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A Mama Boo hack.

Empanada is perhaps one of my favorite afternoon snacks. I remember going all the way to Victory Mall in Monumento, Caloocan from Baesa, Quezon City when I was pregnant with my second child. Just so I could satisfy my cravings.

I forgot what the store name is, but I can vividly recall the taste and aroma of their spicy tuna, chicken, and beef empanadas. The brown flaky dough perfectly complements the moist, savory filling.

And the smell? I can’t exactly describe it, but it’s one that can fill an entire 30-square meter room and leave everyone in it salivating.

Fast forward to today (almost 7 years later), I came across this recipe published on Delish that reminded me of the heavenly empanadas.

I decided to make it, hoping it would emulate the ones I had almost seven years ago.

And it so did.

Even after I put my own spin to nootrify it: I used Calaboo full-cream milk instead of water for the dough and kesoong puti instead of cheddar and Monterey Jack.

Why did I say nootrify?

One, ‘bao milk has more nutrients than cow milk. It contains 217% more magnesium, 52% more calcium, 41% more phosphorous, 17% more Vitamin A, and 12.5% more protein than regular cow milk (Source: Healthline).

Two, Calaboo products come from grass-fed carabaos. An article published on University of Minnesota Extension’s website says milk from grass-fed cattle “brings the omega-6/omega-3 [fatty acids] ratio to nearly 1 to 1, compared to 5.7 to” conventionally fed ones. A healthy balance of these fatty acids is key to a healthy heart.

Three, Calaboo dairy is certified free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, and refined sugar. “Just the full flavor of fresh love” if you will.

It took more than almost two hours to prepare, but every bite was worth it.

Milky and Cheesy Empanada

Classic Beef Empanada with a Nootrified Twist
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Snack
Cuisine Filipino, Mexican
Servings 15


  • oven
  • Rolling Pin
  • rolling mat
  • pasty brush
  • fork
  • pan
  • stove
  • plastic wrap
  • 2 baking sheets
  • parchment paper


Beef filling

  • 250 g ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp paprika optional
  • ½ cup tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup Kesoong Puti sliced or frozen then shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • egg wash for brushing


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup cold butter cubed
  • ¾ cup Calaboo full-cream milk
  • 1 egg


Prepare dough

  • Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, ensure there are no lumps.
  • Add butter into the mixture and mix using your hands.
  • Add in milk and egg until a dough forms.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured mat (or any clean surface) until smooth.
  • Wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Cooking beef filling

  • Once the dough is ready, line baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 204℃.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion then garlic after about 5 minutes.
  • After a minute, add beef. Cook until it's no longer pink.
  • Drain fat.
  • Stir tomato paste into the beef still over medium heat.
  • Add oregano, cumin, salt and pepper then mix thoroughly.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Turn off heat.
  • While the beef is cooling, place dough on a floured mat and divide in half.
  • Roll the dough until it's about as thick as Skyflakes crackers.
  • Cut out 4.5" rounds using either a cookie cutter or any round object you have. I used Nutella lid. Roll the scraps again to make more rounds.
  • Place filling in the center of each round. Top with Kesoong Puti
  • Moisten the edge of each round then fold the dough in half.
  • Use fork to crimp the edges together.
  • Brush with egg wash after placing empanadas on baking sheets.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
Keyword Beef Empanada, Carabao Milk, Cheese, Empanada

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