These tasty empanadas are homemade Argentinian street food snacks made of crispy homemade pastry filled with beef. Great party food. Easy recipe and so popular! These really are tasty! One of our most popular recipes, these are great to serve at parties, potlucks, weddings, Thanksgiving, summer parties, yep... any time!

Tasty Empanadas. These tasty empanadas are homemade Argentinian street food snacks made of crispy homemade pastry filled with beef. Great party food. Easy recipe and so popular!

This delicious recipe has been generously shared by one of our great cooks, Carina. Carina's Tasty Empanadas come from her Argentinian roots and these are often made for special occasions and Christmas Time.

There are many variations to Empanadas, often depending on which province in Argentina you are from, and these ones Carina's made contain beef, and Carina says this: " now you can truly find them stuffed with everything. Ham and cheese and corn (humita) are very popular. And also spinach with hard-boiled egg. In Buenos Aires, there are stores that only sell empanadas. Those stores have an incredible variation in the filling including " sweet" ones. The typical are quince or sweet potato jams but these are not a spread but a solid brick."

Carina is going to show us how to make these tasty empanadas, street food style! The recipe is for making your own homemade empanada pastry and for the filling, we've used a classic beef empanada filling as that is the most common of all fillings for empanadas. So you will get a real taste of Argentina!

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You will also find out how to shape the empanadas so they have the characteristic shape you see in the photos below.

Tasty Empanadas - Great party food! Serve warm or cold, delicious either way. Sweet or savory, you choose!

Sounds like we all need to go visit Argentina to sample all these wonderful empanadas!
Recipe by Carina Duclos

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

5 - 7 minutes (approximate)

Yield: 24

Ingredients

The Filling

600 g or 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
800 g or 1 1/2 lbs onions (I mix yellow onions and green onions)
2 garlic cloves
half a red pepper
1/3 cup Pimenton Dulce (this is an Argentinean spice- the closest here in North America is paprika)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt pepper to taste

The Pastry

3/4 kg or 6 Cups All Purpose flour
300 g or 1 1/3 cups lard at room temperature
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water

If you would like to make sweet empanadas, you could fill them with jam or a simple fruit pie filling.
For a very quick and easy recipe for making your own pie filling, see here

How To Make A Simple Fruit Pie Filling, 2 recipes, one for regular filling and one for a CARAMEL filling. Both very delicious for sure!

Instructions

Prepare the Filling:

1. Chop and Cook the onions, garlic, and peppers till soft, add the beef and cook till brown. I used butter for cooking the meat but you can use oil if you wish. When meat is brown add the spices and let simmer at low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every now and then. Try it and add salt and pepper if needed.

Tasty Empanadas , prepare the filling

2. Now this is important: put the filling in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours or even better overnight. The filling needs to be cold to use.

Make the pastry:

1. Add salt to flour. Add lard and incorporate well using your hands. When mixed, add water. I used my stand mixer to make the dough.

2. Bring to the table and split in 3 to better be able to roll. With the rolling pin, roll the dough to a thickness of about 3 or 4 mm. I cut my discs about 4" diameter. (use a saucer or similar to cut like a template)

3. Pile the cut discs and separate them using sheets of parchment paper and cover with a towel so they don't dry out. Keep rolling and cutting until all the dough is gone. Depending on the thickness this should yield about 24 discs.

How to shape the empanadas:

4. Fill the discs and fold. If you find it too challenging to fold the closure like in the picture, use a fork to join the sides. Make sure you wet the edges so the folded edges stick to each other.

Tasty Empanadas, how to shape

5. Make sure the oil has reached the temperature of 400 F. If the oil is not hot enough, the empanadas will not be nice and crispy.

Then carefully place the empanadas in the oil, and cook for around 5 - 7 minutes, until golden and the pastry goes bubbly like in the photo.

Do not overfill the pan, but cook in batches so everything can cook evenly.
Place on some kitchen paper then serve.

Tasty Empanadas , cooking the empanadas

You can bake these but you won't get the same crispiness as you get from frying. So long as the oil is hot enough and you drain on kitchen paper after frying, these empanadas should not be oily.

Tasty Empanadas - Great party food! Serve warm or cold, delicious either way. Sweet or savory, you choose!

Recipe Card

Tasty Empanadas. These tasty empanadas are homemade Argentinian street food snacks made of crispy homemade pastry filled with beef. Great party food. Easy recipe and so popular!

Tasty Empanadas

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

Tasty Empanadas.
These tasty empanadas are homemade Argentinian street food snacks made of crispy homemade pastry filled with beef. Great party food. Easy recipe and so popular!

Ingredients

The Filling:

  • 600 g or 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 800 g or 1 1/2 lbs onions, I mix yellow onions and green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • half a red pepper
  • 1/3 cup Pimenton Dulce, this is an Argentinean spice- the closest here in North America is paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • salt pepper to taste

The Pastry:

  • 3/4 kg or 6 Cups All Purpose flour
  • 300 g or 1 1/3 cups lard at room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water

Instructions

Prepare the Filling:

  1. 1. Chop and Cook the onions, garlic and peppers till soft, add the beef and cook till brown. I used butter for cooking the meat but you can use oil if you wish. When meat is brown add the spices and let simmer at low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every now and then. Try it and add salt and pepper if needed.
  2. 2. Now this is important: put the filling in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours or even better overnight. The filling needs to be cold to use.

