Mouth-Watering Empanadas to Satisfy Your Cravings

Attention all foodies and aspiring chefs! Are you tired of the same old mundane meals, day in and day out? Are you in search of a delicious and unique dish that will transport your taste buds on a culinary journey to South America? Look no further than this empanadas recipe, which will be sure to thrill your palate with its savory fillings and flaky, buttery crust.

Empanadas are a traditional South American dish that have become increasingly popular worldwide thanks to their versatility and deliciousness. Depending on the filling you choose, empanadas can be a hearty meal, a tasty snack, or even a sweet dessert. They are essentially baked or fried dough pockets filled with various fillings, such as meat, vegetables, cheese, or fruit.

In this recipe article, I will share my tips and detailed instructions for making mouthwatering beef empanadas from scratch. With homemade dough, a flavorful beef filling, and simple but tasty spices like garlic and onion, these empanadas are sure to be a hit with everyone you serve them to.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get ready to roll up our sleeves and make some delicious empanadas!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


Get ready to have your taste buds explode with this scrumptiously delicious beef empanadas recipe. If you’re looking for a dish that is both savory and satisfying, then look no further, because with this recipe, you’ll find just that.

First off, the dough is absolutely divine. The combination of flour, butter, salt and water creates a buttery and crispy crust that is perfect for enclosing the delicious filling. The flavor combination in the filling is a mix of spicy and sweet due to the use of chorizo, black pepper, ground cloves, ground cinnamon and dark raisin.

Not only will it tantalize your taste buds, but it’s also quite easy to make. Even those who are unfamiliar with empanadas will have no problem following along with our step-by-step instructions. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can mix up the filling however you like! From chicken to cheese to potatoes – the possibilities are endless!

These empanadas are not just appetizing but practical as well. They’re perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook an elaborate meal or looking for a party pleaser appetizer. You can also make them ahead of time and reheat them later without compromising on their freshness or texture. This recipe will give you some filler ideas so everyone can enjoy their favorite flavor!

In summary, our beef empanadas recipe is bursting with flavor and simplicity. The ingredients list isn’t overwhelming either – most ingredients are accessible at any grocery store. So indulge yourself in something authentic yet easy to make in your own kitchen by following our simple guide!

Ingredient List

 These empanadas are the perfect portable snack for any occasion!
These empanadas are the perfect portable snack for any occasion!

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2/3 cup of shortening
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of cold water

Ingredients for the Beef Filling:

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped finely
  • 20g (1/4 cup) of dark raisin, chopped
  • 20g (1/4 cup) of black olives, chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of ground cloves and cinnamon
  • Black pepper and salt to taste

The Recipe How-To

 The flaky pastry crust is filled with savory meat and veggies - a truly satisfying meal.
The flaky pastry crust is filled with savory meat and veggies – a truly satisfying meal.

Step 1: Making the dough

Begin by mixing 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of shortening in a large bowl. Then, slowly add 1/4 cup of cold water, stirring constantly until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

If you want to make the dough even flakier, you can use a combination of butter and shortening instead of just shortening.

Step 2: Preparing the beef filling

Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 diced onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic and sauté until they become translucent. Add 1 pound of ground beef to the pan, and cook until it is browned. Drain any excess grease from the pan.

Next, add 2 diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of dark raisins, a pinch of ground cloves, ground cinnamon, black pepper, and salt to taste. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer until it thickens.

For added flavor, you can also add ground chorizo to the beef filling.

Step 3: Making the empanadas

Preheat your oven to 375°F degrees or heat a deep fryer filled with vegetable oil to 375°F.

Roll out your dough on a floured surface and cut it into circles with a diameter of about 4-5 inches.

Place one tablespoon of filling on one-half of each circle; be sure to leave enough space around the edges, so that you can fold it over.

Fold over the empty half to meet the other side creating a half moon shape. Seal the edges tight by pressing down with your finger or using a fork to save time.

For baked empanadas, place on a baking sheet and brush with egg wash. For air fryer empanadas, brush the empanadas with olive oil. For fried option, add to the heated oil until it’s cooked through and golden brown flipping occasionally.

Step 4: Serving

Once cooked, allow the empanadas to cool for a few minutes before serving. These beef empanadas can easily be served as a main dish or as appetizers at your next party. Enjoy them with fresh salsa or guacamole on the side.

