Baked South-of-the-Border Empanadas

What you'll need: 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
12-ounce package of Lightlife® Smart Ground Original
14.5-ounce canned crushed tomatoes with no salt added
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1/4 cup raisins

Dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
8 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water 

How to make it: 

Didn’t think you could make your own empanadas? This recipe is easy and will surely impress your family. Make empanadas ahead and freeze them until you are ready to eat. If you’re having a party, make smaller empanadas and serve them as an appetizer. 

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion, garlic and Lightlife® Smart Ground Original to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions and garlic are soft. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the black pepper, cilantro, Tabasco sauce and raisins to the meat mixture. Stir until well combined.

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Drizzle vegetable oil slowly into flour mixture, mixing it in as you add it. Gradually spoon in ice water, adding enough to allow you to form dough into a ball.

Form dough into a ball and cut into six equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and roll out into a 7-inch circle, using a pizza cutter to shape if necessary.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the filling on one side of the circle, leaving a 1/4-inch rim. Fold dough over and seal with fork tines. Place on prepared baking tray. Repeat with the remaining 5 pieces of dough.

Bake empanadas for 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a large green salad.

(If you prefer not make the dough, substitute prepared pie crust instead. Using two packaged 9-inch crusts, cut each crust into 4 pieces; there will be two left over. Roll each piece into a 7-inch circle and continue with recipe as noted above.)

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