Make the pastry:

  1. 1. Add salt to flour. Add lard and incorporate well using your hands. When mixed, add water. I used my stand mixer to make the dough.
  2. 2. Bring to the table and split in 3 to better be able to roll. With the rolling pin, roll the dough to a thickness of about 3 or 4 mm. I cut my discs about 4" diameter. (use a saucer or similar to cut like a template)
  3. 3. Pile the cut discs and separate them using sheets of parchment paper and cover with a towel so they don't dry out. Keep rolling and cutting until all the dough is gone. Depending on the thickness this should yield about 24 discs.

Form the empanadas:

  1. 4. Fill the discs and fold. If you find it too challenging to fold the closure like in the picture, use a fork to join the sides. Make sure you wet the edges so the folded edges stick to each other.
  2. 5. Make sure the oil has reached the temperature of 400 F. If the oil is not hot enough, the empanadas will not be nice and crispy. Then carefully place the empanadas in the oil, and cook for around 5 - 7 minutes, until golden and the pastry goes bubbly like in the photo. Do not over fill the pan, but cook in batches so everything can cook evenly.
  3. Place on some kitchen paper then serve.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate

Easy Snacks For Parties

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Leave a Reply to Loretta

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34 thoughts shared

  1. So excited to try these! We went to Argentina a few years ago and had fun trying a few different types of empanadas. Our other favorite thing were the puffy fries – I can’t remember what they are called, but they were fun to try!

    1. Comment author image

      Lovefoodies

      says:

      Hi Molly! How wonderful! This recipe is from Carina who is Argentinian so it’s certainly authentic! Hopefully it will bring back many fond memories for you!
      Thanks for writing in and please do come back and let us know what fillings etc you made once you get to try the recipe!

  2. Comment author image

    Barbara Matwiejczyk

    says:

    Can you make ahead and put in refrigerate or freezer to serve on anothre day and just heat up in oven

    1. Hi Barbara, yes indeed.
      I would suggest you make them, but not cook them, simply freeze in some ziplock bags, and then when you are ready, you can fry them either defrosted or from frozen.
      I haven’t tried reheating them after they have been cooked, the only thing that might not be as good is the pastry could be soft, so I suggest freezing before cooking.
      Hope this helps!

  3. lleva huevo duro y aceitunas tambien, y no es una comida tiìca de navidad, es una comida tipica de las fiestas patrias de Argentina.

  4. The filling recipe calls for 1/3 cup of paprika or pimentos dulce, is that the right measurement? To me it seems like a bit too much.

    1. Hi Ivette, yes indeed, the measure is correct. However, you can reduce the amount to suit you. It’s a very flexible recipe and I hope you will be able to try it soon. Very delicious!!
      Thanks for writing in and have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Comment author image

    TakeActionWAHM

    says:

    Looks so good! Empanadas are very popular here in Peru too. The ones we have are usually baked, not fried – the frying looks so yummy and crispy! Ham and cheese is very popular here too, but the traditional beef or chicken is still the favorite.

    Do the Argentinos eat theirs with a squeeze of lime juice? That’s the only way to do it here!

      1. Thank you!

        Happy New Year to you and yours as well! Enjoy and embrace all 2015 has to offer!

    1. yes Zed, it says room temperature. (the word ‘temperature’ was continued on the next line, but I have moved the text so it is all on the same line). Hope this helps!

      Thanks!

    1. We made this and instead of the pimento dulce we used paprika. We only used about half the amount it calls for, is 1/3 cup the correct measurement. Maybe it should have been tablespoon? Other than that we made it as stated and the flavour is a bit lakcking, unless the pastry adds to the overall experience. Salt and pepper to taste, for sure.

  6. Comment author image

    Robyn Gleason

    says:

    These look like perfection! This could be a fun weekend cooking project with kids. Thanks for the great idea!

  7. These are really big in Dominica Republic. They make them with pizza stuffing. We eat them with a fried egg in it or salami with cheese.

  8. I am going to try these. I do not have a deep fat fryer, but have had success with a non-stick frying pan with adequate, but not deep oil. Sounds luscious. Will write once made and eaten!

    1. Hi Laura, that sounds great, shallow frying will work well, so long as the oil is at the right temperature (but I don’t think you need me to tell you that!!) Enjoy! Carina makes great recipes, and these Empanadas come from her Argentinian roots so they will be very good indeed :)

      1. Hi Laura, that sounds great, shallow frying will work well, so long as the oil is at the right temperature (but I don’t think you need me to tell you that!!) Enjoy! Carina makes great recipes, and these Empanadas come from her Argentinian roots so they will be very good indeed :)

  9. I got a recipe from an Argentinean tour guide in Beunos Aires. Ground beef, minced mushrooms, minced black olives, chopped onion. Saute’ everything till meat is browned, season to taste. Fill crescents of flaky pastries and paint with eggwash. Bake till pastries are golden brown. Serve warm with glass of red wine.

      1. Is it possible to make this recipe Gluten Free? Could I use gluten free pastry discs store bought, or Bisquick gluten free pastry or some gluten free pastry boxed recipe to make the pastry part?? And also, what do you recommend to substitute in place of the lard? Olive oil most likely because that would have the least amount of mono and poly saturated and unsaturated fats??

        Thank you so much!! IVE BEEN DYINGGGGG FOR SOME EMPANADAS for over 3 years and I can’t eat gluten, so I cook a lot in order to make things gf for myself. So I sure hope I can make adjustments!! Thanks again!

        Carey