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Make Ahead Appetizer Recipe – Baked Taco Empanadas

A delicious appetizer perfect to make ahead and serve at parties or for a main dinner course as well, these Baked Taco Empanadas are very tasty {and freezer friendly too}!

Make Ahead Appetizer Recipe - Baked Taco Empanadas

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site.*

You guys know that my family is crazy about tacos. So crazy, that I made an entire weekly menu that featured nothing but tacos or taco derivatives. It’s genius actually. Make a huge pot of taco meat using my favorite recipe and homemade taco seasoning, and feed it to the family ALL. WEEK. LONG. lol!

Well, this recipe is another creative way to turn leftover taco meat into something just a little bit different. And wouldn’t you know, it makes a great appetizer too! They take a while to make, but you can do most of the work ahead of time so you can stay out of the kitchen and socialize during the Big Game!

Baked Taco Empanadas

To make this recipe, the first thing to do is make the empanada dough. It’s pretty easy to do if you use your food processor, but if you don’t have one, you can totally mix by hand as well.

Make sure to give yourself enough time for 50 minutes of cooling – 30 minutes of cooling after you make the dough and another 20 minutes of cooling after you’ve put the empanadas together.

roll out the empanada dough

After the dough has cooled for 30 minutes, roll it out and cut it into circles. You can use a circle dough cutter or a mug if you want. I don’t have a biscuit cutter (but I used to!) so I used one of my Starbucks mugs.

taco empanadas - add toppings

Now add 1-2 TBS cooked taco meat, this is my favorite recipe here, a bit of cheese and fold the empanadas. Seal with a fork, brush with egg white wash, and chill for 20 more minutes in the fridge.

taco empanadas

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes on a sheet pan {these are my favorite sheet pans, by the way}, serve with dippers like sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. Enjoy!

Freezer Friendly Baked Taco Empanadas from scratch

Yield: 24 empanadas

Make Ahead Appetizer Recipe – Baked Taco Empanadas

Make Ahead Appetizer Recipe – Baked Taco Empanadas

A delicious make ahead taco appetizer! Who wouldn't want a handheld taco empanada for game day?

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes

Ingredients

For the Empanada Dough

  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water
  • 1 egg white for an egg wash.

For the Filling

  • 1/2 lb of your favorite taco meat
  • 8 ounces shredded cheese
  • assorted toppings: sour cream, guacamole, salsa

Instructions

For the Dough

  1. Make the dough in a food processor by first mixing flour and salt.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles peas.
  3. Add in egg and water and pulse until a nice, soft dough forms.
  4. If it's too wet, add a bit more flour. If it's too dry, add a bit more water, 1 tbs at a time.
  5. Make a dough ball and chill in plastic wrap in the fridge for 30 minutes - 1 hour.

For the Empanadas

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roll out dough and cut into circles using a biscuit cutter or a cup if you don't have one.
  3. Add 1-2 TBS taco meat and cheese.
  4. Fold over the top and seal the sides with your fork.
  5. Brush the top of the empanadas with egg white wash.
  6. Chill the empanadas for 20 minutes.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 322mg Carbohydrates: 10g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 9g
Nutritional data is not always correct.

The nice thing about these baked taco empanadas is the recipe is also freezer friendly! You can make them up ahead of time and freeze the unbaked empanadas. Then on game day, pull out the frozen beauties in the morning and let them thaw out, then pop them in the oven and bake according to the directions above! How awesome is that? Homemade appetizers with little effort on game day.

60+ More Appetizer Ideas! 

With the football season coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about Big Game parties and inevitably, the recipes you will make and bring to yours! In preparation, I’ve teamed up with my football blogger friends in one final collaboration to bring you some brilliant Big Game recipe ideas. We’ve made appetizers, entrees, desserts and even drinks. Prepare to be inspired, and be sure to check out their links below!

