Delicious Beef Empanadas Recipe for a Crowd

Welcome, culinary enthusiasts, to my kitchen! I am thrilled to share with you my beloved recipe for Beef Empanadas, a delightful fusion of Brazilian and American cuisine that has been passed down in my family for generations.

Empanadas are a staple food in Latin American cultures, filled with savory ingredients like meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Every family has its own unique variation of the classic recipe. What sets my version apart is the combination of flavors from Brazil and the United States – a true representation of my cultural background.

The smell of homemade empanadas coming out of the oven is something that anyone would find irresistible. The aroma alone will have you feeling like you’ve been transported to another country! This dish is perfect for any occasion; whether it be a quick weeknight meal, a potluck contribution, or as an appetizer at your next party.

Join me on this culinary escapade as we dive into the world of Beef Empanadas. You won’t regret it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Beef Empanadas
Beef Empanadas

There are countless reasons why you will fall in love with this beef empanada recipe. If you’re a meaty, savory and pastry lover, you’re in for an absolute treat! Empanadas are great food that can be easily paired with different dipping sauces, making them the perfect snack, appetizer or even a meal. This recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings while putting together a delicious meal that everyone will want to try.

Firstly, this beef empanada recipe is an authentic blend of flavors from South America and other parts of the world. The ground beef mixed with chopped onions and garlic creates a delicious base that is perfectly seasoned with cumin, chili powder, black pepper and coarse salt. Tossed in green olives and other add-ins like raisins or honey can bring out even more incredible flavor.

Secondly, these beef empanadas are versatile as they can be either baked or fried. Empanadas are known for their golden crusts that envelop rich and satisfying fillings which would give everyone a sumptuous experience. Regardless of which option you choose the aroma of the flaky pastry crust combined with the tantalizing meat filling creates a delicious concoction that’s hard to resist.

Finally, this recipe is also incredibly easy to make. With homemade dough that needs no fancy equipment and simple ingredients, there’s really no excuse not to dive straight in. Even novice cooks can whip up this delightful recipe without any struggles or complications. And for those who may not have enough time on their hands on the day, store-bought empanada discs or frozen puff pastry can be lifesavers when in a bind.

In conclusion, whether you’re looking for something scrumptious for game nights or want to bring out the flavors of authentic latino-cuisine at your dinner table – this easy beef empanada recipe has got you covered! So turn up the heat and let’s get cooking!

Ingredient List

 Bite into paradise with these savory beef empanadas!
Bite into paradise with these savory beef empanadas!

To make beef empanadas, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Empanada Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Beef Empanada Filling

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: green olives, honey, raisins

These ingredients can easily be found at any grocery store or supermarket. You can also experiment with different spices or types of meat to add your own twist to this classic savory pastry.

The Recipe How-To

 A crispy crust surrounds the deliciously spiced beef filling.
A crispy crust surrounds the deliciously spiced beef filling.

Now, it is time to get into the exciting part: how to make these delicious and savory Beef Empanadas at home. This recipe is quite easy to follow and can be achieved by anyone regardless of cooking level. All you need to do is follow these simple steps.

Step 1: Make the Filling

First, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add in 1lb ground beef and brown for 10 minutes until fully cooked through. Make sure you regularly stir the mixture so that it doesn’t stick or burn.

Next, add 1 diced onion, 3 cloves garlic, and 1 diced green bell pepper into the skillet with the beef mixture. Cook for another 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Add in two of the beef empanada’s essential ingredients:🫑 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 🌶️1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Then, stir in 1/4 cup chopped green olives, 1/2 cup raisins, and 1 tablespoon honey. Mix everything well and let it cook for another minute or two so all the flavors combine together.

Step 2: Make the Dough

While your filling is cooling down, start on your dough by combining in a mixing bowl:
– 2 cups of all-purpose flour
– A pinch of salt
– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 4 ounces cream cheese
– A splash of heavy cream

Use your hands to mix all ingredients until smooth. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a couple of minutes until it forms a ball-like shape.

Step 3: Assemble and Bake/Fry

Roll out dough into thin disks using a rolling pin. Use a round cookie cutter or similar circular object to cut the dough into circles.

Place a generous spoonful of the beef filling in the center of each disk. Fold over and press edges together to seal. You can now bake the empanadas by brushing with an egg wash and baking at 375°F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, or fry them in oil until crispy.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy

Once done, take your empanadas out of the oven, sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt and black pepper, and serve. These beef empanadas pair well with a variety of sides like guacamole, tomato salsa, or even just lime wedges.

Enjoy these mouth-watering beef empanadas at home, perfect for sharing with friends and family!

Substitutions and Variations

 One bite and you'll be transported to the streets of Brazil.
One bite and you’ll be transported to the streets of Brazil.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your empanadas! There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try to make this recipe your own.

