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

Argentinian Empanadas

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5 from 19 reviews

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


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




  • 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


  • 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)


  • 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)



  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!


  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!


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.


  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.



  • 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.
  • Prep Time: 1 Hour
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Dinner, Appetizers
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Argentinian, Latin America