These Beef Empanadas recipe are so easy, anyone can make them! The filling is made with ground beef, onion, spices, and green olives and baked in flaky empanada dough until golden brown.
Enjoy them with Chimichurri sauce!
Table of contents
These are found in countries all over the world and the fillings are just as different as the people. Empanadas Mendocinas (Argentinian Empandas) contain beef, spices, olives, and sometimes hard-boiled eggs. I kept this recipe simple and left out the eggs.
The empanada dough is sturdy enough to hold in all the delicious filling and can be baked, deep fried, or air-fried.
These savory pastry pockets are:
- budget-friendly (just like this chipped beef cheese ball, and this chipped beef dip)
- easy to make
- fun to eat
- can be made ahead of time
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Beef – I like to use a 93/7 lean beef but use your favorite. Just remember that the more fat the more weight lost during cooking.
Spices – There is a variety of spices that are used in traditional Argentinian empanadas, but I kept it pretty easy.
I used sweet paprika (or Hungarian Paprika) which is sweeter and more flavorful. And added cumin and oregano. Feel free to switch up your spices to your liking.
Olives – Some empanadas add other vegetables like potatoes and peas depending on the region. This recipe uses green olives.
I bought green cocktail olives since they are not stuffed. If you can’t find them, just remove the pimento stuffing before adding.
Fresh Herbs – I like the way the fresh parsley and cilantro add some color along with their flavor. If you don’t have fresh, you can substitute dried. Just be sure to cut the amount in half.
Empanada Discs – You can make your own empanada dough, but I love to use these empanada discs from Goya. Don’t turn down a great shortcut in my opinion.
How to make Beef Empanadas
First: Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Second: In a large skillet, cook the onion, garlic, ground beef, and spices over medium high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Remove from heat and add the herbs and olives. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Third: Place 2 tablespoons filling in the center of each disc of pastry dough. Fold over, squeezing out any air, and crimp the outer edge closed. Repeat with remaining filling.
Fourth: Place the filled discs on the parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and bake empanadas for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly. Serve and enjoy!
For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
What is usually in an Empanada?
The best thing about empanadas, other than being portable, is the different ways to fill them. If you go to every country that serves them, you will find a different filling.
Everything from beef, pork, chicken, and even dessert ingredients.
What kind of dough do you use for Empanadas?
The dough is similar to pie crust, in fact you can use pie dough in a pinch, but it is a little sturdier to hold the savory ingredients.
You can easily make homemade dough or take a shortcut and buy the Goya brand discs in the freezer section. This recipe makes 20 empanadas which is 2 packages of 10 discs.
Where are they from originally?
Originally from Spain and Portugal, you can find empanadas all over the world with a variety of different fillings.
What do you serve with Beef Empanadas?
They are a meal in themselves but I like to add a simple green salad when serving for dinner. If I’m serving as an appetizer, I like a salsa, chimichurri, or sour cream.
More ways to cook Beef Empanadas
I love that these are baked but if you want to deep fry them, here are some tips.
- refrigerate the assembled empanadas for 15 minutes firm up the dough before frying.
- heat a few inches of oil to 365F in a large skillet.
- fry only 1-2 empanadas at a time so the oil temperature stays hot.
- flip once while cooking
- place on a paper towel lined plate when done frying to drain of excess oil.
You can also air fry these at 325F for 15 – 20 minutes.
Can you make them ahead of time?
The filling can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge. You can freeze the prepared filling for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container.
To freeze, place unbaked empanadas on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before baking or frying.
If you have any empanadas leftover, store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an air-tight container. Reheat in the oven at 350F for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.
Tapas Tips & Tricks
- if the meat seems dry while cooking because it’s so lean, feel free to switch to a higher fat content ground beef or add a tablespoon more olive oil while cooking.
- remove the meat mixture from the pan before adding the olives and fresh herbs to avoid over cooking them.
- defrost the empanada dough according to package instructions. I like to take mine out of the freezer the night before.
- keep the plastic wrapper on each disc while filling, it makes it easier to hold them.
- roll the edges over or crimp with a fork to seal the beef empanadas. I like to crimp on one side and flip over and crimp the other for a tight seal.
- use an egg wash to help achieve that golden brown pastry. A simple mixture of 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!
This Easy Beef Empanada Recipe uses pre-made empanada dough and ground beef to create a delicious appetizer or dinner. Ready in roughly 30 minutes, they are a fun and budget friendly way to try new dishes from other countries!
More Empanada Recipes
- Spicy Sausage Empanadas
- Caprese Empanadas
- Street Corn Empanadas
- Caramel Apple Empanadas
- Dark Chocolate Mole Empanadas
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion (chopped, ~ 2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 pound ground beef (I used 93/7)
- 1/2 cup green olives (sliced)
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 2 stalks green onions (green tops sliced)
- 2 packages Goya empanada discs (20 wrappers total)
- 1/2 cup chimichurri sauce for dipping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
- In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the ground beef and spices. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.
- Remove from heat and add the herbs and olives. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Place 2 tablespoons filling in the center of each disc of pastry dough.
- Fold over, squeezing out any air, and crimp the outer edge closed.
- Repeat with remaining filling
- Place the filled discs on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Brush with egg wash (1 egg + 2 tablespoons water mixed) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove and let cool slightly. Serve and enjoy!
*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 521mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 18g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party. I can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
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