Beef Empanadas

Beef Empanadas are a Spanish savory stuffed pastry that can work as an appetizer or as an entrée. There are lots of variations of what ingredients can go inside, but here's your basic starter recipe.

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Beef Empanadas

  • Prep Time: 25 m
  • Cook Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 55 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ pound raw chorizo sausage casing removed
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup Spanish green olives finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 large empanada discos
Empanada Dough – makes 10 disks
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup + cold water


  1. If you are making your own empanada dough, place the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse the processor to blend the ingredients. Add the cold butter and pulse the food processor to cut the butter into the flour until large crumbles are formed. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the water until the dough comes together. Add an additional tablespoon of water if necessary. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough with your hands for another minute until the dough is smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball. Set the dough balls aside.
  2. Pre-heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and chorizo sausage and cook until the meat is no longer pink, breaking the chunks up with a wooden spoon as it browns. Drain away all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the sauté pan. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for a few minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder and sauté for 2 additional minutes. Stir in the chopped olives, vinegar and water. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set the filling aside to cool.
  3. Roll out the empanada dough balls into 6-inch circles, or use store-bought empanada discos. Brush a little water around the edges of the dough. Place a heaping spoonful of the filling in center of each circle of dough and fold one side of the dough over to form a half moon. Crimp the edges to seal shut.
  4. To Deep Fry: heat vegetable or canola oil to 350°F in a deep saucepan or sauté pan. Deep-fry the empanadas in batches for 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. To Bake: pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Place the empanadas on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
  6. To Air-fry: Pre-heat the air fryer to 370ºF. Spray the empanadas with oil on both sides and transfer one layer of empanadas to the air fryer basket. Air-fry at 370ºF for 8 minutes. Flip the empanadas over and air-fry for another 6 minutes.
  7. Serve alone or with a dip like guacamole, salsa fresca, sour cream or a lime crema.
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Comments (3)Post a Reply

    1. Lime Crema is condiment topping that is a little smoother and tangier than plain sour cream. It’s great on tacos, empanadas, burritos, etc. You can make it easily by combining 1 cup of sour cream with 1/4 cup of heavy cream and the zest and juice of 1 lime.

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