Substitutions and Variations

 Don't be afraid to get creative with the filling - try adding cheese or different spices to mix things up!
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the filling – try adding cheese or different spices to mix things up!

The beauty of this empanada recipe is that it can be easily adapted to suit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are some substitutions and variations you can consider to make beef empanadas everyone will love.

– Beef filling: You can swap ground beef with other protein options such as chicken, pork, shrimp or a vegetarian option such as mashed chickpeas or black beans. For a spicy kick, try using beef chorizo instead of plain ground beef.

– Dough ingredients: If you don’t have shortening on hand, you can use butter instead for the dough. You can also experiment with different types of flour, including whole wheat or gluten-free flour. Instead of water, sometimes an egg is used in dough recipes similar to pie doughs.

– Baked or fried: While this recipe calls for deep frying, you can still enjoy the flaky crust of empanadas without all the added oil by baking them instead. Simply brush them with olive oil and bake them in the oven until golden brown.

– Cheesy beef empanadas: Add some shredded cheese to the beef filling mixture for an extra gooey and delicious filling. Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Queso fresco would all be great options.

– Filipino or Dominican-style empanadas: This recipe calls for a savory filling, but if you’re looking for something sweeter, try swapping out the beef filling for apple or pineapple. For a Filipino-style empanada, use a sweet and savory monggo filling instead.

No matter what variations you decide to make, learning how to make easy empanadas is a skill that everyone should learn. So grab a few ingredients and start experimenting with different flavors – who knows what delicious combinations you’ll come up with!

Serving and Pairing

 Trust me, the smell of these baking in the oven will have your mouth watering.
Trust me, the smell of these baking in the oven will have your mouth watering.

Empanadas are versatile little pockets of tastiness that can be served on their own as a snack or appetizer, or as part of a larger meal. They pair well with a wide variety of beverages and side dishes. Here are some ideas to get you started:


– Beer: A cold beer is the perfect accompaniment to empanadas. Lighter beers like pilsners and lagers have a refreshing quality that pairs well with the richness of the beef filling.

– Sangria: For something more festive, try serving empanadas with a pitcher of fruity sangria. The sweetness of the sangria will complement the savory filling of the empanadas.

– Soda: An ice-cold soda is also a great option, particularly for kids or those who don’t drink alcohol.

Side Dishes:

– Salad: A simple side salad is a great way to balance out the richness of the empanadas. Try a green salad with tomatoes and onions, or a cucumber salad with vinegar and olive oil dressing.

– Rice and Beans: For something more substantial, serve your empanadas with a side of rice and beans. This classic combination is hearty, flavorful, and satisfying.

– Guacamole: For an extra burst of flavor, serve your empanadas with some fresh guacamole. The creaminess of the avocado will complement the beef filling perfectly.

No matter how you choose to serve them, empanadas are sure to be a hit. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply looking for an easy dinner idea, these little pockets of goodness are perfect for any occasion.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These empanadas are a great way to use up any leftover meat or veggies you may have in your fridge.
These empanadas are a great way to use up any leftover meat or veggies you may have in your fridge.

Empanadas can be made ahead of time, which is perfect if you want to enjoy them for dinner without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. To make them ahead of time, prepare and cook the empanadas as per the recipe instructions. Once they’re done cooking, let them cool down completely before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Empanadas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 1-2 months. To reheat the empanadas, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake them for about 10-15 minutes until they are heated through.

If you have any leftover uncooked empanada dough, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. You can thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator before using it.

It’s best not to reheat deep-fried empanadas in the microwave as this can make them soggy. Instead, try reheating them in a preheated oven or toaster oven, air fryer or directly on a griddle or skillet over low heat.

Whether you’re looking to make these ahead of time or need storage tips after enjoying your baked treats fresh from the oven, these tips will help to ensure that your empanadas are just as delicious reheated as they were when they were freshly made.

Tips for Perfect Results


The Empanadas recipe can seem somewhat intimidating at first, especially if you’re new to making dough from scratch. Here are a few tips to ensure that your beef empanadas are perfect every time:

1. Use shortening instead of butter in your dough recipe – it gives a flakier texture.

2. Make sure the filling has cooled completely before adding it to the dough – this will help prevent it from becoming too runny during baking.

3. Be sure to seal the edges well with a fork or your fingers to prevent filling from leaking out while baking.

4. If deep frying, make sure the oil is hot enough and begins to bubble around a small piece of dough dropped into the pan.

5. For an added flavor variation, try adding some chorizo or cheese to your beef empanada filling.

6. If using a pre-made pie crust instead of homemade dough, be sure to follow baking instructions on the package.

By following these tips, you will achieve perfect results every time you make beef empanadas for yourself or for company. Don’t be afraid to experiment with variations on the recipe – with infinite fillings and dipping sauces, there’s no wrong way to enjoy an empanada!


Now that we’ve gone through the ingredient list, recipe how-to, serving and pairing suggestions, make-ahead tips, and more, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about this delicious empanadas recipe. From troubleshooting the dough to substituting ingredients, these FAQs will help ensure that everyone can learn to make these easy and tasty beef empanadas with confidence.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

In the region of Tucumán, which is renowned for hosting the National Empanada Festival, the empanadas are traditionally filled with beef, tripe, or chicken and are wrapped in dough. They are then cooked in beef fat and baked to perfection in a clay oven.

What kind of dough do you use for empanadas?

As previously stated, numerous individuals opt to utilize their preferred premade pie dough when preparing empanadas. The reason behind this is that the ingredients required for most dough recipes are quite similar. Flour, butter, salt, and water, plus an occasional egg, are commonly used in pie doughs, with the ingredient list being almost identical to what this recipe calls for!

Are empanadas deep fried or baked?

Brazilian and American cuisine features a tasty handheld treat that’s made with corn dough called “Empanadas”. These delicious snacks are usually filled with fish, chicken or beans and deep fried until crispy. Served with either cabbage or salsa topping, Empanadas are a perfect dish for any occasion.

What are traditional empanadas made of?

Empanadas are a savory treat consisting of a made-from-scratch dough with a delectable filling of meat or cheese. These delicious little pockets can contain a range of ingredients, including chicken, beef, and fish, as well as some diced vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, or corn to create a flavorful package.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the beef empanadas recipe is a great way to add a burst of flavor to your meal. With its delicious and flaky pastry dough and savory ground beef filling, it’s a dish that you won’t soon forget. This empanada recipe is versatile and can be personalized to suit your taste preferences. You can try variations like adding chorizo or cheese, or even making a vegetarian version with mushrooms and spinach.

For those who are hesitant about making their own dough, don’t worry, there are many store-bought options available that work well. But for those who want the freshest homemade empanadas, we highly recommend learning how to make your dough from scratch. Not only will it taste better, but you’ll also get a sense of satisfaction knowing that you made everything from start to finish.

Whether you’re trying out new recipes or want to impress your dinner guests, this tasty beef empanada recipe is definitely worth trying. It’s easy enough for everyone to learn and make, yet impressive enough to serve at any occasion. So go ahead and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!


Empanadas Recipe

This is a traditional Mexican recipe. You can make 12 for a tapas-light snack-or 6 for a hearty meal. I could live on these!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 28 mins
Course Appetizer or snack
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 6 large empanadas
Calories 1117 kcal


For the dough

  • 2 3/4-3 cups flour
  • 3 -4 teaspoons lard or 3 -4 teaspoons shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm water

For the filling

  • 3 large tomatoes, roasted,peeled,cored and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lean pork
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (fresh grind if you can)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup dark raisin
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • ------For the Dough--------.
  • In a large bowl add flour and cut in the lard/shortening to small pea size.
  • Dissolve the salt in the hot water and work it into the flour mixture.
  • Knead several minutes until smooth.
  • Divide into six OR 12 balls, place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let rest at room temp for 30 minutes.
  • -----For the filling--------.
  • Place tomatoes in a food processor and puree until smooth, adding 1/3 cup water as you go along.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • When hot add the onion and cook until soft, around 4 or 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the pork and cook until done-drain.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except almonds and salt, and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Toast the almonds and stir into the filling, taste and add salt.
  • Remove from heat and let cool a bit.
  • Roll out the balls of dough and place equal amounts of filling off center on each round.
  • Fold over and crimp-I like using the rope edge, fold pinch, fold pinch, etc.
  • Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned OR fry in hot oil until golden brown, around 3 minutes per side.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 352gCalories: 1117kcalCarbohydrates: 84.3gProtein: 41.1gFat: 67.9gSaturated Fat: 23.9gCholesterol: 146.4mgSodium: 1271.3mgFiber: 6.3gSugar: 11.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Lunch, Meat, Mexican, Oven, Pork, Weeknight
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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.