Big-Game-recipes-graphic
Classic Potato Salad by Celebrating Family
Chili Cheese Burritos by Love Bakes Good Cakes
Fruit Spring Rolls with Key Lime Cheesecake Dip by Body Rebooted
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders by Dash of Herbs
Mediterranean Seven Layer Dip by The Culinary Compass
Chicks in a Blanket with Apricot Sauce by Mom’s Messy Miracles
Jalapeno Pale Ale Chili by Beer Girl Cooks
Jalapeno Popper Pull Apart Bread by The Life Jolie
Sausage Pepperoni Pizza Dip by Feast + West
Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls by Family Food on the Table

Mini Bacon Ranch Cheese Balls by Honey & Birch
Cookie Dough Cheese Ball by Bread Booze Bacon
Hawaiian Pizza Jalapeno Poppers by Love & Flour
Meatloaf Sliders by Foodtastic Mom
Wonton Taco Cups by A Mind Full Mom
Pancetta and Smoked Mozzarella Arancini by The Secret Ingredient Is
Bean and Cheese Taco Bites by The BakerMama
Monte Cristo Poppers by See Aimee Cook
Chile Beer Sangria by Cake ‘n Knife
Low Carb Stuffed Crust Pizza by Sustaining the Powers

Puff Pastry Pizza Bites by The Mexitalian
No Churn Pistachio Baklava Ice Cream by Club Narwhal
Roasted Jalapeno Poppers by Off the Eaten Path
Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese by Hello Little Home
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Wings by Around My Family Table
Gluten Free Bread Sticks by What A Girl Eats
Cheesy Beef Dip by Polka Dotted Blue Jay
Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs by The Crumby Cupcake
Greek Meatballs by Two Places at Once

Cheese Sticks by Coffee Love Travel
Bacon Wrapped Blue Cheese Meatballs by West via Midwest
Puff Pastry Bacon Pizza Twists by 2 Cookin Mamas
Skillet Chicken Queso Dip by foodbyjonister
Spicy Sausage Rolls by Peanut Blossom
Protein Dark Chocolate Truffles by The Creative Bite
Chickpea Pepper Cheese Poppers by Bucket List Tummy
Maple Cranberry Apple Sangria by Order in the Kitchen
Meyer Lemon Shandies by The Speckled Palate
Game Day Fried Deviled Eggs with Chow Chow Relish by For the Love of Food

Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls by Simple and Savory
Pastrami Nachos by A Little Gathering
Shrimp Ceviche Dip by Glisten and Grace
Football Bourbon Balls + Boozy Lemonade by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Apple Cider Mimosas With A Sparkly Sugar Rim by And She Cooks
Pulled Pork Stuffed Corn Dogs by Nik Snacks
Easy Pepperoni Rolls by Me and My Pink Mixer
Real Boneless Chicken Wings by Macheesmo
Califlower Tater Tots by Living Well Kitchen
Cheeseburger Naan Pizza by Shaws Simple Swaps

Red Velvet Ginger Rum Balls by Cafe Terra
Crab Rangoon by Brunch-n-Bites
Sweet n’ Spicy BBQ Popcorn by Life’s Ambrosia
Buffalo Chicken Rolls by Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Crowd Pleasing Steak Fajita Dip by Lizzy is Dizzy
Sriracha Hummus Pinwheel Sandwiches by Casa de Crews
Simlple Meatball Sub Sliders by Loaves & Dishes
Maple-Mustard Bacon Chicken Bites by An Oregon Cottage
Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese & Honey Mustard Dipping Sauces by A Simpler Grace
Ricotta Stuffed Sausage Meatballs by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Please note: This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed on our blogs are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its 32 teams. Any team names, logos or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations. We are just big fans — and we want to share our love for our teams, the game and the food that brings us all together on game day.

Will you watch the big game? What are you eating and who are you rooting for?

Baked Taco Empanandas - Freezer friendly from scratch appetizer recipe

 

Immune Boosting Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub Recipe

The Immune Boosting Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub Recipe is made in about 5 minutes and makes a perfect last minute practical gift! Make this recipe today and give something useful to neighbors, friends, and teachers {or keep it for yourself}!

Immune Boosting Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub Recipe

*I received compensation for this post as part of the Barlean’s Blogger Program. Rest assured that I only recommend products I’ve used and love in sponsored posts and affiliate links. Thanks so much for supporting my blog. #abarleansholiday *

Immune Boosting Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub Recipe

Immune Boosting Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub Recipe made with Barleans Coconut oil, essential oils, sugar, manuka honey

I’ve been using this scrub for a while now and love how my skin feels and smells afterward. While it’s a great year round scrub, it’s especially wonderful in the winter for a lot of reasons. First, sugar is very hydrating in dry winters. It’s a natural humectant (it provides moisture to your skin) and is also a natural source of glycolic acid,  or exfoliant, for rejuvenating skin.

