Beef empanadas

Empanadas are THE street food in Argentina and EVERYBODY loves them! There are endless types of empanadas in Argentina depending on which province you are from and everyone claims that their region’s empanadas are the best ha!

I have so many amazing memories as a child of eating empanadas in birthday parties and family gatherings. Back home there are many takeaway empanadas shops just like here you have pizza takeaways and you can buy so many different versions – if only we had more of these in the UK!

In this recipe, we are making BEEF empanadas but there are lots of different variations of empanadas depending on the occasion!

We are going to be making both our own dough and beef filling as you can’t find empanadas dough disks in UK supermarkets (YET!). This dough is a different dough to my original empanadas recipe – it is much easier to follow and make!!

These were my heart shaped empanadas for Valentine’s!


This recipe will make 24-30 medium sized empanadas. You can always half the quantities if you want to make only 12!


For the beef mince filling:

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3 chopped medium onions – chop into small cubes
  • 2 chopped medium carrot – chop into small cubes
  • 500g beef mince
  • 3tsp paprika
  • 3tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chilli powder (argentine empanadas aren’t ‘spicy’ so add depending on taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • 100g chopped green olives
  • 2 chopped hard boiled eggs

For the dough:

  • 500g plain flour
  • 200ml cold water
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • good pinch of salt

For the making of the empanadas:

  • a bowl of water to seal the empanadas
  • a bowl 13cm in diameter to use as the cutter
  • 1 egg beaten for the egg wash


I always prefer to make the filling first and once it is cooking, I make the dough. Whilst the dough is resting in the fridge, the filling is finished and cooling and therefore both ready at the same time.

To make the mince filling:

  1. Heat the olive oil and cook the onions and carrots until the onions are softened.
  2. Add the mince and cook until browned.
  3. Add paprika, cumin, chilli powder, salt and pepper. The amount of chilli is optional and dependent on your taste.
  4. Cook until the carrots are softened and mince is fully cooked. Ensure the pan is covered so it does not become dry.
  5. Once cooked, add the chopped green olives and 2 hard boiled eggs (boiled in a separate pan!).
  6. Let the mix cool whilst you move on to make the dough.

To make the dough:

  1. Add the plain flour to a clean bowl (or clean surface) and make a good sized well in the middle. In the well add the salt, egg, water and vegetable oil.
  2. Start to mix the dry and wet ingredients together using a fork.
  3. When all the ingredients have been mixed and a dough is starting to form, tip the dough onto a clean floured surface.
  4. Knead the dough for a good 5-7 minutes until it is a soft and uniform dough.
  5. Cover the dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minute

To assemble the empanadas:

  1. Start preheating the oven to 180 degree Celsius
  2. Remove the dough from the fridge. Cut into smaller sections and roll the dough thinly onto a clean floured surface.
  3. Use the cutter to cut circles.
  4. Put the dough circle into the cup of your hand and add the beef filling into the middle of the circle. Be generous (but don’t overfill!) and ensure you add chopped eggs AND green olives.
  5. Dip your finger into the water and cover the edge of the circle with water.
  6. Close your circle in half and seal your empanada.
  7. Crimple your empanada from one end all the way to the other end.
  8. Put empanada on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.
  9. Once all empanadas are done, egg wash them and bake for at 25 – 30 minutes. The empanadas are done when golden and the dough is no longer see through.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Buen provecho! 🙂

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