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Philly Cheesesteak Empanadas {Air-Fried}

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx. All opinions are my own. #BigGameBBxx

No need to cheat on your diet on the day of the Big Football Game! These delicious Philly Cheesesteak Empanadas are filled with steak, onions and cheese, then air-fried!

Collage of sponsors of the BabbleBoxx Party Pleasers for Football Fans campaign

With the Big Game around the corner (and my hometown Philadelphia Eagles playing in it), many people are gearing up for their football-watching parties. And of course, planning any type of party involves planning for food. Aside from the game itself, and the commercials, I love going to football-watching parties for the food.

Thanks to Babbleboxx and their sponsors for including me in their Party Pleasers for Football Fans campaign: RAGÚ®, Garden of Eatin’® Chips, BIG AZ® Sandwiches, Midea Air Fryer, Formaggio Italian Cheeses, and Red Duck Foods.

A plate of air-fried philly cheesesteak empanadas

When I host a party, I like to do a mix of hot and cold foods. And as much as I love to cook, when hosting a party, I take a few shortcuts like buying a pre-made crudite platter and pre-made dip. And I try to choose dishes that caan easily be made ahead.

There are loads of football themed party decorations, from tablecloths printed like a football field, to referee-shirt beer koozies, to pennant wall decorations. Choose plastic plates, utensils and cups in the participating teams' colors. Serve food native to the teams' home cities.

A collage showing the steps to make an empanada: first, flatten the dough into a circle, then place the steak and onion filling, then add the cheese, then fold and crimp.

With Philly playing in the Big Game, it makes sense to serve a twist on a Philly classic: the iconic cheesesteak. These Philly cheesesteak empanadas take the flavors of the sandwich: the steak, fried onions and cheese sauce, and put them inside an empanada.

Most regional cuisines have some form of filled pastry, and empanadas are typically found in Spanish cultures. The name empanada comes from the Spanish phrase meaning "to wrap in bread." They can be sweet or savory, baked or fried.

Un-cooked Philly cheesesteak empanadas in the basket of the air-fryer.

Using the Midea Air Fryer, I can achieve the texture of a fried pastry without using any oil. An air fryer cooks the food using hot air, like an oven, but it also has a grated surface and fans to blow the hot air at a very fast pace all around the food being cooked, resulting in a texture like that of a fried pastry.

Because the air needs to circulate around each pastry, it is very important that you don't crowd the cooking basket. Cook only three or four of the empanadas at a time.

Cooked Philly cheesesteak empanadas in the basket of the air frye.r

The Philly cheesesteak is typically served with either American or provolone cheeses, and for some reason, some people insist on using a processed cheese sauce. No thanks, give me provolone, please. But using slices of American or provolone wouldn't work very well for these empanadas, but the RAGÚ® Double Cheddar cheese sauce is perfect.

The sauce is a blend of Cheddar, Parmesan, and Romano Cheeses. It's perfect for mac and cheese when you don't have time to make your own. If you don't want to put it inside the empanadas, you could also use it for dipping them.

A plate of Philly cheesesteak empanadas with a bowl of Red Duck smoky ketchup for dipping.

I love ketchup on my Philly cheesesteaks, so I used Red Duck's Smoky Ketchup to dip my empanadas. I love that it's organic, and lower in sugar and sodium than other commercial ketchups. It actually tastes like tomatoes instead of sugar!

Want to try Red Duck ketchup for yourself? Visit Red Duck's website and use the promo code BABBLEBOXX to get 25% off any purchase through February 28th 2018. 

Garden of Eatin' is also offering a downloadable coupon for $0.75 off any done variety of their chips. 

A plate of Philly cheesesteak empanadas with a jar of Ragu Double Cheddar Sauce.

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A plate of Philly Cheesesteak Empanadas

Philly Cheesesteak Empanadas {Air-Fried}

Yield: 12 empanadas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

No need to cheat on your diet on the day of the Big Football Game! These delicious Philly Cheesesteak Empanadas are filled with steak, onions and cheese, then air-fried!


For the dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 large egg

For the filling

  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced into thin half-rings
  • 12 oz rib-eye or sirloin steak, cut as thin as possible
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola oil, for sauteeing
  • ½ cup RAGÚ® Double Cheddar Sauce

For dipping

  • Red Duck Smoky Ketchup


Make the dough

  1. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir on low speed just to distribute ingredients.
  2. With the mixer running on low speed, add the oil and the warm water. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. 
  3. Take the dough out of the mixer and transfer to a well-floured work surface. Knead for a few minutes, adding a few tablespoonfuls of flour as needed until the dough is no longer sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Make the filling

  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion, and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl. 
  2. Add more oil, if needed. Add the rib-eye or sirloin to the pan, using two spatulas to shred the thin pieces of meat as they cook. As soon as they are close to finished (no more red remains), add the onions back to the pan and mix them in. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the filling to a bowl.

Assemble the empanadas

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit, still wrapped, for 20 minutes to warm up. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll and pat each piece into a circle roughly 4 inches in diameter. 
  2. Place 2 tablespoons of the meat/onion filling in the center of each dough circle. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the RAGÚ® Double Cheddar Sauce on top of the meat. Fold one half of the dough over the filling until it almost meets the opposite side. Fold the exposed edge of the bottom half of dough up over the top half, and seal with a well-floured fork. 

Cook the empanadas

  1. Preheat your air fryer for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. 
  2. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoonful of water. Brush four of the empanadas with the egg mixture and place in the basket of the air fryer. Air fry for 8 minutes. 
  3. Remove the fried empanadas with a spatula to a plate. Brush four more empanadas with the egg mixture, then fry for 8 minutes. Repeat with the remaining four empanadas. 
  4. Serve with Red Duck Smoky Ketchup for dipping. 
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Saturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 424mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 11g

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Half of a Philly Cheesesteak Empanada being dipped in the Red Duck Smoky Ketchup dipping sauce.

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