Beef Empanadas

Ground Beef Empanadas

I cannot think of a better first post than my beef empanadas! Why? Because they are simple, super versatile, and always a hit with adults and kids alike.

Empanadas are a classic Argentina dish, and the fillings are endless. The most common one is ground beef and that is the recipe I have for you today. Other options are (coming to the blog soon): chicken, tuna, salmon, trout, vegetables like spinach, chard, or corn; ham and cheese; capresse; onion and cheese; etc. etc. etc. Most of the recipes are very simple and require little cooking and prep and they can be frozen for up to 6 months, in fact I always double or triple this recipe to have leftover to freeze. It’s a great 30 minutes dinner (from freezer to table) for busy week days or an impromptu gathering with friends or family. They can be the main dish, a warm appetizer or side, and taste good cold if you want to pack them for lunch the next day.

Beef Empanada

Classic Argentinian flaky dough pocket with delicious ground beef filling

  • 1 lbs Ground Beef (Chuck or Sirloin)
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Sweet or Hungarian Paprika
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chili Flakes (none, more or less to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 15 Empanada Dough "Discos" (found at International Markets)
  • 1 Egg
  1. Cook chopped onion in 1 tbsp melted butter over medium heat until translucent.

  2. Add beef and break so there aren’t any big lumps. Cook for about 5 minutes, add all spices and stir well. Cover pot and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat, add remaining butter, stir and cool down. Preferably overnight in the fridge.

  4. Preheat oven to 375 and set a rack in the middle. Prepare a baking sheet with non stick foil paper and oil spray.

  5. Set empanada dough on clean counter. Add 1 spoonful of filling towards the bottom edge, leaving enough room to close the dough, about ½ inch. Fold dough and press with fingers or fork to seal.

  6. You can now cook them, refirgate to cook within 24 hours, or freeze them for 6 months.

    To refrigerate, set empanadas on pepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and set in fridge.

    To cook, set empanadas on prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart, and brush with beaten egg.

  7. Cook in middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. For more than one bacth see notes.

Empanadas can be frozen raw, to cook from frozen place in prepared baking sheet, brush with egg and cook for 25 minutes or until golden brown. DO NOT THAW before cooking

The colder the filling the easier it is to fill the empanadas and the juicer they’ll come out.

As a main dish I make about 6 empanadas per adult and 2 per child and as an appetizer or side dish 3 per adult and 1/2 per child.

You can cook several batches at once, if your oven has convection mode set it to 350 and cook on all 3 levels, you may need to rotate them depending on how well your oven is calibrated.

If your oven doesn’t have convention, preheat to 375 and rotate every 6 to 8 minutes, putting the tray in the bottom in the middle, the middle on top, on top in bottom. Do this twice so each sheet gets the same amount of time on each rack, this will prevent burnt bottoms and undercooked tops. Do the rotation as fast as possible to avoid the oven loosing too much heat and having to reheat.

  1. Love love love this!!! Can’t wait to cook some of these recipes and watch your site grow! 💕