February 24, 2019

Beef Empanadas

Recipe: Beef Empanadas

Makes 10 empanadas or 20 cocktail size | Prep Time 2 hour | Cooking Time 1 hour total | Resting time:1 hour


  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 cups strong chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tapas for empanadas, either normal size or cocktail party size



  • Mince all the veggies finely
  • Cut tomatoes into 1/8 inch cubes
  • Sweat the onion and red bell pepper together
  • Add the ground beef and cook until just done. Be careful not to over dry the meat
  • Add a bit of red wine and chicken stock, and cook until the liquids have reduced to almost nothing and absorbed by the beef
  • Add tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Cool down fully until ready to use. This step is important: a hot filling will break your empanada dough.


  1. Keep your tapas cold but not frozen. The dough has a lot of fat inside which will melt and make the dough too pliable and difficult to work when it gets warm.
  2. Lay a few empanadas tapas on your working board.
  3. Place the appropriate amount of filling on each tapa: for cocktail empanadas one full tbsp, for regular size empanadas 2 to 3 tbsp depending on the actual size of your empanada. It is important not to over or under fill.
  4. Wet your finger very lightly and run it over one border of the empanada.
  5. Close the empanada at the top first and then very well through the entire border.
  6. Crimp your borders in a traditional braid Video demonstration coming soon to this site
  7. Set aside on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper until ready to use.


Depending on the dough that you are using you have the option of baking the empanadas in the oven or frying them.

Oven Cooking

Brush each empanada with eggwash (egg diluted with water) and place in a 375F oven for about 8 minutes until golden and cooked through.

  1. Fill 2/3 a heavy pot with canola oil. It’s important not to overfill the pot so it does not overflow when placing the empanadas in.
  2. Bring the temperature to 375F.
  3. Drop the empanadas in batches and cook until golden and puffy, turning them over once or twice during cooking.
  4. Drain on a wire rack and serve while still hot.


These empanadas are really traditional. It is important to use ground beef with a decent amount of fat the empanadas will be dry.

To enhance the moist feeling we add (non-traditionally) small pieces of tomato that will release their juice during the frying process.

Empanadas are crimped with different styles to indicate what is inside. Everybody has their own interpretation, with some traditions usually respected

Play around with the stuffing ingredients and create your own version. Take this recipe only as a guide towards your own creative ways to make this dish.

Learn to make this and much more during our cooking class:

An Argentine Feast

Choripan with Chimichurri
Ensalada Criolla
Ensalada Rusa