Sugar Scrub Ingredients

Benefits of Sugar for your Skin

I use organic raw sugar for this recipe, a coarser sugar that’s great for the body but not so great for the face. If you want a scrub for your face, I recommend using a finer organic sugar.

Benefits of Coconut Oil for your Skin

Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal and it’s also an excellent moisturizer, makeup remover, and hair conditioner. It’s affordable and smells great too! Since the skin is our biggest organ, I really recommend using organic products for this sugar scrub to reduce exposure to pesticides. Barlean’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil comes from certified-organic plantations in the Philippines where coconut palms grow naturally without pesticides.

Benefits of Manuka Honey for your Skin

Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush or tea tree. Manuka honey is highly regarded for many medical purposes in the natural medicine world (but please, I’m not a doctor so you do your own research.) It’s supposed to absorb moisture to help your skin stay soft and lovely, can help with rosacea and eczema, and is also thought to have antibacterial properties. You can eat Manuka honey (but it’s pretty gross according to my kids) and you can also use it for natural wound and skin care.

Benefits of Essential Oil for your Skin

We first starting using Thieves Oil {purported to boost immunity and ward of sickness} when our youngest daughter was going through surgeries for her hip dysplasia. I mixed it with a carrier cream {you should very rarely put essential oils directly on your skin} and put it on her feet for weeks before her surgeries to help keep her healthy. We called it tickle cream and all the kids loved having us put it on their feet. They all stayed very healthy when we used the thieves oil, but we also limited exposure to germs and ate as healthy as we could. I don’t honestly know if thieves oil works as advertised, but I love the way it smells and I figure it can’t hurt to use it in my arsenal to ward off winter illness.

I know a lot of people have a favorite essential oil brand, I’m not really hard over on any one brand, in all honesty. Right now I use the  Nature’s Shield NOW Protective Blend which is very similar to the Young Living Thieves blend. I’m really happy with NOW essential oils, but please choose whichever brand you’re most comfortable with. You can also use any scent you like, lavender or citrus scents would also be lovely, but I chose the Protective Blend for an immune boost, particularly during the dreary winter months.

The combination of all of these ingredients makes a really delightful and potentially therapeutic sugar scrub. I hope you like it as much as my family does.

Now that you know why to make this scrub, here’s the recipe!

Last Minute Immune Boosting Sugar Scrub recipe #abarleansholiday

Yield: 16 ounces

Immune Boosting Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub Recipe

Immune Boosting Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub Recipe

Easy sugar scrub recipe great for winter use.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a non-reactive pan. Add sugar, essential oils, and honey. Mix until combined then put in a jar.

To use: simply wet hands and apply scrub to wet body. Rinse with water. Pat dry. Use twice per week.

Nutrition Information:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32 Carbohydrates: 9g

If you make this for a last minute gift, make sure to make enough for yourself! This recipe makes enough to fill two 8-ounce jars, so you may want to double to quadruple. Print out these free printable labels for sugar scrub, put it on the jar and tie with a pretty ribbon. Voila! Wonderful and practical gift in minutes!

 

Here's an immune boosting sugar scrub recipe that smells great & leaves skin soft & lovely. Made in 5 minutes, it's a great last minute, practical gift too.

10 Healthier Christmas Cookie Recipes {Refined Sugar Free}

‘Tis the season for cookies, but that doesn’t mean you need to load up sugar! Check out this delicious list of healthier Christmas cookie recipes that contain no refined sugar.

Healthier Christmas Cookies {Naturally Sweetened without Sugar}

Healthier Christmas Cookies Recipes

Healthier Christmas Cookies - Flavored with Natural Ingredients

Paleo Hot Coca Cookies with Vanilla Bean Frosting – Fit Foodie Finds. These are simply beautiful cookies!

Grain Free Holiday Cookies – Don’t Mess with Mama. These cookie have organic candy canes in them, which are made with sugar, so keep that in mind if you need a true sugar-free cookie. 

