the heat of July, when Mariel still had the glazed look of a zombie, and Lil Man was on a feeding frenzy 18 hours out of 24. In need of quick meals that could be delivered as fast as take-out, I conjured up these “emapanadas,” which more than met all of the criteria for a nutrient-rich grab-and-go meal. Packed with protein, beta carotene, dairy, and carbs, these are homemade “Hot Pockets,” but so much tastier.

While I made these back in July, life has been hectically happy so it literally took us a month to defrost half a batch for a photo-op. But if you think I’m crying like a ….you know what…. y’all would be wrong!

Although we’ve been a bit stretched and sleepless in our neck of the woods, this has been my best summer ever. Period. I go to work each day and give my patients all that they need and deserve, and then I race to Mariel’s with a grin of joyous anticipation smeared across my face! Immediately upon arriving at my own suburban Nirvana, I grab that bundle of beautiful boy. My beloved first-born girl truly needs the break and this “old mother” needs to feed her a hot meal that she can actually sit down and TASTE.

Mariel has begun the age-old mama stance of leaning against the kitchen sink, shoveling cold, possibly expired food into her empty stomach when left to her own devices. Been there. Quite the badge we all don. And as she takes a well-earned breath, I get to cuddle, soothe, and play with my glorious grandson! Recipes can be written anytime, but catching Lil Man’s first smiles? Priceless.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


“Empanadas” Stuffed with Lamb, Sweet Potatoes, and Montrachet
Makes 12

My rendition of empanadas freeze beautifully and whip up in under 45 minutes of hands-on-time. The lamb and currants definitely put a Greek spin on these south-of-the-border treats, and we dished them up with some of Mariel’s Tzatziki sauce. Mango Salsa or Peach Relish would also be dee-lish with these bad-boys. Incredibly versatile and totally guest-worthy, you can double the recipe and freeze half for a tailgate party this autumn or cut the actual size of the pastry in half and serve as an hors d’oureve!

2 Tablespoons olive oil – stock
1 small Vidalia onion – $0.48
½ lb. sweet potato, peeled, cut into ½“ dice and then parboiled for 4 minutes until soft – $0.69
3 cloves garlic, minced – stock
1 lb. ground lamb – $6.17
3 Tablespoons red wine – stock
½ cup currants or raisins – $2.29
1 cup Montrachet cheese, crumbled – $3.99
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted – stock
½ Teaspoon cumin – stock
½ Teaspoon ginger – stock
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped – $0.99
1 package frozen puff pastry sheets – $3.39
Egg Wash:
1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water, lightly beaten – stock
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $18.00
Total Per Empanada: $1.50

1. Defrost the puff pastry according to package directions. Keep cold in the fridge until ready to use.

2. Prepare the filling: In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high flame. Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the lamb and sweet potato and continue cooking until the lamb is no longer pink and the onion is soft.

4. Pour in the red wine, currants, and ground spices. Simmer, uncovered, over low flame for about 10 minutes.

5. Stir in the walnuts and Montrachet and cook an additional 2 or 3 minutes.

6. Remove from the flame and add the fresh cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to cool completely before assembling the empanadas.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

8. On a lightly floured surface, unfold each of the puff pastry sheets. Using a floured rolling pin, lightly roll out each of the pastry sheets just enough to smooth the seams.

9. Using a sharp knife, cut 6 squares from each of the sheets. Using a pastry brush, paint the 4 edges of each square.

10. Place a heaping spoonful of the cooled lamb filling on one half of each pastry. Fold over to form either a triangle or a rectangle. Seal the edges by pressing all around with the tines of a fork. Brush the top lightly with more of the egg wash and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat until all of the dough and filling is used. Tip: The empanadas should be a couple of inches apart on the cookie sheet, as they’ll puff up during baking.

11. Refrigerate the unbaked pastries for about 20 minutes before baking.

12. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with Tzatziki or Mango Salsa or Peach Relish.


    • feastonthecheap says

      Why not? Pork is great and I think it will stand up to the seasonings quite nicely. I’d only change one thing – try white wine instead of red. xoxo

  1. says

    Best wishes on the grandson, it doesn’t get any better that grandchildren.

    Question on the recipe – you have a half teaspoon of cumin listed twice…is there a missing ingredient?

  2. says

    I believe avoiding ready-made foods is the first step to be able to lose weight. They might taste beneficial, but ready-made foods currently have very little nutritional value, making you eat more in order to have enough strength to get over the day. When you are constantly consuming these foods, changing to grain and other complex carbohydrates will assist you to have more strength while consuming less. Great blog post.

  3. Diane Franey says

    I substituted beef for lamb, yellow raisins for currants, ground coriander for cumin and omitted the red wine & walnuts and it all came out delicious anyway! I served it with the mango salsa. and a fresh arugala salad on the side. My very picky, chef daughter gobbled it up, looking for more! Thanks Maryanne!

    • feastonthecheap says

      That’s just about a rave, coming from a Franey! So glad your version was chef/daughter worthy! Mariel and I think you should take my actual recipe with lamb etc. out for a spin. It’s really different and I think someone with your pedigree and expertise could expand on it even more! Wonderful to hear from you. I think of you often and would love to see you. Cheers!

  4. Kathleen says

    These Empanadas were very tasty. I just served them on some mixed greens with Tsatziki on the side, yum! Next time I will try the salsa, it sounds delish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *