Authentic Pasteis de Carne Recipe From Portugal’s Heartland

Welcome, my fellow food enthusiasts, to the world of Pasteis de Carne – the delicious beef puff pastry that hails from both Brazil and Puerto Rico. A staple in both countries’ street food scenes, it’s no surprise that this tasty treat has become a favorite around the globe.

As someone who is passionate about cooking and sharing the flavors of different cultures, I’m excited to share with you my take on this beloved recipe. My version features a savory blend of ground beef, green olives, mozzarella cheese, and even hard-boiled eggs, all wrapped up in a flaky pastry crust.

Whether you’re new to Brazilian or Puerto Rican cuisine, or simply looking for a new recipe to add to your recipe box, I’m confident that this Pasteis de Carne recipe will deliver all the flavor and fun of traditional street fare right in your home kitchen. So let’s dive in!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pasteis De Carne (fried Pastries With Meat Filling)
Pasteis De Carne (fried Pastries With Meat Filling)

Are you tired of the same old fast food options and looking for a more flavorful and satisfying snack? Look no further than Pasteis De Carne, the beloved Brazilian pastel filled with a savory beef filling that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

One of the reasons why I love this recipe is its versatility. You can add green olives, mozzarella cheese, hard-boiled egg, or hearts of palm to enhance its flavor even more. The richness of the ground beef mixed with tomatoes, garlic, onions and parsley creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth that keeps you coming back for more!

Not only is this recipe easy to make at home, but it also makes for a delicious and impressive addition to your next get-together. Imagine the delight on your guests’ faces as they bite into these beautiful pastry pockets and taste the packed beef filling that’s been heated to golden perfection.

What makes these Pasteis De Carne so special is their deep-fried crunchiness. The amazing texture is made possible by using puff pastry dough cut into perfect rectangles and then frying them until crispy on the outside but soft and warm on the inside. The result is a warm and satisfying savory pastry that leaves you feeling like you’ve just enjoyed a gourmet meal.

This dish is not just a Brazilan food staple; you can find versions of it all over Latin America – in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil – each country adding its own spin on this classic recipe. Whether you choose to enjoy this dish as an appetizer or as a main course, these Pasteis De Carne are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

So why not try making these savory beef puff pastry pockets in your kitchen today? Share this delicious treat with family and friends, and together bask in the glory of this flavor-packed recipe made homemade!

Ingredient List

 Bite into a crispy golden pastry filled with savory meat- an experience in every bite!
Bite into a crispy golden pastry filled with savory meat- an experience in every bite!

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll be needing to make these delicious Pasteis De Carne. This recipe will make approximately 20 pastries, so adjust accordingly for your needs.

For the filling:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour

These are simple pantry ingredients that you may already have on hand!

Please note that if you prefer a spicier meat filling, you can add some red pepper flakes or other spices to your taste.

The Recipe How-To

 These pastries may look small, but they pack a big punch of flavor.
These pastries may look small, but they pack a big punch of flavor.

Getting Ready: How to Prepare the Pasteis de Carne Dough

Step 1: Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the shortening until you have a crumbly mixture.

Step 3: Next, add ¼ cup of hot water and ¼ cup of milk, stirring as you pour.

Step 4: Knead dough with hands until you get a smooth, elastic ball. If it is too sticky, add more flour.

Step 5: Divide the dough into three parts, shaping them like a cylinder, wrap them with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for about an hour. The dough should be refrigerated to make it easier to roll out later.

The Filling Recipe: How to Make Ground Beef Filling

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup of sliced green olives
  • One Hard-boiled egg, chopped
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cloves minced garlic


Step 1: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and sauté for about 2 minutes.

Step 2: Add ground beef and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spatula until browned and cooked through.

Step 3: Add salt, parsley, diced tomatoes, olives and chopped hard-boiled egg. Stir to combine all ingredients for about three minutes.

Assembling Pasteis de Carne: How to Fold Pastry Pockets

  • The refrigerated dough
  • The filling recipe
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese


Step 1: Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to make 4×4 inch squares.

Step 2: In the center of each dough square, place a spoonful of filling and a bit of mozzarella cheese.

Step 3: Brush the edges with beaten egg, fold the dough over the filling to form a triangle, and press the edges to seal completely. You can also use a fork to crimp the edges.

Step 4: Heat oil in a deep fryer or skillet for frying.

Step 5: Prepare an area in your kitchen with paper towels to drain oil from pasteis de carne.

Step 6: Add pasteis de carne into the hot oil, turning them over once until they are golden brown on both sides. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove them from the heat once cooked.

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready to take a trip to Brazil with these Pasteis de Carne!
Get ready to take a trip to Brazil with these Pasteis de Carne!

As always, feel free to experiment with this recipe to create your own unique twist on these delicious fried pastries. Here are some suggested ingredient substitutions and variations that you might enjoy:

– Vegetarian filling: If you don’t eat meat, simply substitute the ground beef with your favorite meat alternative or vegetable filling. Try using chopped mushrooms, crumbled tofu, or seasoned black beans for a flavorful and hearty vegetarian option.

– Cheese filling: For a gooey, cheesy goodness in every bite, swap the meat filling for a mixture of grated mozzarella cheese, diced green olives, and chopped parsley. You can also add a sliced hard-boiled egg for extra protein and texture.

– Chicken filling: Give this Brazilian specialty a protein-packed upgrade by using ground chicken instead of beef. Season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika for added flavor.

– Shrimp and hearts of palm filling: Take a cue from Portuguese cuisine and use a mixture of sautéed shrimp and chopped hearts of palm to make these savory pastry pockets. The combination of seafood and vegetables is deliciously addictive.

– Empanada-style turnovers: If you prefer a more traditional Latin American approach, cut the dough into circles instead of rectangles and fill each one with 1 tablespoon of ground beef or your favorite empanada filling. Then fold the dough over into half-circle shapes and crimp the edges with a fork before deep-frying.

No matter how you choose to fill your pastéis de carne (or savory pastry turnovers), make sure to seal them tightly so that they don’t leak during frying. And be sure to enjoy these crispy treats as soon as they’re cooked for maximum flavor and texture!

Serving and Pairing

 Piping hot and fresh out of the fryer- these pastries are a must-try appetizer.
Piping hot and fresh out of the fryer- these pastries are a must-try appetizer.

Once you’ve mastered making these flavorful and savory Pasteis De Carne, it’s time to indulge in the delicious treat! These fried pastries with a meat filling are perfect for any occasion, whether it is a weekend snack, appetizer for a gathering, or even fast food.

The pasteis can be served hot or warm, which makes them ideal for entertaining guests. As an appetizer, they go well with a light salad or a soup. You can also serve them as a main course with some stir-fried vegetables on the side.

These pastries pair perfectly with refreshing fruit juices, iced tea or coffee. For adults who enjoy alcoholic beverages, serve them with beer or wine to complement the rich flavor of the meat filling.

If you want to make your pasteis more exciting, try adding toppings like chopped green olives or shredded mozzarella cheese. These toppings will add some extra flavor and texture to each pastry.

For those looking for something different and unique, try pairing pasteis de carne with Argentine chimichurri sauce, Brazilian hot sauce called pimenta malagueta sauce or even guacamole. The combination of spicy and tangy flavors is sure to excite your taste buds!

No matter how you choose to serve your Pasteis De Carne, it’s guaranteed to be loved by everyone. The flavor-packed beef filling combined with the crispy puff pastry creates a perfect balance of textures and flavors that will leave you wanting more!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect snack for any time of the day- these pastries will satisfy any meat lover's cravings.
The perfect snack for any time of the day- these pastries will satisfy any meat lover’s cravings.

These Pasteis De Carne are perfect as a make-ahead dish. You can prepare the filling and dough ahead of time and store them separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to two days. When ready to use, remove the ingredients from the fridge and let them come to room temperature before assembling and frying.

Storing these fried pastries is easy, but it’s important to do it correctly to maintain their texture and flavor. Once cooled to room temperature, pack them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to three days. When reheating, be sure not to microwave them as they’ll become soft and lose their crispiness. Instead, heat them up in the oven or a pan over medium-low heat until they regain their crunch.

If you want to serve these Pasteis De Carne as snacks for your guests, prepare them a few hours before and keep them in a warm oven at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The low heat will keep their outer shell crispy while keeping the meat filling warm.

With these tips, you’ll be able to make and store these delicious fried pastries with ease. They’re a great quick meal or snack option for busy weeknights or even during gatherings with friends and family!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The combination of tender meat and a crisp pastry shell make these Pasteis de Carne truly irresistible.
The combination of tender meat and a crisp pastry shell make these Pasteis de Carne truly irresistible.

To achieve perfect results with Pasteis De Carne, it is essential to pay attention to some key details. As someone who has cooked this recipe many times, I have learned a few tips that can turn your pastries into a desirable delicacy. In this section, I will share with you some of these helpful tips that will elevate your Pasteis De Carne to an unforgettable experience.

Tip #1: Use a good quality puff pastry.

One of the secrets to achieving flaky and crispy pastries is using a good quality puff pastry. It is recommended to use store-bought puff pastry rather than making your own because it can be quite time-consuming. Choose a brand that uses real butter and has no additives or preservatives for the best flavor and texture.

Tip #2: Minimize filling moisture.

Excess moisture in the filling can make the dough soggy and prevent the pastry from turning crispy. To prevent this, remove as much liquid as possible from tomatoes before adding them to the filling. Also, make sure you cook the filling until it dries out before adding other ingredients such as green olives or hard-boiled eggs.

Tip #3: Seal edges properly.

To avoid filling leakage during frying, it is crucial to seal the edges properly. Wetting your fingers with water or egg wash helps glue the dough together when sealing the edges. You can also use a fork to press down and further seal the edges of each pastry.

Tip #4: Fry in hot oil.

For perfect golden brown pastries, fry them in hot oil at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). If the oil temperature is too low, the pastries will absorb too much oil and become greasy. If it’s too high, they may burn on the outside but remain undercooked inside.

Tip #5: Drain excess oil.

After frying each batch of Pasteis De Carne, place them on paper towels to drain off any excess oil. This helps prevent them from becoming greasy and retains their crispiness.

By following these tips, you can achieve the best results with Pasteis De Carne. Don’t forget to experiment with different variations of the recipe to discover your favorite version of this Brazilian and Puerto Rican street food staple.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a simple yet flavor-packed recipe that’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, snack, or even as an appetizer during parties, then this Pasteis De Carne recipe is definitely worth a try! Filled with a delicious beef mixture of ground beef, green olives, tomatoes, garlic, and topped with mozzarella cheese, it’s hard not to enjoy the savory taste of every bite.

By following this recipe’s easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips, you can make your own homemade Pasteis De Carne with minimal effort. Not to mention that it’s very versatile, allowing you to customize the filling to your liking and experiment with different ingredients.

Whether you’re a fan of Brazilian or American cuisine or simply love fried savory pastry pockets in general like empanadas or pastelitos de carne from Puerto Rico, this recipe is the perfect combination of different cultures in one dish. You’ll appreciate its Portuguese origin while still reminding you of Brazil’s famous pastel.

So go ahead and give it a try! We guarantee that your taste buds will thank you for indulging in this flavorful dish. Grab some friends over for game night and make it together. Or impress your family with the hearty aroma coming from the kitchen. You can even make them ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.

In conclusion, Pasteis De Carne is much more than just another fried pastry dish; it’s a staple recipe that’s made from scratch and filled with tradition and culture. It’s an excellent way of exploring different flavors without having to leave your kitchen. So why not add a new twist to your regular meal rotation? Try this recipe out today!

Pasteis De Carne (fried Pastries With Meat Filling)

Pasteis De Carne (fried Pastries With Meat Filling) Recipe

These sound delicious, this is posted by request via email for "Rachel", they sound so good I may try them myself soon. From "Latin American Cooking, A treasury of recipes from the South American countries, Mexico and the Caribbean" Susan Bensusan.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Brazilian
Servings 24 pastries
Calories 173.4 kcal



  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons shortening, melted to lukewarm
  • 1/2 cup milk, mixed with
  • 1/2 cup hot water


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled,seeded and chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, chopped
  • 8 green olives, chopped
  • oil (for deep frying)


  • To prepare the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
  • Add the melted shortening and warm milk and water.
  • Mix to a smooth dough and cut into 2 pieces.
  • To prepare the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes until soft and golden.
  • Add the tomatoes, ground beef and salt.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes until almost dry.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Add the chopped parsley, egg, cheese and olives and mix well.
  • To assemble pastries, roll out the pastry on a floured board to 1/8 inch thickness.
  • Cut 12, 4 inch circles from each piece, 24 circles.
  • Place 1 tablespoon filling on each circle and moisten around the edge with warm water.
  • Fold over and seal the edges well.
  • Deep fry in preheated 375f degree oil for 4 to 5 minutes until golden and crisp.
  • Remove with slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper towel.
  • The pastries are also delicious cold and make good picnic fare.
  • They may also be made without the ground beef.
  • Variation to replace ground beef, use finely chopped ham, chopped chicken, or shrimp.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1728gCalories: 173.4kcalCarbohydrates: 13.2gProtein: 6.2gFat: 10.6gSaturated Fat: 3.1gCholesterol: 23.2mgSodium: 192.9mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 0.6g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Brunch, Caribbean, Meat, Mexican, Savory, Savory Pies, South American
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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.