Sugar Free Peanut Butter Truffles – Peas & Peonies. These are vegan, no bake, and gluten free. And somehow they still sound amazing. 😀 

naturally sweetened Christmas cookies

Raw Snowball Cookies – Made To Create. I love all the nuts in these cookie bites!

Healthy Gingerbread Cookies – I Food Real. It’s difficult to decorate cookies without using processed ingredients. I love her take on decorating these gingerbread people.

Glazed Gingersnaps – The Chew. This recipe calls for powdered sugar in the glaze, so if you want them to be sugar free, omit the glaze.

naturally sweetened Christmas cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough TrufflesAn Oregon Cottage. Just yum! Make these!

Naturally Sweetened Whole Wheat Butter Cookies – My Humble Kitchen. These are even decorated with maple sweetened cream cheese frosting!

Grain-Free Holiday Roll Out Cookies – Real Food Forager. SCD and GAPS friendly recipe.

What’s your favorite healthy Christmas cookie recipe? Share a link to your own naturally sweetened recipe if you have one!

 

Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese

Two of my favorite appetizers are jalapeno poppers and cheese dip (made with real cheese), so I decided to combine the flavors to see what would happen. And guess what? Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese is a huge hit! It’s the perfect appetizer for all of your football parties.

spicy-jalapeno-popper-cheese-dip-with-real-cheese-horizontal

Football season is here! To celebrate, I’ve joined a group of bloggers from all over the country — all of whom are big football fans! — to bring you football-inspired recipes this season. Last month we shared our favorite tailgating recipes, and now we are sharing more ideas for celebrating on game day. 

One of the most popular recipes on my blog is for a queso dip made with real cheese. It’s an awesome dip and I love that it’s Velveeta free, easy, and delicious! That recipe calls for a calls of a can of evaporated milk and I’ve been thinking for a while that I should find an alternative. Well guess, what? Regular ole half and half is amazing and works just as well and I’m happy to share this new recipe today with you!

Note: This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed on our blogs are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its 32 teams. Any team names, logos or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations. We are just big fans — and we want to share our love for our teams, the game and the food that brings us all together on game day.

Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese

Let’s get started!

saute-diced-veggies-in-bacon-grease

Making this dip is very simple, and you can even do the following steps ahead of time to make game day prep seriously simple! Fry up a few slices of bacon and set aside. Dice up a few jalapenos (two will make a mild dip so add more if you desire spicy), half a yellow onion, and a couple cloves of garlic. Saute the veggies over medium heat in some of the reserved bacon grease right in the same pan.

add-half-and-half-and-arrowroot-powder

Add the half and half and arrowroot powder and whisk until it begins to thicken. I use arrowroot powder as a healthier alternative to cornstarch. You can use cornstarch if you want.

add-cheeses-and-stir-until-smooth

Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the cream cheese.Then, slowly add the cheese and continue stirring until melted. Add mustard and more half and half if you’d like a thinner dip. It does tend to get pretty thick. I added an additional 1/4 cup of half and half to reach a consistency that made me happy.

spicy-jalapeno-popper-cheese-dip-with-real-cheese

 

Yield: 3 cups

Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese

Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese

A quick and delicious appetizer perfect for football parties or any other occasion, featuring real ingredients!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 1 TBS arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Cook bacon, reserving about a tablespoon of bacon grease. Set bacon aside and crumble when cool.
  2. Over medium high heat, saute onions, garlic, and jalapeno peppers in the bacon grease.
  3. Add half and half and arrowroot powder and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add the cream cheese, whisking to incorporate. Slowly add in the cheese, whisking until it melts. Add mustard and another 1/4 cup of half and half if the dip is too thick.
  5. Top with crumbled bacon and enjoy!

Notes

This recipe as written is actually on the mild side. If you'd like to make it spicier, consider adding 1-2 additional jalapeno peppers. You can also add a few seeds to notch up the spice. One final change you can make to bump up the spice is to use 8 ounces of the pepper jack cheese and 4 ounces of sharp cheddar.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 53mg Sodium: 324mg Carbohydrates: 4g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 2g Protein: 10g
Nutritional data is not always accurate.

What’s your favorite football appetizer? I’d love to hear!

Japlapeno Popper cheese dip! Delicious appetizer, quick to make, and it even uses real ingredients!