After School Snack: Beef & Sweet Potato Empanadas

The end of August is a busy time for parents. School is back in swing, summer’s over and we’re all getting reacquainted with new schedules. Life. Is. Crazy.

This means that meals need to be as easy as possible. Check out our list of back-to-school recipes that are cheap, hassle-free and can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. But what about snacks?

It almost never fails that kids come home yelling, “I’m starving!”. You send them with lunch money or try packing the most protein-filled lunch box imaginable, but they still return from school and head straight to the pantry. Instead of them chowing down on junk food, it helps to have nutritious snacks on hand to hold them over ’till dinnertime.

Our Beef & Sweet Potato Empanadas are the perfect solution. It’s easy to make a big batch and freeze them for weeks ahead. Just follow our easy steps!

Start by chopping sweet potato, onion, garlic and cilantro.

Then boil sweet potatoes until tender and brown ground beef.

Add onion and stir until cooked through, then add chopped garlic and seasonings. Throw in diced tomato and chilies and let flavors simmer for about 5 minutes. Finally, add cilantro, sweet potatoes and cheese.

Now, the fun part.

The easiest route for busy parents is to buy pre-cut empanada wrappers. You can find them at most grocery stores in the frozen section, next to pie crusts. Here’s what we used. Let them thaw for a few minutes, then roll slightly to flatten on a lightly floured surface. Now they’re ready to be filled with beefy goodness!

This is where you recruit the kids to help. An assembly line could be a fun way to get them in the kitchen, and the work would go by 5 times faster!

Just place 2 tablespoons of beef filling on each wrapper and fold over to close. Use a fork to press and seal edges. Be sure to brush with egg wash for perfectly browned crust.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, and serve with Avocado Cream Sauce.

If batch cooking for weeks ahead, store in plastic zip-top bags for freezer storage. Just thaw and pop in the oven or microwave to reheat!

For more ground beef tips and easy back-to-school recipes, click here.

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