In terms of the filling, ground turkey or chicken can be used instead of beef for a lighter option. Vegetarians can also substitute the beef with mushrooms or tofu for a flavorful twist. For those who prefer a spicy kick, add some chili powder or hot sauce to the filling.

You can also experiment with the dough by using whole wheat flour for a healthier alternative or adding herbs like thyme or oregano to the dough for a more distinct flavor. If you don’t have time to make your own dough, store-bought empanada shells work just as well.

As for serving and pairing, an easy option is to dip your empanadas in a simple salsa or guacamole. For a more authentic experience, serve them with chimichurri sauce from Argentina or spicy salsa criolla from Peru.

Remember, this recipe is very versatile and can easily suit any taste preference!

Serving and Pairing

 The combination of tender beef and crispy crust is mouthwatering.
The combination of tender beef and crispy crust is mouthwatering.

The cooked beef empanadas are ready to be served and paired with the perfect sides and drinks. These deliciously savory pastries can be a satisfying lunch or dinner meal when paired with crispy greens, such as a simple green salad or steamed broccoli. These sides can provide a nice crunch and balance the rich flavors of the beef empanadas.

For an authentic fusion food experience, serve these beef empanadas with guacamole and salsa on top. The hint of spice from chili powder and ground cumin in the filling pairs perfectly with the zesty fresh taste of guacamole and tomato-based salsa.

If you want to go for something more classic, serve them with a side of smooth sour cream dipping sauce. The tangy flavor of sour cream complements the meaty taste well, providing a milder version for those who don’t fancy strong flavors.

To wash down these delightful treats, choose beverages that match their origin: Argentinean Malbec or Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon wine pair perfectly with beef empanadas’ flavors. You could also opt for some lovely Peruvian beer or Spanish reds, its earthy notes giving every bite an exciting dimension.

In summary, serving and pairing is essential when it comes to enjoying your homemade beef empanadas. With these sides and beverages, your friends and family will get to enjoy a multi-sensory culinary experience that they are sure to remember!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This easy recipe is perfect for impressing guests at your next party.
This easy recipe is perfect for impressing guests at your next party.

What’s better than enjoying freshly-baked Beef Empanadas? Enjoying them again the next day with even less effort! Holding true to its reputation as a versatile dish, Beef Empanadas can be made ahead of time, stored and reheated without compromising on flavor or texture.

To make ahead of time, prepare the empanada filling as directed in the recipe. Once cool, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Similarly, pre-made or homemade empanada dough can be kept refrigerated for up to two days when wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container.

When ready to bake the empanadas, simply remove the filling and dough from the refrigerator and assemble them according to the recipe instructions. Ensure that they are well-sealed before baking them as normal. However, keep in mind that baked empanadas tend to lose their crispness when reheated.

If you prefer to reheat baked empanadas instead of consuming them cold, use a microwave or oven. To reheat in the oven, preheat it to 375°F (190°C) and arrange your empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Reheat for 3-4 minutes for cooked beef empanadas or 8-10 minutes for frozen beef empanadas until they’re heated through.

With these handy make-ahead and reheating tips, you’ll have convenient access to Beef Empanadas anytime with minimal effort. Whether you’re craving an authentic Argentinian-style snack or spicy Filipino take on it, you’ll always be able to enjoy your favorite empanada recipe easily!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Empanadas are the perfect snack to share with friends and family.
Empanadas are the perfect snack to share with friends and family.

One of the keys to making these beef empanadas perfect is to nail the filling. I like to cook the beef with onions and garlic, then add things like green olives, raisins and spices for a savory and slightly sweet flavor that’s undeniably crave-worthy. Here are some additional tips to ensure they come out perfectly every time:

1. Don’t overwork the dough: It’s important not to overwork the dough because it can become tough and chewy. Be gentle when kneading and rolling it out, and don’t worry about getting it perfectly round.

2. Keep your filling ingredients at room temperature: This will help them cook more evenly when you bake or fry your empanadas.

3. Add honey: Adding a little bit of honey to the filling gives it a sweet and slightly caramelized flavor that complements the savory beef.

4. Use ground cumin: Ground cumin is a common spice used in Latin American cooking, and it adds depth and complexity of flavor to the beef filling.

5. Experiment with different fillings: While traditional beef empanadas are delicious, there’s no reason not to experiment with other fillings like chicken or cheese. You never know when you’ll stumble across your new favorite flavor combination!

By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy homemade beef empanadas that have perfectly crispy crusts, flavorful fillings, and a satisfyingly tasty bite every time. So go forth, try this recipe out yourself, and discover all the joy and deliciousness that these little turnovers have to offer!


As with any recipe, questions may come up as you navigate through the steps of making delicious beef empanadas. To help ensure that you reach perfect results every time, here are some frequently asked questions to guide you along the way.

