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Argentinian Empanadas

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Baked Argentinian empanadas are savory and delicious! These little meat pies are perfect for large family get-togethers and festive parties. Both the empanada dough and filling are quick and easy to make. Assemble these beef empanadas in no time flat! For an authentic taste and presentation, serve Argentinian empanadas with homemade chimichurri!

Traditional Argentinian empanadas served on a rustic metal tray with chimichurri sauce.

WHAT IS AN EMPANADA?

Empanadas are Latin American hand pies or turnovers that originated in Spain. They’re made with a disk of pastry dough with a savory or sweet filling.

Common types of empanadas are beef, chorizo, chicken, cheese, and veggie. Dessert empanada filling contains fruit like apples, berries, pumpkin or pineapple. Once filling is added, the dough is folded into a crescent shape or square, and the edges are crimped. The empanadas are baked or fried.

Assembly of a beef empanada on a Boos wooden cutting board.

Each empanada recipe has a regional spin. For example, similar to Argentinian empanadas, Chilean empanadas have a few variations. They typically contain a highly-spiced mixture of ground beef and yellow onions in a 50/50 ratio. During the assembly process, there’s the addition of chopped hard-boiled eggs, raisins, and black olives.


WHAT TO SERVE WITH BAKED EMPANADAS: Pair this recipe with a fresh CUCUMBER SALAD or ROASTED TOMATOES with herbs. Enjoy PINEAPPLE SHRIMP SKEWERS!


FILLING FOR ARGENTINIAN EMPANADAS

These are the ingredients you’ll need to make a savory filling for beef empanadas.

  • Extra-lean ground beef
  • Olive oil
  • Yellow or white onions
  • Red and orange bell peppers
  • Chicken broth
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Paprika
  • Dried oregano
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Granulated sugar
  • Manzanillo olives
  • Fresh parsley
  • Large eggs (for brushing/glazing)

All the ingredients needed to make a batch of empanadas.

EMPANADA DOUGH INGREDIENTS

These are the ingredients for the best empanada dough! I’m always being asked for this recipe.

My husband is from Chile, with an Argentinian godmother. After visiting the area and enjoying a variety of South American empanadas, I can say with confidence: the taste and texture of this empanada dough is authentic to the region. I use this recipe for both Chilean and Argentinian baked empanadas.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sea salt
  • Butter
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Large egg
  • White vinegar
  • Ice-cold water

Empanada dough ingredients.

EMPANADA RECIPE

Recipe prep: Dice the onions and bell peppers with a sharp knife. Or speed things up with a food processor!

Sliced onions and bell peppers on a Boos cutting board.

BEEF EMPANADAS

To make Argentinian empanadas with a delicious beef filling, follow these easy steps:

  • STEP 1: Add olive oil to a saute pan. Over medium/high heat, saute the onions and bell peppers until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  • STEP 2: In a large heavy pan, brown the meat over medium/high heat until there’s no more pink. As the meat is cooking, break it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula. Drain off all the fat. Reduce the heat to low/simmer.
  • STEP 3: Add the sauteed veggies, chicken broth, 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, granulated sugar, and all spices to the meat. Stir until everything is fully mixed. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been reduced/evaporated. Adjust the spices to taste.
  • STEP 4: Transfer mixture to a bowl. Refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight. The flavors will have time to meld together and become more delicious. IMPORTANT: We also want the juices in the filling to become cold and solid. The mixture will be much easier to work with!

Four step-by-step images showing how to make filling for beef empanadas.

HOW TO MAKE EMPANADA DOUGH

This empanada dough recipe is for baked empanadas. For fried hand pies, the dough is lighter and flakier. Using a food processor, it’s quick and easy to make empanada dough from scratch!

  • STEP 1: In a food processor, briefly mix flour and salt.
  • STEP 2: Chop cold butter and shortening into tiny pieces. Add them to the bowl.
  • STEP 3: Pulse until mixture is fine and crumbly.
  • STEP 4: Add egg, vinegar, and ice-cold water. Pulse until a smooth dough forms AND it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Four step-by-step images showing how to make empanada dough in a food processor.

HOW TO MAKE EMPANADAS

  • STEP 1: Remove empanada dough from the food processor.
  • STEP 2: Shape dough into a ball. If time allows, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.
  • STEP 3: Divide dough into 12 balls.
  • STEP 4: Place a ball of dough in the middle of a tortilla press between two pieces of plastic (a large zip-top bag cut in half). Press the dough into a 7-inch circle.

Four images showing how to use a tortilla press to form empanada dough into round disks.

EXPERT TIPS

  • NO FOOD PROCESSOR? NO PROBLEM! You can easily assemble the dough by hand inside a large mixing bowl. But instead of chopping a stick of cold butter into small pieces, stick the butter into the freezer for one hour. Grate frozen butter with a cheese grater. This technique will help you cut the butter into the flour more easily and efficiently!
  • NO TORTILLA PRESS? NO PROBLEM! Use a rolling pin to form each ball of dough into a 7-inch circle (1/16-inch thick). When rolling out dough, always use a heavy board that stays in place. Or place a dry kitchen towel beneath a thin cutting board to keep it from sliding around on the countertop.
  • MORE EMPANADA FILLING IDEAS: Try adding peeled and diced potatoes or kernels of corn to the meat mixture. During the assembly process, try adding pieces of hard-boiled eggs!
  • CRAVE A RICHER MORE SAVORY FILLING? Melt 2 tablespoons of salted butter and add it to the meat mixture before refrigerating.
  • WINE PAIRING FOR BEEF EMPANADAS: A high-quality bottle of red wine like an Argentinian Malbec or Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

Rolling out empanada dough with a rolling pin and wooden cutting board.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE EMPANADAS

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Prep and assemble the Argentinian empanadas:

  • STEP 1: Slice green olives in half. Chop the leaves of parsley (no stems). Remove the meat filling from the fridge. Place the first round disk of dough on the cutting board.
  • STEP 2: Place two tablespoons of meat mixture in the center of the dough. Add four olive halves, and a sprinkling of parsley.
  • STEP 3: Lift opposite sides of the dough straight up like a taco. With your fingertips, close the empanada by pressing the edges together.
  • STEP 4: Secure the edges of the dough using your pointer finger: working from right to left, gently overlap the edges of the dough.

Four images showing how to assemble empanadas.

BAKED EMPANADAS

Crimp the edges of the dough with the tines of a fork. Use a sharp knife to slice small air vents in a criss-cross pattern on the top of the dough.

Argentinian empanada on a rustic wooden cutting board.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Pull out a pastry brush.

A freshly-glazed, unbaked beef empanada next to a pastry brush and bowl of whisked egg.

Place empanadas on lined baking trays, leaving room between each. Brush the tops with whisked egg.

Empanadas on a lined baking tray.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until dough is cooked through and beautifully golden.

Baked Empanadas on a rustic silver tray with chimichurri sauce on the side.

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A rustic metal basket filled with Argentinian empanadas.

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Baked Empanadas on a rustic silver serving tray with chimichurri sauce on the side.

Argentinian Empanadas


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 1 Hour
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 24 Empanadas 1x

Description

Beautiful baked Argentinian empanadas are a traditional Latin American favorite! For an authentic flavor, serve these meat hand pies warm with homemade chimichurri sauce.


Scale

Ingredients

EMPANADA DOUGH – DOUBLE THIS RECIPE!

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), chilled & chopped into small pieces
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled & chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water

EMPANADA FILLING

  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 11/2 small onions (yellow or white), diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper (or 50/50 red & orange), diced
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth, warm
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 21/4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 11/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon chili powder, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 48 Manzanillo olives, halved
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (no stems), chopped
  • 2 large eggs, whisked (for brushing/glazing)

CHIMICHURRI – OPTIONAL CONDIMENT

  • 1/3 cup dried parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or more if needed)

Instructions

EMPANADA DOUGH

  1. In a food processor, briefly mix flour and salt. Add butter and shortening. Pulse until the mixture is fine and crumbly. Add egg, vinegar, and ice-cold water. Pulse until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Remove dough from food processor. Shape it into a ball. If time allows, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Divide dough into 12 balls. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball into a 7-inch circle. If you have a tortilla press, things will move along swiftly!

EMPANADA FILLING

  1. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil to a saute pan. Over medium/high heat, saute onion and bell pepper until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large heavy pan, brown meat over medium/high heat until there’s no more pink. As meat is cooking, break it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula. Drain off all fat. Reduce the heat to low/simmer.
  3. Add the sauteed veggies, chicken broth, 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, granulated sugar, and all spices to the meat. Stir until everything is fully mixed. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been reduced/evaporated. If the meat needs a bit more moisture, add a drizzling of olive oil and/or a bit more chicken broth. Adjust spices to taste.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight. This gives the flavors enough time to meld together and become more delicious. IMPORTANT: We also want the juices in the filling to become cold and solid. It makes the mixture much easier to work with!

HOW TO ASSEMBLE BEEF EMPANADAS

PREP WORK: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  1. Place the first round disk of dough on the cutting board. Place two tablespoons of meat mixture in the center of the dough. Add four olive halves, and a sprinkling of parsley.
  2. Lift two opposite sides of the dough straight up like a taco.  With your fingertips, close the empanada by pressing the edges together. Secure the edges of the dough using your pointer finger: working from right to left, gently overlap the edges of the dough. Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.
  3. As you work, transfer empanadas to a lined baking tray. Brush the tops with whisked egg.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until dough is cooked through and beautifully golden. Serve warm.

CHIMICHURRI – OPTIONAL CONDIMENT

  1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl. Mix well. Allow mixture to rest for 30 minutes. The dried herbs will have time to rehydrate, and the flavors will have a chance to meld together.
  2. Store unused chimichurri in a sealed container. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

EXPERT TIPS

  • NO FOOD PROCESSOR? NO PROBLEM! You can easily assemble the dough by hand inside a large mixing bowl. But instead of chopping a stick of cold butter into small pieces, stick the butter into the freezer for one hour. Grate frozen butter with a cheese grater. This technique will help you cut the butter into the flour more easily and efficiently!
  • MORE EMPANADA FILLING IDEAS: Try adding peeled and diced potatoes or kernels of corn to the meat mixture. During the assembly process, try adding pieces of hard-boiled eggs!
  • CRAVE A RICHER MORE SAVORY FILLING? Melt 2 tablespoons of salted butter and add it to the meat mixture before refrigerating.
  • WINE PAIRING FOR BEEF EMPANADAS: A high-quality bottle of red wine like an Argentinian Malbec or Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Category: Dinner, Appetizers
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Argentinian, Latin America

Keywords: Empanadas, Empanada Dough, Baked Empanadas, Argentinian Empanadas, Chimichurri

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

ARGENTINIAN EMPANADAS > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Have you made or enjoyed empanadas before? What are your favorite types of fillings? Share your thoughts on this recipe in the comments below!

25 thoughts on “Argentinian Empanadas”

  1. I make empanadas too, but instead of baking, I deep fry them in hot oil. Thanks for reminding me about empanadas. I haven’t made some in a while.

    Reply
  2. I love empanadas! I’ve never tried making it yet but I think this recipe is great! I will be making this when my parents come home this year.

    Reply
  3. These look delicious and I bet my kids would actually enjoy these too. My son has been a picky eater lately.

    Reply
  4. These look delicious. Chimichurri is my secret weapon for turning an average dish into something really memorable. It’s great on grilled fish, veggies, potatoes, meat.

    Reply

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