Bison Empanadas

Empanadas on easy mode! Flaky, bison sirloin filled empanadas could not be easier to make in the slow cooker. Just sear, set, and forget it! Premade pie crusts are used to wrap up the fireybison steak before being baked to golden brown perfection.

Bison Empanadas

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest
Keyword Bison Sirloin, Steak Medallions
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings 40 Empanadas


  • 4 Great Range Bison Steak Medallions
  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil or cooking spray
  • 1 cup onion - diced
  • 1 cup tomato - diced
  • 1/2 cup serrano peppers - diced
  • 1/2 cup red fresno peppers - diced
  • 1 habanero - diced
  • 2 tablespoons  garlic - minced
  • 3 tablespoons  lime juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons  chives finely diced + more for topping
  • 2 cups vegetable broth - or broth of choice
  • 4 pre-made rolled pie crusts - room temperature
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water - whisked
  • sour cream - for serving


Slow Cooker Method:

  1. In a skillet over high heat, add the olive oil and sear the bison steak medallions for about 1-2 minutes per side. The center of the bison will still be raw. Set aside.

  2. Combine the bison steaks with the onions, tomato, peppers, garlic, lime juice and chives in the bowl of a crock bowl. Pour the broth into the crock pot so that it covers the meat and veggies. Slow cook on low for 8-10 hours.

  3. After about 8-10 hours, the meat should easily shred apart with a fork. If the meat doesn’t easily shred, let it continue cooking for another hour or until it pulls apart.

  4. Shred the meat with two forks until it is finely shredded and no large chunks remain.The excess liquid will be absorbed as it cools. Let the empanada filling cool to room temperature or chill overnight.

  5. When the bison filling has cooled completely, open the pre-made pie crusts or homemade equivalent, and bring to room temperature. Unroll the crusts and use a widemouth mason jar ring to cut out 8-10 circles per pie crust. (TIP: Combine and roll out the excess dough to make additional empanada wrappers.) Repeat with the remaining crusts until you have about 30-40circular pie crust wrappers.

  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash. Use a measuring spoon to place about a tablespoon of filling on one half of the empanada wrapper.

  7. Brush the same side as the filling with egg wash then fold the wrapper over and pinch the edges together. Use a fork to further pinch together the seams.Brush the entire empanada with egg wash.

  8. Arrange the empanadas on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes per batch, or until the empanadas are golden brown.

  9. Serve the empanadas warm or room temperature. Best when served with a side of sour cream and seasoned rice. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Method:

  1. Put the Instant Pot (IP) on sauté mode. Add one tablespoon of olive oil or butter to the bottom of the pot and sear the bison steak medallions for 1-2 minutes per side, until browned but not cooked through.

  2. Turn off the IP sauté mode. Add the rest of the ingredients minus the pie crusts to the IP. Close the lid, seal the valve and turn the IP to pressure cook mode. Pressure cook for one hour then let the IP depressurize.

  3. Use two forks to finely shred the bison meat. Let the bison filling cool to room temperature or chill overnight to cool completely.

  4. Follow steps 5-9 from the slow cooking above to complete the bison empanadas.

Recipe Notes

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