Should empanadas be baked or fried?

When it comes to making empanadas, there are two methods to choose from that will yield equally tasty results. For a lighter option, the oven-baking method is the way to go. However, if time is limited, frying the empanadas is the quicker alternative.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

If you find yourself in Tucumán, Argentina, you simply must try the empanadas! This region is famous for its National Empanada Festival, where the three most popular fillings are beef, tripe, and chicken. Once the fillings are wrapped in dough, they are cooked in beef fat in a clay oven, yielding a crispy exterior and deliciously savory interior.

What are empanadas usually filled with?

If you’re looking for a delicious and versatile snack or meal, empanadas may be just the thing you need. These crescent-shaped pastries are typically filled with a variety of ingredients like beef, chicken, pork, tuna, shellfish, cheese, and veggies, all seasoned to perfection and either baked or fried until golden brown. The possibilities for empanada fillings are nearly endless, so you can create a flavorful dish to suit your taste preferences.

What kind of dough do you use for empanadas?

The ingredients required for making a dough for this recipe are quite similar to those used in most popular pie dough recipes. Generally, the dough is made from a combination of flour, salt, butter, water, and occasionally egg, which can easily be obtained from your kitchen pantry. Consequently, it’s common for many people to use ready-made pie dough for making empanadas.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this beef empanadas recipe is a must-try for any lover of traditional Latin American cuisine. Whether you’re in the mood for baked or fried, spicy or mild, this recipe is versatile enough to suit all tastes and styles. With ingredients as basic as ground beef, onions, garlic, green olives, honey and raisins, these empanadas are easy to make with a homemade or store-bought pastry crust.

With this recipe under your belt, you’ll have the perfect filling for authentic Argentine beef turnovers, spicy Cuban empanadas, and savory Peruvian treats. Not only is it a crowd-pleaser that everyone will learn to love but it’s also an excellent way to impress guests with your culinary skills. And with a pinch of ground cumin and chili powder to add flavor to the filling, these empanadas are sure to entice even the most discerning palates.

So why not give this easy empanada recipe a try today? Whether you’re hosting a casual get-together or preparing a meal for your family, these delicious beef empanadas are sure to become your new favorite dish. Serve them up as a snack or appetizer with your favorite beverage or just indulge yourself in this tasty cuisine. With its authentic taste and appeal to everyone’s appetite, it’s no wonder that beef empanadas are considered a classic in Latin American cuisine.

Beef Empanadas

Beef Empanadas Recipe

From the book Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 387.3 kcal



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup pimento-filled green olives, sliced
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 dashes hot sauce
  • 2 large eggs, separated

Cream Cheese Pastry

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt


  • To Make the Cream Cheese Pastry: Process the butter, cream cheese, and cream in a food processor, electric mixer or by hand to thoroughly combine.
  • Add the flour and salt. Process until just combined and the dough holds together in a ball. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into 2 pieces. Flatten into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. If the dough is chilled overnight, take it out 15 minutes before rolling out.
  • Rub flour all over a rolling pin. Working with one dough disk at a time, pace the disk on a clean, well-floured work surface. Applying some pressure with the rolling pin, roll gently from the center of the dough to the top and bottom edges. Rotate the the disk, and roll to the top and bottom edges again. Reflour the work surface and rolling pin, turn the dough over, and continue to roll the dough from the center out to the edges. Turn over and roll again, rotating the disk to ensure even rolling until the dough is about 12 inches in diameter, then but not transparent.
  • To Make the Filling: heat a large skillet over medium heat, and then swirl in the olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the beef. Cook, stirring constantly, to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the olives, raisins, honey, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cook until the meat is golden brown, the liquid has evaporated, and the flavors have blended, about 4 more minutes. Cool the mixture completely in the fridge. Stir in the egg whites.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F Butter or line a baking sheet.
  • To form the empanadas, work with half of the disk of dough at a time, rolling out on a floured work surface. Using an overturned bowl (about 5 inches across), cut out circles about 3 or 4 at a time from each piece of dough. Gather all the dough scraps together, reroll once, and cut. Place 1/4 cup filling on one side of the dough circle. Wet the edges of the dough with water. Fold the dough over to form a half circle. Pinch the edges of the dough together. Crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat the process until all of the filling is used. The empanadas can be frozen at this point.
  • Place the empanadas on the prepared baking sheet and chill for a few minutes. Prick each pie on top twice with a fork. When ready to bake, beat the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the egg wash over each empanada. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. The empanadas can be cooled and frozen to reheat in a microwave.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 141gCalories: 387.3kcalCarbohydrates: 25.7gProtein: 13.1gFat: 26.3gSaturated Fat: 12.8gCholesterol: 113.1mgSodium: 592.8mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Lunch, Meat, Vegetable
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.